If you are a parent you probably have your children’s toys scattered all over the house. Some of them they play and others they do not. You probably have planned storage space and are constantly asking your children to put their toys away. Here are some suggestions for getting gifts for kids instead of toys. There are a lot of suggestions making the choice a little easier.
So at this time of the year, or for birthdays or other occasions, why not give your kids something different? You can even ask aunts and uncles and grandparents to consider this alternatives to toys.
Here is a list of eighteen non-toy gifts for kids instead of toys that your children will love, and you don’t have to worry about them cluttering up your home.
1. How about enrolling your child in different classes. This could be a music class (singing, guitar or piano lessons). This is a great gift to help encourage your child to find some interests other than sports or computer games that they will enjoy doing.
2. Tickets or Memberships. Most towns and cities have everything from a zoo, to a science museum, aquarium or even a Planetarium. These types of memberships also make a great way for the family to spend some time together. This is a great idea for aunts or uncles that don’t live in the same area. This is also easy to do because you just have to go online for most of these places and buy the tickets or membership. All you need then is to send a card letting them know what you purchased for them. Consider buying a yearly membership so the children can really get to explore the activity.
3. Subscriptions. There are tons of magazines on the market for kids. Everything from National Geographic Kids, Time for Kids, and Lego Club. All you need to know is what interests the children have and then search online to see if there is a magazine for that interest. Again, this is a perfect gift for family members who are out of town. Just visit the website and place your order.
4. Events. Christmas is a great time of the year for different events. Everything from Disney on Ice, to the Nutcracker ballet and various Christmas plays. Again you can probably buy tickets online. Should your child be interested in movies such as Star Wars or Harry Potter, getting them tickets would make a great gift. Don’t forget about sports events or even concerts that the whole family could attend.
5. Activities. Depending on where you live, there are probably all sorts of activities that you child would love to do. If you live in a warmer area there is always mini golf. Again this is something the whole family can participate in and have a lot of fun. Bowling is another great activity for the whole family. If you have a skating rink or a ski area, these too make great activities. If you children love to ski why not get them a season’s pass. Or perhaps they need some lessons.
6. Cooking Together. Not only is this a fun activity that parents and children can enjoy together but it teaches them skills for later in life. At Christmas cooking a special family recipe is a wonderful way to spend time together. Depending on the age of your child, you could cook the Christmas dinner together. This is an ideal way to pass down favorite family recipes. All you need to do is get the ingredients and set a day and time when you can cook together.
7. Crafting Together. This is a perfect gift for a parent and child. There are many different crafting projects that you can do together. If you have a certain craft that you would like to do with your children, just make sure that you have all the supplies on hand that you will need. Don’t have any ideas for crafting together? Then you might like to try Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight, by Marthe Jocelyn.
8. Arts and Crafts Supplies. Speaking of crafts, why not give a child who loves to make things, their very own crafting box. You can stock up on all the items they need. Perhaps they don’t have any idea what they would like to do. If so, there are all sorts of crafting kits for making bracelets, to making robots to making pottery. Crafts will bring out the imagination in any child and is another great project you can do together.
9. Coupons. This may sound like an odd give to give a child, but this is a great way to teach children about work and reward. Give them an envelope of coupons that they can spend. For instance, you could make a coupon for a chore and when they complete that chore they get to watch a movie of their choice. Or they get to stay up 30 minutes past their normal bedtime. These coupons could be unlimited based on the child’s age and what you can come up with.
10. Restaurant Gift Card. This is a great gift for older children although there is no reason why you can’t have a gift card for a local favorite restaurant or diner. This also makes a great family outing. You can enhance this gift by letting them invite whoever they want to dinner. It could be a friend, mom and dad or even a grandparent, aunit or their teacher.
11. Dress-Up Clothes. Who doesn’t love a dress-up box? Your imagination is all that is needed. Over time this box can be added to as well. All you need to do is visit thrift stores or buy costumes (after Halloween) that are on sale and add to the box. This box alone could provide your child with many hours of happiness!
12. Books. Most children like to get lost in their favorite books. Just look at how popular the Harry Potter series was and how many children got totally involved in the story line. As well there are many other series that children will love to read. Books such as the Little House series, Narnia and even The Cul-de-sac Kids Books. These books can be passed on so they don’t end up adding more clutter to your house.
13. Clothes. I know, I hated getting clothes for Christmas when I was a kid. However, clothes can be expensive. Especially any of the name brand clothes. Find out what your kids think are the “in clothes” so you can decide if you want to spend the money. This time of the year is a good time to add to their wardrobe or you can get them superhero costumes or dress up clothes.
14. Snacks. Does your child have a taste for a great snack food? Some snacks can be very expensive so buying them at a special time of the year makes them a great gift. One thing you might want to take into consider is buying these types of food when you see them on sale and then putting them away until you want to gift them.
15. Outdoor Supplies. If you family enjoys outdoor pursuits then add to your child’s outdoor equipment can be a great gift. If they are into fishing now is the time to get them their own fishing tackle or a new fishing rod. Maybe they love to garden. There are also sorts of gardening equipment you can get for your child. Maybe your child likes to go hiking, then a new pair of good hiking boots might be in order.
16. Telling Time. Did you know that most children today can read an analog (clock with hands) but understand digital? Getting a child their own watch and teaching them how to read time makes for a great gift. There are many watches available that are designed for a child’s wrist. One watch that is designed for kids is the Timex Kids My First Outdoor Watch.
17. Games and Puzzles. You cannot go wrong when it comes to buying a game or puzzle for a child. There are literally hundreds of these types of games available. Puzzles are great for a rainy day or a snow day and the whole family can get involved. There are lots of educational games available as well as ones for everyone to enjoy such as Risk, Monopoly or Payday. Memory games are also great for younger children to help them learn.
18. Calendar. Getting your child a calendar is a great way to teach them about the seasons, or having them see how long it is before a particular event. This is way advent calendars are so popular. It is also a good way to show them how to schedule the events in their lives. A calendar is a great way to add in some of the other gifts listed on this page such as sporting events, concerts or museum visits they have planned.
We hope this list of gifts for kids instead of toys helps you plan some great gifts for your children. Toys are not the only way to go at Christmas and your children will love doing something with the whole family or doing something that helps educate them and keeps them occupied and happy.