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Non-toy gift posts seem to be popping up everywhere. It’s fun to get creative with gifts and gift things that aren’t just going to add to the toy clutter at home. I have some fun and simple gifts you can get for kids (and some adults would enjoy too!).
Tip: The holiday season is a great time to snag an Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. Shopping for Christmas gifts is super easy when you get free two-day shipping. They have competitive pricing, and I love that I don’t have to pay for gas or deal with crowded stores and grumpy kids.
Now onto our list of awesome non-toy gifts for kids. All of these are items our family has used and loved or that have come highly recommended from people we trust.
There are some great craft subscription boxes out there. It’s a great gift to ask for from grandparents.
But did you know that you don’t have to sign up for a monthly subscription to enjoy these? You can purchase individual craft boxes as well.
My amazing sister-in-law sent my three year old one of the Kiwi Crate boxes for his birthday. It was so much fun. I was really impressed with how much was packed into one Kiwi Crate box. Both older boys enjoyed the activities, books, and fun that came in it.
Kiwi Crate has lots of options, as well, including Doodle Crate and Tinker Crate for older kids.
It used to be that when you thought of kid board games, your options were limited to Candyland or Monopoly. But there are so many fun options out there now.
Robot Turtles – This game is not only incredibly fun, but it teaches kids the basics of programming. Another thing I love about this game is that it has varying degrees of complexity. The first game you play is very simple. You gradually add on difficulty as you play more games. It makes it easy to teach kids.
Catan: Junior – We haven’t personally played this one (yet!), but we’ve heard great things about it, and of course we enjoy the full Catan game.
Carcassonne – This is a fun game for the whole family. My five year old can play, but doesn’t understand much strategy yet. And I just saw today that they have a Carcassonne: Star Wars, so I’m sure that will be added to our collection soon!
Tip: Have you heard of CamelCamelCamel? It’s a fantastic price tracker tool you can use with Amazon. You add the things you’re interested in to an Amazon Wish List and share that with CamelCamelCamel and it will track the prices for you. You can set it up to email you if an item drops below a certain price. It’s a great tool to use if you want to wait for a deal on an item.
Pack up a bunch of craft supplies in a basket or bucket, and you’ve got a great gift basket full of hours of fun.
The Dollar Store is a great place to purchase things like colored craft sticks, pipe cleaners, and supplies like that. But stay away from the glue and crayons – we’ve found the quality isn’t that great. I prefer to buy name brands like Crayola and Elmers. Amazon often has great prices on Crayola Crayons and Elmer’s Glue Sticks. These are some of the items I watch with CamelCamelCamel and grab them when they are cheap.
Picking a good book is a great way to not go wrong with a gift. Here are a couple of our favorites (and I’ll be sharing a more extensive list on Tuesday).
Dragons Love Tacos – We love this book. I had heard amazing things about it, but I was a little hesitant about a book with food in it especially since it was food my boys can’t eat. But this was the perfect book for them – it was neat to say, “Hey, look! The dragons get sick when they eat some foods, just like you guys.”
Fortunately, the Milk – The age range suggestion is 9-12 years, but the boys enjoy when we read this aloud to them (spread out over a couple nights).
Introductory Calculus For Infants – This book isn’t really going to teach your kid calculus, but it does teach a lot of math terms as it goes through the alphabet. This is one of the most requested books at bedtime, and I’m pretty sure our five year old has it memorized. It follows the story of lonely X, how F befriends him, and all the fun things they can do together.
My Book Of Easy Crafts – Perfect for the kiddo who loves crafts and is learning how to use scissors and glue.
Magazine subscriptions are a fun way to encourage reading and fun activities all year round. I wrote all about how much we love Spider and Ladybug Magazines here (as well as how we were able to get them at a bargain price). Not only did the boys enjoy the stories from the magazines, they loved the crafts and activities that came along with them.
You can use sites like Craftsy to gift classes. This is especially a fun idea for older kids. They have everything from cake decorating to knitting to woodworking. I took their Pen & Ink Essentials course and loved it, and I have about 10 more courses on my wish list that I want to grab when I have a little more free time. The class I took was very high quality. Not only are students able to upload their work and interact with the class, but the teacher was able to give feedback. It was a very cool experience for an online class.
Right now through December 12th you can get up to 50% off Craftsy classes.
I know, I know….this is a toy, and this is supposed to be a guide for “non-toy” gifts. But it’s such an awesome toy, it really should be on any gift guide.
Like books, you pretty much can’t go wrong with Lego. From Duplos for younger kids (they’re our one year old’s favorite thing to play) to bigger Lego sets for the older, there’s something for every age range. And there is a wide range of set prices, so it can fit nearly any budget.
I love the look of this Duplo Creative Building Box. And if you’re looking for a small gift or a fun stocking stuffer, we love the small Lego Creator sets. You can make three different variations of the same set.
We just got our three year old, Sean, the Imperial AT-AT set for getting potty trained (because when you’re three year old gets potty trained, the money you start saving on diapers pays for a Lego set this big in just a couple months).
Lego sets are another great item to add to CamelCamelCamel to watch when their price goes to it’s lowest.
What are you getting your kids for Christmas this year?