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10 gift ideas for kids (that are not toys)


The season is upon us: birthdays. For some reason birthdays come in groups for us. As my daughter gets older, I notice that birthday celebrations become more of a common event, sometimes even doubling up on weekends. I don’t know about you- but I cannot afford to spend $20 per kid or more. We are on a budget! I love all of my friends’ kid’s, but if I want to go to every party I have to come up with creative ways to give gifts. Another note: I don’t know about you, but after a while a ton of toys can get overwhelming. I mean, I know birthdays are meant to be fun, but when my daughter gets something useful or practical once in a while that she also like it is a win for us. I also have several friends who request no toys. What am I supposed to buy? Over the years I have racked my brain on useful and non-toy birthday gifts that most kids ages 3-10 will enjoy and use.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from Amazon. I only recommend products I love and use!

Jewelry/ Accessories

My daughter loves getting cute little necklaces, stick-on earrings,  headbands, cute hats, and purses. All of these cute little accessories are great because I usually do not want to spend a dime on these things. Another fun idea along the same lines is a jewelry box. Some cute ideas are Melissa & Doug Design-Your-Own Bracelets, or Enchantmints Ballet Heart Shape Music Box.


Sunglasses are an essential for summer, so these make a great gift. Plus, my daughter constantly loses her glasses. It is nice to have a couple! These adorable little glasses are perfect! RIVBOS RBK002 Rubber Flexible Kids Polarized Sunglasses Wayfarer Style Age 3-10 (Pink)


Beach Towels

Beach towels or bathroom towels are another fun gift. My daughter loves having her “own” washcloths, bath towels, and beach towels. Another thing we don’t buy her, but when she gets as a gift she loves! Here is a cute Spiderman beach towel for only $12.99! Boy’s Spiderman Beach Towel-28Wx58L


We are an avid reading family, so books are amazing. I get really tired of reading my daughter the same books night after night. A good, age appropriate, book is always a WIN! Some of our family favorites are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Goodnight Moon, or this fun laugh out loud jokes book for kids! Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids

Videos/ DVD’s

Reading is not our only activity- we also love to watch movies! Movies make a great gift because it is so nice to have a collection of entertainment for our kiddo. We love getting and recieving Disney and Pixar movies, PBS shows for toddlers, and family-friendly movies! Our current faves our Inside Out (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack + Digital Copy) and My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Friendship Games

Sporting Equipment

Active families will appreciate outdoor and sporting equipment. A soccer ball, outdoor game, or yoga mats all make awesome gifts for active kids! This is a great little first ball set! Toysmith Pro-Ball Set

Water Bottle

My favorite gift was a Camelbak kids water bottle. Functional, and my daughter absolutely loves her water bottle. Plus, they are leak-free! CamelBak Kid’s Eddy Water Bottle, Gators, .4-Liter


Crafts are always a hit. They are great for kids’ fine motor skills and provide hours of good entertainment. Melissa and Doug make awesome craft kits, and new coloring books are always a hit! Spirograph sets are super fun! Spirograph Design Tin Set

Baking supplies

Have a tiny baker on your hands? A culinary kid? Consider kitchen equipment! Cooking is a fantastic activity for kids that teaches them math and science, as well as essential skills for life. Sassafras Little Cook Children’s Kitchen Tools in Herb Pot Gift Set or The Disney Princess Cookbook are fun choices!


The gift of music is always wonderful. CD’s, music classes, or musical instruments are an awesome gift that provide entertainment as well as exercize the brain! Toddler Favorites CD or  Melissa & Doug Band in a Box would be perfect!

What gift ideas do you have? Share with me!

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  • Reply Tee

    Yes, having a ton of toys around is overwhelming! I love throwing parties for my kids but really don’t look forward to all the toys that come about from their parties. I love the idea of giving music, books, and bath towels. Art supplies is always a favorite of mine because they are so useful!

    February 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm
  • Reply Christine

    Great ideas! I know my little is always losing her sunglasses so I especially like that idea.

    February 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply Jenn

    My favourite gifts to buy kids (that aren’t toys) is books! I love reading and I love passing along the gift to others!!

    February 4, 2016 at 5:47 pm
  • Reply Miles L.

    When I think of gifts for kids, I tend to think about toys. However, your list gives me a lot of alternatives. I love giving books to kids. I think it is one of the best gifts we can give.

    February 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm
  • Reply Heather lawrence

    I love your selection of books! All of my “must have’s are in your list 🙂 Love the sunglasses suggestions..the kids need a new pair and this would be a great valentine treat!

    February 5, 2016 at 7:34 am
  • Reply Melissa

    I always loved to buy my daughter books but now I am constantly searching for something other than books because she is drowning in them. She collects all of her favorites and has bookcases full of them now so we have no room for new ones. I am starting to think about letting her get the Ebooks so they don’t overrun my home!

    February 5, 2016 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy

    I love colorful beach towels. And I think books are always a good gift idea for kids. Kids need to see that books still play an important role in their lives because they are now growing up with so much technology around them and reading everything online.

    February 5, 2016 at 11:29 am
  • Reply Angie @ My So-Called Chaos

    I love this! I always try not to get toys or video games for my godkids because they have so many and I want to inspire creativity. Books are a good one, but I love your other options you found too! Thanks for sharing!

    February 5, 2016 at 1:54 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    These are really good ideas! I also love to gift experiences! Like a trip to the zoo, a kids museum or maybe a water park!

    February 5, 2016 at 4:24 pm
  • Reply Yona Williams

    Awe…I remember that book Corduroy – the cover was so cute. Crafts really do make fun gifts for kids. I’ve also been getting science-type gifts for my nephew that teach about electronics and other topics. It’s educational and fun at the same time. I don’t really consider that a toy.

    February 6, 2016 at 5:57 am
  • Reply Adrienne

    hehe I love the parenthetical. These are great non-toy gifts for kids. I especially like the books and Play-Doh, both of which played a really big part in my childhood. So many fun memories or reading and making Play-Doh creations!

    February 6, 2016 at 10:13 pm
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