Tools Over Toys

Many years ago my wife and I started realizing that we needed to be much more intentional about what kind of gifts we were giving our children.  The Bible is clear that fathers should know how to give good gifts to their children (Matt. 7:11).  So it seemed that I should probably start being a lot more thoughtful about which gifts I was giving.

Thinking about giving out gifts made me think about how I wanted to bless my children.  Which made me start thinking about their future and how my wife and I were preparing them for what lay ahead. I had to come to terms with certain things.

Put Away Childish Ways


First, that they weren’t going to be children for very long.  Eventually they were going to need to grow up and put off their childish ways. This is a good thing. I’d love to encourage my children toward maturity. Being a child has it’s place, but then there should also be a transition towards responsibility and future stations.

Second, I needed to start them on this road now and begin laying the foundation for the skills they were going to need and the challenges they’d experience.

This along with the insights from numerous wiser parents led us to start thinking about giving Tools Over Toys as gifts. When giving a tool to a child, you are presenting something that will have FAR more value and length of use beyond a toy. A tool will come with jobs, which can now be accomplished much more efficiently. A tool comes with a world of learning on how to use the tool, getting the right tools, and what you can do with the tool.

The Best Birthday Gifts: Tools

dsc_0403I even started giving out tools for other children’s birthday parties.  I want to encourage a child to grow into adulthood and begin collecting the “tools” they’ll actually need.  Not another Mr. Potato Head.

“Work under God is a form of government.  To have a responsible child capable of governing in his or her sphere, it is essential that work become a part of their training. – R.J. Rushdoony

I’m now starting to see the fruit of this gift giving. 6 years ago I gave my oldest son a tool box and tools for his birthday. We’ve done many projects with these tools over the years.  Most of them still survive today, some of the less sturdy ones have broken or gotten lost.dsc_0529


When I have a project to do, he helps.  When I’m cutting wood or changing light sockets, he helps (even if we sometimes forget safety gear *don’t do that*).  Sometimes we’ve learned how to change out an electrical outlet and mom will still get nervous about it, but we’ve learned so much and now he’s able to accomplish all kinds of tasks.  There is almost nothing around the house that needs to get done that I can’t trust him to do and know that he both KNOWS how to do it and can get it done without much oversight.


So when mom asked if we could build her a couple bar stools for the breakfast bar that we built in the kitchen, I didn’t even question if my son could accomplish the project. I knew he could and I couldn’t be prouder of his work.

What you’ll need:



Rigid Drill Set:



Annie Sloan or Substitute:

Chalk Paintbrush:

Antique Wax from Annie Sloan or Substitute:

See what new projects Korbin is working on!

16 YrOld Lumberjack | Cutting Down Trees DIY

Give good gifts to your children and other people’s children too, they’ll bring a much higher return than those old toys.

Did you ever think about giving a tool instead of a toy and what kind of tool did you give?  

Has anyone ever given your child a tool for a birthday gift? 


Leave a comment and tell us about it!




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