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Gift of Experience

10/26/2017 11:52AM ● Published by Digital Media Director

By: Children’s Museum of South Dakota

Research published by San Francisco State University found that people who spend their money on experiences rather than material items felt happier and believed their money was better spent.

Additionally, researchers found a direct correlation between spending time with loved ones and happiness. With sporting events, homework, and the general day-to-day activities of family life, carving out time to be together can be difficult if families are not intentional about it.

“More and more, we see families coming through the door that are here as part of an experienced-based gift,” says Kati Hanson, director of guest services at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota. “Families who spend time playing together build memories that last a lifetime.”

Experience-based gifts give families a chance to try new things, and they don’t have to cost a lot of money. Take a stay-cation camping trip in your own basement. Go for a winter hike and make hot cocoa outside. Stay up late and play a new board game. Day trips to local tourist attractions can also make a great gift.

Wrapping an experience gift may seem tricky. Here are a few ideas on how to give a gift that is an experience:

·         Make the “giving” part an experience in itself. Send the gift receivers on a scavenger hunt with multiple stops and clues.

·         Creative packaging. If the experience is a ticket or membership card, wrap it in multiple packages starting with a big box, moving to smaller boxes until you get to the gift itself. If there isn’t a ticket, create a homemade certificate.

·         Pack up small items needed for the experience. For example: pack snacks, toys and books if your experience gift requires a car ride. You don’t need to buy new items, often items you already have can be repurposed.

·         Head off to the adventure on the fly! Get in the car with bags packed. It will be fun to have your family guess the destination.

·         Give an empty photo album or scrapbook. Journal during or after your experience to be sure it will be remembered for a lifetime. 

For more information on the Children's Museum of South Dakota, check out their webpage: http://www.prairieplay.org/

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