Non-Toy Gifts for Kids

It’s almost that time of year.  You know the one I’m talking about.  The time of year that you will be buying gifts for people in your life to celebrate Christmas.  If you are like me you will find that some people are super easy to buy for, while others, you just can’t figure out what to get them.  That might include kids in your life, whether it’s your own children, grandkids, or nieces or nephews.

Kids generally get a lot of toys for Christmas.  When people are trying to rack their brain on what to get a child in their life, they often default to toys.  And really, there’s nothing wrong with buying kids toys.  It brings them joy.  It gives them something to do!  We all had toys growing up and can remember some of our favorite toys we played with for hours and hours on end.

But, non-toy gifts can be special too.  And you may want to get them some gifts that aren’t toys this year.  I know every year for my own children I buy them some toys, but then I also buy them Christmas presents that aren’t toys.  They might be practical, or some kind of crafty thing they can do, but I always enjoy getting them a little bit of both.

You might be stumped on what to get them that isn’t a toy, so today I’m going to share some really great non-toy gift ideas for kids.  And let’s be clear, when I talk about kids, I’m including teens as well.  I’ve got two teens and one pre-teen myself, so that’s the stage of life I am in.


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1. Clothes

It’s not unusual to get some kind of clothing on Christmas day.  Whether it’s a hoodie, or a dress, or some Christmas pajamas like these ones, clothes are practical and if you get something like a t-shirt with a favorite character or something like that, kids can be pretty happy about receiving some clothes on Christmas.


2. Art supplies

Kids love to draw or paint.  I love giving kids anything that helps them be creative.  You could get them this acrylic paint set, or this water color set.  My kids and I have just taken up water color painting and we are having a blast.  It’s fun for all ages.  If you think sketching and drawing is more your child’s speed, consider this sketch kit full of fun drawing utensils.


3. Books

Every Christmas our kids get a book or two.  I ask them for names of books they might like, and then I find them online usually.  There’s reading for all stages.  If your child isn’t a heavy reader, consider some graphic novels which are in comic form.  If they struggle to read this is an activity you can do with them.  Some favorite books that are out there right now are the Geronimo Stilton series, and Amulet.  Amulet is a graphic novel series.  I’m purchasing a teen Bible for one of my kids this year as that was on his list this year.

4. Movie Tickets

Going to the movies isn’t too cheap these days and so for many people it’s a rare treat.  Buy the child in your life some movie tickets so they can go to the theatre to watch a movie they’ve been really excited to see.  Purchasing gifts that are experiences rather than stuff is a great idea at Christmas.


5. Baking Kit

Kids LOVE to bake, and they love to eat what they bake.  You can either make a baking kit yourself by putting things like measuring spoons, a whisk, an apron, cake mix, and more in a basket or box, or you can buy one that is already made for you like this one for girls, or this one for boys.



6. Magazine subscription

Magazine subscriptions aren’t as popular as they once were, but kids still love getting them in the mail.  Many days when I go check my mail box at the post office (that’s where we get our mail in a small town) my kids are asking if they got a magazine.  And when the magazine arrives they devour them.  Highlights Magazine for kids is a great option!


7. Subscription box

Subscription boxes have become popular in the last few years.  What are subscription boxes?  Well, you sign up for monthly subscription and the child will receive a box full of exciting things.  It’ll vary depending on what subscription box you sign up for.  There are science subscription boxes, outdoors or travel boxes, creative craft boxes, you name it!


8. Skates

This is the time of year kids love to skate.  You might live in an area where people skate outside on a pond, or maybe you live in an area that doesn’t get much snow and skating is done in an arena.  Whatever the case may be, skates will give kids hours and hours of fun this winter!


9.  Miniature kits

If you have a crafty teen or pre-teen, miniature kits are something that will keep them busy for hours.  I fell in love with this bookstore miniature kit when I saw it.  I just think it would be the coolest craft for a teen who loves books to do.  You can find plenty of other ones to do as well.

10.  Board games

Board games offer hours of fun and the whole family can join in and play.  Personally, I don’t love board games, but have been able to find some even I can tolerate because there really is something for everyone when it comes to board games.  My kids have really enjoyed Exploding Kittens.  When they were younger they really liked the game of Trouble.  If you have teens and you like board games that are more strategy themed, Settlers of Catan is everybody’s favorite. 




Other great non-toy gifts for kids:


11. Wrist watch

12.  Jewelry

13. headphones

14. Fun bath bombs

15. Candy or chocolate

16.  Sleeping bag for camping

17. High quality water bottle

18. Music lessons

19. Sports equipment

20. Pet such as a puppy, goldfish, turtle, or hamster

21. Fishing rod

22.  Bicycle

23.  Scooter


As you can see, Christmas doesn’t have to be just toys!  Give a child in your life a gift this year that isn’t a toy, and you’ll still see them light up when they unwrap it.  In our house we try to stick to a plan when we buy Christmas gifts.  We buy the kids “something they want, something they need, something they want, and something to read.”  We also do stockings on top of that.  

We implemented that plan to help us stay within our budget and not go overboard at Christmas, but also to buy a variety of things which would include some practicality.  Our kids have come to love it.  Earlier in the year they start talking about what they think they will get for each category.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with buying a child in your life some toys.  But if you know that child will get toys from a variety of other people over the Christmas season, why not do something different and purchase a non-toy present.  More than likely it won’t even just please the child, but possibly the parent as well who gets to deal with one less new toy!

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