Non-toy gifts are our favorites to give and receive. They’re often more meaningful and enriching, they build lasting memories, and they stand the test of time. Here are 20 ideas for non-toy gifts for the kids on your list!
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Once you become a parent, you realize just how much you don’t want your kids to get a pile of toys for Christmas. Am I right??
They quickly take over the house, they usually don’t do much for brain/personal development (these are some exceptions!), and more often than not, they’re forgotten and abandoned by February.
That’s why we’ve become big fans of non-toy gifts for kids. That’s not to say we never buy our kids toys, but non-toy gifts are our favorites to give and receive. They’re often more meaningful and enriching, they build lasting memories, and they stand the test of time.
Check out the following non-toy gift ideas for kids.
20 Non-Toy Gifts for Kids
Looking to steer clear of an abundance of toys this year? I get it, and I’ve got you covered! Here are 20 ideas of non-toy gifts kids will love!
1. Kiwi Crates
Subscription boxes are probably my #1 gift idea. They’re a gift that keeps on giving all year long! And Kiwi Crates is one of my favorites. I love how they fuel discovery, imagination, learning, and creativity in a fun and engaging way.
The best part is there are boxes for literally every age — even 0-24 months! — and a variety of topics and interests, including science, geography, and art.
And if a full year’s subscription is out of your price range, you can gift 3, 6, or 9 months, as well. Or gift a single crate! You choose based on your budget.
Both our boys have received Little Passports subscriptions as gifts, and they (and we) love them! They are THRILLED when they come in the mail each month, and their LP “suitcases” are one of their most treasured possessions.
Each month’s package is filled with interesting facts and fun activities from around the world, and we’ve been super impressed with the quantity and quality of what’s included.
Educational + fun + a great value = a parent’s dream!
This is another common gift for our family, and it’s one of my favorites. Our kids look at each issue until it’s falling apart, and then they get repurposed into collages and other fun projects!
4. Personalized notebooks and journals
I think this is a lovely gift for kids who love to write, draw, or just generally get their feelings down on paper. If you need a recommendation, I love the beautiful personalized notebooks and journals from Plum Paper.
Books are always a welcome and encouraged gift for our family! Here are some of our past favorites.
Or consider a book subscription service! We’ve fallen in love with the Reading Bug Adventures Podcast, and the independent bookstore that puts it on has a fantastic subscription program. The Reading Bug Boxes are hand-picked based on your child’s age, reading level, and interests; personalized; and delivered right to your door. And the content value of every single box exceeds the purchase price.
6. Coloring & Activity books
Coloring and activity books are fabulous for engaging kids’ brains and igniting their creativity. Plus, they’re a godsend for those times when you need to keep kids occupied and entertained!
Some of our favorites include Color Wonder Mess-Free Coloring Books, paint by sticker, Highlights Hidden Pictures, National Geographic Sticker Activity books, Bear Grylls Activity books, and Wild Kratts activity books.
7. Experience gifts
Experience gifts are the best! They create memories that will be cherished for YEARS to come.
Some ideas include: sports games, concerts, musicals or plays, spa days, mani/pedis, weekend trip, indoor trampoline, and ice-skating.
Give passes to movie theatres, museums, zoos, etc. Or take it up a notch and spring for a year’s membership!
One of our oldest son’s most prized possessions is his camera. Partly because he paid for it himself from money he’d earned, but mostly because he can capture special moments with it. And there are some great options for kids out there that are very budget-friendly!
This is the time to splurge on a nice coat, sweatshirt, dress, pair of shoes, etc. he/she has been eyeing.
11. Piggy bank
This gift has the added bonus of helping kids build those foundational money skills of saving and budgeting. I LOVE this 3-part money bank that has sections for saving, spending, and sharing.
It’s amazing how much the ability to tell time for themselves delights kids. This is a gift he/she will be able to use for a few years, at least.
(Side note: I recommend an analog watch, as that seems to be a dying skill these days. And they can learn how to read it younger/faster than you think!)
13. Tickets to an event
Taking our kids to things like Paw Patrol LIVE and a monster truck rally has been delightful and memory-making. Tickets to an event will make them feel special and give them something to look forward to.
When our oldest son went through a horse phase (thank you, Spirit), we got him a horse riding lesson for his 4th birthday. And he loved it! Help your kids develop their interests and skills — be it horseback riding, art, writing, music, or cooking — with lessons.
15. Musical instruments
Learning about and creating music is fantastic for children’s brains (and souls!). Whether it’s something small, like musical shakers or toy guitars, or a larger investment, like a keyboard or real guitar, give the gift of music to your kids.
16. Art supplies or classes
Do you have a budding Picasso? Encourage those skills with some quality art supplies and/or classes.
17. Kids’ furniture
18. Outdoor equipment & Tools
Kids will love getting their own fishing poles, binoculars, gardening tools, hunting gear, tool sets, etc. Not only will they offer hours of entertainment, but they provide kids with a little (age-appropriate) independence and help them build real world skills.
19. Camping Gear
As a family gift, book a trip to a fun and exciting location. If you want to be able to give them something to open and use right away, add a few smaller gifts of a new travel bag, kids camera, photo album, kids travel guides, or travel activity kits.
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- 25 Gifts for Preschoolers (That Won’t Be a Waste of Money)
- Fun & Interesting Stocking Stuffers
- 5 Tips for a Pre-Holiday Toy Purge