How to give kids the gift of memorable experiences

Music lessons are among the experience gifts available on MyBestGift.
Music lessons are among the experience gifts available on MyBestGift. Photo: Supplied

Sara Eastwood got sick of all the "stuff". Like lots of parents, the mum-of-two believed her daughters didn't need any more toys and was determined to find better ways for friends and family to buy gifts for them.

"I asked my parents to stop buying more stuff that just accumulates at the bottom of the toy box," Sara explains.

"So we came up with the idea for them to buy my eldest daughter ballet lessons instead of toys for her birthday, but the local ballet school didn't issue gift vouchers.

Sara Eastwood and her family.
Sara Eastwood and her family. 

"So my parents ended up just paying for the lessons, but still buying her toys because they felt bad about not having something to give her on the day."   

That experience, coupled with her desire to help other families dealing with the same level of toy overload, led to the creation of MyBestGift.com.au - a gift giving website devoted to experiences for kids from birth to 18 years of age.

"The existing experience sites didn't really cater for kids and didn't include the types of activities that kids would like to do but which are difficult for to buy gift vouchers for, like swimming lessons and dancing," she says.

"People wanting to search for an experience gift for children had to search across multiple websites and directories and might not know where to look to find the best information."

MyBestGift launched in Sydney in mid 2016, and now operates in capital cities and some towns around the country.

There are endless children's experiences available for purchase, from dance lessons to karate classes, jet boats to trampolining. They cater for children of all ages, from newborns to 18 year olds.

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Sara believes friends or family wanting to give gifts to children living interstate will find MyBestGift very useful.

Not only does the website let users define their search by the child's age and gender, it also allows them to choose location for the experience.   

Anyone who isn't certain they've chosen the correct experience for the child in question can also rest easy, as all MyBestGift purchases can be exchanged for any other experiences available through the site.

Sara says two of the most popular experiences since MyBestGift launched are skateboarding lessons and ballet classes.

While the past two years spent making MyBestGift a reality have been busy, Sara is adamant the project is a worthwhile one. 

She is confident children will benefit if more people adopt the experience-giving mentality.

"In Australia we spend an average of $1000 on toys per child per year, but it's not toys that create happy memories, it's experiences shared with family," Sara says.

"It's not that people really want to buy toys for every celebration, it's just that there are not many other options."

For more information or to buy an experience, visit the MyBestGift website or Facebook page.