Give The Gift of an Experience

This is a Sponsored Post in collaboration with Adrenalin

After 11 wedding anniversaries, 9 Father’s Day’s and  countless birthdays I was well and truly running our of gift ideas for my husband.   The kids always contribute with their boundless amounts of homemade cards and artwork but I love for him to know how much he is valued and appreciated by the way of a gift.

So this Father’s Day I searched a little further than the department store junk mail for a gift he would remember.  A quick google of “Experience Gifts” and I hit the jackpot, “Adrenalin.”

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With 100’s of experiences to choose from I left it to the kids to pick! One loved the idea of Parasailing but he has already done that!  Another (can you guess who?) loved the idea of Daddy driving a Race Car.  I could only wonder if that is a reflection of his everyday driving skills?  Keen for him to not just be a passenger but to experience the thrill of actually driving the car we signed him up for 6 Laps driving a V8 Race Car.

As excited as he was approaching the Race Track he admits he was slightly daunted when he realised just how fast these machines went!  He had a choice of cars, a quick safety talk and off he went.

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To say he loved it is an understatement.  He grabbed a video of the experience on a usb to bring home and we all loved watching the Spedometer to see how fast he was going and the expressions on his face!  He loved to talk us through what he had to do at each part of the track and raved about how heart pumping it was.

Honestly, the only negative thing was why didn’t I think of this sooner!  To think of all the hours wasted shopping for a present that was then going to sit unused for the rest of the year, when I could have been giving a gift of an experience.

Best of all it was great to see how much our children loved to watch Daddy taking a risk, experiencing and learning something new and that sometimes the best present are not material items but experiences and memories that will last a life time.

How to Make White Dough Ornaments

As a special end of year celebratory treat we like to make a little Christmas gift to share with our classmates.  Last year we made White Dough Star Ornaments.  This was by far the cheapest and my favourite gift we have ever made!  Judging by the popularity of this blog post, I am guessing lots of other people loved it too!

So I wanted to give you an update.  An after the fact recount AKA what I learnt and a quick HOW TO.

Traditionally dough ornaments are made using a “Salt Dough” recipe.  This is an easy way to make the ornaments and you get a very natural appearance as a result.  But I wanted WHITE!!!!  After some research on google, and advice from the ever helpful “The Organised Nest” Facebook flock.  I found a new recipe! I have adapted it slightly for Australians and this will create enough dough for about 16 small ornaments.

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[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]

 THE INGREDIENTS

These ingredients are cheap, cheap, cheap!  After some trial and error I found that the Wooloworths Homebrand ingredients work just as well and are literally half the price.   BUY the Homebrand Ingredients from Woolworths and this recipe costs you less than $2!!! I mistakenly bought the branded items and it cost me about $6 which still isn’t too bad! Win Win!

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PERSONALISING

Nothing says thoughtful like a personalised gift.  We stamped each classmates name on the ornament using a Wiltshire “Cookie Stamp” Kit from Big W.  

Wiltshire - Sweet Messages Cookie Kit - From Big W

Wiltshire – Sweet Messages Cookie Kit – From Big W

Last year this Kit was found in Big W  in the Cooking/Kitchen Utensil aisles, it retails for about $18.

 

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The kit contained some predesigned messages (Thank You, I Love You etc) and then a whole heap of individual letters for you to design your own messages. This is seriously one of my favourite purchases and I have already used it over and over again!

LONGEVITY

The ornaments once dry are ready to go but personally I like to lacquer the finished product. For longevity and to hopefully make them look even better! You can find a simple spray on lacquer at Masters/Bunnings/Spotlight.

PACKAGING


Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.49.12 PMI usually buy the bulk lots of resealable clear bags from the dollar stores but then I stumbled across these beauties.  In the Party aisle of Woolworths and they are the PERFECT fit. 

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I wrote a little poem and turned it into a bag topper just using some cardboard. 

DELIVERY
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Now they are ready to deliver!  Made easier if you have an extra cute delivery elf like this one! Oh I hope this Christmas dress still fits her this year.

There you have it.  A cheap, easy, thoughtful gift for any occasion really but especially nice to spread some joy this Christmas. 

 

 

 

Christmas Gift Ideas to Help Your Child Learn

Earlier in the week I shared our Guide to Gift Giving during Christmas

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One of the changes we have made this year is rather than something to wear we are going with something to LEARN!  After all LEARNING is way more fun than clothes!!!!

The Great Outdoors

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Teach your child to fish, to swim, to catch bugs or go camping as a family.  Fishing, Boating and Camping is not only a great way to spend quality time together but you learn many new skills and even make some new friends at the same time. 

Get Wheeling

 bikes

Learn to ride a bike, or a scooter or give roller blades a go.  Keep active and put those ever important gross motor skills to the test.  What an accomplishment it is when you can finally balance on the bike all by yourself!  It’s also a great way to keep fit as a family and enjoy the outdoors!  

Game of Life

 Board Games

Board games teach valuable skills for life.  Turn taking, counting, sharing, compromising and negotiating.  Look for games that involve counting (Monopoly, Snakes and Ladders) matching (Memory, Snap) and building (Jenga, Creationary)  They will be having so much fun they won’t realise the valuable lessons they are learning!

Craft and Colour

Craft 

Little fingers gain strength, control and flexibility through colouring.  Or even better look for craft activities that involve

  • squeezing and pinching (Tweezers to pick up beads, cutting)
  • lacing (threading a needle or using laces to go through holes in beads or buttons)
  • manipulating or rolling (play dough, clay, plasticine)

Especially for pre-school aged children, these are THE MOST VALUABLE skills to master and practice.

Still looking for some gift ideas to help your child LEARN?  

Try….

  • Learning a Magic Trick with a magic Kit
  • Planting a Garden
  • Having a game of Totem Tennis
  • Learning to knit or crochet
  • Learning to the tell time with a new watch or clock

Christmas gift giving doesn’t have to be all about toys!  In fact many of these non toy gifts will last way beyond the novelty value of the latest toy AND teach your child a valuable skills.  Your child will be entertained and be learning at the same time!  

Trust me, it will make gift buying easier and your child’s teacher will thank you for it! 

This is a sponsored post for Big W.  I have been paid for my time and to provide opinion on some great gifts for your family this Christmas.