Yes. Yes, I did. And here are just three (of many more**) reasons I believe that's true.
1) The gift of experience doesn’t clutter your kids’ bedrooms.
You won't have to Marie Kondo this gift later on!
Also, apparently you'd almost cut your housework in half just by getting rid of household clutter. Whaaaaaat.
So, yeah. Let's all request our friends and families to give the gift of experience instead of toys and gadgets this year.
In her article “18 Excellent Gifts for Kids That Aren't Even Toys,” Rachel Jones, mother of 6, ranks “Classes” as her number one non-toy gift.
We at Compass Creative Dramatics have to agree.
Check out this post on becomingminimalist.com for even more reasons that trading in a toy for an experience can benefit your kids.
2) Giving your children the gift of experience shows you pay attention to what your kids like.
Does your fourth grader shut her door so she can belt “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow!” at the top of her lungs without eye rolls from her brother? (I was that kid. That was me.) At summer theatre camp, she'll be rewarded for singing loudly.
Is your teen aching to perform? Give her the opportunity to find the kids who share that passion at summer camp.
Everyone loves for their interests to be noticed.
Your student might also be super into Minecraft, or coding, or other digital activities. Their are so many cool hobbies for kids in Gen Alpha.
But there's a lot to be said for face-to-face, guided social activities like theatre that make kids feel like they're part of something bigger.
Way back in 2012, when we were just starting Compass Creative Dramatics, we collected stories of folks from all different industries, of all ages, who could say "I did a play once!" And what we learned is that those experiences mattered. They shifted focuses, grew hearts, and altered life paths.
Theatre sticks with you. And the stories we collected are proof of that.
When a kid does theatre, it doesn't just stretch their bravery and their creativity. They exercise teamwork and expand their capacity for empathy, they learn to respect peers and non-peers, and through all that, they build their ability to trust and engage with adults and students alike.
If your child has attended one of our theatre camps or classes, you’ve probably seen that first-hand. And if your child hasn’t yet joined us—this is the year! Give your student the gift of art, of creativity, of collaboration, of experience.
It’s a gift they’ll remember all their life.