I love a good toy. Particularly one that invites open ended play. Toys can enhance and open up an child’s imagination in beautiful ways. And what child doesn’t want to open at least a few toys on Christmas day? You can be sure our kids are getting some toys, and this Mama is thrilled to get them as well.
Maybe, though, you would like to give something other than a toy. Or maybe you would like to give something in addition to a toy. Here are some great non-toy gift ideas for children. Many of them can be enjoyed by the whole family, so you could make it a family gift.
1. Ranger Rick (or Ranger Rick Jr.) Subscription
Our children were given a subscription to Ranger Rick Jr. (formerly Big Backyard) from one of Brian’s aunts. We are in our second year of the subscription and my kids thoroughly enjoy it. Each issue features a different wild life animal. We have learned so much about different animals that I wouldn’t normally even think to talk about. It has been both educational and fun.
And what kid doesn’t like getting mail? Each time the issue comes we love sitting down and reading the stories, looking at the beautiful pictures, and learning something new. We also enjoy doing some of the various activities and ideas included in the issue. We have the Jr. version, but they older kid version gets equal ratings.
Give a gift of learning about nature and wildlife. Not only will they enjoy it for any entire year, each time the issue comes they will think of you.
2. Kiwi Crates Subscription
Simply brilliant, I tell you. This is a perfect gift for the child that loves to craft–and for a mom that is too busy to always pull together the craft. By the time you find the idea, pin it, remember to get the supplies, only to realize you used the supplies on another craft before you ever did the original idea, crafting can take up a lot of time for a mom.
Kiwi Crates offers a monthly subscription, or a 3-month and 6- month option. The box comes to your door with several themed crafts, and all the supplies you will need for it. All crafts are intended for children ages 3-7 and will delight a child and relieve a mom.
They also have some stocking stuffer crafts that look adorable. What little boy wouldn’t love to be able to find all the materials to make his own cape, or a little girl to make some butterfly wings in their stocking?
3. Craft supplies or kits
Keeping with the craft theme, Artterro has craft kits for the older elementary child. Most of these kits are for children age 7 and up. There are a host of options. From bookmaking, felt, bead, wire, bead, and paint, you can find a kit with all the supplies and directions for a craft lover.
Don’t want to get them a kit? Basic art and craft supplies make a great gift. If you add in some fun, unusual craft supplies it makes it even more exciting. If you are on Facebook, you know that our kids are getting re-stocked art supplies with a couple of fun new additions as part of their Christmas present.
4. Audio Stories
Ever since my oldest stopped taking a nap every day we have learned to love a good audio story. He often listens to these while he rests and plays quietly during rest time. You can buy quality audio stories or get them from your library. We have found that the quality of library audio books varies quite a bit.
Entire audio sets of books like The Chronicles of Narnia , or another story you know the child will love make a great gift.
Sparkle Stories has a subscription option for weekly stories. There are several different stories you can subscribe to for various ages. Each story has 52 segments, one story per week for a year.
We have never gotten a subscription, but they frequently offer free stories (obviously you don’t get the continuation) and we have really enjoyed those.
This is a husband and wife team who were formerly Waldorf educators. All the stories are original, and you will be supporting a family owned business.
Greathall also has a host of story options by Jim Weiss (who is the reader for the popular audio version of Story of the World books). You can find these stories divided by age (beginning at age 3), or by time period which would be great if you are studying, or your child has as particular interest, in a specific era of history.
I have only heard parts of Story of the World, so I can’t vouch for everything there, but there are some great options.
This is a great way to introduce children to stories, culture, history, and classic literature all at once. These are available on CD or by download.
5. Maestro Classics
Stephen Simon is a classical musician who was the Music Director of the Washington Chamber Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for 25 years. He founded Maestro Classics as a way to combine stories and classical music in hopes of encouraging a love of music in children.
Well, we love them. Hands down, Stefan will tell you that Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel and Peter and the Wolf are his all time favorite. These are always asked for as soon as we get in the car, and they frequently get listened to while the kids are playing as well.
Each CD features the track with the musical story. There are also additional tracks where they explain what instruments they used to make different sounds (like the trombones for the airplanes), and various other things. You can listen to a sample on their site.
Those are my ideas. Now I’d love to hear some of your ideas!
What are some great non-toy gifts for kids?Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting My Home Tableau.