27 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids

Since we try to limit our toys and keep the house as decluttered as possible, we steer toward non-toy gifts for the kids (and their friends as well).

Whether it’s the holidays or just a string of kids’ birthdays approaching, this list will have you shopping for the best gifts that won’t add clutter to the home.

Need a birthday or Christmas gift for a kid but don't want to add to the clutter in the house? You'll find plenty of creative and fun gift ideas that any boy or girl would enjoy without adding more toys to the family.

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Here are our favorite non-toy gift ideas for kids

Some of these ideas are also on our list of gifts for boys who don’t need more clutter-causing toys. The list below has options for boys and girls, and even some that work for friends, partners, spouses, grandparents, etc.!

  1. Local zoo or museum membership
  2. Movie tickets
  3. Magazine subscriptions – It’s so much fun for kids to get stuff in the mail. When they’re done exploring them, these are easy to recycle! (Find yearly magazine subscriptions on Amazon!)
  4. Music lessons
  5. Season tickets for a favorite sports team
  6. Broadway show or musical
  7. Subscription box – Art projects and science experiments are fun!
  8. Online hobby class (photography, sewing, crafts, etc.)
  9. Online cooking class (free knife skills course for kids here)
  10. Money toward summer camp
  11. Hobby equipment (sports gear, etc.)
  12. Clothing and sneakers
  13. Books (of course!)
  14. Room decor – Wall decals are fun and don’t create clutter or ruin your walls!
  15. Smartphone – If they’re ready for this kind of gift.
  16. Cookbooks
  17. Wristwatch
  18. Bicycle
  19. Technology gear – Maybe something like these headphones and this gaming mouse for gamer kids in your life.
  20. Travel fund – Two of my kids have each gotten a trip overseas with their grandmother – this creates amazing memories!
  21. Manicure or spa day
  22. Art supplies – They tend to get used up and for creative endeavors!
  23. Personalized photo book
  24. Chocolate or candy
  25. Field trip – It’s fun and free. Ask for a tour at the fire station or Post Office!
  26. Sleepover at Grandma’s
  27. The most versatile and clutter-free gift of all – spending money!

I like #27 so much that it’s the only gift we give when my kids are invited to birthday parties! That way, the birthday boy (or girl) can get exactly what he wants and there’s no hassle to return a gift that’s not quite right.

Plus, no one complains when they are gifted cash! It’ll never go out of style, and it’ll never not get used. Winning!

Speaking of toys…

If your kids have a toy problem (or maybe you have a problem letting go of some kids toys), you should check out this article on the journey towards having fewer toys in the house.

If you just need some straight-up tips, check out this article on how to declutter toys. After reading it, you can go through and declutter an entire shelf of toys in just 15 minutes or less!

Speaking of the holidays…

Shopping for the holidays is never cheap. If you’d like some extra cash (that you can gift to your friends and loved ones), check out these 20 decluttered items from your home that you can sell!

What are your favorite non-toy gifts to give kids?


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4 thoughts on “27 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids”

  1. Very useful list – thanks very much!
    Most of the older kids would love the last one best. 🙂 There was one gift my daughter got from her aunt which she thoroughly enjoyed. This was about about 18 months ago. It was a subscription to the School of Dragons gaming site(http://www.schoolofdragons.com/). After watching the first HTTYD movie, my daughter became a huge fan and this was a gift which thrilled her no end!
    I think I’ll try an online hobby class for my daughter. Again, thanks!

  2. A day of cookie baking with me. It was a little “busy” with 6 girls under 12 one the same afternoon 4-5 hours, but we baked, frosted, and decorated dozens of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. Then we wrapped them up on disposable platters with colored Saran wrap. The girls gave these platters as their Xmas gifts to friends and family that year. (My general baking rule is: if you make it, give at least half away to someone who doesn’t expect to get a surprise. So they understood before hand these treats were mostly for gifting.) They brought some elderly relatives and neighbors to tears with their treats. Family was pretty happy too. Their Mums used the afternoon to do their Christmas shopping. It was a huge win win win AND it cleaned out all my sprinkles, food coloring, mixes, and supplies. We drove to their homes the long way to look at all the lights. I started a family tradition that day.


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Welcome. I’m Sarah!


I’m the creator of Decluttering School (formerly known as Early Bird Mom), lover of organized spaces, encourager to women and mom to four boys. Click here to read more!

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