67+ Non-Toy Gift Ideas That Kids (and Parents!) Will Love

67+ Non-Toy Gift Ideas That Kids (and Parents!) Will Love

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Raise your hand if you feel like you’re drowning in toys.  We certainly are!  We declutter our toys regularly, but at this time of year I still find myself looking around wondering where all the new Christmas toys are going to do.

As we gear up for the holiday season, I’ve been sharing a number of gift guides, featuring our favourite toys for certain ages.  But let’s face it – my kids don’t need more toys, and I’m willing to bet that yours don’t either.  So in this post, I’m sharing 67+ non-toy gift ideas, for kids of all ages.  Since my kids are younger (6 and under), I have more ideas for younger children, but you’ll find some ideas for the older kids on your list as well.

Missed our other gift guides?  

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1. Art supplies. Items that are going to get used up are a favourite of mine. Replenish the craft supplies with new markers, pencil crayons, paints, or construction paper. My older kids are big fans of perler beads and Do-A-Dot markers.

2. Easel. I’ve mentioned before how much we love our easel. This is great for toddlers up to elementary-school aged children.

3. Journal or notebook. Fun for kids, and – as an added bonus – their artwork will be in one place, instead of random pieces of paper spread throughout the house.

4. Stationary set and stamps.I remember receiving a stationary set when I was younger and thinking I was SO grown-up. Although our kids are growing up with technology at their disposal, there’s something exciting about sending and receiving mail. This is a great gift from an out-of-town relative.

5. Fun pens. Multi-coloured pens are fun for elementary-school aged kids and older.

6. Calligraphy set.  I remember receiving one of these as a child and spending hours trying perfect my calligraphy.

7. Craft kit.  There are craft kits designed for all ages – from the youngest toddlers, to older children.  

8. Science kit. An excellent gift for the budding scientist.

9. Dinosaur dig. My dinosaur-loving son received one of these for his 5th birthday, and it was a big hit.  If dinosaurs aren’t their thing, they may enjoy a gemstone kit.

10. Magnifying glass. Another fun tool to encourage kids who are naturally curious about the world around them.

11. Bug collecting kit. A perfect gift for kids who are into creepy crawly creatures.

12. Bird house.  We received one similar to this a few years ago, which was lots of fun to decorate.

13. Gardening tools.  Particularly appropriate if you’re avid gardeners.  

14. Wagon. A classic wagon or a beach wagon is a necessity for many families with young children.

15. Beach towel.  A hooded beach towel or towel featuring their favourite character is a practical gift for kids who frequent the beach or pool.

16. Suitcase.  My kids received these when they were toddlers and LOVED them.  They’re perfectly sized for short trips for kids (plus, they’re adorable!).

17. Sleeping bag. My oldest was thrilled to receive a sleeping bag from Grandma and Grandpa a few years ago.  This is even more fun if it comes with an invitation for a sleepover or a camping trip.

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18. Flashlight.  Santa put mini flashlights in our boys’ stockings one year, and they were one of their favourite Christmas gifts that year.

19. Tools.  Once they’re old enough, real tools will let them work alongside Mom or Dad.

20. Camera. If your kids enjoy borrowing your phone to take pictures, why not get them a camera of their own?  There are durable cameras designed just for kids, or an old digital camera works too.

21. Headphones. Perfect for travel, or any time you’d rather not listen to what they’re watching on the iPad.

22. Musical instrument. Friends of ours have this adorable child-sized piano, which my kids flock to every time we visit.

23. Games.  Ok, this sort of counts as a toy, but I’m including it.  Some of our favourites for little kids (6 and under) are Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, Monopoly Junior, Sequence for Kids, Blokus, Connect 4, and UNO. Find the full list of our favourite games for toddlers and preschoolers here.

24. Puzzles.  Another quasi-toy item, puzzles are fantastic for kids of all ages.  From simple wooden puzzles (our 18 month-old is obsessed with this one right now), to 1000-piece puzzles that older children can complete with the whole family.

25. Water beads.  I purchased water beads on the recommendation of folks on Twitter when we were quarantined at home with hand foot and mouth disease.  These are a very cool sensory item – I think I loved them as much as my kids did!  They can get messy (they bounce everywhere), so you may want to set them up outside.

26. Bubble bath. Who doesn’t love a bubble bath?

27. Bath crayons. My boys loved these when they were younger (I recommend testing them before you let your kids loose – some of them are harder to remove from the tub than others).

28. Subscription box.  This gift keeps giving all year round.  There are tons of subscription boxes for kids to choose from.  Our boys loved the KiwiCo boxes.

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29. Magazine subscription.  Highlights, National Geographic Kids, Sports Illustrated for Kids…there is likely a magazine perfectly suited to your child’s age and interests.

30. Books.  I love when people introduce us to their favourite book or their children’s favourite book.  Check out this post for our top picks for babies and young toddlers.

31. Personalized book.  We’ve got a few of these for our kids, and I can attest to the fact that reading is even more fun when the main character has the same name as you!  Our I See Me! book is a favourite, and we’ve also enjoyed the Wonderbly books that we’ve received.

32. Scrapbook.  Whether digital or the old-school kind, scrapbooks are fun for kids who love to look at pictures of themselves and loved ones.  Babies will enjoy a simple photo book featuring extended family members, while older kids might enjoy a scrapbook featuring photos from a recent trip.  

33. Movie.  As we all know, kids will happily watch their favourite movie over and over (and over and over…) again.

34. Sporting equipment.  The possibilities are endless – skates, skis, soccer ball, baseball glove, basketball hoop, a bike, etc.  Children are always growing, so it feels like we are constantly buying new sports gear.

35. Sled.  A must-have if you live in a winter climate.

36. Fishing rod. Even better if it comes with an invitation to join Grandpa (or Grandma) on a fishing trip.

37. Walkie talkie. Walkie talkies take me back to the type of childhood where we had free reign all over the neighbourhood.  

38. Binoculars.  Find a pair perfectly sized for a child’s face.

39. Clothes.  Clothes don’t have to be boring.  Younger kids will be excited about items featuring their favourite character, and it doesn’t take long for older kids to be excited about “cool” clothes.

40. Winter accessories. Toque, a scarf, mittens – these are always going missing, and are a necessity if you live (or plan to visit) somewhere with a winter climate.

41. Shoes or boots.  Ok, this one might be more for Mom and Dad.  Kids feet grow so fast, and shoes aren’t cheap!

42. Umbrella.  Once they can handle it on their own, there’s a novelty in having your own umbrella.

43. Watch.  This is a perfect gift for an early elementary-aged child who’s just learning to tell time.

44. Wallet.  Grandma and Grandpa bought my boys wallets for their birthdays this year, and I was surprised by what a big hit they were.  This is another one that’s fantastic for early elementary-aged children who are learning about money.

45. Piggy bank.  A piggy bank is another great gift for a child who’s new to having their own money.

46. Slippers.  We’ve found some fun pairs of slippers that my kids are excited by – my middle son is currently sporting Lightning McQueen slippers at daycare.

47. Jewellery.  I was about 7 or 8 when my Grandma taught me that some of the best gifts come in the smallest boxes – a lesson that still rings true today 🙂  

48. Jewellery box.  This is another gift that I remember receiving as a child and loving how grown-up it made me feel.

49. Sunglasses.  Kids sunglasses are always getting lost or broken.

50. Nail polish.  Little boys love getting their toes painted too – and it’s even better with their favourite colour nail polish. 

51. Backpack.  Even if they’re not in school yet, young kids love having a backpack to carry around their treasured items.

52. Lunch box.  If they’re in daycare or school, chances are they need a lunch box. 

53. Water bottle. A sippy cup or a more grown-up version – this is great for all ages.

54. Apron. Perfect for a child who has shown an interest in helping in the kitchen.

55. Recipe book.  Another fun idea for a child who’s shown an interest in cooking or baking.  This could be a cookbook aimed a children, or make your own recipe book featuring your family’s favourite recipes.  

56. New bedding.  A practical gift for a child who’s moving up to their first big kid bed – just check with Mom and Dad first!

57. New bed.  Similarly, a new bed can be very much appreciated (and exciting!  My boys were thrilled when they got their bunk beds).

58. Gro clock or Ok to Wake! clock. For some kids, this can be the secret to getting them to stop waking up at the crack of dawn.  This is a good gift for toddlers and preschoolers.

59. Night light.  Great for a child who’s scared of the dark.

60. Table and chairs.  A child-sized table and chairs gets a ton of use – for snack time and play time.  We have this one from Ikea.

61. Education savings. This is a gift that parents are sure to appreciate. University is expensive, and competing financial priorities mean that many parents can’t save as much as they’d like to.

62. Membership.  Give them a gift of an annual membership to a recreation centre, the zoo, or a children’s museum.  

63. Classes or lessons.  This is another gift that will be greatly appreciated by the parents.  For many families this will allow a child to participate in an activity that they might not have been able to otherwise.  This could be anything that suits the child’s interests – soccer, swimming, hockey, piano, art, etc.

64. Ski pass.  A day pass or season’s pass to your local ski hill.

65. Gift certificate or tickets. Movie tickets, passes to a local amusement park, tickets to a play or concert, a gift certificate for ice cream or mini golf – the possibilities are endless.  

66. Special outing.  My Mom has started doing this with my boys for their birthdays, and it’s a lot of fun for all of them.  Choose a special activity and make a day of it – bowling, a movie, skating, swimming, etc.  The one-on-one time will be special for both of you.

67. Flights.  Finally, if you live in a different city, flights to come visit can be a memorable gift. Just check with Mom and Dad before booking anything 🙂

I hope that gives you some ideas of non-toy gifts that the child on your list will love.  Do you have a favourite non-toy gift that I haven’t included?  Share it in the comments below!

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