With 3 girls we have acquired a lot of toys. We have a playroom full of toys. I gathered two garage bags full of toys to donate and when I came home and looked into the playroom it seemed as though I didn’t take a thing. That is how many toys my kids have. It got me thinking, how can we still have a wonderful Christmas without the clutter. That is when I  came up with my Non-toy gift ideas for kids.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not “anti-toys”. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing my girls creating stories and living in their own dream world as they play Barbies and make food in their kitchen. I think toys can spark imagination and do a lot of good. The problem comes when my kids have so many toys they don’t even remember what they have. SO I started to think, what are the best gifts for a kid? Ones that spark their imagination and create memories.

This year I have made a pact with my husband that there will be no toys. This empowered us to be creative and think outside the box and pick our favorite non-toy Christmas gift ideas.


How To Pick Non-Toy Gifts

So what do we define as toys?

If they use it outside? Not a toy to us

If it’s educational? Not a toy to us

If it’s an experience? Not a toy to us

If it sparks imaginative play? Not a toy to us

I am sure that everyone has their own opinions on what is considered a toy or not. We aren’t sticking to any specific rules, we just want to make a list that will make our kids happy, fulfill their needs, and clear the clutter. When picking a non-toy gift for kids I think it is important to think about all the tips above but ultimately do what works best for your family.

Here is a list I put together of some items that would make great non-toy gifts. If you have little ones to buy for this Christmas this is the list for you.

non-toy gift ideas for kids

Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids

1. Movie tickets – We love going to the movies but as a family of 5 it gets expensive. Consider a gift card to a local theatre, even better make a date to go with them.

2. Passes to local attractions – My girls stay home with me so we are always looking for fun (and educational) things to do to keep us busy. We have the zoo, aquarium, children’s museum, Busch Gardens, and even Disney close by. My girls would be so excited to know that your gift gave them the opportunity to visit their favorite places.

3. Karaoke machine – I don’t mind hearing “let it go” or “twinkle twinkle” a million times in a row when sweet little voices are singing. We have this one and it is so much fun and links to your iPad.

4. Subscription boxes – We have done quite a few craft style boxes but there are also one for clothes or even exploring.

One of our favorite subscription boxes is Little Global Citizens. Adventure and learning around the world from the comfort of home. Every 2 months, a Little Global Citizens box will guide your child around a new country & its culture. Each box is jam-packed with hands-on crafts, screen-free games, keepsake book, recipe and 12-page kids guide. My kids love all the fun activities & parents love how smart it makes their kids!

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5. Books – We are always on the search for unique books. Fostering a love for reading is so important for us. You can also include activity books, sticker books, etc. They are non-toy gifts that will also keep your kids busy.If you need book inspiration you can always check out my Amazon shop where I constantly update our favorite book picks

6. Puppet Theatre – A Theatre is so much fun. We have one and laugh so hard each time we play. We also have some of these puppets.

7. Trampoline – We have been entertaining the idea of a trampoline and if we took the plunge I think this would be it. If my girls jump on the couch one more time I think my head might explode, so I am going to divert their energy to the ultimate jumping attraction! I like this one!

8. Costumes – We have a ton of princess dresses. But if you have a little guy you could also do some this set. So much fun seeing them give a performance each night after dinner. I love sharing non-toy gift ideas like this one because it really has given us so many wonderful memories over the years.

9. Their favorite snacks – our stockings are filled with crackers, gummy bears (I try to find the healthier ones but heck its Christmas), and whatever fun little snack I can find. It’s a special treat when I can find something with their favorite character on it. I found veggie sticks with the trolls characters so I basically know I am going to be mom of the year.

10. Arts and Crafts – Our stocking theme this year is arts and crafts. I am just going to go crazy with googly eyes, construction paper, and pipe cleaners because it’s stuff we will use all year long.

11. Activities – Mini Golf, the trampoline park or bowling are all fun outings you can take with your kids. Get them a gift card and schedule a day and put it in the calendar. Maybe your kids love music? Take them to a music class or even a concert. I love having lots of musical instruments around the house. It’s the perfect non-toy gift that will help your kids fall in love with music

12. Plates/Cups/Fun eating items – Dinner time made fun with personalized plates! This is the perfect non-toy gift idea for toddlers.

13. Dollhouse – Our Barbies spark so much imaginative play that it was no surprise that a Barbie house was on the top of their list. Lucille’s one request, an elevator (where does she get this stuff). Each year we get a big gift for both girls from Santa, and after a lot of reading and searching, we have decided on this one. It’s big yes, but I know my girls will flip when they see it and it was the best value. I really feel like it’s something they will grow into and use for many years.

14. Board games – We might be the only family on the planet to not have this game and I can guarantee it will be under our tree this year.

15. Bath paints – Make this nightly routine super fun with these paints.


Our Christmas page has gift ideas for everyone on your list plus some holiday fun that will help you create the most magical family memories

16. Outdoor table – Since I endorsed playdoh I also have to endorse this cute outdoor picnic table because that is where we play with playdoh. Fresh air and my house stays clean. I love this one because it folds up to be put away when we aren’t using it.

17. Play Make Up – We have this set from Little Cosmetics and love it because it is not real but looks real enough to be super fun.

18. Movies – There are so many great movies that came out this year. Here are a few of our favs.

19. Art Eisel – we have this one and love it. Out of all of our non-toy gift ideas, this one might be used the most in our house!

20. Playdoh – This will keep your kiddos occupied for hours, I promise.

21. Restaurant gift card – “What do you want for lunch?” “Chicken Nuggets!!” I know I can’t be the only mom who hears this, right?!?! This is a non-toy gift idea I can get behind.

22. Pajamas – add their favorite characters and voila, you are an instant favorite. Win them over even more with fun slippers, my girls have these and never want to take them off!

23. Rocking horse – My two oldest have these and I think Hazel will have to join this year.

24. Hooded Towel – Every time we walk the aisles of Target my girls see this towel and go crazy!

25. Anywhere Chair – This is a gift I recommend to every new parent. All 3 of my girls loved it.

26. Gymnastics/ballet – Activities can get expensive for parents, especially when you have more than one little one. Help them out by offering to cover one month of classes. Want something to put under the tree? How about a leotard, tutu, ballet shoes, or anything else they could use. 

27. Nail Polish – These are safe for little ones

8. Sports Equipment – let’s get our kids outside and active by encouraging them to find a new sport they love.

29. Play Kitchen – We have this one and I recommend it to all parents of girls and boys. It is probably one of the best gifts my kids have ever received. It’s not an exaggeration, it’s that good. You can even get some great food too!

30. CD’s for the car – We love jam out sessions and this gift idea just keeps on giving all year long!

31. Tea set – tea time with your little ones is the cutest. This non-toy gift for kids will sure to make them smile and make memories for years to come.

32. Baking set – What little one doesn’t like getting dirty in the kitchen?!? I love these sets

Have more ideas on great gifts for little ones? I’d love to hear about them. These gifts for kids that aren’t toys are some of our favorites but I would love to hear from you what you love. Leave me a comment below telling me some of your favorite non-toy gift ideas for kids!

Here are some other great gift guides you might be interested in:

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