It’s my daughter’s birthday in a few weeks and like any child she sees adverts for toys on the TV and says “I want that for my birthday Mummy” it’s usually toys from programmes she has never watched or toys she has never shown an interest in and I know that if I was to buy any of them she would have suddenly decided that she no longer wants it or has completely forgotten that she wanted it.
Last year I decided that her “big” presents would be experiences, namely tickets to the Fairy Fair and to In The Night Garden live, these probably cost the same as buying her the latest toys except she has gained so much more.
As Vicky wrote in her ‘what do children learn at festivals’ post, taking Eila to the Fairy Fair was a wonderful experience where she learnt new skills (making a fairy crown from natural materials, following a fairy trail and learning about nature and the world around us in a gentle manner) and she still talks about it now. She is looking forward to attending again this year and trying out some of the new workshops on offer (as am I!)
This year one of her presents is going to Latitude, it’s our first time this year and I am delighted to be able to take her. The wealth of experiences on offer will give her new skills for life in all areas of her development an building memories of these wonderful experiences. Today I picked up the programme for this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival and have already decided that we must attend the Baby Disco Dance Hall, see the Little Universe performance and the Little Artist: Big Painting live dance, installation and audience participation piece, all of which I feel will be enriching and exciting experiences.
However, she does still get gifts to open on the day: a new all in one rainsuit and a new camping bed are on her list (in pink of course) which will come in very useful for our festival adventures!
I would rather spend money on giving my children experiences than buying them the latest faddy toy that they will soon forget and will be relegated to the garage (I must get clearing in there soon!). She will also have the memories and the photographs (We still look through our Camp Bestival photos)
Toys and “stuff” are wonderful… but living it, loving it and breathing it is irreplaceable.