25+ Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids
Please don’t get my kids any more toys! We’ve all thought it, some of us have said it, and some of us are keeping it inside while quietly seething about another battery-powered plastic toy that our kids play with for five minutes before it takes up precious space in our house. Yes, that space that you are chasing your tail trying to keep remotely clean in a failed attempt to reduce your anxiety and keep your sanity.
Perhaps you have a kid who isn’t really into toys and wonder what to get a kid who doesn’t like toys? Yes, some kids really don’t like to play with many toys!
I’m not against toys, but kids only need so many! I’ve rounded up a list of the best non-toy gifts for kids that are practical, creative and useful. Don’t worry – they’re not boring and many of them can still be wrapped and opened on the special day.
*Please note: I wrote this list before the pandemic and some experience ideas may not be practical or safe right now, depending on where you live. I still have a lot of other alternative gift ideas for kids!
*This post contains affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Experiences! The best gifts that aren’t toys!
I love experience gifts! Instead of another stuffy or toy car, consider experiences with your child. You will get so much more value out of them and potentially expose your child to an engaging, educational experience that allows you (or a loved one) to connect with them and spend time together.
Annual Passes – to museums, zoos, the local farm, etc. This largely depends on where you live but there are so many options for annual passes which will allow you to visit anytime you want without having to spend any money. This gift keeps on giving all year long!
Classes or Lessons – this is a great opportunity to sign your child up for gymnastics, dance classes, piano lessons or their favorite sport. These things are expensive so don’t hesitate to use this as a gift!
Mommy/Daddy & Me Day – plan a day out and get your nails done followed by lunch at your favorite restaurant. Or perhaps a visit to the local jump park followed by ice cream. If you can’t do indoor activities you could plan a sledding adventure or a hike. You get the idea! A one on one day with Mom, Dad or another family member means so much to your kiddos.
Gift Certificates – does your child have a favorite spot? We usually get our kids’ tickets to our favorite amusement park and the local trampoline park for the holidays.
Tip: Check out local deals around Black Friday too! I’ve been able to score some of these experiences for up to 50% off!
Journals & Books
Journals – I can’t have a gift list without mentioning our awesome journals. They are an amazing keepsake to help your child learn to express their feelings and help you connect with them. Check out our gratitude journals or our worry journal. They make perfect stocking stuffers!
Check out our new stickers! These stickers have positive messages that encourage a growth mindset. They can be placed on notebooks, journals, water bottles, mirrors and more!
Sketchbook If you have a budding artist this is a great way to allow them to be creative and express themselves freely.
Colored pencils – if you have a sketchbook you need some fancy colored pencils!
Smelly markers – Do these markers make you a bit nostalgic? When my daughter got them for Christmas she had marker on her nose for a week! 😉
Kids Cooking Collection – This may be one of my favorite non-toy gift ideas for kids. What better gift than the gift of learning to cook! And what a great bonding activity.
Apron – Don’t forget the apron and chef hat!
Tip: Check out local cooking classes too!
Craft & Science Kits
There is a kit for everything now! These are another great opportunity for something to do together.
Craft Kit – My kids loved this one when they were younger (ages 3-5)
Science Kits – My Kids love growing crystals or breaking open Geodes
Tip: Stay away from the make your own bath bomb, lotion, lip balm, etc. kits. They are just a big mess and many are full of chemicals.
Suitcase I love practical gifts that kids love! Both of my kids have a suitcase just like this one and they LOVE packing it for Grandma’s house. Sometimes they use it to play too.
Sleeping Bag – If you have a suitcase you have to have a sleeping bag too!
Tip: How about a night at your favorite hotel? I don’t know about you, but my kids love staying in hotels (just make sure it has an indoor pool). Check Groupon for deals!
If you live anywhere cold winter gear is a great gift. People are spending a lot more time outside this year, so be sure to grab your winter gear early before it sells out!
Sleds – We’ve had this sled for years and my kids get such a kick out of it!
Ice Skates – ice skating is our favorite winter activity!
Skiis & Ski Boots
Hats and mittens – I love C.C kids and since we always seem to lose at least one I recommend grabbing a few!
Tip: Don’t forget to check out consignment stores for used winter gear too. They don’t last too long when your kids are growing!
What is your favorite non-toy gift ideas for kids? I’d love to hear your ideas! Comment below.