This year, it’s all about experiential gifts. According to the Today Show, giving experiences instead of physical gifts is on the rise. These types of gifts give the receiver a learning experience or memory that will last long past when toys have been outgrown and electronics have become obsolete.
To help with the gift-giving this season, we’ve compiled some of the top experiential gifts that will make a huge impact on students of all ages.
There’s nothing like travel to open up the world and learn new cultures and ideas. When traveling, you learn about a plethora of different topics.
The act of travel itself contains skills such as time management (when do we need to leave, what time should we arrive at the airport, when is the optimal time to arrive), responsibility (keeping track of all documents needed for travel), and communication (who needs to know the travel information, who is meeting us and what do we convey to them).
Then you have the more fun part of travel: opening yourself up to new cultures, customs, and languages. Even a short distance trip to another state or city will provide new information and experiences. While sightseeing, the traveler takes in local history or art, has the opportunity to observe other tourists who come from all over, and takes in the local customs, even those that seem minute, such as how to cross a street or what the transit system is like. And if when traveling abroad, a person takes in more obvious culture differences like a different language, dining custom, or new cuisine.
For college students, the International Scholar Laureate Program offers trips that not only allow students to experience a new country, but also to learn about their chosen field in that country.
For middle school students, offer them a chance to travel within the country by attending the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, DC, or if your scholar is more into STEM, the NYLF Explore STEM program is offered at 11 locations across the US.
Box Subscriptions and Kits
Monthly box subscriptions are gaining popularity every day. While this type of monthly delivery started with food and fashion, it’s now available for hands-on activities for kids and teens. Imagine a monthly delivery that engages a student through robotics, nature, archaeology, botany, and much, much more.
Envision offers optional kits for scholars attending our high school medicine programs and our middle school STEM programs. These kits allow future doctors to practice skills such as intravenous (IV) and phlebotomy-related procedures, identifying bodily sounds, emergency management of a fracture, surgical knot-tying, and 12 basic suturing techniques to name a few of the activities.
Career exploration may seem like an out-there gift to give for the holidays, but providing a student with the opportunity to try out a career can help to shape their high school studies, college major, and ultimately their entire career path.
If a student is interested in medicine, imagine giving them the opportunity to learn and practice life-saving techniques like at NYLF Medicine, to practice a bone-fracture reduction both through virtual reality and a hands-on surgical simulation like at NYLF Advanced Medicine & Health Care, or to work with a team to handle a simulated crisis in an urban area like at Advanced Emergency Medicine.
Budding engineers could build a model of a water tower for a developing town to assist with achieving a Sustainable Development Goal set forth by the United Nations at NYLF Engineering or launch their own satellite into space and analyze its journey in space at Rice Aerospace & Aviation Academy.
Elementary school and middle school students can explore the fields of medicine, CSI, and engineering at NYLF Pathways to STEM and NYLF Explore STEM.
Future leaders, entrepreneurs, lawyers, CSI agents, government and national security personnel, and game-designers, we’ve got you covered, too.
Lastly, with the age of technology upon us and a computer in everyone’s pocket, encouraging kids to get outside and be active is equally as important as educating them. Teaching students to take care of their whole selves will set them up for success across their professional and personal lives. Activities such as ice skating, hiking, visiting a trampoline park, or participating in a dance or karate class are great gifts to give to ensure a well-rounded, healthy, and fun experience.
This is just a drop in the bucket of all the experiences you can gift this holiday season. Gifts that hit both educational and experiential are top of our list. Do you have an experiential gift you plan to give or want to receive this holiday season? Feel free to share it in the comments below!