How to Request Experiences As Gifts

If you’re a parent, you are probably dreading the overcrowded closet full of toys from the holidays last year that nobody has played with in 11 months. A new trend has been sweeping the nation, and that’s requesting experiences for children as gifts. By giving an experience, you aren’t buying an item that likely will get shoved under the bed after a few days, and it will be something the child will always remember.

In this article, we’ll be talking about a few ways to explain to others that you would prefer to receive experiences instead of toys this year with tips provided by U.S. News. We’ll also be highlighting a few ideas for experiences to request so that the gift giver doesn’t feel completely overwhelmed.

Talk it out

The only way to change gifting habits is to take action. Talking openly and honestly about this with family ahead of holiday celebrations is essential. Experts suggest taking a positive tone and expressing gratitude for past presents while focusing on family values as the reason for putting a limit on gifts.

Set gift rules

Establishing ground rules for gifting makes for more grateful kids and less overwhelmed parents. Although the idea of rules sounds restrictive, there’s plenty of opportunity to make it fun for loved ones. Try implementing the “four-gift rule,” which directs close relatives, like grandparents, to give one item the child wants, one item they need, one item to wear and one item to read.

Send a wish list

Wish lists are a win-win for everyone. Kids enjoy creating them, parents can control what’s included and relatives appreciate the suggestions. “Although asking for certain items may feel awkward at first, gift-givers prefer to give something that will be truly appreciated and helpful rather than something that will be looked at once and stored away forever,” says Jennifer McDermott, consumer advocate for, a comparison platform and information service that helps consumers make better decisions with their money.

Encourage experience gifts

Instead of more stuff, encourage family and friends to think beyond physical gifts and suggest experiences that can be enjoyed together. With no limits to the types of experiences available, loved ones can make this gift very unique and special. From a camping trip to a painting class to a theme park outing, the ideas are limitless, and kids will enjoy the anticipation leading up to the event. Gift-givers can also get creative with packaging by combining a certificate for the activity with a coordinating item, such as a flashlight for a camping trip, for example.


The Ultimate List of Experiences to Gift recently asked their followers what experiences they want their kiddos instead of toys, and what follows is the amazing list that they came up with. In addition to these, we of course suggest gifting Taekwondo classes. These aren’t just experiences the child can enjoy in the moment, but lessons that will last them a lifetime! Sign up for your first class for free here:

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Without further ado, here is the list of experiences to gift (all links go to Colorado based businesses):

 Denver zoo membership 


Do you have any ideas that aren’t on this list? Are you planning to ask for experiences for your child this year? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

Jolene Rheault

Jolene works as a marketing professional but full-time as a mom. She lives in Highlands Ranch, CO with her 7-year-old son, husband, 2 cats, and a bearded dragon named Jerry.

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