50+ No-Toy Christmas Ideas for your young child! Is your toy room overflowing BEFORE Christmas even starts? This is the gift guide for you! Gifts range from super-practical to fun experiences to cute clothes to educational books and activities. Something for every little one on your list!
Mom: “Go play in the playroom!!”
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 sugarplums were dancing in their heads I went to the play room and quickly filled a large tote with toys. 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!
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!
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 under the age of five in mind. I’m sure you can use these ideas as a springboard for kids of any age!
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No-Toy Christmas Ideas!
Practical Gifts –
- Water Bottles – I would love to move us all to just water bottles and not a mismatched assortment of cups. The problem is we have lost a lot of water bottles at the park, friends houses, etc so right now we need some replacements! I really like Contigo and Camelbak. I may fill up with some fun coupons (see experiences below) and/or candy!
- Snack Catchers – We’ve had these forever and are still using them to keep snacks contained!
- Monat Junior Line – I recently got this paraben, sulfate and tear free line for my kiddos! My daughter’s hair especially struggles to grow longer and I can’t wait to see how it helps! (Keep your eye out for Black Friday deals!!)
Board Games –
I realized this summer we don’t really have any of the classic preschool age board games! There are the classics like Candyland, Shoots and Ladders, Sequence for Kids, Memory, and some fun newer ones like Pie Face and Spot It! For older kids Exploding Kittens or good old fashioned Clue (I’m a sucker for retro style editions!)
Craft supplies –
Consumable craft supplies are always a fun option! I’m not a “crafty mom” but I TRY sometimes because my kids love it so!
- Waterproof kids smock – So I can be a little more chill.
- Giant box of craft supplies – I love that this has enough of everything and it has 16 different specific craft projects.
- Happy Handles Stamps – These look great for little hands!
- Craft subscription box! I haven’t tried any of these yet, but I love this idea! Kiwi has one that I’m most interested in.
- In general I feel like coloring books, markers, paint sets, play dough, and any other “consumables” are in need of refreshing by the time Christmas rolls around!
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 well thought out pieces to their wardrobes! My favorite places to shop for kids clothes are Carters (mainly for baby stuff), Target, and Old Navy. I also love-love-love a good BabyGap deal! I know there are many other great kids clothing retailers, but these are the ones I come back to time and time again! Here are some cute things on my list this year!
- Cute dresses! My daughter loves to wear dresses and I’m embracing it with adorable choices like this one with embroidered detail or this ballerina inspired one!
- Cozy sweaters! I’m all about my boys matching with shawl collared sweaters or I’d put all three in this buffalo check cardigan (I’m dead from cuteness!). I’m obsessed with the details on this one too!
- Christmas pajamas! Every Christmas Eve our kids open new jammies to wear! Target has options for the whole family! This set is my favorite! I’m a sucker for llamas!
Here are some other fun 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! Some ones we have and LOVE:
- 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!
We watch a lot of movies on Netflix, so there are some classics movies that the kids have never watched because we keep watching Cars 3 over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Also if the dvds you love and want to get for the next generation are “in the vault” check Ebay!!
- The Apple Dumpling Gang (Don Knotts and Tim Conway…. it is hilarious!!)
- Mary Poppins
- Robin Hood
- Coco (all the feelings!)
- 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!
- 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 Ideas –
- Mom and Me Cookbook plus matching aprons— I’m in love with this idea! My kids ALL love helping in the kitchen!
- Toddler sled or this top rated one for bigger kids!!
- Outdoor adventure kit + Take Along Guide + Geocaching = family adventure, exercise and learning!
Whether you, like us, choose a no-toy Christmas for your family or not, I hope these ideas get you thinking creatively about holiday gift giving for the children in your life!
What is one non-toy gift you are giving this Christmas?