I am the first to admit that I can get a bit carried away when it comes to buying things for my daughter. When I look back at last Christmas, not everything we bought her was a sensible purchase and consequently not all of it was played with or used. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

We all want our children to be happy, but it can get out of hand around Christmastime so here are my top tips for keeping your toddler’s Christmas list restrained. 

Compilation books: If you like to read to your little one- rather than buying your toddler a number of different books, a book of short stories or a treasury book will not only save you money but will ensure you still have plenty to read together. While Christmas themed books may seem tempting- your money might be better spent on a book that isn’t specific to this time of year so you can enjoy the stories within it all year round. 

Clothing: While this will not be exciting as a toys, remember that your toddler will probably receive toys from other people. This means you can buy more practical gifts such as clothing. Again, aim for clothes that are not emblazoned with reindeers and penguins so they can wear the pieces until they are too big for them. You will eventually need to buy them clothes when they grow out of their current wardrobe so it’s a purchase you are going to have to make anyway. Better to get them in place of something impulsive as opposed to buying both. 

Toys with longevity: If you do want to buy your toddler some toys, make sure they won’t be fleeting additions to their toy box. In other words, don’t buy ones they are likely to get bored of quickly. Wooden train tracks, Duplo and puzzles may cost the same as a few smaller gifts, however- in the long run they are a worthwhile purchase because your toddler will get more pleasure from them for longer than a festive piece of plastic. One good quality toy is better than numerous cheap ones.

RELATED: Seven ways to teach your toddler about money

Facebook Marketplace and eBay: Little ones don’t care if their toys are gently used so if you don’t either, you can pick up some bargains on sites such as this that will save you money and shipping costs. If you have something in mind, take a look online and see if you can buy it from someone else first. A quick wipe down when you get home and it will be good as new. Often people are looking to get rid of bulk items at this time of year, so you may get lucky and find a sack of gifts with a small price tag. 

Upcycled gifts: If you are someone who is good at upcycling or maybe someone in the family is- perhaps you still have enough time for a DIY gift made from an item that someone else is offering up for free. A doll’s house that needs a bit of TLC for instance or an old toy box that needs a good sand and paint. If you or someone else puts the time and effort into a bespoke Christmas gift, chances are you will keep it in the family for generations because it has some personality and history attached to it. 

Ask friends and family: If your friends or family have children that are a little older than your own, it’s possible they have some things that are lightly used or even still with the tags on they are looking to get rid of. With a second lockdown and the charity shops closed, they might be more than happy to offload some items onto you that they were going to donate. 

Handmade gifts: If you are a dab hand at making things you can always put your skill to good use and create something unique for your toddler. You could knit them a new stuffed animal or a piece of clothing, make them a patchwork quilt for their doll's bed or even bake cookies on Christmas Eve to fill their stocking with instead of shop bought sweeties.   

Little ones don’t care about cost and who has had something before them. They can also sense when their parents are on edge- so if you are worrying about money over Christmas because of excessive spend they will recognise something is wrong and you will all have a stressful time. Don’t place too much importance on quantity and newness when it comes to your toddler’s gifts and you will all have a merrier time for it. 

RELATED: Seven minimalist Christmas gifts for toddlers

If you are a minimalist parent or indeed aspiring to be one and therefore want to avoid masses of presents entering your home this year, here are some ideas for toddlers that won’t overwhelm them or their bedroom... to read more click HERE


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