As any gift-giving season approaches (be it Christmas or birthdays), you’re likely to have several loving friends and family members ask you for a wish list of items your kids might like to receive. Have you ever glanced at your child’s toy stash and wanted to say ‘NO MORE TOYS PLEASE!?’ Are you in that situation right now?
I have one daughter’s birthday in December and the other in January so, combined with Christmas, ‘tis the season to wonder where the mountain of toys came from!! That being said, I totally understand the desire of grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc. to give them a gift that they’ll be excited about.
So, today I want to share with you a list of ideas we have come up with for non-toy gifts that you could put on those wish lists:
1. Lessons (gymnastics/swimming/dance/sports/instruments/etc.) Maybe you’d love to give your kids the experience of dance lessons, have them join a team, or take up an instrument, but the cost is a strain for you. Maybe Grandma & Grandpa could help out by giving the gift of lessons!
2. Uniform or other required items for the lessons. Make the gift of lessons even more fun by including the needed costume/uniform/or instrument required for the lessons! The tangible item makes it more fun to open!
3. Science Kits/Baking Kits A kit could be something that is very fun, can be done once (and you get to do it with them!), can be a learning experience, but doesn’t have to be stored on a shelf (or all over the playroom floor) forever.
4. Tickets to a theater performance/movie One of the best gifts I can think of is time. Wouldn’t it be fun for your kids to open a gift to find a note from you or their grandparents/aunt & uncle, that says they’re going to go out for a movie or a show together one day? You could tell them all about the snacks you’ll be sharing (maybe even include a small bag of treats), or tell them which movie you’ll be going to. Think of the excitement this builds & the quality time they’ll spend together!
5. Mini-vacation How fun would it be to announce to your kids that you’ll be taking a little vacation together? This could be as big or small as you want. You could go for a night to a hotel nearby with a pool and just enjoy the fun of getting away together and focusing on each other. You could plan a week away for something big if you’ve got the time & funds for it. Maybe let them in on the surprise slowly by giving them gifts that they’ll need for the trip- a bathing suit and sunscreen to start, maybe a pair of flip flops… and when the kids look confused, let them in on the secret!
6. Coupons for Grandma/Grandpa or Auntie/Uncle Outings (bowling, mini golf, a sleepover, out for ice cream, to your favorite restaurant, etc.) My kids love to go to Chuck E. Cheeses. They would be SO excited to open a gift to find a pouch filled with tokens to one of their favorite places with a note promising a trip there soon!
7. Tickets or a Membership to the local Zoo or Museum
8. Snack Splurge Find out their favorite snack that they don’t get very often and give it to them as a gift! (My kids love Dunkaroos, but we don’t usually buy them. My daughter would be so excited to open a box of them! Then she could decide whether to have one each day for a week or spread them out and savor them). You may want to go the healthy snack route. There are a lot of healthy & fun snacks out there that tend to be a little more expensive. Take this gift-giving opportunity and splurge on some of the best ones!
9. An Extension to, Game for, or Refill for something they already have. You’ve already got a DVD player, a game console, or an Easy Bake Oven? A new DVD, game, or refill for a larger, pre-existing item would make a great gift!
10. Useful Items. There’s nothing wrong with giving a gift that isn’t “just for fun”. You’ll notice in the Gift Guides that were posted on HowDoesShe earlier, that we’ve included useful things, and things you might get for your kids anyway like the alarm clock or the DIY canopy shared on the Girls’ Gift Guide.
I hope you find this list of ideas helpful!
Thinking about other options has definitely been helpful for me and I hope to use some of these soon.
Do you have other great non-toy gift ideas? Please share them in the comments!
And to check out our fabulous Neighbor/Teacher Gift Ideas here: