Non-Toy Gift Guide For The Children In Your Life

Gift-giving holidays are just around the corner, and we all want to give to the children in our life, but the plastic toy excess is not something we want to contribute to, is it? I love giving experience gifts, which is something I reference a lot in my clutter-free gift guides. But I know some people prefer something they can unwrap and hold.

19 Non-Toy Gift Options:

  1. Kindle and Books. Minimize the clutter of a bookshelf and get a bunch of books loaded on a kindle.
  2. Audiobooks. Audiobooks are great for all ages; it’s great for downtime for kids. This is when we have included as many classic books as possible. On the Kindle, we currently have Winnie The Pooh, Anne Of Green Gables, Black Beauty, and The Hobbit.
  3. Clothes. When kids only have a certain amount of clothes, they often enjoy getting clothes. Make it a point to get something that fits their style. That may mean western clothes, super-hero, fancy dresses, etc.
  4. Snacks. If your child is a foodie, or on a restricted diet, this is perfect. Some homemade granola or cookies made just for them is a special treat!
  5. Games teach a lot too! Our family enjoys Guess Who, and Monopoly helps cement math skills. Memory games are great for younger children. Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride are great for older kids. One of my readers stated they have a tradition of getting a new game each year and spending the winter school break learning and playing the game. They have all come to look forward to that time together.
  6. Bird Feeder and Seed. Having a bird feeder outside a winder is very entertaining for kids to watch and helps get them interested in wildlife. You can also encourage them to recognize bird species and develop a lifelong interest!
  7. Artwork Picture Frame. Displaying our children’s artwork is important and also very fun. But the fridge tends to get filled up and parents at times feel guilty for throwing anything away. An art cabinet hangs on the wall and allows you to change pictures out when a new masterpiece is created.
  8. Music. Kids love music! Some great kid-geared artists are Raffi, Tom Chaplin, and Sandra Boynton, as they get older, they may enjoy picking out their own music with an iTunes gift card.
  9. Wallet. A real leather wallet is such a grown-up thing, which makes it extra exciting. For the young ones, it’s best if it has some zipper pockets as well as areas for bills.
  10. Donations. Children understand more than we think they do. Generally, they are caring and thoughtful of others. If you explain to them that some people don’t have food to eat, or a nice place to sleep and the children have to have jobs, they can sympathize with that. There are many places to make charitable donations, to help those in need, and send a card to someone you love. We personally like World Vision and Compassion International.
  11. Real Tools. Yes, they have play ones, but isn’t it more fun if you can use the real thing? Go ahead and give them a box of nails, a hammer, and some scrap wood. Be sure to supervise, but it won’t take long before they pick up this important skill.
  12. Real Fishing Pole. The character ones never hold up anyway. It’s much more fun to take children into the outdoors when the adults don’t have to fight the equipment. If you get a telescoping rod, it means the kids can transport their own to the fishing spot and not worry about damaging it.
  13. Real Camping Supplies. Just like the fishing pole, higher quality supplies are easier to use, even if they aren’t as “cool.” Quality equipment can last them their entire lives. Depending on the age, mine have received their own sleeping bag, pack, hatchet, a folding shovel, and walkie-talkies.
  14. Real Gardening Supplies. Again with the real- but real is good! Having their own set is special and makes working easier for them. When my kids had only the kid’s garden tools- they would always steal mine while we were working!
  15. A Digital Camera. Help them develop good photography skills. A point and shoot camera is great to start with, and if your photographer is maturing and in need of higher-end equipment, they’re getting more and more reasonable all the time.
  16. Jewelry Box & Real Jewelry. Having quality jewelry takes responsibility and being able to store it properly helps develop those important habits of putting things where they belong.
  17. An Umbrella. That’s right. My kids beg to be in the rain with an umbrella, and it’s a great way to show that you are paying attention to their interests with a themed umbrella.
  18. Tea Party. Do you remember real tea parties? I loved sitting for tea with my grandmother, eating little sandwich triangles, and dainty cookies. Schedule a date and have them wear something nice. If they are young, maybe give a coupon with Fancy Nancy Tea Parties. You don’t have to have a complete tea service to have a tea party. Make do with what you have, or borrow from a friend. The point is to share the event.
  19. Pillowcase. If you sew, it’s easy to make a pillowcase and so much fun to pick out the fabric to use! If not, pick out a character or themed pillowcase that they will love.

For even more ideas, check out:

About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey after I'd been doing a yearly decluttering challenge for 4 years and started to see a change in my home. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, please join our FREE Facebook Group: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Beverley on 11/18/2015 at 11:00 am

    Love so many if these ideas! Pillowcases would be PERFECT for my kids. Thank you. I think the link to the real leather wallet might be wrong. I’d love to see the one you recommend.

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