Last week, I went into my girls’ room and it was a disaster. Clothes, toys, books, and random “treasures” were strewn around the room.
Toys were overflowing from every corner, behind the dresser, under the bed, and stacked nearly waist-high in the closet.
I told my girls it was the final straw and packed tons of random, junky toys into trash bags to throw away or give away. We ended up with about 6 black trash bags of stuff and they still had a closet full of toys. The whole process took two days and about eight hours.
When the room was finally clean, the girls were ecstatic. They played with toys they hadn’t seen in months.
After such an arduous cleaning adventure, I vowed that this year, we would not be giving our girls more stuff to get lost or throw away later. This year, I only want to pick non-toy gift ideas for kids for my girls to use. It will save us tons of heartache in the future.
Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids
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It’s easy to buy toys for kids because not only are non-toy gift ideas sometimes expensive, but they may also be difficult to find. But if you too, are tired of the clutter and want a bit less junk this holiday season, you will find use from this list of non-toy gift ideas for kids.
Experiences make great non-toy gift ideas for kids. I love giving experience gifts because it allows children to try something they may want to persue seriously later without pressure or a lot of expense on your part. And it’s easy to tell if it isn’t for your child, too. Last year, Monkey begged for a real bow like Katniss has, so I got her one, but after skinning her thumb while using the bow, she hasn’t asked to do archery since.
- Swimming lessons
- Martial arts classes
- Riding lessons
- Flying lessons (for older kids)
- Special trips (Disneyland, local attractions, camping trips, sleep-away camps, out-of-town trips with just one parent)
- Dance classes
- Enrollment in a sport (try shorter classes for unusual sports, like archery, polo, fencing, or gymnastics)
- Music lessons
- Tickets to a concert
- Trip to see their favorite idol on tour (my eldest likes a lot of YouTubers, so we’ve made plans to see a couple when they go on tour)
- Amusement park pass
- Zoo pass
- Aquarium pass
- Train ride
- Boat tour
- Carriage ride
- Cooking classes
- Hot air balloon ride
- Ride in a sports car
- Lunch with a fairy or princess
- Tickets to a magic show
- Tickets to see live versions of children’s cartoons
- Visit to a local landmark
Subscription gifts are some of our favorite non-toy gifts.
- Magazine subscriptions (popular at our house are Zoobooks, Lego magazine, Highlights For Children, National Geographic Kids, Family Fun, and anything science-themed)
- Subscription boxes (Groovy Lab and Austin Lloyd will be showing up at our house this year. We also love Read Brightly, Little Passports, Green Kid Crafts, and Kiwi Crate)
- Food subscriptions (these can either come as a subscription box or you can set recurring orders on Amazon for fun treats and foods)
- Book of the month club
As a homeschooling family, we love our educational gifts!
- Fun pencils or pens
- Textbooks (Monkey is obsessed with encyclopedia-style books)
- Science experiment kit
- Educational posters
- Books from the child’s assigned reading list
- “Doodle” books
- Coloring books
- Robot building kit
- Coding books
- Coding games
- Sewing machine
- Crochet or kitting supplies
- Subscriptions to online learning sites (abcmouse.com, alwaysicecream.com, etc)
- Kindle/Nook/other e-reader
- Phone (depending on the age of the child)
- Woodworking Kit
No need for physical products- these gifts are all virtual.
- Digital movies (all our movies are digital now)
- Digital music
- Digital games (we are fans of Steam)
- Subscription to online games/programs
- Game console downloads
These non-toy gift ideas for kids are consumable and won’t take space on your shelf.
- Fun snacks
- Craft/art supplies
- Pottery kit
- Butterfly garden
- Fish (fish are consumable at our house)
- Seeds and gardening tools
- Potted plant
- Gift certificates (bonus points if the trip itself is consumable, such as to a special bakery)
- Clothes (use your judgement here, some kids hate getting clothes. My girls love getting clothes, but I hated it when I was a kid)
- Fun soap/shampoo
- Nail polish or perfume
- Glitter hair or body spray (at age 9, Monkey loves this stuff)
- Band aids
- Hair ties
- Wood scraps or building/whittling supplies
- Coupon books
- Bubble bath
- Pajamas (bonus points for glow in the dark pajamas)
- Fun bedding
- New paint/art for their room
- Updated gaming console (Monkey is getting a 3DS)
- Room organization items (cubbies, trunks, etc)
- New pet
- Piggy bank (my kids really like robot piggy banks for some reason)
- Personalized chore tools (maybe an apron with their name on it or a child-sized rake)
- Camping supplies (sleeping bag, etc)
- Fun versions of essential items (underwear with their favorite character, silly socks, themed mittens, colorful rain boots, etc)
- Analog clock
- Alarm clock (I’ve had my eye on this Hello Kitty one for my girls for a while now)
- Outdoor toys (this year, Bo is getting a scooter)
Gifts for the Future
I don’t recommend only giving this kind of gift to your kids, but these non-toy gift ideas for kids will definitely be useful in the future.
- Educational savings account
- Stocks, bonds, or other investments
- Savings or checking account with money
- Gold or silver
- Money for college or extra-curricular activities
We’re taking this year to really cut down on our clutter inside the house. We’re using many of these non-toy gift ideas for kids during our Christmas this year.