Is your toy room overflowing BEFORE Christmas even starts? This Best No Toy Christmas Gift Guide for Kids in 2022 is just what you’re looking for! Gifts range from super-practical to fun experiences to cute clothes to educational books and activities. Something for every child on your list!
Updated October 2022
Me: “Hey it’s time to go play in the playroom, kiddos!” *secretly looking for a break from the noise of kid play*
Daughter: “We don’t want to play in there!! It’s too messy!”
After hearing these words a lightbulb went off and one evening after the children were tucked in bed and the sugar plums were dancing in their heads I went to the play room and quickly filled a large tote with toys to donate to Goodwill.
While it may seem “mean” by reducing their choices and giving them a calmer environment my children actually seem happier and play better together! And having kids that play pleasantly together really lights me up!
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After this incident my husband Nate suggested we do a No-Toy Christmas for our kids this year! I was hesitant…no toys? Not even one!?
But as he pointed out the grandparents will all probably get them each at least one toy, not to mention other extended family AND they aren’t even playing with all the toys they have already! Plus there are some really great non toy gifts out there!
So you heard it here first: A No-Toy Christmas is in our future!
But we are NOT grinches and still want to get our kids fun and engaging things for Christmas, just not traditional toys. Many of these are items we ALREADY use and love and others are straight off my children’s wish lists!
This gift guide is compiled with children from ages preschool/toddler to early elementary age in mind. But I’m sure you can use these ideas as a springboard for kids of any age!
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50+ Best No Toy Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
Board Games –
2023 may be the year of the board game! These games are not only fun but teach social skills, fine motor skills, and higher reasoning skills!
We love giving a game to our kids to open on Christmas Eve and enjoy playing together before bedtime.
- Sequence for Kids – A great logic game that is easy for kids to play. At 4 our oldest played independently and our 3 year old with help.
- Sneaky Snacky Squirrel – Our kids favorite game while in the 3-5 range. It’s great for learning colors and fine motor skills. (And dealing with disappointment!)
- Spot It – Our kids adore this game! They especially love besting the adults at it! This is the perfect size for fitting in a Christmas stocking too!
- Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza – My aunt introduced us to this simple game that kids of all ages can play. Super easy to learn, but still challenging for adults!
- Battleship – Kids really love Battleship. It’s not my fav, but I’ve yet to find a kid that doesn’t love this classic game!
- Exploding Kittens – This is a fun game for older kids (7 and up or any age that can read independently) and adults to play together! Just enough strategy and chance mixture!
- Ticket To Ride First Journey — Our 8 and 6 year old love this game and have been able to play it without too much help for about a year. Our 5 year old still needs some support, but it’s a board game our whole family loves to play together and finds challenging!
Art Experience Gifts for Kids
Giving the gift of art is such a fun option! I’m not a “crafty mom” but I TRY because my kids love it so!
- Waterproof kids smock – So I can be a little more chill as my kids create.
- Giant box of craft supplies – I love that this has enough of everything and it has 16 different specific craft projects.
- Watercolor for Kids class — Emily is so kind and her watercolors are perfectly designed and tested with kids in mind. Add this watercolor paint set so your little artists are all ready to go!
- Happy Handles Stamps – These are great for little hands!
- Craft subscription box! My kids love the Kiwi ones!
- In general I feel like coloring books, markers, paint sets, play dough, and any other “art consumables” are in need of refreshing by the time Christmas rolls around! I love to do these as stocking stuffers!
Don’t discount practical gifts that you will use everyday!
- Water Bottles – Reusable, sanitary, and less dishes to wash. What’s not to love? These keep cold drinks nice and chill as well. Fill up with some fun coupons (see experiences below) and/or candy!
- Homer App – This learning app is going to be your new best friend! Engaging games for toddlers through elementary school that help them learn letters, numbers, sounds, math skills, and more! I love using this app when I need to keep my kids brains and hands occupied (like when we’re waiting on food or I need to work for a bit) and I don’t want to turn to unwrapping toys on Youtube or watching Netflix. Get a free 30 day trial to test it out for yourself!
- Snack Catchers – We’ve had these forever and are still using them to keep snacks contained!
- Subscription to Netflix or Disney Plus.
- Stem subscription box from Kiwi Co! This is such a fun gift that keeps giving throughout the year! You can order just one box or a subscription!
- Cozy blankets – My mom got all of my kids a cozy fleece blanket for snuggling up and watching movies or reading books! This ultra soft one from Target is the one everyone wants!
Clothes Gift Ideas –
I love shopping for clothes for my kiddos and it seems like they are always growing so I am always shopping! Christmas is a great time to add some special and well thought out pieces to their wardrobes!
- Cute dresses! My daughter loves to wear dresses and I’m embracing it with these adorable choices! I’m always looking for things that work for the holidays, but not so Christmas-y that they couldn’t be worn all winter long!
- Cozy sweaters and handsome shirts! I love matching my boys, especially at holidays. Also nab these for your girls! I loved dressing Layla in “boys” sweaters. Pair with a big bow and leggings.
- Christmas pajamas! Every Christmas Eve our kids open new jammies to wear! If you keep with a pattern it’s easy to pass down jammies in big families without totally rebuying Christmas jammies every year!
- Cozy robes! In 2021 we got our kids these cozy robes and they’ve been awesome!
Books Gift Ideas
Oh the books I could list! I love shopping for books for my kids and I want to carefully go through our bookshelves and make sure that I’m picking ones they will read over and over again!
- Press Here — Amazing, interactive, beautiful colors!
- The Jesus Storybook Bible — I read a story from this almost everyday and my kids never get enough! I love how it weaves Jesus into every single Bible story! I also read it as my daily devotional before Layla was born so not just for kids! The gift edition is gorgeous!
- Sandra Boynton Board books — So many of our favorites are hers! This is a great collection perfect for babies or toddlers!
- Dragons Love Tacos — We’ve checked this out so many times from the library it needs to come home permanently with us!
- The Classics — Little House on the Prairie book set, Mark Twain combination book, and also this gorgeous set of favorite novels would look beautiful in my daughter’s room now and she’ll love to read them in the future!
The Best Christmas Experience Gifts for Kids
- Movie Tickets — so simple but our kids LOVE going to our little local movie theater!
- Concert Tickets — Last year a lot of friends did Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood concert or something similar! Such a fun gift!
- Play tickets — think local civic theater or high school productions!
- Zoo membership — We love getting to go to the zoo as a family thanks to the gift of a zoo membership!
- Tickets to museum (Indianapolis Children’s Museum) or science center (Science Central in Fort Wayne)!
- Dance, karate, swim, yoga, horseback riding, cooking, art classes
- Gift cards for their favorite ice cream place or restaurant!
- Little Passports Box — This subscription box has hands-on learning activities geared around your child’s age and interests! The space themed box was a big hit with our Star Wars and astronomy loving kids! These are also a great gift to save back and open on a cold winter day when everyone is going a little stir crazy!
- Coupons for 1-on-1 dates with mommy and daddy (or grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.)
- Circus tickets
- Skiing, ice skating or tobogganing day
- Roller skating trip
- Bowling night
- Magazine subscriptions: Ranger Rick Junior, High Five (from the Highlights family), and National Geographic for Little Kids.
Miscellaneous No Toy Christmas Gift Ideas
- Mom and Me Cookbook plus matching aprons— I’m in love with this idea! My kids ALL love helping in the kitchen! These are my favorite Christmas treat to make with kiddos!
- Toddler sled or this top rated one for bigger kids!!
- Outdoor adventure kit + Take Along Guide + Geocaching = family adventure, exercise and learning!
What is one non-toy gift you are giving this Christmas?