Experiences build memories that last a lifetime, so why not add some to your gift-giving list this year? Studies show that giving emotionally based gifts such as one-of-a-kind family outings or individual adventures deepens the connection between the giver and receiver. Not to mention, parents may be excited about less clutter in their child’s closet after the holidays! Choosing gifts like dance classes or a family zoo membership not only strengthens bonds, but these activities build confidence and self-esteem, too. So, to get you started, here are 5 non-toy ideas your grandkids (and the whole family) will love this holiday season–and beyond!
1. Zoo Membership: Become a member of the Louisville Zoo and let the animal ambassadors teach your kiddos lessons in empathy and understanding. Spending family time at the zoo is a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin D as you stroll through the 130 acres of natural settings. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by the zoo’s fabulous playground! Memberships support the zoo’s conservation and educational programs and can be purchased online or by phone (502-459-2287).
2. Gymnastics, parkour, or dance classes: Keep your grandkids active by gifting them a movement-based class this holiday. You can have your grandkid pick out their favorite option. Gymnastics, parkour, and dance classes all enhance motor skills, build body strength, and boost self-confidence. Gymnastics and dance classes typically begin at age 3, with some dance classes starting at 2 years old. Parkour classes start at 3 years old with children engaging in activities that include super fun obstacle courses that teach balance and agility. Here are a few options to get you started: Louisville Gymnastics, Louisville Dance Alliance, Parkour at Kentucky Gymnastics Academy: Li’l Ninjas
3. Music lessons: Violin, piano, guitar, and the ukulele are some of the most popular musical instruments to check out for lessons. Portable instruments like the guitar and violin can usually be rented at the same studio offering your music class, so consider a 30-minute, once-a-week lesson at a facility like The Highland Music Academy. Studies show that learning music accelerates brain development and enhances social skills, and it’s an all-around good time.
4. Escape room: Themed rooms with puzzles to solve before your time runs out are what you’ll find in this experience. The age range for kids attending depends on the facility and difficulty of the escape room, but this memory-making activity is one the whole family can enjoy. Prepare your crew a brain-power breakfast on your way to Breakout Louisville or another escape room challenge of your choosing, as these hands-on games promote problem-solving and teamwork skills.
5. Trampoline Park: No special skills are required for visiting your local trampoline park – well, besides a love of bouncing! Get your wiggles out and relieve stress with in-floor trampolines as far as the eye can see. Children love the freedom and playfulness trampolines provide, and trampoline parks like DEFY allow you to choose from monthly memberships with varying perks that include more bounce time and/or exclusive membership events.
By Tonilyn Hornung