I don't know about you, but I really struggle sometimes with gifts for my children, and other people's children too. We have four children so our house is full of toys already that we have kept from the older children so I'm quite often looking for a gift that isn't a toy as such, but more of a craft or activity type gift, or something useful that they will use in a practical way, such as something to wear or eat. We also love experience gifts. I'm sure that lots of people feel the same so I hope that this post with ideas for non toy gifts for kids is useful to you.
At the bottom of this post is a free printable list that you can download and print out to give to friends and family members who ask you for gift ideas for special occasions. It's a great, non confrontational and non-presumptual way to offer suggestions for practical gift ideas. Failing that, a gift card is always a welcome suggestion for the holiday season, or a payment into their savings account!
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There are lots of great toys for babies out there, but they don't spend a huge amount of time playing with them, and they are totally unaware of the gift so useful practical gifts might get more use. Dribble bibs are a great gift idea and were always welcome gifts for my babies as we used so many!
Also clothing makes a great gift for babies. At this young age they are growing out of their clothes so quickly and that can be expensive for parents. Try to size up a little so that they have some growing room.
If you have a larger budget a proper musical instrument is such a special gift. For my daughter's 10th birthday we bought her a violin as she was getting really good at her lessons and starting to take her grades so we thought it was time for an upgrade so she had a new violin for her birthday. If you are buying something smaller why not think about a xylophone, wooden instrument set or a cheap keyboard?
A digital camera makes a great gift, especially if the child's interest is photography. You can get some really great quality children's cameras now, or a good quality 'adult' one for a good price too. They will love being able to take photos of things around the house and on walks, it will keep them busy for hours! The benefits of a digital camera are that the results are instant so they can see the photo they took straight away. A photo album or photo book is also a lovely gift so that they can print out and keep their favourite photos. Something like this really is one of the best non-toy gifts and when the alarm clock goes on Christmas morning they are going to be so excited!
Simple craft materials make great non toy gifts for kids. Paint sticks are great for little hands and make much less mess than traditional paint.
Craft kits such sewing kits contain everything you need to make an item and are a great source of learning life skills for children. I'm passionate about teaching my children to learn to sew and these kits are the perfect gift for that as they really enjoy seeing the project coming together and the finished result.
Nature / Gardening
Gifts related to nature and gardening are an excellent choice for younger children. They will love and thrive on being outside and getting to know the world we live in. A live butterfly garden is a fun gift and little children will love watching the caterpillars grow and develop into butterflies and it makes an excellent learning experience.
You can also get grow your own kits which children will love setting up and watching their plants grow. Activities like these are brilliant for the whole family as you can all get involved together, planting and watching things grow.
Baking is another life skill I am keen to foster in my children and luckily for me they love baking. You can get some great baking kits which make great gift ideas for children and contain everything you need to create something fun and tasty, from cookies, to cakes to chocolate treats.. You can get kits to suit kids of all ages too.
If the child you are buying for is into sports why not get them some equipment that they can use? A set of tennis balls, a rugby ball or football, a new swimming costume or floats etc, the list really is endless.
Books are one of my favourite gifts for children. Fostering a love of reading is so wonderful in the early years and has so many lifelong benefits. I love it when the children receive books as gifts from others, it opens our eyes to new books we wouldn't have looked for before and I love that they can keep the book forever or pass it on, books have endless life. A book is a great option for a special occasion as you can theme them to the event and write a memorable note inside the front cover.
If your recipient isn't really into reading how about a magazine subscription? My little boy loves his Beano monthly subscription and it's a great way of fostering a reading habit by giving them something that they enjoy to read.
Stem gifts are a great choice for older children. You can buy science kits that they will love getting stuck into or robot building sets. These are so much fun and provide an excellent learning opportunity too. If you are buying something like this for older kids, you could theme it around what they are learning in school at the moment.
I hope that this post has given you some of the best non-toy kids gift ideas. You can find most of these products shared on the Wicked Uncle website where you can search by recipient age, gender or type of gift. It is my go-to website when I'm looking for great ideas for gifts for children and I need a little inspiration.
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If you are struggling with family members not knowing what to buy your children, and you want to politely decline any more plastic tat or useless toys why not give them this list of themes of ideas that they could buy.
Feel free to download and and print at home!