Holiday Gift Guide: Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids

Holiday Gift Guide: Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids

It’s hard to believe Black Friday is a week away. It seems to happen faster every year but this one really snuck up on me. I have some gift guides to help you get ready. Today, I’m starting with non-toy gift ideas for the young people in your life. These may not be the gifts that’ll make their eyes light up when they tear off the wrapping, but they’re educational, fun and unique. Several are in my grandsons future;)

I’ll never forget the Christmas my daughter asked for the “Sparkle Barbie and everything you see here”. It was funny at the time but now, I prefer to give kids non-toys and experiences which build memories. I leave the toy buying to their parents, who always buy too much anyway.

Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids

  1. music, sports or dance lessons.
  2. crystal growing kit
  3. tickets to an event or show to create memories.
  4. membership to the zoo, aquarium, etc.
  5. butterfly garden kit
  6. arts and craft supplies
  7. puzzles
  8. metal detector
  9. sewing kit
  10. wood burning kit
  11. a trip to Disneyland or somewhere specialboy being hugged by Mickey Mouse at Disneyland


Magazine Subscription

Ranger Rick is the oldest children’s nature magazine in print with over 500,000 copies in circulation. This gift of wildlife adventure is published by the National Wildlife Foundation. Intended to instill a passion for nature and promote outdoor activities for kids ages seven and up.

Ranger Rick Jr is uniquely designed for kids four to seven. Your Big Backyard magazine includes activities and simple stories that both entertain and educate. It provides developing readers the opportunity to read stories on their own or follow along with a more advanced reader. Eye-catching photos bring animals to life, while fun wildlife trivia lets children learn all about animal traits, habitats, and survival.

Ask Magazine investigates the world with past and present inventors, artists, thinkers, and scientists. It has cartoons, contests, projects, Web experiments, games, and puzzles for kids ages 7 to 10 (grades 2 – 4).


I love to see young people read. My dad instilled a love of books in me which I passed on to my children. Reading is a magical way to visit other places and go on adventures, from the comfort of their little chair. You could either give them a gift certificate to a book store or get them a book subscription which sends 2 hardcover books every month. They feature new releases, classics, and hidden gems tailored to your reader’s age.

Subscription Kit

These kits from Creation Crate are amazing. Each month, they get a tech subscription box that combines hands-on learning with online courses. This is for 12 and up.

What can you add to this list?

The winner of the cashmere giveaway is Paulette Levy. Please email me at [email protected] and we will get you connected to Cashmere Boutique to choose your travel kit color.


This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Pam
    November 25, 2019 / 9:06 am

    I am late with this comment, but a subscription to Kiwico activity crates is a great gift. They offer subscriptions for several ages.

  2. Carol
    November 22, 2019 / 9:36 am

    Another great great magazine for kids is “Cricket”………they have several levels ranging from pre-readers thru’ middle school great readers. Their main focus is quality literature, but also have some science centered articles and projects. My daughter loved it so much that she was caught multiple times reading and rereading it in bed with a flashlight! I bought a subscription for my two little neighbor girls a few years back and they loved it, too.

    • November 22, 2019 / 1:15 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation, Carol. I love to do anything to encourage kids to read.

  3. November 21, 2019 / 9:52 am

    I agree, Non toy gifts for kids is such a good idea and one I typically follow. Several years ago, my gift to my two granddaughters was taking them to the ice skating show, Disney On Ice. We made it a special evening with dressing up and dinner at a nice restaurant and then attending the event. This was 7 years ago and they still talk about it.

  4. MRSBEN2
    November 21, 2019 / 8:54 am

    Browsed your list and from personal experience have used some of these ideas myself in the past as gifts for children. As for my own; books were always on the list (they are still avid readers) plus I have found ‘a series of story-books’ also makes a wonderful baby gift. (i.e.: The Bernstein Bears being one of my favourite.) With respect to grand children, the youngest is now seven and as she expressed a desire to learn how to sew; her gift last year was a standard sewing machine (her stocking stuffers were sewing notions) and we have ‘sew dates’ once a month where she chooses a project and I guide her through it however she has also become quite the little entrepreneur (☺) as charges $5.00 each to machine baste crests on team sportswear that she, her brother and friends belong to which indirectly takes me to the subject of puzzles that some of your readers might be interested in as —

    Six years ago for one of my Grand Sons whose passion is hockey, I took a team ‘portrait photo’ of the 1st team he played on, photo-edited it (using a very old Microsoft Program) superimposing him as though he were a player on his favourite NHL team (as used a stadium game view) etc. etc. etc. and created a personalized Hockey Trading Card and had it made into ‘a puzzle’. For it, the source I used was PORTRAIT PUZZLES and I believe it was 16″ x 20″, 300 piece (as he was seven years old at the time) and he loved it. Also as it was done with the intention it would be a memento for him as an adult; rather than a box I opted for the tin container. -Brenda-
    P.|S.: The puzzles come in a range of sizes plus a friend of my husband has since had a few done and has been more than pleased with their quality and service as well.

  5. Laurel
    November 21, 2019 / 8:24 am

    Yes to all this! We’re big fans of books, puzzles, and other educational items. The level of toys that show up at Christmas is already nuts! 🙂

  6. Cathy
    November 21, 2019 / 7:06 am

    Wonderful ideas!! Thank you ?

  7. Pauline
    November 21, 2019 / 5:55 am

    My ideas exactly! I always tried to find an educational toy for the grandkids. As for magazines…..don’t forget “HiLights”!! There are three different levels, from preK through 6th grade, of this magazine that comes monthly and has been around for at least 55-60 years!

  8. November 21, 2019 / 4:57 am

    You think the way I do! Great blog info today…..

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