Is your toy room overflowing BEFORE Christmas even starts? This Best No Toy Christmas Gift Guide for Kids in 2021 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 2021
Me: “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 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 –
2020 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. Our 4 year old can play independently and our 3 year old with help.
- Sneaky Snacky Squirrel – Probably our kids favorite game right now, 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!
- 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!
- 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!
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.
- 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 look 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!
Practical Gifts –
- 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!
- 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!
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 well thought out pieces to their wardrobes!
- Cute dresses! My daughter loves to wear dresses and I’m embracing it with adorable choices like this velvet long-sleeved option or this ballerina inspired one! (Both are perfect for the holidays, but not so Christmas-y that they couldn’t be worn all winter long!)
- Cozy sweaters! I’m all about my boys matching with shawl collared sweaters or these sweet graphic sweaters (I’m dead from cuteness!).
- Christmas pajamas! Every Christmas Eve our kids open new jammies to wear! Target has options for the whole family! are some other fun ideas!
- Cozy robes! We’re all about that loungewear right now and these are pretty reasonably priced and super soft! Buffalo plaid, Boys character, Girls character, and Stars.
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! 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!
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!
- 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?