52 Gift Ideas for Kids

My kids have hit the age where they are regularly getting invited to birthday parties.  And birthday parties mean gifts.  But these days, it feels as if kids have way too much stuff in general.  I don’t feel right about adding to the pile of stuff that another parent has to deal with.  So I got to brainstorming and I came up with 52 gift ideas for kids that aren’t just toys.  These are gifts of experiences or education or creativity.  And I’m totally gonna use some of these ideas for my own kids too.  No more rushing to the store to purchase whatever toy I can find.  It’s time for thoughtful gifts with imagination and purpose.

Non-toy gift ideas to foster creativity, education and adventure all while making wonderful memories

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I’ve included loads of links for inspiration and even DIY instructions!  Most of these ideas are for kids 10 and under.  Not every idea will be appropriate for every age, but I think there’s several viable options for everyone!

Gifts of Experiences

The ultimate zero-clutter-added gift.  I’m a big fan of my kids having more memories than stuff.

1. Concert Tickets – I took my son to see Raffi last year and it was so much fun for both of us!
2. Museum Passes – A perfect winter activity.  We like going to the Natural History Museum.
3. Movie Tickets – Plus popcorn and M&M’s, obviously.
4. Pool Pass – We were gifted some tickets for ‘parent & tot’ time at the pool.  Great idea!
5. Family Bowling – Lovely footwear & fried food.  Win.
6. Cooking Class – Look into the availability of children’s cooking classes in your area.
7. Amusement Park Tickets – They’ll love you forever.
8. Painting/Art Class
9. Clay Cafe Outing – Spend an afternoon creating something together.
10. Tea Party – Dress up and invite some friends!
11. Dinner Date – Precious one-on-one time will always be remembered.
12. Fort Building Day – Have some fun trashing the house!

Gifts of Creativity

Some of these ideas will require a little effort to assemble, but will be well worth it!

13. Cookie Mix in a Jar – Makes it super easy to enjoy baking together!
14. Mug Decorating Kit with hot chocolate mix – Try this idea using nail polish!
15. Birdseed Ornament Kit – Then you can sit together to watch the birds feast!
16. Costume Pieces – Enjoy watching the kid’s imaginations flourish!  It doesn’t have to be fancy either, an assortment of hats and scarves or coats would do the trick!
17. Flower Pot Decorating Kit with seeds & dirt
18. Simple Sewing Project – Perhaps a pillow or pyjamas or stuffie
19. Case for Art Supplies – Keep all art supplies in one handy location for the traveling artist.
20. Craft Kits – Decorate a race car or a train
21. Build a Birdhouse

Useful Gifts

22. Socks – Kids always need socks.  Find fun ones!  (If you happen to need fun socks for grown ups try here, I guarantee you’ll love the choices!)
23. Personalized Bath or Beach Towel
24. Calendar – Perfect for January birthdays (I’m a January birthday..I still get calendars!)
25. Sew a Monster Laundry Bag
26. Toy Storage – Colourful bins/baskets or chests
27. Alarm Clock for the Star Wars or Lego fan
28. Room Decor – Perhaps a custom embroidered hoop or silhouette hoop by yours truly?!  😉  (Browse the galleries for ideas!)
29. Travel Games – Like Scavenger Hunt, Travel Bingo, or Guess Who.  These are a ‘useful’ gift option mainly because they will help maintain your sanity during car trips.

Subscription Gifts

30. Pipsticks – Everybody loves stickers!
31. Little Loving Hands – This is the gift that gives back.  Your child gets to create a gift for somebody else!
32. Kiwicrate – Educational and fun.  My son loves getting his boxes!  There are different box options based on the child’s age and interests.

Educational Gifts

33. Educational App – Something to keep them distracted when you need them to be.
34. Reading Pillow – Pick some fun fabric and add a pouch to stash their book and snack.
35. Piggy Bank with a few coins – Start teaching them the value of saving.
36. Apron with cooking utensils – Like a mini rolling pin or whisk.
37. Tool Bag with tools – Like a tape measure and small screwdriver.  Then you can give them ‘projects’ to fix around the house!
38. Rock Tumbler – I’ll be honest, I put this in the list because I know my son would loooove it and I don’t want to forget about it for his birthday next year!
39. Chess or Checkers – I’ve never really gotten the hang of chess, but I hear it’s good for the brain!
40. Ugears – For an older child.  Super cool models to build.
41. Letter Magnets in a Metal Tin – Helps little ones to learn sight words

Just For Fun Gifts

42. Temporary Tattoos – With lots of glitter!
43. A Movie or iTunes Gift Card
44. Put Me In The Story – I received a personalized book like this as a child, I still have it and it’s still precious to me!
45. Homemade play dough using essential oils– Include some cookie cutters and buttons to ramp up the creativity!
46. Card Games – Like crazy eights and go fish.  Card games are an easy way to play with your kids without having to sit on the floor!

Gifts to Encourage Outdoor Play

47. Binoculars – My kids use their binoculars mainly for looking up my nose, but the intention was good!
48. Skipping Rope
49. Hanging Ladders & Ropes – Just don’t watch them climb to spare yourself a heart attack.
50. Magnifying Glass – For spying on bugs and other creepy crawly things that kids love.
51. Tent – Plan a night out camping in the back yard!
52. Fishing Poles – Nothing says ‘outdoorsey’ like learning how to fish.

Even as I was writing this list other ideas kept popping in my head!  But I’d love to hear from you, what are some non-toy gift ideas you’ve tried?

 

VINE & LACE

15 comments

  1. I have always been a huge supporter of giving gifts that a person can experience, both kids and adults! My dad used to let me pick a place I wanted to go and he’d pay for my plane ticket and hotel for my birthday (: and on my second Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend he got me jewelry and I took him skydiving!

    1. Aw thanks! It’s so easy to just grab something quickly from the toy store, but I think other parents will seriously appreciate the thoughtfulness of a non-toy gift!

  2. What a great list! I hadn’t thought of the reading pillow yet. My oldest son loves books so I’ll have to keep that in mind. And as a mother of boys I think your idea of a tool bag with tools is just spot on 🙂

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