You may have seen my announcement from earlier this year here. We are trying to do more with less. We are fortunate to have everything we need. I know this. So, this year for the holidays, in lieu of lots of presents and things, we’re trying something new. This year we want to focus on experiences and things that will enrich our children’s lives. Here are some of the non-toy gift ideas for children that we’ve come up with!
Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Children
There’s something so relaxing about not having a lot of stuff. My husband and I both agree that it’s the direction we want to head while our children are young so we can set that expectation of ourselves early on.
Besides, we’ve tried the whole shower-your-kids-with-things bit, and it can be so frustrating to spend money on something that will be played with for a total of five minutes, then left in a corner for months.
01. National Geographic Magazine for Kids Subscription
Okay, so if your kids are anything like my toddler, she loves learning new things! Animals especially are very interesting to her. She’s also developed a recent liking to catalogs, ha! So, the National Geographic Magazine for Kids subscription is genius. We are thinking about gifting this to Gracie this year, and I think she’s going to LOVE it.
02. Bookroo Book Subscription
We go to the library once a week to check out books, but sometimes it’s fun to keep books too! Gracie has a pretty big collection. I’m constantly going through it to make sure she still reads them, then I’ll set aside some for Norah, but truly, books are wonderful! Plus, if they’re taken care of, they last!
Bookroo is my favorite book subscription service. The books are handpicked, then delivered (fully wrapped) every month to your mailbox! Gracie has has a Bookroo subscription for three years and it’s still her favorite part of the month to walk to the mailbox and then bring her package back and open it + unwrap her books!
03. Children’s Museum Membership
The cool thing about children’s museum memberships is that moms get something out of it too! If you stay home, you’re probably like me and trying to look for ways to fill the days. Gracie isn’t in school, so we do lots of playdates. Museums provide a great learning experience, but also something to do during the week.
Plus, if you have a membership, you don’t have to worry about seeing everything in one trip. You can take the museum one section at a time, then visit other areas on your next trip!
04. Tickets to an Event
Events like Disney on Ice, or a sports event cultivate wonderful memories for your children! Experiences are one of the best things you can provide them with! There are several learning opportunities that come with experiences like this too.
05. A Family Trip
Family trips are also another amazing way to foster learning, and make memories! Family vacations can get expensive, but imagine if you took all that money you spent on holiday toys and wrapping paper and put it towards a yearly trip!
06. Aquarium or Zoo Membership
Just like the museum membership, an aquarium or zoo membership is an amazing gift. It really does keep on giving. Pus, parents benefit too, remember! It’s something to do during the week or on the weekends that ends up being essentially “free”.
07. A Family Photo Album
Pinhole Press is my favorite place to make photo albums! I have one of our little family over the past year. Gracie loves her photo album of her family better than any book or toy she’s ever gotten. She gets to look at photos of herself she was a baby like Norah is, and she gets to see photos of her young mommy and daddy, lol.
What If We Do Get Toys?
I don’t want this post to make you discouraged. Gracie and Norah still have lots of toys. So if you’re a new mom, or you have grandparents or other family who gift objects, that’s okay! You can still make do with what you are given within reason.
If you have stuff your child does like, or they were gifted that you know will last and get played with, keep them! A toy rotation is a wonderful thing. I’ve been doing a toy rotation for about a year. Both Gracie and I benefit from it. I’ll share how I do our rotation soon (that post is a long time coming) but don’t feel discouraged! Everything is a learning process, and it does take time to establish new expectations of others, and yourselves 🙂
I hope this post about non-toy gift ideas for children was helpful to you! Thank you so much for reading!
I agree, less is more. I get you completely. I love play dough. only 1 dollar a tub. My kids play with it more then exensive toys. We also traveled for a month. Utah to vermont and many states in. between. Memories are great for kids.