Less Toys, More Memories: 20 Non-Toy Gift Ideas

Does your Perfect House include less clutter... from less toys... that your kids might not play with past the first day, week, or month?

You're not the only one! Check out this great write up from Brittany at City Moms Blog on suggestions for NON-TOY gift ideas.... It's brilliant!


 If your house is anything like mine, then it is probably overflowing with too many toys that seem to never get played with or are missing pieces. As birthdays and holidays come around each year, the toy box continues to grow, sometimes out of our control. With my son’s birthday in July, this had me thinking about gift ideas for him that are more practical, that have a longer life span, or that provide a day of making memories together!

I’ve complied a list of 20 fun, non-toy gift ideas that are sure to be a hit at your child’s next birthday party or holiday! Keep this list handy, and share it with your family and friends.

1. New Books

Books are wonderful gifts for children at any age! There are endless options in store or you could purchase personalized books online that include the child’s name. You could even purchase books that record your voice reading the child a story. How fun! I love purchasing a book and attaching a gift card to the bookstore with ribbon and a special note!

2. Classes

Has your child been asking to take a dance class or to enroll in golf lessons? Maybe they want to learn how to play the guitar or are in need of swim lessons? The gift of classes is a wonderful idea and a great way to encourage your child to learn a new skill!

3. Memberships

One of the best gifts we have received is a membership to a local museum for our son. We are able to have lots of family fun days while my son has a blast exploring the museum. Memberships to local zoos or museums are an excellent gift that the whole family gets to enjoy for the entire year!

4. Luggage

Whether it’s a weekend at grandma’s house or a long family vacation, children love having their own special bag for their adventures! A nice rolling suitcase, personalized luggage tags, a small duffel bag, or a new backpack with a favorite character are all practical gifts that children can use for years to come.

5. Movies

DVDs make great gifts for the whole family to enjoy at home on the couch or during long road trips. You can make this gift even more fun by bundling it with the child’s favorite movie theater candy and popcorn. You could also attach a movie theater gift card with a fun ribbon and a special note.

6. Personalized Labels

With a new school year just around the corner, personalized name labels make a great gift for kids of any age. Personalized name labels can be used on school supplies, inside of shoes and coats, on water bottles and on toys. Name labels help keep track of personal belongings. Plus, labels are fun and great to have for daycare up through high school.

7. Baking Gift Box

This is a fun idea for children who love to bake at home. This gift box could include all of your baking needs such as cupcake liners, a child-size apron, colorful spatulas and mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, recipe cards, and lots and lots of sprinkles!

8. Nature Gift Box

For the little explorers in your life, this gift box could include a jar for catching bugs, a butterfly net, a magnifying glass, a flashlight and binoculars, and even a bug identifier book.

9. Activity Gift Card

This gift could be anything from a live kid-friendly show, to putt-putt, the local public pool, or laser tag! Activity gift cards are guaranteed to bring a fun-filled day of memories for your kiddo!

10. Favorite Restaurant or Ice Cream Shop Gift Cards

Going out to eat can be expensive, and typically the adults get to decide where to eat! Give your child the opportunity to choose their favorite restaurant and to use a gift card that’s just for them.

11. Large Outdoor Gift

This should be a gift that’s larger and something that the whole family can enjoy together, outside. Examples include a swing set, a playhouse, a trampoline, a basketball goal, or even a sandbox.

12. Summer in a Bag

This gift could include a special beach bag that’s personalized with the child’s name or favorite character. Fill the bag with all the summer essentials like water balloons, sand toys, sunscreen, bubbles, bug spray, sunglasses, swim fins or googles, and a new beach towel!

13. Science Experiment in a Bag

This gift could include all of the tools, ingredients, and detailed instructions for a fun experiment, such as making homemade slime! You could also fill the bag with fun science kits that can be found at your local craft and hobby store.

14. Tickets to a Local Sporting Event

What’s more fun than cheering on your favorite local team while enjoying a hotdog and popcorn? Pick up tickets to a local baseball game and include spending money for the concession stand and souvenirs.

15. Tickets to an Amusement Park

If your child is a thrill seeker who loves rides and slides then this is the gift for him! Don’t forget to include some spending money for a special treat, like ice cream, or a fun souvenir to take home.

16. Craft Supplies

Kids love to create, and they love to get new craft supplies! Fill a storage container or a craft cart with crayons, markers, paper, glue, scissors, colored paper, paintbrushes, stencils, etc. You can even find craft kits that include a variety of materials for crafting. This is a wonderful gift for little artists at any age!

17. Bedroom Items

This gift is both practical and very helpful for parents! Bedding, room decorations, sleeping bags, and even furniture make wonderful gift ideas that will be used for years to come.

18. Subscription Service

There are so many companies that offer monthly magazine subscriptions for kids. There are also monthly subscription boxes that are shipped right to your front door. The options are endless and range from clothing and socks to toys and books that fit your child’s interests.

19. Education Savings Account

While your kids are little, commit to setting aside any money they receive in birthday cards for their education. Once they are old enough to want to spend the money, teach the the importance of saving, spending, and giving by dividing the money they receive between those goals.

20. Coupon Book

This can be a homemade gift that’s extra special from a parent or grandparent. The coupons could include mornings at the splash pad, an afternoon making homemade popsicles, an ice cream date, or trips to the park. Kids love “cashing in” their coupons for special memories they can make together with the ones they love.

I hope you have found this list helpful and consider it when your child’s next birthday or holiday come around!


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