Clutter-free Gifts for Babies
- A session of a class to do together, such as Music Together, which starts as young as newborn. My-gym – parent participation classes start at 6 weeks old
- A new tradition. Now that you’re the parent, you can establish how your baby celebrates the holidays. Applesauce and pankcakes for breakfast? Jammies all day? You pick – and write it in a card.
- A membership to a baby-friendly playspace, where you can drop in. Little Gym and Gymboree are national chains with both set classes and open hours for members.
- Infant massage class. Check your local yoga studios or lactation consultants if you don’t know where one is held. There is a national association, too. Check out LiddleKidz.com.
- Stuff that’s already in your house. How to handle stocking stuffing for your baby? Make it overflow with items from your drawers and cupboards: a wooden spoon, a red plastic cup (intended for use with kegs), a discarded wallet or keychain.
Clutter-free Gifts for Toddlers
- Local zoo membership. Your zoo may have reciprocal arrangements at other zoos in case Grandma and Papa live far away.
- Some new borrowed toys from a toy lending library (they exist!) or a friend. You won’t have to store that Sit and Spin forever!
- Swim lessons. The prospect of a weekly swimming pool visit will either thrill or terrify your child.
- A wall or nook of her own. If your baby occupies a corner of your room, consider wall decals to mark the area. If she’s got your old office, paint an accent wall to brighten her quarters.
- Children’s Museum. Locally, we love the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Many of these also have reciprocal relationships with other museums and zoos. Make sure you know all the perks!
Clutter-free Gifts for Little Kids
- Tickets to a concert (Pollstar.com has listings for Rookie Mom faves Justin Roberts and the rockin’ kids band The Sippy Cups)
- Subscription to a website. Something like Playhouse Disney offers online games that don’t take up room in your house.
- A major outing. Are you ready for Disneyland, The Nutcracker, or some other big adventure? Make a big deal out of putting it on the calendar.
- Music lessons. For preschoolers, seek out a class that is focused on rhythm and movement. No sheet music necessary.
- Ride tickets for local destination. The carousel at the zoo, or train tickets. Put the purchased tickets (or fake homemade ones) together with a picture of the ride.