How to give your kids unforgettable experiences

Published: 26th September 2017

A unicorn birthday party. An entire day spent climbing trees and navigating an obstacle course. Riding horses in the bush, or heading off on an animation or coding camp. These are just some of the spectacular experiences that shape us and make us who we are.

And while our kids may not remember their stocking fillers from three Christmases ago, they can tell us ALL about the time they went kayaking with friends, or learnt cooking in the summer holidays – right down to the tiniest detail.

That's what My Best Gift is all about – creating memories for your little (or not-so-little) one. So with that in mind, we've wrapped up our 3 favourite reasons to give kids the gift of an experience:

Ignite your child’s creativity and curiosity

Last month it was space, now it’s horses. Who knows what your child will be obsessed with by the time their next birthday rolls around…climbing? Cars? Photography?

Watching your child (or grandchild) try out new hobbies and passions is a wonderful whirlwind. And when you give them the gift of experiences, they can indulge their interests and whims – and share them with the ones they love.

Better still, by sampling new activities and adventures in a safe, supportive and fun environment, they gain the confidence to keep exploring.

Spark their excitement and enjoyment

A 20-year Cornwall University study came to a fairly simple conclusion that we just love: experiences are more fulfilling than possessions.

The study's author Dr Thomas Gilovich found that when we anticipate a material possession, we get impatient. But when we anticipate an experience, we feel exponential excitement and enjoyment. And that's because the experience isn't only satisfying while we’re doing it, but also in the time leading up to it. And when we reflect back on our experiences, we feel that same sense of joy and appreciation.

We see it in our kids: they may get antsy as they await the latest game or toy. But when they know a sleepover with their best buddy is just around the corner, try to contain their excitement!

Shape their identity

Here's another cool thing to consider: our experiences are what make us, us! A new designer handbag won't transform me into a celeb. I'm still me. I just look slightly less sloppy than usual. But all those camping trips and tennis classes and beach holidays? They've all woven together to become part of my identity.

So each time your child tries something new, you can be happy knowing that they are gradually becoming the sum of all those special experiences.

These are just a few of the reasons why we love experiences: it encourages us – and our children – to celebrate and appreciate all the shared moments and memories that shape us as we grow.

And we've got bucket loads of experiences and activities for your kids to try. Start here and see where it leads!

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