I first wrote this list 5 years ago when my son was 7. He’s turning 12 soon (yikes! Where does the time go?) and I still find myself returning to this list each year, but now it’s to find something to give him other than Legos. Don’t get me wrong –we love Legos. It’s just that it’s nice for him to have something else to do after he has put the Legos together. (Legos seem to just sit on a shelf on our house, never to be touched again once they have been put together.)
And I still do not want to contribute to the toy clutter when giving gifts to his younger relatives and friends. I don’t ever want to give a present that burdens somebody. So here is an ever-growing list of 30 gifts to give kids that are not toys.
5. Bubble bath
6. Reusable lunch sack or lunch box with water bottle
7. Alarm clock (Nathan still loves his Darth Vader alarm clock!)
8. Notepads and fun pencils
9. Sketchpad and pens, markers or colored pencils
10. Temporary hair dye or hair chalk
13. Fun toothbrush
15. Cozy blanket
17. Gift certificates for ice cream or frozen yogurt (This is my go-to gift for summertime birthday parties.)
18. Crazy socks, sunglasses or fun hat
19. Hair accessories (yeah, only works for a girl)
20. Movie tickets (That’s a big winner in our family!)
21. Subscription to a children’s magazine like Highlights or Cricket
22. Gift cards to go somewhere like the zoo, Children’s Museum, a concert, a play, ice skating, roller skating, etc.
23. Bath soap crayons
24. Washable paints, brushes and smock
25. Mani/pedi day
26. Walkie-talkies (this was one of Nathan’s FAVORITE gifts, and it’s a huge hit when his friends come over.)
27. New sheets/pillowcases for their beds with their favorite characters on them
28. Their own tape (Scotch, duct, electrical, etc.)
29. Activity, dot-to-dot, Sudoku, maze books
30. Glue gun, soldering kit for older kids
What other fun, useful NON-TOY gifts can you come up with for a little kid? Post them in the comments below!
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