Alternative & Non-Toy Gift ideas for kids

Alternative & Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids

My Alternative & Non-Toy Gift Guide is for parents who don’t want to add more toys at home!!! (Are you with me? )
If you are tired of the pile of toys your kids have, this gift guide is for you. If you don’t want to buy your cousin one more toy they will keep in the basement, please keep reading.

I have listed below several good alternatives and educational gifts for kids. The gifts are focus on experience rather than an item. My ideas below can be used for Christmas gifts for kids or families. You can also use my ideas as Hanukkah gifts, birthday gifts, or get some inspiration for alternative gifts that are not a toy or items.

Alternative & Non-Toy Gift Ideas

1. Activity or craft subscription box

Alternative & Non-Toy Gift ideas for kids and families

Activity or craft subscription boxes will give your child a year of activities and hours of fun. Every month your child will rush to the mailbox to receive their box. They will discover and have fun with unique craft projects that follow a fun monthly theme. They will also receive a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activity/idea for a hands-on building that is fun and sometimes hilarious!

MyFunvelope is a Canadian craft subscription box and it costs $19 a month. You can also purchase a one time box for a family member.

2. Yearly subscription for a kids magazine

Alternative & Non-Toy Gift ideas for kids and families

Yearly subscription for a kids magazine can get your kids hours of activities, educational and learning opportunities. Owl Kids has a few magazines for kids of all ages. Kids love to get an envelope mailed to them. You will find activities you can do together and encourage your kid to read and write.

3. Yearly Pass to a Local Attraction

Yearly pass or a membership to an attraction means many days of fun! Here are a few ideas from the Toronto area: Wonderland, Ontario Science Centre and the ROM all sell yearly pass in early bird prices.

4. Gift Card To An Indoor Playground

All kids love playgrounds and all parents love indoor playgrounds in the wintertime. A gift card to a playground promises few weekends full of fun for kids and possible quiet for parents.

Look online for a nearby playground. I found that many of the playgrounds offer gift cards or 3 months pass you can purchase as a gift.

5. Tickets Or A Day Pass To An Attraction

If the cost of a yearly pass is more than what you plan to spend, you can gift your kids or family members tickets to many attractions in Toronto and the GTA. Here are a few of my favourite options: Tickets to Toronto Aquarium, Ontario Science Centre, Sky Zone and more.

One more great option is Cineplex gift cards. With Cineplex holiday promotion, when you send someone a $50 gift card, you get 2 free tickets for yourself!

6. Gift Of Learning

If you would like to give the gift of experiences- this one is a great idea. What if you could give a child a learning adventure like a cooking class, drop-in dance class, music for toddlers or even a gymnastics session. You will need to search for a bit and find something close by, but your money will be well invested.

7. Gift of Positive Messages

Words can move from paper straight to the heart. If you are looking for a fun way to send your kids positive messages, now it’s very easy. 

Chikidi mini cards invented by two moms from Toronto. You can get 2 packs of 12 mini cards and 12 matching mini envelopes  (total of 48 items) for 12$ and use them all year round for your kids’ lunch bags or just at home.


If you do want to purchase an item, here are two ideas you can wrap and give that are still a non-toy gift for kids:

This section contains affiliate links to Amazon. I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

8. Books To Read And Learn

If you do want to gift an item, I would recommend purchasing a book as a gift. Having books at home encourage kids to read more and develop their reading skills.

365 Bedtime Stories and Rhymes is a great book for a gift. This beautifully illustrated storytime treasury padded keepsake brings together the talents of illustrators from around the world with well-loved stories and rhymes both kiddos and their grown-ups will enjoy.

9. Art and Craft Kits

Art and craft activity is a good alternative for a toy. Kids can create different beautiful projects with a kit, develop motor skills and have a family fun time with parents and siblings. Art and craft kits are perfect for winter weekends when parents need to keep their kids busy at home.
Once the project is done, you don’t need to store it anymore (Hugh benefit when you live in a condo 🙂

There are many arts and craft kits online, but here a few options that we like to craft at our house

10. Useful & Practical Gift 

My last idea is the most obvious one, but I decided to put it here anyway. Buy something they need and will use for sure. From the things they need for school to sport equipment. If you would like to buy a gift for relatives or friends, just ask parents if there is anything they need right now or for the near future. Here are some ideas from the top of my mind: bicycle, skates, helmet, life jacket for swimming, books to practice reading, new bedding etc.


This is all for my Alternative & Non-Toy Gift Ideas For Kids. As Always, if you would like to share your tip or an interesting gift idea with us, feel free to comment below.

Diel Gerber

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