Gifts You Can Give Kids That Are NOT Toys

Gift Ideas for Kids (NOT Toys)

Most kids have way too many toys. It can be challenging to find gifts for those kids who seem to have it all. Instead of just adding more stuff to the toybox, you may consider getting gifts that are NOT toys.

However, you don’t want to get gifts that are boring, like clothes – that won’t get kids excited. We’ve compiled a list of some great gifts that aren’t toys but that kids will still love.

How to Stop Giving Your Kids So Many Toys

When it’s your kids birthday or a gift-giving holiday, it can be tempting to buy a bunch of toys for their presents. While most kids are excited about opening up a new toy, only a handful of toys have longevity and value.

However, when you move beyond toys, you’ll get your kid gifts that have a deeper meaning.

But what about toys? Most kids will be upset if they never get toys as presents. Many parents have decided to minimize the toys in favor of other presents.

You may consider giving your child one or two toys they’ve asked for, then give them something they need, and finally something more creative like an experience or specialized equipment or gear.

Best Gifts for Kids That Aren’t Toys

Below are some of our favorite kids to give kids who don’t need any more toys.

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes make great gifts because kids love getting stuff in the mail. The subscription box industry has exploded in the past few years, so there’s a subscription box for just about every age and interest. There are boxes for kids who love reading, nature, science, art, crafts, geography, STEM, and more.

Lessons or Classes

Help the kid in your life learn something new or develop a talent. Most areas have a range of classes, like music, cooking, art, martial arts, and more.

You can also go online and find virtual classes on almost any topic you can think of.

A Trip

If you have a larger budget for a gift, consider giving a kid a trip to somewhere they’ll enjoy. Travel is so enriching for kids, making it a wonderful gift. There are so many options here, and you can choose based on the child’s age and preferences.

Just remember that if you’re buying for a kid who isn’t your own, you’ll need to check with their parents about the logistics, such as when they can go, who will go with the child, and whether you’ll only be paying for the child or if you’ll be paying for their parents as well.

Tickets / Memberships

If you’re not able to gift a kid with an entire trip, tickets and memberships are a great and more affordable option. Zoo and museum tickets are good for curious kids. If the kid likes to go to these places, you could even get an annual membership.

Older kids may enjoy tickets for concerts, plays, or sporting events. Again, if you’re buying tickets for a child, be sure to check with the parents and decide who’ll be attending and how many tickets you’re going to purchase.

An Experience

If you can give a kid an incredible experience, they’ll remember it forever. Many zoos have animal encounters where kids get a chance to have a one-on-one experience with a favorite animal.

Other experiences may be meeting a favorite celebrity or athlete, going backstage at an event, or attending a convention. You may have to get creative to find the right experience for a kid, but if you can hone in on one of their passions, you can usually find something pretty great.


Equipment and gear for various sports and hobbies are great gifts. These gifts have the feel of a toy for kids, but help them develop their skills. In addition, you can buy musical instruments and accessories, cooking and baking supplies, and other hobby equipment like a telescope or binoculars.

Personalized Gear

Kids love stuff with their name on it. You can get just about anything personalized now, from shirts to phone cases to pillows. These types of gifts are special because they’re one of a kind.

A Donation to a Charity

If you’re buying for a kid who truly has everything or one who’s passionate about a cause, you can donate to a charity in their name. There are plenty of charities that are either run by kids or help causes that kids care about, like animal habitat preservation.

Arts and Crafts Materials

Arts and crafts materials are gifts that look like toys but go beyond basic play. For kids who love art, you can get art supplies like easels, paints, and paintbrushes. However, there are all kinds of sets for kids with a variety of interests. There are kits to make jewelry, birdhouses, clothes, and more.

For kids who aren’t as artistically inclined, there are fancy coloring books and grown-up paint-by-number sets that give them the experience of creating.


Kids love to go out and do stuff, so get them a gift card to a local place where they can have fun. Most towns have bowling, arcades, movie theaters, skating rinks, and more. A gift card to one of these will ensure that the child isn’t spending money on toys and is instead having a great time.

A Pet

Pets make the perfect gifts for kids who love animals. Animals are great friends and can help boost a child’s self-esteem and mood. Just be sure your child (and your family) is ready for the responsibility that comes along with owning a pet.

One-on-One Time

One of the best gifts you can give a child is your time. Whether you’re getting a gift for your own kid or for a friend or family member’s child, taking them someplace special for one-on-one time is a great gift.

Kids love to feel like they’re the center of attention. If you dedicate the day to doing their favorite things, the gift is likely to go down as one of the “best presents ever.”

Homemade Coupon Book

Coupon books allow kids to stretch their gift out over a long period of time. You can make or print a book full of coupons for things like dessert before dinner, movie night, stay up 30 minutes past bedtime, and more. The beauty of this gift is that you can make it as budget-friendly as you want.

Take a Tour

You don’t have to leave town to go on a tour. There are all types of tours to suit just about every interest. For kids who enjoy a thrill, consider a helicopter tour or a ghost tour. You can also take bike or scooter tours to see your town in a whole new way.


Both sleepaway and day camps are great ways for a kid to get out into the world while developing social skills and independence.

Some camps are more about spending time outdoors doing typical camp activities like horseback riding and canoeing, while other camps are much more specialized.

If your kid has an interest or talent, such as music, theater, or STEM, then there are camps to help them hone their skills.

Final Thoughts

Gift-giving occasions don’t always mean you have to give kids toys. While a kid may be excited about a toy in the moment, creative gifts and experiences are the ones kids will remember long into their adulthood.

Any of these gifts are sure to be a hit with your kid.

Brett Gordon

The brains behind The Toy Report. Having clocked tons of time in toys research and online resource development, today, Brett is dedicated to making The Toy Report a trusted space in the world of toy reviews and recommendations.