You’ll love this ultimate list of the BEST non toy gifts for kids. We’ve done all the research for you and researched the most creative, fun, and educational gifts that kids will love to receive! This list contains kids kids Christmas gift ideas, birthday gifts for kids, and gifts that encourage thinking, movement, and creativity.
It happens multiple times every single year. Another Christmas comes around, another birthday comes and goes, and we are left with a new pile of toys that we have to find a spot for.
Why Give Gifts That Aren’t Toys?
While toys encourage imaginative play and definitely have their place in a child’s life, it is also good to give non toy gifts too!
There are SO many non toys gifts for kids that truly encourage kids to be creative, get outside and explore, or learn something new.
As a mom of five kids and a former elementary school teacher, I’ve researched the BEST non toy gifts for kids and created this huge list of gift ideas for kids.
My kids were more than happy to help create this list based on what they are loving, what all their friends want school, and what some of the trending gifts are.
The BEST Non Toy Gifts for Kids
This list is organized into different categories to make it easy to find the perfect gift for your child, grandchild, student, or other child in your life.
Use this list over and over again! Every Christmas, birthday, and other special event is a great time to revisit this list for more gift ideas.
* Be sure to pin our non toy gift list for later so you can refer back to it again and again!
Kids Gift Shopping Made Easy
Because I am a big Amazon fan (and a fan of having things shipped right to my door), I’ve included all the Amazon links to these gifts so you can easily shop from your phone or computer.
These links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small percentage of any purchase made through these links at no extra cost to you.
BEST Science and STEM Gifts for Kids
Kids can easily turn rough rocks into beautiful polished gemstones with a rock tumbler and a little time. Use the provided rocks as well as rocks your child finds on their own.
My son will be so excited to open this rock tumbler for Christmas this year!
Break open these rocks to reveal gorgeous amazing crystals inside! These geodes are 100% natural and come with 10 premium geodes, goggles, a learning guide, AND two display stands.
Help foster your budding scientist’s curiosity with a new microscope! This cool microscope comes with a portable carrying case and 49 accessories to help your little scientist to discover more about the world around them.
Kids will love to create their own miniature garden and watch it grow. This fun terrarium even lights up from the top with an LED light that can be recharged with the included micro-USB cable.
This butterfly garden is a wonderful way to watch nature come alive in your own home! I used to teach 2nd grade and the kids were fascinated with the process of watching their caterpillars go through their growth cycle and turn into beautiful butterflies that you release into nature.
What kid wouldn’t love to build their own robot? This robot building set comes with everything you need to build a robot, including a remote control and a USB charging cable.
Kids can grow their own crystals at home and feel like a real chemist mixing the special ingredients needed to grow their crystals. Once the crystals have been formed they can be placed on the included LED light-up display and turned into a piece of art!
Let your child be a paleontologist for a day and dig up 15 REAL fossils that are buried in a dig brick. This fossil dig kit comes with a brick filled with 15 real fossils, tools to excavate the fossils, a learning and instruction guide, and a sachet to hold all the fossils.
This beautiful 5-gallon aquarium is perfect for small spaces and is a wonderful beginner aquarium kit. It has hidden filtration and an LED aquarium light with natural daylight and moonlight settings.
BEST Technology Gifts for Kids
This popular camera is all the rage for upper elementary-aged kids and tweens. It comes in a variety of colors and your photo comes out almost instantly after you take it, just like the old Polaroid cameras.
I have one of these cameras and bought my daughter one last year too and they’re great! Don’t forget to buy extra film too!
Headphones for kids are becoming more of a necessity today. These wireless headphones come in different colors AND they light up, fold up, have a microphone, and are bluetooth.
This portable charger is perfect for charging iPhones, iPods, Samsung Galaxys, and more. Add one full charge with this portable charger, which is convenient for day trips, school, vacations, and more.
Kids love anything with a controller, and with this user-friendly mini drone made for kids, they can control their very own drone! This cute drone features 24 minutes of flight time, one button that lets the drone take off and hover at a certain height, and more.
My sons been begging for a digital watch, so I bought him this watch this year because it’s inexpensive, has great reviews, and comes in TONS of different colors.
There’s also a pretty amazing smart watch for kids that’s made for ages 4 and up that is splash proof, takes photos, videos, and can even add funny filters!
Colorful walkie talkies are on my son’s Christmas list this year and are made for ages 4 and up. These walkie talkies are great for getting the kids outside to play, fun for camping, hiking, and more.
My daughter loves hers because she says that she feels “so old fashioned and cool” doing something we did years ago, like on Strager Things, ha!
If your child has a smart phone or device, then they would love to have their own pair of AirPods! My kids LOVE theirs because they are wireless, come with a charging base, are easy to set up with Apple devices, feature amazing sound, and charge very quickly. You can even use “Hey Siri” with these.
If your child has AirPods, or will be getting them, be sure to get a fun case to go with them! There are so many inexpensive AirPods cases, like this donut case, Sour Patch candy case, a video game controller case, and even a cute avocado case!
This amazing waterproof camera is made for ages 3 and up and can go up to 95 feet deep in water! It can take photos, record videos, and includes a lanyard, mounts, straps, a USB cable, and more.
This cute, compact wireless speaker has a 10 hour battery life, built-in microphone, features hands-free calling, and can connect to a smart phone or tablet from up to 33 feet away.
If your child loves to sing or perform, then this wireless bluetooth karaoke microphone might be the perfect gift! It’s portable, can record your voice, can disguise your voice, can be a portable speaker to play your own music, and can even be used as an FM radio!
BEST Craft Gifts for Kids
From glitter glue to buttons to Pom Poms to sequins, this all in one craft kit features everything a child needs to get crafty!
Kids can easily learn the technique of weaving and make their own weaved creations with this kids weaving loom set. This kit comes with everything you need to make five different weaved projects.
What child wouldn’t love to create their own mini lava lamp with this cool lava lamp activity set?
Your child can learn to sew easily on a beginner sewing machine made specifically for kids. This machine comes with 12 built-in stitches, is portable, and can be battery or electric powered.
Girls will love creating their own lovely string art for their bedroom with this creative kit unicorn string art set.
Kits will spend hours creating with this rainbow scratch paper books kit. Kids use the provided stylus to scratch the black paint off the page to reveal the bright colors underneath and create their own designs.
Your child will love experimenting with marbling on water and transferring their pretty marbled creations onto paper with this marbling paint kit for kids.
This fun paint by sticker book puts a new creative twist on the old paint by numbers books. Instead of painting by number, the kids add colored stickers to the page to create colorful animal mosaics that look pretty amazing!
I remember loving these fun kits as a child. This window art craft kit comes with everything a child needs to make their own colorful sun catchers to hang in a window.
Kids love making friendship bracelets for each other, and this popular friendship bracelet craft kit comes with a 58 page instruction manual, enough supplies to make 12 friendship bracelets, and has won a National Parenting Award.
Encourage your kids to spread kindness and happiness by painting colorful rocks and hiding them throughout the community for people to see. This rock painting kit comes with a variety of paint, rocks, stickers, and more, all designed to bring a smile to someone else’s face.
Kids can create their own emoji beaded bracelets with stretchy beading cord, colored and emoji beads, and an instruction booklet.
BEST Art Gifts for Kids
Your bidding fashionista will adore creating their own outfits and looks with these classic style fashion plates. My best friend and I used to spend hours with these when I was a kid!
Aspiring artists can easily draw elegant, spiral designs with this Spirograph Design Set that comes in a cool tin. This was inspired by the original 1965 spirograph, and is another classic activity that kids today still love.
Get your child interested in art with some how to draw books! Some of our favorites are the How to Draw Cute Stuff Book, How to Draw All the Things for Kids, The Drawing Book for Kids (where there is a drawing tutorial for every day of the year), Draw Your Favorite Disney Pixar Characters, and How to Draw Animals for Kids.
This highly-rated art set for kids features colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolors, mixing palettes, sketch pencils, and more, all inside a portable handy wood storage case.
Bring out the artist in your child with this fantastic acrylic paint set! This 27-piece set includes tubes of acrylic paint, canvases, a tabletop easel, paintbrushes, an art smock, a palette, and a color guide, which is all you need to get your child started.
This standing art easel features a dry erase board on one side and a chalkboard on the other side. There’s also a roll of paper on top that can be pulled down and drawn on, along with an art supply tray at the base.
I was always so impressed with my students’ watercolor pencil creations when I taught school. Kids can create gorgeous works of art with these watercolor pencils that you first draw with, then use a paintbrush and water to blend the brush stroked and lines together.
This colorful watercolor pan set includes 48 different watercolor paint colors, 3 different watercolor brushes, and is non-toxic, perfect for beginning artists!
If your child loves to color or use their colored pencils, then this detailed animals coloring book might be the perfect non toy gift for them! This gorgeous coloring book features 100 different animals to color in with lots of details.
If your child is a Harry Potter fan, then they will love this Harry Potter coloring book!
If you have a toddler, then you probably already know all about the genius Crayola Color Wonder products!
This amazing line of markers and paper work together- the markers show up as invisible on furniture, clothes, and bodies, but create colorful lines when pressed onto the Color Wonder paper. This is the perfect gift for toddlers… and their mamas! 😉
Multi-surface paint pens are a colorful way for kids to create on fabrics, wood, rocks, mugs, glass, canvas, porcelain, metal, and more!
Colorful oil pastels are a great way to get your kids to create beautiful works of art. These colorful pastels go on smoothly and blend easily. My daughter is obsessed with this oil pastel set that I bought her a few years ago!
A gel pen set is lots of fun for kids to doodle, draw, and write with. These pens write smoothly and include 33 different colors.
Get your kids creating outside with a big sidewalk chalk set. These jumbo pieces of chalk are non-toxic, wash off easily, and come with 20 pieces of chalk.
Get your child’s creative juices flowing by letting them create their own comic books! This blank comic book has 120 plank pages with 7 panel action layouts on each page, making it a must-have for any comic book or action lover.
BEST Hands On Gifts for Kids
Gift ideas in this section are sure to keep those little hands busy and having fun!
What kid can resist a handful of scented fluffy slime? This slime set comes in 5 different colors and scents and is sure to be a hit with kids.
If your child prefers to make their own slime, then this slime kit is perfect for them! It’s made by Elmer’s, so you know the ingredients are quality.
It even comes with glow in the dark activator, metallic and confetti liquids, and more!
Soft, moldable kinetic sand is a fun sensory experience, comes in all different colors, and is great for kids of all ages.
Cloud dough feels like squishing a soft cloud in your hands. It’s made by Play-Doh and comes in different colors for lots of playtime fun.
Kids love playing with this classic fun modeling compound that comes in tons of colors.
This squishies painting kit is next to try- it comes with 4 slow rise large squishies, paint, paintbrushes, glitter, gemstones, and more!
Not only are these backpacks adorable and perfectly kid-sized, but they come with a sweet animal friend that straps right onto the back of the backpack!
Here are our favorite three backpacks that our kids love!
- Naturally KIDS Unicorn Backpack with Pink Unicorn Toy for Kids 3-7
- Naturally KIDS Dinosaur Backpack with Green T-rex Toy for Kids 3-7
- Naturally KIDS Unicorn Backpack – Kids Suitcase with Stuffed Animal
Your child will love to hear the music they make with this instrument set. This big set includes 22 musical instruments that can be shaken, tapped, beaten, and blown by toddlers all the way up to adults.
Kids can work just like daddy and mommy with this durable kids tool set. This set includes a fully functional measuring tape, a pretend drill that makes sounds, and a handful of other tools, all in a handy portable carrying case.
This adorable realistic dollhouse is over 2.5 feet high and 2 feet wide, with different 3 levels and 6 rooms. This dollhouse already comes with 20 furniture pieces and lots of decorative details that any child would love.
Little Disney fans will love dressing up as their favorite mouse! This Minnie Mouse dress up kit comes with four tops, three skirts, a Minnie Mouse ears headband, and a lot more that will keep your little girl busy.
Your little princess will have a blast picking from an assortment of princess shoes and jewelry to wear!
Dress up isn’t just for girls! Boys will have fun dressing up as a pirate, a construction worker, and more with this cool dress up set that comes with a trunk to store them all in.
BEST Outdoor Gifts for Kids
Give the gift of the great outdoors to your kids with these fun outdoor gift ideas for kids. All of these gifts involve being active outside, and make the perfect non toy gifts for any occasion!
These fun kids binoculars come in TONS of bright colors and are small and lightweight with a high magnification of 8x.
Kids who love being outside and camping will adore their very own sleeping bag. This lightweight waterproof sleeping bag is perfect to use for 3 seasons.
My parent gave my kids a big trampoline a few years ago for our backyard and it has been the gift that keeps giving! Our outdoor trampoline keeps my kids active, gets them outside, and is a great form of exercise.
This sweet fairy garden kit lets your child paint their own fairy and unicorn figurines, plant and grow their own wheatgrass in their garden, then light up their fairy gardens with the included fairy lights.
If your child loves blowing and popping bubbles, then an automatic bubble machine could be the perfect gift! This portable bubble maker is perfect for outdoor play and parties and creates perfect automatic bubbles.
This big gardening for kids set includes everything your child needs to help work in the garden just like mom and dad. The set even includes a canvas tote to put the supplies and tools inside.
Kids will love painting their own bird feeder, then hanging it and watching the birds that come to feast on the food.
This hula hoop can easily be adjusted to your child’s size. You can even take it apart for easy storing!
Cute animal pool floats are a fun gift that kids who have access to a pool would love to get! This 3 pack features a flamingo, penguin, and a duck pool float.
BEST Bedroom Decor Gifts for Kids
LED lights are ALL the rage these days with kids. They’re a fun way to decorate a bedroom and use a remote control to change the colors and mood of a bedroom with the simple press of a button.
My kids all have LED lights in their rooms and they LOVE them! This great set comes with 32 feet of LED lights that any child would love to get as a gift.
My girls love their pink Himalayan salt lamps and the nice relaxing light they add to their rooms. They are very relaxing, and this set even comes with a two pack for a great price, which means you could give one away and keep one for yourself! 😉
My daughter has this dinosaur night light on her Christmas list this year because you can hold it, it changes colors, and it’s just so cute! It’s also rechargeable, which means you won’t have to worry about your child wasting the batteries.
My girls have always loved their jewelry boxes we bought them to store all their jewelry. This pretty ballerina jewelry box is silver plated with a heart on the front and plays the tune of “Fur Elise.” It’s a gorgeous jewelry box for that little girl in your life.
Both boys and girls love playing and relaxing in a tepee. A tepee could be a permanent thing in a larger room, or could be brought out for playtime for the kids to play in.
This foldable pop-up castle play tent is an easy, portable way to encourage imaginative play with your child. It can be used indoors or out and even has gloves-in-the-dark hearts and stars on the outside!
This adorable kids bean bag comes in tons of different colors and patterns that would match any kids room! These are a fun way to relax with siblings and friends and make a cute room decoration.
A lava lamp is a nice, soothing way to relax and makes for a fun kids room decoration.
A darling snuggly throw blanket in a cute print is the perfect gift for a boy or a girl! These sweet blankets feature cute patterns and look oh so cozy!
BEST Games and Puzzles for Kids
If you’re a fan of The Settlers of Catan, then your kids will probably love Catan Junior. This is a modified version of the classic game and is perfect for kids!
My daughter has this puzzle box and loves it! She loves that she can hide her money inside hidden compartments.
This classic cube has stood the test of time and is fun for kids growing up today too!
My kids love this fun guessing game, where you wear what your are on your head and everyone gives you clues to try to figure it out. There is also a Disney Hedbanz game, Hedbanz Junior, and my personal favorite, Harry Potter Hedbanz!
If the force is strong with your Padwan, then they will definitely love this Star Wars Monopoly game, where you can buy Geonosis, Tattooine, and more.
This cool 3D dinosaur puzzle building set comes with 6 different dinosaur puzzles that can be reused or displayed when completed.
There are SO many activity books to choose from, depending on your child’s age and interests. This Dot to Dot book looks like a lot of fun, and is for ages 4-8.
Kids who enjoy puzzles and riddles will love this book that’s filled with 300 riddles and brain teasers.
My daughter has told me all about this game that her and her friends all want, where you complete with family and friends to create the funniest memes. This is a family friendly version of an adult game.
BEST Kitchen and Food Gifts for Kids
This classic oven baking set was big when I was a child and is still popular today! Kids can safely bake real food and treats in this oven made for kids.
Kids who love to bake will love expanding their menus with this simple baking for kids book. The book contains over 55 easy recipes and brightly colored photos.
A gorgeous modern kids play kitchen is a great non toy gift for kids that encourages hours of imaginative play while kids bake, cook, and play in their new space.
This kitchen accessories kit makes playing in a kids kitchen much more fun! This big set comes with pots, pans, a colander, and apron, a hat, and so much more.
This colorful set of safe knives is safe for even toddlers to use to help mom and dad in the kitchen. They easily cut all sorts of food, and enable younger kids to cut while keeping their little fingers safe.
You little chef will love helping out in the kitchen with this kids cooking and baking set! This set comes with 25 pieces that include an apron, a chef hat, a baking mitt, a rolling pin, and so much more.
If your child is obsessed with Cake Boss and other cake decorating shows like mine, then a beginner’s cake decorating kit might be the perfect gift!
BEST Sports Gifts for Kids
This rubber junior football comes in multiple colors that are easier for smaller hands to throw and catch than the larger sizes.
Basketball fans will love playing with these colorful basketballs made specifically for kids.
These cool, colorful animal-themed soccer balls look great on and off the soccer field and have multiple modern animals you can choose from.
There are so many fun bikes to choose from, depending on your child’s size, age, and the type of bike that you are looking for. Browse the bikes and see which one your child would love the best!
Just like the bikes, there are lots of different scooter options for kids, depending on age, size, and style.
Teach your kids to skate with this smaller beginner’s skateboard that features a cool black and white checkered pattern,
I practically lived in my roller skates as a child, and my daughter has roller skates on there Christmas list this year. Roller skates are a great way to enjoy life outdoors, get some exercise, and get better with balance!
Ever since my daughter first tried her friend’s hoverboard, she has wanted one. This fun version even has wheels that light up and a blue tooth speaker!
Kids will enjoy hours of fishing with a basic beginner fishing set that comes complete with a fishing pole, a storage bag, hard and soft lures, bobbers, hooks, a lure storage case, and more!
The classic Slip n Slide was a favorite of mine when I was a kid, and is guaranteed to bring hours of wet water fun!
These gorgeous ombre stainless steel water bottles are great for getting kids to drink more water and come in a variety of colors.
BEST Bath and Beauty Gifts for Kids
This cute lip gloss kit lets girls create their own lip gloss tubes and lip balm pots! Girls can customize their flavors, add glitter and coloring, and even decorate their containers with the included stickers.
Your dinosaur fan will love making 6 of their own dinosaur soaps with this fun soap making kit! This fun kids includes the soap base, fragrances, colors, molds, glitter, beaker, instruction guide, and more.
My kids are obsessed with making their own soap and bath bombs, and with this fun kit they can easily make both!
This inclusive kit comes with citric acid, epsom salt, baking soda, crystallized sea salt, liquid coloring, fragrances, baby oil, glitter, soap blocks, and lots of molds and tools. As a result, your kids can start making their own bath bombs and soap.
You kids will actually enjoy taking baths with these bath crayons that are great for writing on the bathtub, shower, or bath wall. These unique crayons won’t disintegrate in water and even come with a handy mesh storage bag!
I was obsessed with my pink Caboodle makeup case when I was younger, and I love that these have made a major comeback!
Because of my good experience, I bought my daughter a Caboodle for Christmas- ssshhhhh, don’t tell her. Caboodles offer spacious storage, a mirror, and different levels and compartments to help your child keep their toiletries nice and neat.
Scrunchies are another childhood favorite of mine that has made a major comeback! We ordered my daughter this scrunchie set earlier this year and she loves it! It comes a huge variety of 75 scrunchies, and she can always find one to match her outfit.
It’s nice to have a diffuser in your child’s room to help them relax, focus when doing schoolwork, cheer up their mood, and more. This highly rated diffuser is great for a kids room and lights up to 7 different colors. Be sure to use kids safe essential oils when diffusing for your kids.
Little girls love getting their nails painted, and with this Frozen-themed peel off non-toxic nail polish set you can feel good about your child wearing nail polish. This set comes with 18 pretty colors of nail polish with Frozen characters on the lids, perfect for your little princess!
Wet brushes are our favorite brushes for untangling knotty hair, and now you can buy Disney-themed wet brushes! Choose from Cinderella, Elsa, Jasmine, or two-brush sets with Elsa and Anna brushes 0r Jasmine and Snow White brushes.
Best Experience Gifts for Kids
- Movie tickets
- Sports events tickets
- Date with parents tickets
- Museum passes
- Gift card to shop with mom or dad
- Money to buy something they’ve been wanting
- Gift card for a favorite restaurant or activity
- Coupon booklet for day of no chores, free ice cream, etc.
- Lessons or classes- dance, music, sports, cooking, voice, swim, etc.
- Subscription boxes based on child’s interest- crafts, sports, cooking, etc.
I hope you enjoyed our giant list of non toy gifts for kids!
I researched for many many hours, talked to my kids about their favorite gift ideas, and read reviews to find the best gifts that aren’t toys that your kids will love.
These non toy gifts for kids make amazing Christmas gifts, birthday presents, graduation gifts, and more.
Be sure to pin this post and refer back to it whenever you need to buy a gift for any child in your life!
Favorite Kids Projects
- How to Make Snow (with just 2 ingredients!)
- Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils
- DIY Treasure Stones
- Shimmery Mermaid Slime