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Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids


When I started planning my youngest’s first birthday, there was one thing I knew I didn’t want to add to our home—more toys! I saw a poem suggesting a book instead of a card, but I specifically (reallydid not want toys, so I tweaked it to politely request for books as a gift. And let’s face it—the babe was turning one. I knew there would not be an issue with receiving books, as he couldn’t even open the gifts himself. In fact, we opened them later after all our guests had left.

birthday invitation - gift ideas for kids - NMB

I think the parents among us who would say they wish their child had more toys are probably few and far between. We were blessed with nieghbors who brought bins over full of toys as their little boy outgrew them. We have a large basket in our living room where all of the toys are stored, and dang if it isn’t ALWAYS overflowing. And that’s just the toys—not books. Books are just piled up in the corner next to the basket!

toys books gift ideas for kids NMB

Before this becomes a post about my desperate need for organization, I thought I’d help you out with a few non-toy gift ideas for kids. With Christmas right around the corner (EEK!), you might want to consider some of these ideas instead of toys . . . again!

BOOKS. I truly feel that you can never go wrong with a gift of books—except maybe the average thirteen year old. HA! Seriously, though—one of the best gifts my little one recieved was a book and stuffed animal that was regifted to us because my niece had outgrown it years before. (See poem above noting “previously loved.”)

GIFT CARDS. My friend has a seven year old who has a birthday party to attend seemingly every weekend. Geesh, at least it seems like it! She often gives a movie theatre gift card accompanied by a local frozen yogurt place gift card. I think this is a great idea! Not to mention all the many stores where kids would be excited to shop: Build a Bear, Lego store, candy shops, etc.

ATTRACTION PASSES. This is a great idea several of my friends do for other family members—at Christmas especially—since the new year is close. Here in Nashville we have the Nashville Zoo, Nashville Shores, Cheekwood, The Frist Center, and Adventure Science Museum—just to name a few.

SUBSCRIPTIONS. If you want to go beyond magazine subscriptions, you should try monthly boxes that are delivered with fun activities. There are several different options from arts and crafts themes to science and nature based boxes. I even found a website that caters to religious themes. Little Pnuts and Kiwi Crate have monthly boxes starting as low as $10 and as young as around three years of age. Sprout Box Kids has an app that accompanies the activities every month and looks like fun for the whole family.

ACTIVITIES. I have found most younger kids love paint and art supplies. Board games are fun for the whole family as well. My friend says her boys stay busy for hours playing with their Snap Circuit boxes—think science field (such as engineering) type activities. I, for one, don’t think you can ever go wrong with kids crafts. Cruise the arts and crafts aisles of Hobby Lobby and find tons of activities for children— jewelry making, sewing, clay modeling, and painting!


TIME. I find this is probably better for family and friends that you know very well. My sister lets her nieces pick an activity such as shopping (with a $ limit), mani/pedi, movies, pottery, a concert, etc. They will go together and get lunch or a treat. I think this is one of the best ideas if you have young family/friends near you. Most kids love the one on one time and making these memories is something that will last way longer than any material item you could give! I’d suggest printing up a nice certificate to present in an envelope!

What are ::your:: favorite non-toy gift ideas for kids? Anything you would add to this list?

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One Response to Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids

  1. Aubrey December 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    I love your poem– even the thought that a used book can be just as much of a treasure as a new one (and sometimes even more so)! I’ve seen some people tackle the overflowing toy issue by dividing toys into three or four tubs, keeping all tubs but one in the garage, and changing out the “feature toys” tub every month. This keeps the toys interesting and the basket from overflowing. Activities is something I sometimes forget about, too! A friend of mine combines gift cards and activities by putting together custom gift card books with a page per gift card, creating a gifted evening with a collection of gift cards. Great ideas! Take care!

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