It seems like every parent I talk to has a similar problem: the sheer number of toys their kids have. After only a few weeks (or days!) many of these toys are put into a closet or toy box, seldom to be seen again. In addition, some of these toys spend weeks on the floor being ignored. I have put together a toy free gift giving guide for the holidays. The items in this gift guide are things kids love and also take up little space. Yay!
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Children have wonderful imaginations. They love pretending as they play. What better way to fuel their imaginations than to give them a costume or two? They can dress up as someone completely different! My children spend hours dressing up as different characters. Right after Halloween is a great time to get discounted costumes!
Children have so many interests. A month’s worth of classes is a great way for them to explore different hobbies. Some ideas are art, pottery, martial arts, dance, ice skating, music or cooking classes.
Board games are a fun way to teach children some life skills. When playing board games kids learn to follow the rules of the game, take turns and share materials. Older children can work together to figure out who is going first and in some games who will get a special job, like being the banker. Board games can also be fun for the whole family. Instituting a family game night is one way to enjoy the games together. Some of our family’s favorite board games are below.
Related Post: 10 Great Family Games That Kids and Parents Enjoy
Tickets are a sure way to excite children. Buy the special kids in your life tickets to a concert, the movies, a play or an amusement park. You are giving the gift of an experience that will become a cherished memory. You may even want to pick up an extra ticket for yourself and share in the fun!
Books are a great way to promote the love of reading. Children love being read to even when they’re older. Books by a favorite author or about a favorite character are always a good choice. Older children may appreciate books from a favorite series as well.
Another option is finding nonfiction books related to the child’s interests. Colorful photos that help illustrate the content are always a big hit! Below are some good book choices for babies through elementary school age.
Children’s museums, science museums, aquariums and zoos often offer family memberships. These memberships frequently give families the chance to visit as often as they’d like for up to a year. In addition, many memberships come with additional perks. We have a membership to a local zoo that allows reciprocity with certain other zoos and museums throughout North America. This membership allows us to receive anywhere from 50% off admittance to free admittance depending on where we go. We also get discounts on food and gift shop purchases in some places.
Related Post: Two Secrets to Buying the Perfect Gift
Just like their adult counterparts, kids can receive meal kit subscriptions. These are perfect for budding chefs. Also geared toward kids are monthly arts and crafts boxes, reading subscriptions, monthly boxes targeting scientific minds, and kits that teach children to build things.
Another subscription idea is a children’s magazine subscription. You can tailor the magazine subscription to suit each kid’s interests. In addition to the gift itself, many of these subscriptions are a chance for the child to get something in the mail each month. Kids love getting mail!
What is your favorite non-toy gift for kids?
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25 thoughts on “7 Best Non-Toy Gifts for the Holidays”
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One of my biggest pet peeves is how the toy pile continues to grow after each holiday and my son barely touches most of them. Love these ideas as an alternative to traditional toy gifts!!
Thank you Tiffany. We’re running into the same toy problem!
I agree so much with this post, I got a Zoo pass for Christmas last year – it was amazing! A year of outdoor fun with my kids!
Thank you Erin. We also have a family pass for a zoo nearby. We love it!
I love the idea of giving a membership to a museum! When I was a nanny, I would take kids to museums all the time and they loved it, especially the interactive museums.
Alexis, I agree. Our kids love museums with things they can touch or interact with in some way. Museum memberships are a money saver in the long run too!
Love the idea of books for a gift! Our wishlist of books to own is endless, why not add some to our library? Thanks for the ideas! http://www.helpachildtoread.com
Thank you Elena. As an avid reader, I love to give books for gifts!
I visited your website and really enjoyed your post on helping kids choose and and use easy readers. 🙂
Thank you for the great ideas! I always run out of non-toy gifts to give to my kids.
KC I know what you mean. We often give our kids clothing too so they don’t associate Christmas with toys only!
What a great creative list! Thank You!
Thank you Crystal. I hope it’s helpful this holiday season!
Boardgames never go out of style!
Rebecca, I agree! I love playing board games. 🙂
That is some great ideas! I always have problems with finding gifts!, so thank you for tips!
You’re welcome. I am glad to help!
What fantastic ideas! I love the idea of tickets and subscriptions. Also you can never go wrong with books! Thanks for sharing these. It is very timely as l have been thinking of Christmas gifts!
Thank you Fiona! As an avid reader, I love giving books as gifts. I am an early shopper too. 🙂
Some great options here. I’m surprised to see “memberships” as one of the gifts. Never really thought about it but that’s actually a really great gift for someone into museums, history, animals etc. Would be even better if you live somewhere with tons of cool museums!
Stefan, I agree that it is easier depending on location! Some memberships also offer reciprocity so you can visit other museums, zoos, aquariums, etc. at a discounted price or even free!
Love your list! It’s great to see some things that aren’t toy related. I love the costume idea! I would have never thought of that. I also love giving board games. My son adores them and it’s a great way to connect as a family. One of my favorites is a bubble machine. The kids love it and it’s an easy way way to get them outside. 🙂 It covers a lot of ages too.
Thank you Mary. Our kids all love to dress up!
A bubble machine is a great idea. All kids love bubbles (and some grown ups too)!
These are really great ideas! I feel like the parents will appreciate these gifts more lol. We have wayyy too many toys and i was not looking forward to bring more home, but this year kiddo is getting more of these ideas. Thank you!
I’m glad you found this useful Ashley! I know our kids really enjoy the items on this list and we love that their rooms are cleaner. 🙂