We are making a big effort this year to not buy any of our kid’s toys for Christmas. There are a few reasons for this, the main one being they really do not need any more toys. So David and I have sat down and brainstormed Christmas gift ideas for kids that aren’t toys.
Believe it or not, there is a lot that you can give your child that is not an actual toy. Not only do toys bring in unnecessary packaging and plastic but if you are honest, how much time does your child spend playing with the toys they already have? My kids each have two or three toys that they spend a lot of time playing with and the rest has all been donated. They do not need more, they don’t even really want more.
This year we are going to try to give them as many of these gifts as we can.
Garden Starter Kit. Our veggie garden is really flourishing. Watering and checking on the veggies has become a part of our daily routine. We are going to put together a little starter kit for Jack and Emma so they can start their own vegetable garden. We have some big palette boxes but the smaller ones are perfect for little people. They get to take control of what they plant and how they look after it. Add in a little spade, some seeds and they are all set.
A Baking Kit. This doesn’t have to be a ready-made type of kit but rather a mixing bowl, spatula, mixing spoon, measuring cups etc. Your little baker will love having their own set of equipment to bake with. You can also add in some fancy sprinkles, glitter food colouring, and other luxury baking items. You can also give them a recipe book to write down all their favourite recipes in.
Books. Books are always a win. I have found that my kids actually enjoy non-fiction books as much as fiction books. We are slowly building a library of books about things they really want to learn about.
Experience Days. This is going to be a big focus for us next year. The older kids understand the value of this and the younger two are starting to get it. This could really be tickets to anything that they want to experience – Bounce, Ziplining, Museum Visits, Aquarium Trips. They could be something you do as a family or something the child can enjoy on their own. This is a great gift for teens.
Stationery. The girls have both built up an impressive collection of pretty pens and notebooks. But there is always room for more. Stationery doesn’t just mean pens and pencils, but paints, play dough, stickers, and colored paper.
Christmas doesn’t have to be about indulgence and piles of toys. It can be just as special with a few thoughtful gifts that your children will get real value out of.
Somehow we have got to a place where we think that the more stuff we have the happier we will be. I am actually learning that the opposite is true. The fewer toys my kids have the more they play with the ones they do and the more likely they are to get creative.
I would love to hear what gifts you are giving your kids that aren’t toys.