Gifts can seem like a tricky thing for people to buy the family when you move into a tiny home.
Our top picks for gift ideas is usually something practical that the children will love and use every day or something that is quickly consumable, like an experience or a pack of paints that can be fun for a day or two but we don’t have to allocate any extra long term storage.
Vouchers for a Day Out
We usually ask friends and family for experiences over possessions. Our favourite so far have included a trip to the swimming pool, a climbing lesson, horse riding, wood carving workshop and a family trip to an owl sanctuary.
Our Auntie Louise added the sweet touch of wrapping up something small for the children to open on the day such as a bottle of bubbles and a favourite snack.
Perfect entertainment for off grid living. Plus when travelling the book collection tends to get read and read a lot… leaving the whole collection with a bit of a stagnant feel after a while, so new books are always appreciated. We particularly love reference books for learning about the world, such as an atlas, wild animals, science experiments, forest craft, or planets and space.
Outdoor Toys & Games
Our main bulk of toy space is dedicated to outdoor toys. We live outdoors for hours everyday so it completely makes sense!
The children have an archery kit, skateboard, bicycles, scooter, football, ribbon poi, buckets and spades, body board, wet suits, water pistols and snorkel kits. We would highly recommend any of these for little van dwellers that don’t already have some of these on board.
USB Night Light
This little gem is such a winner for children and adults alike. The soft colour changing light makes night times tucked up in the van so cosy. We love that you can charge it for free each day using the solar panel and usb ports in the van and don’t need to buy batteries.
Swimsuit, Beach Towel & Beach Shoes.
A beach bag with all the essential kit for a day at the beach. A colourful towel, with new swim wear or flip flops in the next size up is perfect for all those lazy days at the beach. Van dwellers have a tendency to head towards a beach or water of some description…so beach wear will always be well used and lived in.
So handy for children to have their own head torches for evening camp outs by the fire or finding their way to a shower block if you are on a campsite. Plus complete peace of mind once dusks sets in and the small people are still bombing around on the beach…head torches means you will be able to keep track of them easily round camp.
Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows
For the campfire or a cosy movie night tucked up inside the van. We are not at all vegan but we really are inspired by a lot of people who are and completely support their values…plus vegan treats are just as yummy, so who says non-vegans can’t indulge in cruelty free treats?! we would be happy to receive this yummy addition into our van.
Nature Walk Magnifying Glass
A Magnifying Glass is a great friend to take on a nature walk, we hunt for lots of treasures, bugs, leaves and footprints. Sometimes we find some great clues to mysteries along the way too.
Paints, Arts & Craft, Playdoh.
ALL children seem obsessed with playdoh, it’s a real crowd pleaser for making friends on the road. Any art and craft bits are also great fun, easy to pack small and always something that you need more of. A top up of pencils, felt pens, crayons, glue, paint brushes, paints, stickers, lolipop sticks, googley eyes, paper, card or glitter fires up some creative inspiration.
A Bundle of Clothes
A whole new wardrobe in one go… second hand bundles can often be bought cheap in the UK on Facebook buying groups or eBay.
As we have been back in England recently we have taken the chance to stock up on a bundle in the next size up for each child. It’s always amazes me how great condition the clothes are and for the price of one new item you can pretty much get a whole new wardrobe! We are outdoors every day so our clothes really get used and put through the mill, so extra pairs of everything is always handy.
Then we pass them on to other families we meet as we travel, as soon as the children grow out of them. So the cupboards are never too full.
Small World Toys
Low cost, small to stash but creates a huge variety of potential creative play scenarios. A tin of plastic farm yard animals or other small toys have proved a great way to share toys with other children we meet. They are perfect for setting out on a blanket and attracting friends! Easy to buy second hand or from charity shops.
Children’s Yoga Mat
Yoga mats are endlessly useful for van life, capable of morphing into a picnic rug, play mat, seating area, nap mat and great for joining in with mummy yoga time without actually kicking mum off her own mat every. Single. Time.