Socks: They come in thousands of different colors and sizes and materials. What fun! Some malls have entire stores dedicated to just socks. Kids might tell you they don’t like them, but they wear them every single day.
Education: Put money into a college fund in your child’s name. Explain how much a four-year college education will cost and how important that education will be in their getting a good job later in life. And get a tax deduction!
Coal: A plentiful American fuel with a long history of being deposited in Christmas stockings. It’s not just for naughty kids anymore! Tell your kids that they can use their holiday coal in the furnace any time during the winter and you’ll turn the thermostat up three degrees. Or tell them they can try squeezing the coal until it turns into a diamond. A great stress reliever.
Slide Rule: A calculator is really just another electronic screen. Give your children one of these useful antiques and open up the entire world of mathematics to them.
Coupon Book: Who doesn’t love the homemade coupon book? “With this coupon, Dad will pick up all the clothes I tossed on my bedroom floor yesterday.” “With this coupon, Mom will wash all the dishes I dirtied today.” “With this coupon, Dad will help me with my math homework, except for those word problems that give him a headache.”
Twenty percent off one item at Bed, Bath and Beyond: Your child can learn about value while getting their favorite kitchen utensils or linens at a discounted price.
Plants: Pets are messy and expensive. Plants provide life-sustaining oxygen. Your children can learn about caring for other living creatures by caring for some vegetation. Sunshine and fresh water are free!
Board games: Learn strategy and word skills. Scrabble: it’s just like Words With Friends, without the advertisements!