All too often, presents are ripped open on Christmas morning, admired for a little while, and then, a few months later, left to languish in the toy box. Or, worse yet, they are thrown out entirely. Not only is this a wasteful way of celebrating the holidays, but it’s also expensive. Having to constantly update your child’s toys to meet their shifting wants and demands is good for neither your wallet nor the environment.

That’s why, at Christmas time, it’s important to think about the long term: what can you get your child that they will cherish for years, perhaps even decades? To help answer that question, this article has compiled a list of four big-ticket items, each appealing to a different kind of child, but each with its own universal appeal. A few of them might seem like an upfront investment, but they pay for themselves in continued use.

A Trampoline

This Christmas, if longevity is the goal, get a high quality trampoline for the kids that’s both safe and weather-resistant. A good quality trampoline will last your family a very long time, providing you decades of fun and fitness. The great thing about a trampoline is that is such a vast age range – even the adults can get in on the fun, or use the trampoline as part of their at-home workout regimen. In short, this one is a gift that keeps on giving.

A Wooden Easel

For the artistic child, there is nothing more encouraging than having a space within which they can exercise their creativity. A wooden easel may not seem like a lot to most adults, but to a child it can truly be a window into another world, one of boundless imagination. Once children become interested in art, they don’t really grow out of it; rather, they grow into it. So giving your child the gift of an easel this Christmas might set them off on a very creative course, for years to come!

A Backyard Playhouse

Speaking of imagination, how about giving the gift of a backyard playhouse? There are all sorts of different styles of playhouse out there, depending on what your child (or children) are interested in: there are princess-themed castles, outdoor wood cottages, igloos, etc. But for the longest lasting playhouse, the simpler the better. A standard, outdoor playhouse, complete with a room, a ladder, and perhaps even a slide, will continue to get use for many years to follow.

A Basketball Hoop

For the aspiring basketball star – or, simply, an active child – consider getting an extendable basketball hoop. Choosing a hoop with an adjustable height ensures that your child will get use out of it for a long time, upping the hoop height every time they hit a growth spurt.

This Christmas, rather than spend your dollars on gifts that will only go to waste, get your children something they can use for years. A trampoline, an artist’s nook, a playhouse and a basketball hoop – something for every child.