Has Christmas become too electronic? 4 low tech gift ideas for children

Belle has been writing her Christmas list over the last few weeks and it has been very heartening not to be presented simply with a request for half a dozen different electronic devices. Of course this could be because she already has half a dozen electronic devices, but I’m going to pretend it’s because I have brought her up to be wholesome and traditional and to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.*

To be fair to her, although she likes the internet as much as the next 12 year old, she does enjoy a lot of non-internet based things too. She is really into dance for instance and I am quite happy to spend a few minutes every day watching her perform her latest dance routine if it means she is at least moving around for part of the evening and not just designing virtual cheesecakes for me on the iPad that I then have to pretend to eat and, worse, enjoy.

Even better of course is that low tech Christmas gifts tend to be much cheaper and bulkier, so they fill up the space under the tree nicely and make it look like you have been really very generous indeed.

So if you can’t bear the thought of a small pile of tablets under the Christmas tree this year, what can you buy instead? I’ve been browsing at The Works for some ideas:

Board games

Board games are a Christmas classic and I personally think that everyone should be made to play at least one board game on Christmas Day, whether they want to or not and regardless of how drunk and/or full of Elizabeth Shaw mints they are. If I was Prime Minister I might even make it a law.

I suspect Belle might rather enjoy the QI board game as she is always regaling me with ‘fascinating’ facts that she has picked up from Horrible Histories and the like.

QI board game


Christmas for me is all about books and so obviously I impose this on my children too.

“Hooray!” they will all cry, full of what I perceive to be genuine enthusiasm, “another set of books!”

Seriously though, the Christmas holidays are long and fairly dull after about 3pm on Christmas day so choose some hefty serials to keep them busy.

Jigsaw puzzles

Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to kick back with a puzzle? I know I do.

Kick back with a puzzle


“Let’s see if we can turn the Christmas washing up into a game shall we?”

What’s on your kids’ Christmas lists this year? Do you try to keep the festive season low tech or will it be Hudls all the way?

*Hahahahahahahaha!!! The highlight of Belle’s week has been the fact that someone on Instagram with what she called a ’64K account’ followed her. “They are really famous!”

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  1. Isabel O'Brien
    18 November, 2014 / 3:01 pm

    Loving the Ross/Friends quote picture! I am a firm believer that every moral/lesson in life can be linked back to Friends in some way. It’s how I learnt all my important life lessons! :P

    • Sabina
      18 November, 2014 / 8:27 pm

      I absolutely love a good board game at Christmas, ‘The Weakest Link’ had my family in stitches.

      I loved getting boxed gifts when I was younger, if I ever got money it went straight to my parents for ‘saving’.

      Heads up i’m about to go off topic, just slightly.

      I don’t have kids but I’m a ”PANK”, professional aunt no kids. When it comes to gifting all the children in my life, (looking forward to recouping when I have kids) the pressure of not buying a good gift is intense. Young (ish) aunts can’t give bad gifts! Call me lazy but I’m a believer in giving money, it gives children the ability to make their own decisions. Am I being lazy? What do parents really think when PANKs like me give their children money?

  2. 19 November, 2014 / 12:04 am

    Have you seen the Cayla Doll that works via Bluetooth and talks to your kids when they ask questions? I am not sure if that is a bit too creepy.

    Another low tech idea is the simple drawing stuff, we always put a packet of felt tips and a couple of pads in our daughter’s stocking as even when she has finished playing with her expensive toys we always hear “What do you want me to draw?”.

    If you look outside this Christmas you probably won’t see many kids on bikes, near enough every kid used to always get a bike and be out on it over Christmas.

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