Play
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren’t Toys

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren’t Toys

If you have a playroom full of toys that sit there and don’t get played with, then you might just need this list of gifts for kids that aren’t toys.

I can’t believe it! I have fallen victim to the closet full of unplayed with toys that sit there day in and day out and simply don’t get played with.

Even though I often go through the toy piles to get rid of any toys which are broken or have missing pieces, it still looks like a giant pile of junk that never gets touched.

I’ve organized the toys, purchased toy bins to keep everything out and at eye level for the kids but the fact of the matter is, at ages 5 and 7 my kids prefer to play with cardboard boxes more than toys.

I do have a baby who will be playing with toys sooner than later, but I’m going to try to avoid having the toy clusters that I’ve build up with my first two children.

Over the last few years, I have come to the realization that the kids prefer toys which are more active, creative and involved rather than pieces of plastic that look exciting in the store but collect dust when they are at home.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Gifts For Kids That Aren’t Toys

What do I mean by gifts that aren’t toys?

I mean gifts that are practical, unique, educational, useful, creative, STEM based and still super fun to receive.

I’ll sort the gift ideas out by categories: Useful, Educational, Family and Experience.

Useful Gifts For Kids That Aren’t Toys

Watch: Watches are so useful and they are fun to receive. If your child doesn’t know how to tell time yet, that’s ok! A watch can be a tool to help your child learn how to tell time.

If you have an older child, you can buy a watch that is beautiful and functional.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 1Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 2Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 3Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 4
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 5Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 6Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 7Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 8
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 9Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 10Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 11Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 12

Alarm Clock: Alarm clocks are great tools for kids to help with time management. Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, an alarm clock is a great non toy gift for kids.

Check out these Best Sleep Clocks for Toddlers for some ideas.

Clothes: Clothes don’t have to be boring. Sure some socks and underwear could be a bit of a drag for kids, but they are great items to gift if the child needs them. Gifting practical clothes such as jackets, sweaters and t shirts is a good way to contribute to their growing wardrobe and make them happy at the same time. You can also purchase gift cards so they can pick out their own clothes.

Wallet/ Piggy Bank: Encourage your child to save their money from all those chores they do and give them a piggy bank or a wallet to keep their money in. You can also educate them about sinking money into the stock market or put their cash into a TFSA.

Suitcase: Kids love suitcases, especially for travel or simple camping trips. Get them a fun yet functional suitcase that they will love to drag around with them on the next family vacation.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 13Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 14
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 15Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 16
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 17Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 18

Backpack: Does your child need a new backpack? Get them one as a gift! This is especially great if their birthdays are close to the start of a new school year.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 19Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 20
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 21Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 22
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 23Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 24

Umbrella: Who doesn’t love a cute new umbrella? Why stop at umbrellas anyway, get some new boots to match and a jacket and rain hat too! Encourage playing in puddles and getting outside in all kinds of weather.

Headphones: For the children who love to listen to music, headphones are a great gift idea.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 25Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 26
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 27Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 28
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 29Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 30

Sports Supplies: If your child is into sports, help them out with new sports equipment. Dancers can always use new bodysuits, tights and shoes. Chess players might need a new board to practice on. Hockey players might need new skates and protective gear. Whatever the child participates in, give them a gift related to that sport.

Calendar: Calendars are great gifts for kids as they can help children learn about seasons and time too. They can learn to keep track of dates and even mark important days on their own.

Cooking/Baking Gear: Do you have a kitchen helper? Kitchen helper stools, baking supplies, cooking gear for kids and cook books can encourage children to learn more about the culinary arts.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 31Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 32
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 33Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 34
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 35Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 36
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 37Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 38

Bedding: Bedding is a great non toy gift idea for kids. It is very exciting to have new bedsheets with their favorite characters and it’s also super useful too since it’s used on a daily basis.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 39Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 40
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 41Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 42
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 43Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 44

Bikes: You really cannot go wrong with a new bike! Encourage kids to go outside and get lots of fresh air. Don’t forget to grab a new bike helmet, or maybe some kneepads and elbow pads as well.

Rollerblades: Rollerblades are a hoot, and it’s another gift that encourages kids to get outside and play.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 45Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 46
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 47Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 48
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 49Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 50

Scooter: Another great outdoor gift is a scooter. Most kids love scooters and can use them to travel to and from school.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 51Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 52
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 53Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 54
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 55Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 56

Fitness Tracker: Encourage children to get outside and get active by giving them a fitness watch. Make it extra fun by creating challenges for them such as “who can walk the most in 24 hours.” If you get a tracker which is waterproof you can wear it swimming in the pool or at the lake too.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 57Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 58
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 59Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 60
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 61Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 62

Educational Gifts For Kids That Aren’t Toys

Books: Get your child excited about a new series or add to their collection of a series they already love. You can also give them a fun booklight or a bookcase as well.

Terrarium: Terrariums don’t have to hold spiders, they have amazing fun kits on Amazon to choose from. Some terrariums also light up at night too.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 63Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 64
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 65Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 66
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 67Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 68

Microscope: Have a science loving kiddo? Microscopes are super fun. Every science kid should have a microscope on their bedroom desk so they can learn about all the tiny things in life. You can even get them a little book that teaches them about microscopes and how they work.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 69Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 70
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 71Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 72
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 73Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 74

Telescope: Have a child who just loves space science? A telescope is the perfect gift. Encourage the love of learning by providing your child with a tool that can help them get more excited about something they already like.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 75Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 76
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 77Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 78
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 79Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 80

Art Supplies: Art supplies are a must-have in every home with children. A great time to stock up on art supplies is Christmas and birthdays! Get your googly eyes, pipe cleaners, markers, crayons, pastels, watercolours, ribbons, scissors and glue and put them together in an art kit. You can also grab a unique art kit with all the supplies you need for a special art project such as tie-dye t-shirts, bracelet making or soap kit.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 81Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 82Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 83Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 84
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 85Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 86Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 87Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 88
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 89Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 90Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 91Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 92

Aquarium: Teach your children how to take care of fish by giving them the gift of an aquarium.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 93Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 94
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 95Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 96
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 97Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 98

Puzzles: Every child should have a collection of puzzles. You really cannot go wrong with a puzzle kit. You don’t have to go with traditional puzzles either! Go crazy and give the gift of noodle twisters too.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 99Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 100Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 101Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 102
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 103Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 104Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 105Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 106
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 107Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 108Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 109Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 110

Chemistry Kit: Give your child the gift of science in a chemistry kit. Learn about science safety and even watch things go kaboom together!

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 111Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 112
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 113Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 114
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 115Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 116

Circuit Kit: One of my kid’s favourites is snap circuits. Get your child learning about how electricity works with a snap circuit kit.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 117Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 118

Space Kit: does your child love space? Along with a telescope, you can always give a nice solar planet kit.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 119Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 120
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 121Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 122
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 123Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 124

Butterfly Kit: Have your child learn all about butterflies with a cute little butterfly garden.

Leap Pad: Get your kids learning on a screen with a fun learning leap pad. It’s not a toy, but an educational tool. We have the academy version, and it’s the best thing ever!

Camera: Does your child always take your cell phone to take photos? Get them their very own camera!

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 125Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 126
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 127Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 128
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 129Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 130

Musical Instruments: Nurture your child’s love of music with a fun musical instrument.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 131Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 132
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 133Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 134
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 135Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 136

Family Gifts For Kids That Aren’t Toys

Family Games: Family games encourage critical thinking and are so much fun to have at home. Family game nights should be a thing at your house if they aren’t already, here is why.

Swing Set: If you have more than one child to shop for, a collective gift such as a swing set for the backyard is a lovely non toy gift that encourages kids to get outside and get active.

Sensory Swing: Sensory swings have so many benefits – read about that here – and a sensory swing makes a fabulous gift for a child! It’s fun, practical and is great for their senses.

Walkie Talkies: Have more than one child? Grab some walkie talkies and give them as one gift to both kids. It’s a great way to encourage communications and pretend play.

Hammock: Have some space in the backyard to hang a hammock? A hammock can be a great getaway space for little ones.

Vacation: Give the gift of vacation! Disney cruise, a beach getaway? Those are super fun for the whole family.

Photo Book: A sentimental gift of a photobook is a great gift idea for children who have a lot of memories they want to remember.

Experience Gifts For Kids That Aren’t Toys

Memberships: Memberships to the zoo, family science center and amusements parks are great non toy gift ideas that really deliver on the experience aspect of life.

Classes: Does your child love to dance? Do art? Knows computers? Sign them up for dance classes, or art classes or coding classes so they can learn more about that.

Movie Tickets: Purchase some movie tickets in advance and take your little one to the movies. Make sure to get lots of treats!

Event Tickets: If there is an event coming up that your child is looking forward to, tickets are a great gift for them.

Ice Skating: Take your child ice skating in the winter, or in an indoor ice rink in the summer. It’s always a really fun activity and usually fosters some good laughs.

Gardening Supplies: Raising a little green thumb human? foster that outdoor fascination with some gardening supplies.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 137Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 138
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 139Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 140
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 141Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 142

Non-Toy Ideas For Babies

Babies need stuff too! Here are some things you can purchase for a baby instead of toys.

Teethers: Teethers are sort of toy like, but they do have more of a purpose than a regular toy. Help your child relieve some teething pain with some teething toys.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 143Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 144
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 145Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 146
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 147Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 148

Diapers: Babies go through a lot of diapers. If you have a baby or your friends have a baby, always go with diapers as a gift idea…they are always needed and new parents tend to run out in the middle of the night.

Clothes: Babies can always use more clothes, load up on some cute pj’s, snowsuits, and onesies.

Books: Raising early readers is a good thing! Give the gift of books for any baby in your life.

Winter Gear: If you are heading into winter, winter gear for a new baby is always a good idea. Here are some Winter Newborn Necessities to look into.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 149Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 150
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 151Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 152
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 153Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 154

Summer Gear: Needing a gift near the summertime? Grab some summertime gear for the little one.

Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 155Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 156
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 157Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 158
Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 159Best Gifts For Kids That Aren't Toys 160

Gifts For Kids That Are Not Toys

I absolutely adore educational gifts and nothing tops experience gifts either. Experience and family gifts are great for fostering connections and really creating quality time moments.

More Parenting Tips

gifts for kids that arent toys