Experience Gifts for Kids are a great option…but they can be expensive! Creating a DIY gift experience can save a ton of money AND make for a unique gift that you can’t put a price tag on. I added a few fun products you could add to the gift certificate if you’d like, but these are great gifts even by themselves.
How can I give experiences instead of gifts?
I thought up 20 unique DIY Experience Gifts for Kids and made 18 free printable gift certificates to make it super easy for you to give experiences instead of gifts. Find an experience that the child on your list would love and print the corresponding certificate from my free gift printables library! Sign-up to receive my weekly email below and you will get a password and access to ALL of my free gift printables to make giving experiences instead of gifts fun AND easy!
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DIY Experience Gifts for Kids ages 2-8
A Picnic at the Park: Grab some fun lunch food (or grab a Happy Meal!) and head to a nearby playground! Grab the free printable! You could also include any of these items as part of your gift.
A Trip to the Zoo: If you can’t make it to a real zoo, you could go feed some horses (or even set up stuffed animals in a pretend zoo!) It’s always fun to give kids $5 or $10 to grab their own souvenir. Grab the free printable, and here are some other things you could add to this gift.
A Fancy Tea Party: My kids (boys AND girls) love to have tea parties! Put on your fancy clothes and hats, don appropriate tea party names (Mrs. Flowerbottom, perhaps?), and break out the teeny tiny foods! Little sandwiches, tiny cakes or cookies, lemonade or juice. So much fun. Don’t forget to grab the free printable. This Green Toys Tea Set is one of my daughter’s favorite toys. Super durable and very adorable.
A Movie Party: Pick up a new movie on DVD (or from Redbox), pop some popcorn and cuddle up under a blanket. Kids LOVE to watch their own special movie. Grab the free printable!
A (pretend) Trip to Outer Space: make a spaceship out of a cardboard box (let the kids help!) and maybe some astronaut hats! Have a countdown and maybe spot some aliens or meteors! This is one of my kids’ favorite things to play.
A Play-doh Party: Play-doh is the best…you can make your own (here is a great recipe) or grab some from the store. Add some cutters and rolling pins and you can have hours of fun!
A Dolly/Baby Party: Warm up some bottles, change some pretend diapers, rock the babies to sleep. My 3-year-old could play babies all day!
A Treasure Hunt: (for smaller kids you could use picture clues!) Print off a treasure map (there is a free one in my gift printables library!) put some treasure (candy? Glowsticks? Small stuffed animals?) under an X and have an amazing treasure hunt. Check out this other treasure hunt gift idea (and see the free map).
A Campout: For this age, they would love to have a tent pitched in your backyard (or in your living room). Make some easy s’mores (graham crackers spread with marshmallow creme and chocolate chips), and use your flashlights! You can tell some stories too…(overnight optional!). Grab the free printable! Here are other fun outdoorsy gift ideas for kids who love to camp!
A cupcake decorating party: Bake up some cupcakes and have some frosting and lots of sprinkles ready. Expect more frosting in their bellies then on their cupcakes, but they will have such fun! Grab the free printable (and maybe some fun supplies).
DIY Experience Gifts Kids: Girls and Boys
A Painting Party: Even if you aren’t a painting pro yourself, kids would have so much fun with a painting experience. You could get canvases, or even wooden or ceramics to paint. You could watch an online tutorial together!
A Baking Class: Kids love to spend time in the kitchen and there are so many things that they would love to learn about. You could teach kids how to bake bread, make cookies or brownies, or even a bigger cooking class and have them make a whole meal. Grab the free certificate
A Stargazing Party: Even if you don’t have a telescope, you can borrow one from a local university or even the library. Check out some books and try and find constellations or watch a meteor shower. Make sure to have some fun snacks and warm blankets. This will be an experience they will always remember. Check out these other fun gift ideas for a Stargazing Gift Basket (Grab the free printable certificate.)
A Cake Decorating Class: Have the cakes pre-made or let the kids cook those as well! You could try normal buttercream frosting or even get fancy with some fondant. Grab the free printable gift certificate and maybe add a few decorating essentials. Grab the free printable.
A Spa Day: I made this certificate specific to Grandma (if you want a different one please let me know!). This would be such a fun experience gift. You could make some DIY face masks, paint your nails, fix your hair and have some snacks! Check out my Spa Kit Gift idea for kids here and grab the Free printable certificate.
A Sports Watching Party: Kids would love to have some special time hanging out and watching a game! Make it a special experience by doing a one-on-one sports party. Tons of great snacks and a game too! Grab the free printable.
A Girls’ Night In/A Girls’ Night Out: This could go a ton of different ways! You could let the girl pick out what they want to do, or surprise her (maybe a chick flick? a dance party?) Grab the free printable.
A Sewing Class: If you know how to sew, kids would love to learn how to sew something! You could get a pattern and take them shopping for cute material. We had lots of fun making pajama pants. But you could also do something like a simple tote or even doll clothes. Here are some other fun gift ideas if you have an aspiring fashion designer.
A Chocolate/Cheese Tasting: It would be fun to get a bunch of different chocolates or cheeses and have a tasting party.
A Book Club: Pick out a book and plan a monthly book club discussion. A great book to start with is A Tale of Despereaux or The Goose Girl. You can read more about a Book Club in a Box gift here.