50+ Non-Toy Gifts for Kids
Parents everywhere are saying it. “Our kids have TOO MANY TOYS.” In our quest to have less stuff, we are looking for unique and mindful gifts for kids that won’t just become another broken toy and cluttered floor. Parents are asking grandparents, aunts, and uncles to only buy presents that aren’t toys. To make things easy, I’ve compiled a list of non-toy gift ideas for kids of all ages, babies to teens! Scroll down to see 50+ non-toy gifts for kids that they (and their parents) will love this year!
Most of these great gift ideas are Christmas gifts or birthday presents that I’ve actually given my own kids in the past. A few are great ideas for gifts I plan to give in the future, and have heard good things about but haven’t bought yet.
I’ve organized this list into sections to make it easier to navigate:
- gifts kids can wear
- books and educational gifts
- bedroom items
- bathroom stuff
- gifts for creativity and imagination
- gifts to get kids moving
- subscription boxes for kids
- stocking stuffers
While I do give my kids toys, I really try to be mindful about the toys and gifts I give them. I’ve found that when my kids have too many toys, they actually get overwhelmed! Gifts that encourage them to be creative or active, gifts that are things they need, experience gifts, and gifts that are consumable are my favorite things to give on a special occasion or holiday.
Hopefully this list of unique gifts will help you find the best ideas for your own kids this year!
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Non-toy Gifts Kids Can Wear
Kids love to wear watches like the adults. This VTech Paw Patrol Watch is good for 3-6 year olds, while the VTech KidiZoom DX3 is a smartwatch for 4-12 year olds. Teens will love the Fitbit Versa or the Apple Watch.
These organic socks from Q for Quinn are fun for kids to wear! They are also seamless for kids who have sensory aversions to bumpy toes, and can be worn matched or mismatched.
Q for Quinn makes Mommy & Me and Daddy & Me socks too! They also donate a meal to a child in need for every pair that is sold, which is pretty awesome.
If you’re familiar with Aden + Anais super soft swaddles, you can imagine how soft these A+A pajamas are! This print spells LOVE and I just LOVE when Aren and Rowen wear matching PJs!
Naturally KIDS Backpacks
My kids love to pack their own backpacks when we go out. These adorable Naturally KIDS backpacks come with a stuffy inside that can be worn on the outside of the bag! It looks like they are babywearing their little animal friend, which is totally adorable and such a fun gift. My daughter loves this white unicorn backpack (for kids 3-7), while my son can’t get enough of his smaller toddler dinosaur backpack (for kids 3-5).
Books and Educational Gifts for Kids
Pop It! Fidgets
These super cool fidget toys are the most popular item this year, and all the kids love to play with them! With their favorite characters like Olaf and Darth Vader, kids of all ages are going to love getting these Pop It!s this year.
While parents may think these are just another fun gadget, Pop It!s are actually great for kids who need sensory input to regulate or to help them with attention (it works great for my kiddos!).
Kids love reading books that feature them as the main character! Aren got this personalized book from UncommonGoods last year and still loves it. We also gave her this big sister book a few years ago and she loves it too!
I have made personalized photo books for my kids and they are so much fun! These books can have any theme – a book of family members, a book of the child’s favorite toys, or memories from the year.
We love these handmade wooden name and alphabet puzzles from This & That Etc. My little kiddos also loved simple peg puzzles from Melissa and Doug, but now enjoy these floor puzzles – while the big kids have enjoyed more challenging puzzles.
Ancestry DNA Kit
We gave Kaiden the Ancestry DNA: Genetic Ethnicity + Traits Test for his 10th birthday. He loved learning about where he was from, and the traits was pretty educational and fun too! Makes a really cool gift for tweens and teens.
Melissa & Doug Cleaning Sets
Teach kids the value of money and saving with their very own piggy bank. This Moonjar bank is the one we got for Aren when she turned 5 and is a great option for kids to learn to spend, save, and share their money.
If you’d rather a digital option, you may want to open a savings account at your local bank.
Non-toy Gifts for Kids’ Bedrooms
For the girly girl who enjoys playing dress-up, this white vanity from Guidecraft will be her new favorite furniture. With 3 mirrors and storage in her seat, she can sit pretty and transform into a princess for the day.
Personalized Wooden Sign
We love personalized things around here, if you couldn’t tell! Kids like decor that is just for them, and a sign from Nesting Seasons will be one of a kind.
Aden + Anais Blanket
As we’ve already mentioned, Aden + Anais is more than just soft swaddles! This Harry Potter blanket would make any kid want to snuggle up in their pajamas with a good book!
It was actually pretty easy! He was so excited to have a super cool armory (and I enjoyed not having blasters and foam darts everywhere).
A personalized chair is perfect for kids to sit and read or have their own space for family movie night!
A captain’s toy chest from Little Colorado is not only a fun place for a kid to store his precious treasures, but also loved by minimalist moms. Once the toy chest is full, there’s no more room for new toys in the house!
Before anything new can be bought, something old has to go (that’s our rule anyway!).
Some exciting new wallpaper can transform any boring bedroom into a beautiful escape! We used rainbow wallpaper from Anewall to create a dream room for Aren. They also have less permanent vinyl options!
Perfect for kids who have trouble sleeping or who deal with anxiety or ADHD, this weighted blanket from TRU Blanket is super soft and adds just enough weight to help relax and get better sleep. My older kids love them.
We just bought Aren this alarm clock to help her learn to tell time the easy way. She already had a Hatch white noise machine, but was old enough to start understanding what time it is when waking in the night.
This clock has an alarm function, plus 20 different sounds, a nightlight, and a sun/moon to help kids learn bed/wake times!
Non-toy Gifts for Kids’ Bathrooms
Not just for babies! This organic hooded towel from Lilyseed is big enough for preschoolers and big kids too.
A fun animal bathrobe is enough to coax even the biggest bath lover out of the tub. Personalization is optional!
Is there a more fun way to take a bath than with Baby Shark? I just ordered this Baby Shark bath art kit for Rowen and I know he will love them!
Bath Bombs for Kids
My kids LOVE these bath bombs that come with a little surprise inside. (Yes, technically they have a small toy inside – but they are totally worth it!) They have lots of different themes and styles too, so be sure to check them out.
For kids 6-12 years old, this bath bomb making kit seems really cool!
Fun foam letters make bath time educational!
Kids Gifts for Creativity and Imagination
Our tent from Tnees Tpees has been great for Aren and Rowen. They get inside and read or play with toys – and I can see them enjoying it for many years to come.
Aren got this Loog acoustic guitar last year and she loved it! Anything that encourages music and learning is a win in my book.
There’s an electric guitar version for bigger kids too!
We eventually bought Kaiden a real drum kit, but if you aren’t ready for that – this drum pad is a great alternative. If your kid has been taking drum lessons and enjoys it – this drum pad will make home practice a little more fun!
Kids love dressing up, and these are easy to find second hand! Even pull together some of grandma and grandpa’s old things for kids to enjoy. This set of career role play costumes is a great starter set too!
Art Easel & Art Supplies
This KidKraft kitchen has been a hit at our house for over a year and has survived two tiny tornadoes. It’s a winner.
Table & Chairs
Kid size table and chairs are perfect for tea parties or sitting to play with puzzles. The perfect size from 1.5-8 year olds.
Encourage photography with a digital camera that’s just for kids! Aren has the KidiZoom Creator Cam and absolutely loves playing with it along with the green screen.
Paint Lesson or Pottery Experience
For kids who are old enough for building things (while supervised), their very own REAL tools will help them get started! This smaller tool set is recommended for ages 8 and up, while this tool set is better for teens.
Non-toy Gifts for Kids to Get Moving
Just Dance 2021
Not your typical video game, Just Dance is dancing fun for the whole family! With lots of popular songs, everyone is sure to get down.
Umbrella & Rainboots
This wooden balance bike from Kinderfeets is great for teaching kids how to balance so they are ready for a big kid bike later! For smaller kids, the tiny tot convertible tricycle is perfect for keeping up with big brother or sister.
When it’s too cold to play outside, this Think & Learn Smart Cycle from Fisher Price keeps kids moving. Set it up next to Mom or Dad’s stationary cycle for a family workout!
Another one for indoor exercise, this indoor trampoline helped my kids to burn off lots of energy during cold winter days.
No explanation needed. Twister is fun for everyone (even the adults can have fun playing when the kids are asleep!).
Sports Equipment &/or a Season of Sports
Parents everywhere would love for help paying for seasons of football, basketball, soccer, softball… it just adds up!
Dance Lessons &/or Dance Clothes/Shoes
Best Subscription Boxes for Kids
OwlCrate Jr is a book subscription box for kids. Each box also includes various goodies that match that month’s theme. Perfect for readers 8-12 years old, they will look forward to their box every month! (And for teen readers, check out OwlCrate – included in my gift guide for teens!)
Monti Kids is a montessori subscription box for 0-36 months. With 8 levels, there are developmentally appropriate activities for young learners.
With different boxes for all ages (literally ALL ages, from 0-104), these STEM/STEAM focused boxes will be so fun that your kids won’t even realize they are learning. KiwiCo is a well-loved subscription box in my house, and will be in yours as well!
While we haven’t yet tried Wonder Crate, we’ve heard enough good reviews to include it here. With different series available for kids aged 5-11, it’s easy to find the theme (artists, activists, innovators) that will interest your kid.
For teen girls, FabFitFun‘s quarterly box will send her beauty products, accessories, and fun surprises. I subscribe to this box myself and Hunter always takes my products! I think it’s time for her to get her own.
Non-toy Stocking Stuffers
Stickers – Keep them busy! Find an old whiteboard or poster board for them to decorate to their heart’s content.
Drumstick Pencils – For the kid who likes to tap while doing homework (don’t send these to school unless you really dislike your child’s teacher).
Trivia Game – Fun for the competitive family.
Piggy Paint – Non-toxic paint for tiny toes.
Fun Dishes – For the picky eaters.
Water Bottles – Encourages kids to drink more AND use fewer plastic bottles!
Handmade Bows – We love bows from London + Twig.
Silk Scrunchies – For the girl who is too old for bows.
Patch Bandages – For the accident-prone kid – these organic bamboo bandages are more eco-friendly than the typical latex bandages (these are biodegradable and compostable). And they have cute panda prints!
What do you think of this list? Are there any gift ideas I’ve left out? Leave me a comment below so I can add them!
Looking for more gift guides? Check out these others:
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas | Sustainable + Mindful
Gift Ideas for Men
Holiday Gift Guide for Group Fitness Instructors
Gift Guide for Fitness Lovers
Stocking Stuffers for the Fitness Lover
10 Best Gifts for Teen Girls
Top Ten Gifts for Moms – Shop Small