50 Non-Toy Gifts for Kids | 2022 Edition
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. The VTech Paw Patrol Watch is a good gift for 3-6 year olds, while this VTech KidiZoom DX3 is a smartwatch for 4-12 year olds. (Aren is 6 and has this one.)
Older children and teens will love the Fitbit Versa or the Apple Watch.
These organic socks from Q for Quinn are fun for kids to wear and make great stocking stuffers! 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).
Also one of the best stocking stuffers for kids, sunglasses are a practical gift. These children’s sunglasses are a good choice, or step it up with these kids’ Ray-Bans.
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 (like the one pictured above) 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.
Click here to see more of our favorite books for Christmas!
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.
My kids LIVE for jokes. And honestly I love it. These joke books are the perfect gift for young kids ages 3-7 and then kids of all ages.
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
Aren and Rowen both have the most fun helping me clean, and I enjoy every minute of it. This sweep/mop set and the spray, squirt & squeegee set are perfect for little helping hands. It’s a wonderful way for younger children to learn life skills and be a part of helping at home (while still having a little fun)!
Board games are a great way to bring the entire family together for quality time. Our favorites for the little kids are Sorry and Candy Land. The older kids like playing Exploding Kittens, What Do You Meme and (Kaiden’s newest favorite) Catan.
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! Made of high quality breathable muslin, this blanket is super soft and cozy.
After years of finding NERF guns and bullets all over the floor, Kaiden finally got his own armory. While he was visiting his dad, I built an armory like this – using peg boards and pegs.
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 fun sleeping bag is great for sleepovers or for hanging out with friends. For the camper, a better quality sleeping bag is a must.
A wooden toy chest 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!). It keeps us from having too much stuff, which would be overwhelming to all of us!
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!
This beanbag from CordaRoy’s also becomes a bed – great for sleepovers!
Or this stuffed animal storage bag lets you keep your stuffies inside while you sit on them.
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
Hooded towels aren’t just for babies! This organic bamboo hooded towel is big enough for preschoolers and big kids too. It is extra soft, thick, absorbent, and will be your child’s favorite part of their bedtime routine!
This special gift is just the cutest thing to me! A fun animal bathrobe is enough to coax even the biggest bath lover out of the tub. Other animals and color options are available, but this elephant with glasses is my own favorite.
Is there a more fun way to take a bath than with Baby Shark? I ordered this Baby Shark bath art kit for Rowen last year and he loved them!
These beeswax bathtub crayons and bath color drops are fun for drawing or writing in the tub – and they are all natural, sustainable, and non-toxic!
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 and numbers make bath time educational! I’ve had these letters for all of my children, and they have really learned their ABCs and 123s faster with nightly play at bath time!
Kids Gifts for Creativity and Imagination
We have the 3D farm play rug from IVI World and my kids love it. I love that it is non-toxic, stain resistant, and hypoallergenic.
We added these wooden farm animals from Melissa & Doug for hours of fun.
Our little indoor play tent 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. Kaiden got the bigger version and has enjoyed learning to play a few tunes.
There’s an electric guitar version for bigger kids too! Loog guitars come with flashcards, videos online, and an app to help children learn to play.
We eventually bought Kaiden a real drum kit, but if you aren’t ready for that – this electric drum kit is a great alternative. If your kid has been taking drum lessons and enjoys it – this drum kit 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!
If you’re already overwhelmed with dress-up clothes, this rotating storage center from Guidecraft will help keep things organized. (Read about the benefits of learning through dress-up play here.)
Art Easel & Art Supplies
Keep those budding artists going with an art easel and plenty of art supplies.
This KidKraft kitchen was a Christmas gift for Aren when she was two years old and was a hit at our house for years. I was strong enough to withstand some very rough play from both of my tiny tornadoes. It’s a wonderful gift for sure!
Table & Chairs
Kid size table and chairs are perfect for tea parties or sitting to play with puzzles. This is the set my children had until they outgrew the chairs! It’s the perfect size for kids 1.5 to about 8 years old.
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.
We take her camera along when we go on hikes so she can take lots of pictures of all the things she finds in nature.
Paint Lesson or Pottery Experience
Check your area for local art studios just for kids, or a pottery painting studio – perfect for fun of all ages!
No good options for art classes nearby? Try this pottery wheel from National Geographic Kids!
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 2023
Not like your typical video games, Just Dance is dancing fun for the whole family! With lots of popular songs, everyone is sure to get down.
This is one game that’s worth a little bit of screen time for a lot of dancing fun. Check out our video above and see us dancing along – from as young as 4 years old to grandpa in his 70s!
Umbrella & Rainboots
Don’t let the rain slow the kids down! Send them out with an umbrella and rainboots so they can splash and play.
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 indoor stationary bike from Little Tikes 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.
For outdoor fun, this trampoline is great for younger kids and this trampoline is perfect for big kids.
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!
If that’s not an option, consider giving a basketball system, a simple soccer ball, or a batting set.
Dance Lessons &/or Dance Clothes/Shoes
Just like sports, dance (or gymnastics) can get expensive. Ask parents what you can do to support them, and maybe buy the next size up in clothes or shoes, or even a new personalized dance bag.
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!
Toothbrushes & Flossers – These go in my kids’ stockings every year!
Flashlight – Now they won’t lose yours! And a flashlight is actually on my 10 year old’s wish list.
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!
Check out this list for many more stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers too!
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
Amanda is a mom of 4 living a mostly crunchy lifestyle outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 dogs, and a cat. As a former special education teacher who also has her personal training certification — Amanda really enjoys teaching others how to do things!
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, hiking, and long walks through Target.