Non-Toy Gifts for Kids: 21 Creative Ideas for Young Children

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Looking for some great non-toy gifts for kids? Here are my favorite 20 non-toy gift ideas (from a minimalist mom of four)!

Non-Toy Gifts for Kids

When it comes to birthday parties and Christmas, I am often at a loss as to what gifts to give the young children in our lives.

Many of them already have an abundance of toys and clothes and all the typical “gift-type” stuff.

And don’t we all want to give the genius gift that will actually be useful, fun and different?

Over the years, there have been some gifts that my children have been given that stand out from the others. So, I’ve created a running list of non-toy gifts for kids for myself for when I need ideas!

What’s more, I polled some other savvy moms in my life. Together we’ve come up with the following:

21 Non-Toy Gifts for Kids

1. A little backpack.

Kids love these and they come in handy! We use them for visits to friends houses and load them with spare clothes, a drink and a snack. I don’t think you can get much cuter than a Skip Hop Zoo Backpack.

2. Luggage.

Both my children received a fun, personalized piece of small rolling luggage at a young age. We’ve found these very useful to organize our travels!

3. Frozen yogurt gift card

Or an ice cream gift card, or a Starbucks gift card, or whatever their favorite treat may be!

4. iTunes gift card

This allows kids to buy games or music.

5. Orange cones

Orange cones are good for many a yet-to-be-imagined games and sports! They encourage inventive and active play.

6. Potted plant

Give the kid in your life something living that he can take care of and enjoy.

7. Vegetable seeds with a shovel and pot they can decorate.

Kids love planting seeds, and they learn so much in the process! Something like this Garden in a Box would be a great gift!

8. DIY sensory learning bins.

These are simple but provide hours of sensory fun. You can find tutorials to make your own here.

9. Personalized book.

There are many websites that allow you to create a book with a child’s name and even his photo. My daughter received this Dora book as a gift, which has been such a fun thing for her.

10. Movie tickets

Movie tickets make for a fun outing with family and create a memorable experience.

11. Handmade or thrift store dress up clothes .

Dress up clothes encourage creative play, which is the best kind for young children.

12. Painted rock set.

This is a lot more fun than it sounds, especially to young children. Painted rocks become beloved characters in play.

13. Knitted scarves/ hats.

Homemade items are special for years to come, and represent hard work and love.

14. Photo album of your favorite memories with the child.

My children have received photo albums filled with memories from family members in their lives, and they cherish and look at them for years to come.

Not only does it persevere the memories, but it makes a special book in which they get to be the star.

*Note: you can even get a photo album that is made for a baby to enjoy!

15. Stamp set or watercolor set.

Craft supplies make a wonderful gift that will stimulate a child’s creativity. I find stamps and watercolors to be well-suited to young children since they are easy and fun to use. My three year old regularly uses both!

16. Room decor, like a picture board or decorative pillow.

Even if kids share a room, it is their special place to personalize and decorate. Thoughtful kids room decor will be useful and unique, yet also delightful.

17. Decorative bag to take to the library or a Bible case.

These gifts are functional and encourage good things (reading and church)! A library bag or Bible case will also help kids stay organized.

18. A musical instrument.

My kids were given a small half-sized guitar, which is allowing them to grow an interest in music.

19. A goody bag with unusual candies and treats.

The nice thing about giving fun candy is that it is consumable. It won’t add clutter to the home, and it doesn’t have to be unhealthy either.

20. Cowboy boots or rain boots

Little kids love boots, both cowboy boots and rain boots, and they are useful and durable!

21. A date with you

What our kids want more than toys, whether they realize it or not, is more time with those who love them. Give the young child in your life a special afternoon with you, filled with a few simple, special activities.

Please tell me, what would you add to this list? What creative non-toy gifts for kids have you given or received for your children?


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