If you’re the parent of young children, you’ve likely experienced the onslaught of stuff that occurs every birthday, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Graduation Day, average Thursday and any other day your extended family considers special. Maybe your living room looks like a toy store puked all over it. Maybe your child has started to seem — gasp! — spoiled. Maybe you’re part of the problem, but you can’t think of a better option.
However this issue has manifested in your life, if you’re desperate for a way to stop the endless cycle of unnecessary stuff, we can help.
Last year, a grandmother went viral when she shared a gift she’d DIYed for her grandkids: an “adventure box.” Darlene Howell Waller (whose original Facebook post has since been removed) didn’t want to give her grandkids yet another toy they didn’t really need. So she decided to give them the gift of time — that is, time they could spend together.
To pull this one off, Waller decorated a treasure chest she purchased at a craft store and filled it with envelopes that were labeled for each month of the year. Each envelope contained one activity for the family to do together, activities like movie outings, picnics, laser tag, and horseback riding. For every adventure they completed, the intention was to take a picture and place it back into the box as a keepsake.
This is the most amazing gift idea we’ve ever stumbled across, and we’re not the only ones who think so. A number of other bloggers have run with similar ideas, and it’s fun to see how they’ve packaged their own adventure boxes.
Jenae of I Can Teach My Child!, for instance, put together 12 envelopes of pre-planned dates her and her husband could take turns going on with their kids. For some of the envelopes, Jenae inserted brochures for the places they would go together. In others, she placed gift cards or tickets that would be used during their date. Each envelope was then labeled with a different month, and voila!
The family behind Family Days Tried and Tested did something similar, but they fashioned it as a New Year’s Eve Box.
“I’ve made it my resolution to give the children more time,” they write. “[T]ime to talk, time to listen and time to just be together.”
The resulting time-themed shoebox contains an envelope for each month, with activities laid out in rhyme. For example:
“I give to you a day in March / A film for you and me, / Some lunch in your favorite restaurant / and a cinema trip with treats…”
You can even make ad experience gift like this a group effort. Jennifer Priest of Smart Fun DIY has her kids draw up “adventure gifts” wish lists at Christmas, and then they do their darndest to make those adventures happen.
More fun with less stuff? Count us in!
What would be on your adventure wish list?