Ask any parent and they’ll quickly tell you that raising kids nowadays isn’t easy. The good news? There are plenty of cool gift ideas out there that make it easy to turn the holidays into an opportunity to learn about responsibility.
From learning about financial planning to better time management, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite ideas—including a few that you might not have considered. Here are eight holiday gifts to teach your kids about responsibility.
1. Smartwatch for Kids
If you want your little ones to try to improve their time management skills, you can always start out with a junior smartwatch. While it usually doesn’t have all the same bells and whistles as an adult version, a smartwatch for kids offers plenty of capabilities to help with aspects like time management.
Additionally, some varieties also double as a GPS tracker and a limited-use cell phone, making it simple for parents to keep track of their child’s whereabouts when necessary.
2. Shares of Stock or Crypto
Another great way to teach kids about financial responsibility is to give them a share of stock or crypto tokens. Not only could this be a wise investment that pays off someday in the future, the process of tracking it teaches younger children a lot about the process.
Choose one that has a cool mascot, theme, or otherwise piques their interest. You can also opt to load crypto tokens onto a cold storage wallet that looks like an actual coin, which is a fun way to make the process tangible.
3. Cooking Classes
If you’re looking for a way to teach your children basic life skills for increased responsibility, then you might find a youth cooking class series in your area.
These events are specifically designed to give kids the basic skills necessary to whip up simple meals safely, such as chopping ingredients and using the stovetop. Best of all, the experience is interactive, which is always more fun than just a box covered in paper and bows.
4. Savings Account
While a savings account is probably the least fun thing to unwrap under the tree, the process of adding extra money for a rainy day is an important life lesson. Start a savings account and gift them a generous opening deposit. Then, have a conversation with your child about short-term and long-term spending goals.
For example, maybe they want to save up for a new video game and a car when they turn sixteen. There are a ton of free resources online to teach financial responsibility that you can pair with their new account, too.
5. Kid-Friendly Alarm Clock
Tired of your child waking up late in the morning? You can always teach them better responsibility by getting a kid-friendly alarm clock. Depending on the age range, there are quite a few fun options out there with neon lights, star projection, and more.
For older kids, a smart speaker like an Alexa or Google Home Mini are a good place to start. After the holidays, hold them accountable for learning the habit of setting an alarm and getting up each morning when it goes off.
6. Gift Card to a Nice Restaurant
Again, this is probably not something you would consider as a gift to teach your child about responsibility. But for tweens and teens, learning how to act appropriately in a nice restaurant is a life skill that can go a long way. Choose a type of cuisine that you already know they like or a place that seems interesting.
Make a big deal out of getting dressed up for the occasion, whether that is a one-on-one outing with a parent or dinner with the whole family. Let your child select an item off the menu, order for themselves, and pay using the gift card they received from you. This is also a good time to discuss staying within budget, how tipping works, and other elements of enjoying a nice meal.
7. Books About Responsibility
Finally, you can always give your child a few books about responsibility in various areas. For example, there’s plenty of great titles out for elementary-aged kids on topics like following the rules, such as I Just Forgot by Mercer Mayer or The Choices I Make by Michael Gordon.
Older children and teens would love books like 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey and I Want More Pizza by Steve Burkholder. There are really a ton of great titles out there geared toward different age groups, so don’t be afraid to browse the bookstore aisles a bit to find one that resonates with your child’s likes and interests.
The One Thing You Should Not Gift Your Kids This Holiday
While we’ve covered a bunch of great ideas for gifts that help teach your kids about responsibility, there’s one we know you should not attempt to use—a new pet.
While taking care of an animal is a great lesson, it is better to make that decision as a family and slowly work towards the goal together. This allows for better bonding with the animal and allows everyone to take part in the process.
Finding gifts to teach your child about responsibility is easy. Try out the eight options we’ve included in this list for a teaching moment that’s both fun and joyful this holiday season.