Give A Gift For Life!
It’s that time of year again, and the retail assault has well and truly begun. My three children are still at the age where bigger is better in terms of gifts, so each year leading into Christmas I find myself feeling the same anxiety – where am I going to put all this stuff!? Now I know it’s a first world problem, and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but storing endless numbers of loud, bright plastic toys, and puzzles, Lego and board games with about a million pieces to pick up each evening is starting to present a problem.
Having said all of that, I definitely don’t want to encourage any more technology coming into the household either, as more time spent on the iPad and/or PlayStation may just turn my children’s nearly square eyes completely screen shaped.
So this year I’ve challenged both Santa and my extended family to think outside the (gift) box this year, and to come up with a present which promotes physical activity and/or outdoor play or learning a new skill, or having a new experience. After some initial resistance, the idea has really taken off within my circle of family and friends, and it seems that we are not alone in this new approach.
In an emerging trend over the past few years, we have seen parents, carers and relatives also bypassing more traditional presents for experiential presents, or gifts which teach children a skill. Swimming lessons proved to be one of the most popular choices last year, with gift voucher sales in 2015 showing an increase of over 50% on the previous year’s numbers.
Alan Bentley, owner of Nepean Swim and Fitness agreed. “Based on recent conversations with our customers, I think parents and grandparents in particular are looking for gifts that will enhance their child’s learning outcomes, or provide them with a skill or an experience. Plus with the usual start of summer spotlight on water safety at front of mind, when presented with the comparison between buying another toy which will lose its novelty quickly, or potentially life saving swimming lessons, the choice is a no brainer to many people these days”.
He added “Of course children’s safety is a huge factor in the decision making process when choosing the gift of swimming lessons, but I am also hearing from parents that they are reluctant to give their children another piece of technology to encourage couch potato behavior, and instead would like to see their children get out and get active. A gift that ticks both these boxes represents value for money to parents” said Bentley.