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Non-Toy Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Actually Want

Whether your little one has a birthday coming up or you’re trying to avoid buying more toys for Christmas, I’ve got you covered mamas! 

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I remember being that kid wanting the hottest toys. Growing up in the 90s, it was the Easy Bake Oven for me. 

I saw glimpses of Martha Stewart on tv and I wanted to be just like her! So instead of a Barbie play house, I wanted cooking utensils and an apron. 

Now that I’m a mom, I see my kids desiring new toys all the time and find myself feeling the same pressure I’m sure my parents felt to buy toys they’ll stop playing with. 

That’s why I wanted to come up with some alternative gift ideas no matter what we’re celebrating. 

I put this list of non-toy gift ideas together for you today for kids of all ages. Let this be your go-to for birthdays, holidays, and everything in between!

Related: 4 Ways to Make Your Child’s Birthday Feel Special With No Party

Non-Toy Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love

  1. Age-Appropriate Books. They help kids learn lessons they can’t get from playing video games. 
  2. Name Brand Clothing. My boys wear a lot of Cat & Jack, Old Navy, and Wonder Nation from Walmart because we are a big family on a budget, so this is the ONLY time I’m willing to spend $30 for a shirt I know my child will outgrow in a year. 
  3. New School Supplies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to replace a backpack or headphones in the middle of the school year, wrapped it up, and put it under the Christmas tree, haha! 
  4. Invest In Your Child’s Passion. Whether it’s music, painting, dancing, baking, or jewelry-making. It would mean the world to them!  
  5. Restaurant Gift Card. My boys LOVE Chick-Fil-A. Giving a gift card means they can order whatever they want off the menu! 
  6. Quality Time. I believe this is the BEST gift you can give your child! Schedule a lunch date, book a spa day, or give your child a “yes day” on their birthday during which they have 24 hours to make the rules!
  7. A New Pet. You don’t have to commit to owning a dog or a cat. Start small with a lizard, turtle, or goldfish which is super cheap. 
  8. Event Tickets. Think Disney On Ice, go to the circus, visit an aquarium, or attend a ball game!
  9. Sports Gear. A new bicycle or an electric scooter is never a bad idea! 
  10. Health & Beauty Supplies. Some ideas that come to mind are kid-friendly makeup, gel nail polish, and body spray. My preteen is always in his dad’s cologne collection. 
  11. Amusement Park. Go to Disney, Legoland, Cedar Point, or even an indoor water park. The best part is that it’ll be fun for the whole family! 

What If Your Kids Really Want New Toys?

When we do buy new toys for their birthday or the holidays, I try to stick with items that are for pretend play — I have no problem buying anything that will help our children use their imagination. 

But if your kids are requesting new toys they can’t live without, I have an easy way to help you minimize the clutter!

We have one simple rule in our house that all my kids know: if you want something new, you’ve got to get rid of something old. 

This toy swap happens before every Christmas and birthday. It helps my kids develop a decluttering mindset and understand the importance of giving back because we don’t throw away what we can donate. 

Need help organizing your child’s current toys? Read this next. 

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