With our daughter’s 4th birthday right around the corner and Christmas next month, we’ve been asked many times by friends and family what she’d like. One of our thoughts this year has been, “No more toys.”
We realize that leaves everyone with a slight sense of, “Then what?” In order to make it easier on all of us, I went searching for ideas of non-toy items that would enrich her little life, help another child, and/or provide fun without adding more “stuffed” stuff to our home.
Here are 15 unique gift ideas for kids that can be substituted in place of another set of dolls and trucks to trip over in the middle of the night. They’re perfect for birthdays, holidays, and anytime — to buy for your child or give to another.
15 Unique Gift Ideas for Kids 1 of 16
Click through to see gift ideas for children that aren't toy oriented.
Sponsor a Child 2 of 16
Sponsor a child in another country - you can even find the same birthday! Write letters, send presents, and gain a relationship for a lifetime. For about $1 a day, you'll provide children in need with access to life-saving basics like clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, education, and more.
Around $35 a month. To sponsor visit WorldVision.org
Boredom Busters 3 of 16
Includes instructions for 5 projects, and more crafts can be created. Includes four colors of modeling clay, twelve ice pop sticks, six clothespins, four markers, gold and silver glitter glue, and glue stick. Sturdy carrying case is great for storing supplies.
To Buy: LandofNod.com $39.00
Magazines 4 of 16
What child doesn't love animals and seeing different parts of the world? Have them explore from the comfort of home with National Geographic magazines - for all ages.
To buy: Amazon.com $15.00
Craft Delivery Service 5 of 16
Every month a fresh, fun learning experience! Includes all the materials and inspiration for 2 to 3 activities — art, science, games, imaginative play, and more. Each month is a new theme, like gardening, dinosaurs, or outer space.
Join today starting at $16.95/month and receive free shipping. Add a sibling for $9.95 - monthly or subscription options available.
To Buy: KiwiCrate.com $16.95-$205.00
Zoo Membership 6 of 16
Nothing beats a trip to the zoo, and your local one could just become a favorite playdate place. Visit the Official USA Zoo Directory to find the one closest to you, then purchase or ask for a yearly membership so you can take the kids any time.
Classics for Kids 7 of 16
With the perennial popularity of classic writers like Jane Austen and William Shakespeare, Baby Lit is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple counting text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar's Alison Oliver, Little Miss Austen and Little Master Shakespeare are a must for every savvy parent's nursery library.
To Buy: Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store $9.99
Learn to Knit 8 of 16
A wooden knitting mushroom with four hooks and a wooden needle.
Made in Germany by GlÃ¼ckskÃ¤fer. This classic wooden knitting toy makes yarn "snakes," which can then be coiled and fashioned into necklaces, purse straps, baskets, rugs, and more. The wooden knitting needle fits neatly inside the mushroom when not in use.
To Buy: BellaLunaToys.com $9.95
How Plants Grow 9 of 16
Young green thumbs can watch nature at work by growing a small indoor garden in just days with the environmentally friendly Planting Kit from Green Toys. This planting kit comes with a 100% recycled plastic pot, package of organic sunflower seeds, soil disk, and easy to follow instructions. Made in the US from 100% recycled plastic milk containers that save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To Buy: GreenToys.com $5.99
Pen Pals 10 of 16
This Felt Mail Invitation Set will have your kids sending invitations to mom, dad, dogs, and cats for all kinds of parties: birthdays, tea parties, picnics - you name it! This great, felt mail set encourages creative play and family interaction, and what's more important than that?
To Buy: PurePlayKids.com $17.95
Art in a Bag 11 of 16
Let your kids' imaginations run wild with these amazing crayons and a bag to toss them in after. Crayon Rocks are made in America from natural soy wax, using American-grown soy beans.
To Buy: CrayonRocks.net $4.75
Travel Time 12 of 16
This portable puzzle includes 42 geometric magnetic shapes in a case that is also a metal playing surface. A deck of 24 cards inspires children with ideas for shapes to create. An interactive, creative toy with endless possibilities, it is made of wood with non-toxic coatings in primary colors. Ages 4 and up.
To Buy: Momastore.org $48.00
Lit Kits 13 of 16
Each month, the kits focus on a different content concept (like bugs, for example), important literacy strategies, and the integration of content knowledge for science, art, math, and/or history — depending on the concept. Each DiscoverLit Kit contains approximately 3 to 5 hours of activities, depending on how much time you want to spend. Simply choose which DiscoverLit Kit works for you! You can purchase one at a time, or purchase a monthly subscription.
To Buy: EngagewiththePage.com $9-$539.00
Bookplates 14 of 16
A set of 24 lovely bluebird bookplates, waiting to be placed in your favorite books! Bookplates are printed on high quality, matte paper, ready for the adhesive or archival glue of your choice. Each bookplate is approximately 3" x 3 3/4", and bookplates are packaged in a clear plastic sleeve.
To Buy: Etsy.com $16.50 for 24
Personalized Books 15 of 16
Personalized with your child (or another's) name, you can choose from a huge variety of books in both soft and hardcover.
To Buy: FreckleBox.com $19.95 - $34.95 each
Make a Candle 16 of 16
Each Beeswax Candle Making Kit is packaged with six 8" x 8" sheets of honeycomb beeswax, instructions, and high quality cotton wick. Each sheet becomes an 8" x 1" rolled candle.
Honeycomb sheets can also be cut and combined with other sheets, or wrapped on pillar or taper candles to create candles as unique and endless as your imagination!
To Buy: BellaLunaToys.com $19.95
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, The New York Times, Still Standing Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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