Ditch the clutter toys, and let’s talk about some amazing practical gifts for kids.

As the holiday season approaches, finding the perfect gifts for little kids can be both exciting and challenging.

Instead of adding to the sea of toys, consider practical and memorable options that promote learning, creativity, and quality family time.

In this gift guide, we’ve curated a list of practical gift ideas that cater to a variety of interests and developmental stages.

We promise the presents you choose will bring joy and value to the little ones in your life.

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Why Practical Gifts are a Great Option

Choosing practical gifts for kids, such as educational toys, books, or hands-on activities, can offer several benefits for their development.

Here are some reasons why parents and teachers might opt for practical gifts:

1. Promotes Learning

Practical gifts often have an educational component, encouraging children to learn new skills, explore topics of interest, and engage in hands-on experiences. This can enhance their cognitive development and curiosity.

2. Develops Creativity

Many practical gifts, like art supplies or building kits, foster creativity and imagination.

These activities allow children to express themselves, problem-solve, and think outside the box.

3. Enhances Fine Motor Skills

Activities that involve manipulating objects, such as building with blocks or crafting, can help improve a child’s fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills are important for tasks like writing, tying shoelaces, and other everyday activities.

4. Encourages Physical Activity

Gifts like sports equipment, bikes, or outdoor adventure kits encourage physical activity. Promoting an active lifestyle is crucial for a child’s overall health and well-being.

5. Fosters Responsibility

Practical gifts often require some level of responsibility, whether it’s taking care of a plant in a gardening kit or keeping track of personal items. This helps instill a sense of responsibility and accountability.

6. Long-Lasting Impact

Practical gifts, especially educational ones, can have a lasting impact on a child’s development. Books, for example, contribute to language skills and a love for reading that can last a lifetime.

7. Reduces Clutter

Practical gifts tend to be items that serve a purpose or have a specific use. Choosing gifts that contribute to a child’s interests or hobbies can help minimize the accumulation of unnecessary toys and clutter.

8. Encourages Social Interaction

Board games, building sets, and other practical gifts often involve interaction with others.

This promotes social skills, teamwork, and communication as children engage with friends or family members.

9. Supports Academic Development

Educational toys and activities can align with academic subjects, reinforcing what children learn in school. This can make learning more enjoyable and meaningful.

10. Cultivates a Growth Mindset

Practical gifts that involve challenges, problem-solving, and learning from mistakes contribute to the development of a growth mindset.

Children learn that effort leads to improvement and success.

Toys and fun activities certainly have their place. However, practical gifts offer a balance by providing entertainment along with educational and developmental benefits.

As parents and teachers, you may find that these gifts contribute to a child’s holistic growth and well-rounded development.

Best Practical Gifts for Kids

1. Gift Cards: A Versatile Option for Every Occasion

  • Gift cards are a great way to let parents choose the perfect gift for their child.
  • Whether it’s for their favorite bookstore, toy store, or clothing shop, a gift card ensures the child receives something they truly love.

2. Sleeping Bags: Adventure Awaits!

  • A sleeping bag is a practical and fun gift, perfect for camping in the living room or backyard.
  • It’s a great addition for older kids who love sleepovers or younger children having imaginative play.

3. Board Games: Family Fun for Christmas Morning

  • Board games are a classic and perfect way to spend quality time with family members.
  • Choose games suitable for all ages, ensuring lots of laughter and bonding on Christmas morning.

4. Art Supplies: Unleash the Creativity

  • Art supplies make for fantastic gifts that stimulate a child’s imagination and artistic development.
  • Consider a set of colored pencils, sketchbooks, or watercolor paints for endless creative possibilities.

5. Musical Instruments: Introduce the Joy of Music

  • A small musical instrument, like a harmonica or a child-friendly ukulele, can be a big hit.
  • It’s a wonderful gift that fosters a child’s interest in music and rhythm.

6. Magazine Subscription: A Gift That Keeps Giving

  • Choose a magazine subscription featuring the child’s favorite characters or topics.
  • It’s a unique and educational gift that arrives monthly, creating excitement and anticipation.

7. Dress-Up Clothes: Fueling Imaginative Play

  • Dress-up clothes are not just for pretend play; they contribute to a child’s development by enhancing social and cognitive skills.
  • Consider costumes that align with a child’s interests or favorite characters.

8. Sports Equipment: Get Them Moving

  • Sports equipment, such as a soccer ball, a basketball, or a jump rope, encourages physical activity.
  • Sports gifts for kids are an easy way to introduce kids to the joy of outdoor play.

9. Digital Camera: Capturing Memories in a Fun Way

  • A child-friendly digital camera allows little hands to document their world.
  • It’s a great way to encourage creativity and preserve memories from their unique perspective.
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10. Subscription Boxes: Monthly Surprises for Curious Minds

  • Kiwi Crate, National Geographic Kids, or other subscription boxes offer exciting monthly activities.
  • These subscription boxes for kids provide a mix of educational and entertaining content. We love how much they make learning a delightful experience.

11. Ice Cream Maker: Sweet Treats at Home

  • An ice cream maker is a delightful way to involve kids in creating their favorite frozen treats.
  • It’s a fun and tasty gift that encourages creativity in the kitchen.

12. Lego Sets: Building Blocks of Imagination

  • Lego sets offer endless possibilities for creative construction and imaginative play.
  • Choose a set that aligns with the child’s interests, whether it’s spaceships, dinosaurs, or cityscapes.

13. Balance Bike: Early Start to Biking Adventures

  • A balance bike is a perfect way to introduce little ones to the joy of biking.
  • Fun bikes for kids help develop balance and coordination, preparing them for future cycling adventures.

14. Jewelry Box: A Precious Keepsake

  • A personalized jewelry box is a wonderful gift for a little girl to store her treasures.
  • Choose one with a music feature for an added touch of magic.

15. Fun Socks: Colorful and Cozy

  • A collection of fun and colorful socks can make for a practical and amusing gift.
  • Look for socks featuring the child’s favorite characters or playful patterns.

16. Fairy Lights: Add Magic to the Bedroom

  • Decorative fairy lights can transform a child’s bedroom into a magical space.
  • Choose lights in different colors or shapes for a whimsical touch.

17. Toy Coupons or Coupon Books: A Personalized Gift

  • Create coupons for special treats or activities, such as a movie night, extra playtime, or a favorite meal.
  • It’s a thoughtful and personalized gift that allows for quality time together.

18. Educational Gifts: Stimulate the Mind

  • Choose educational gifts that promote learning, such as puzzle sets, science kits, or interactive books.
  • These gifts enhance problem-solving skills and encourage a love for learning.

19. Road Trips Adventure Kit: Fun on the Go

  • Put together a road trips adventure kit with travel-friendly games, snacks, and small toys.
  • It’s a great way to make family travels more enjoyable for everyone.

20. New Books: Expand Their Library

  • Introduce new books that cater to the child’s reading level and interests.
  • Books make for timeless and enriching gifts that can be enjoyed over and over.

21. Family Time Jar: Quality Time Guaranteed

  • Create a jar filled with different family activity ideas.
  • Each idea, when drawn from the jar, promises a unique and enjoyable family time.

22. Stocking Stuffers: Small Surprises

  • Fill their stockings with small, thoughtful surprises like stickers, mini games, or small puzzles.
  • Stocking stuffers add an extra element of excitement to holiday celebrations.

23. Rain Boots: Splash into Fun

  • Colorful and playful rain boots make for a practical yet whimsical gift.
  • Perfect for outdoor adventures in all kinds of weather.

24. Kiwi Crate Monthly Subscription: Hands-On Learning

  • Kiwi Crate subscription delivers hands-on activities that encourage curiosity and creativity.
  • It’s an excellent way to provide engaging learning experiences.

25. National Geographic Kids Membership: Explore the World

  • A National Geographic Kids membership offers access to interactive games, videos, and fascinating facts.
  • It’s a gift that combines entertainment with education. 

26. Kids Alarm Clock

  • If you’re trying to limit screen time in your child’s room, don’t fall for the “I need an alarm” plea.  This is why a kids alarm clock is a good option for your little ones.
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The Most Referred Non-Toy Gift Ideas

When choosing non-toy gifts for kids, you can consider options that promote creativity, learning, and experiences. 

Here are 35 most referred non-toy gift ideas for kids of all ages:

  • Books: Choose age-appropriate books to foster a love for reading.
  • Art Supplies: Crayons, markers, colored pencils, sketchbooks, and other art materials.
  • Board Games: Fun and educational games for family and friends.
  • Puzzles: Develop problem-solving skills with puzzles of varying difficulty levels.
  • Educational Kits: Science, math, or craft kits that provide hands-on learning.
  • Musical Instruments: Small instruments like a ukulele, harmonica, or a beginner’s keyboard.
  • Sports Equipment: Soccer balls, basketballs, or other sports gear.
  • Outdoor Adventure Kit: Compass, binoculars, and a magnifying glass for outdoor exploration.
  • Building Blocks: LEGO sets or other building toys for creativity and fine motor skills.
  • Subscription Boxes: Monthly subscriptions for activities like science experiments or crafts.
  • Gardening Kit: Seeds, pots, and gardening tools for a small indoor or outdoor garden.
  • Cooking Tools: Child-friendly cooking utensils and a cookbook for kids.
  • Personalized Items: Customized items like a backpack, water bottle, or pillow.
  • DIY Craft Supplies: Beads, glue, and other crafting materials for creative projects.
  • Art Classes: Enroll them in an art class or workshop.

More Non-Toy Gift Ideas

  • Music Lessons: Give the gift of music lessons for an instrument they’re interested in.
  • Sports Classes: Soccer, gymnastics, or martial arts lessons.
  • Science Museum Pass: Membership or tickets to a science museum.
  • Zoo Membership: Access to the zoo for a year of animal exploration.
  • Outdoor Gear: Child-sized camping equipment for outdoor adventures.
  • Personalized Storybook: A book where the child is the main character.
  • DIY Science Experiments: Kits or ingredients for fun and safe science experiments.
  • Movie Night Package: DVDs, popcorn, and cozy blankets for a movie night.
  • Personalized Puzzle: A custom puzzle featuring a picture of the child or their family.
  • Bike or Scooter: Encourage outdoor play with a new bike or scooter.
  • Interactive Globes: A globe that provides information about different countries.
  • Journal or Diary: Encourage writing with a cute journal or diary.
  • Educational Apps: Subscriptions to educational apps for tablets or smartphones.
  • Art Easel: A sturdy easel for painting and drawing.
  • Swimming Lessons: Enroll them in swimming lessons for water safety.
  • Chess Set: Introduce them to the strategic game of chess.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) Headset: Educational VR experiences for learning and fun.
  • Dance Classes: Sign them up for dance lessons.
  • Robotics Kits: Build-your-own robot kits for budding engineers.
  • Family Game Night Set: A collection of games suitable for family game nights.

Remember to consider the child’s age, interests, and developmental stage when choosing from these best non-toy gifts. 

Best Family Road Trip Gift Ideas

Planning road trips for kids can be a delightful way to create lasting memories.

Here are some road trip ideas and activities to keep children entertained and engaged during the journey:

1. Scavenger Hunt: 

Create a list of items for the kids to spot during the trip, such as license plates from different states, specific road signs, or certain colored cars. Award small prizes for successful finds.

2. Travel Bingo:

Prepare travel bingo cards with items commonly seen on the road (e.g., cows, gas stations, red trucks). Kids can mark off the items as they spot them.

3. Audio Books and Podcasts

Choose age-appropriate audio books or podcasts that the whole family can enjoy during the drive. This is a great way to combine entertainment with literacy.

4. Interactive Maps

Give each child a map and involve them in tracking the route. They can follow along, mark interesting places, and learn about geography.

5. Snack Packs

Create individual snack packs filled with a variety of treats. Having a selection of snacks can add excitement and help curb hunger during the journey.

6. Travel Journal

Encourage kids to keep a travel journal. They can write about their experiences, draw pictures, or collect small mementos from stops along the way.

7. Sticker Books

Provide sticker books or sheets for kids to decorate their travel journals or simply have fun sticking them on the windows (if it’s easy to remove).

8. Portable Games

 Bring along compact and travel-friendly games such as card games, travel-sized board games, or magnetic versions of classic games like chess.

9. Coloring Books and Crayons

Coloring books and crayons are timeless sources of entertainment. Consider investing in travel-sized coloring books or activity pads.

10. Storytelling

Take turns creating a collaborative story. One person starts with a sentence, and each family member adds to the story, creating a unique and often amusing tale.

11. Playlist Planning

Allow each family member to contribute to a road trip playlist. This can be a fun way to discover new music and share favorite songs.

12. License Plate Game

 Challenge the kids to spot license plates from as many different states as possible. You can even make it a competition with a prize for the winner.

13. Educational Apps

Download educational apps on tablets or smartphones that are both entertaining and educational for different age groups.

14. Rest Area Breaks

Plan stops at interesting rest areas with playgrounds or scenic spots. It’s a chance for everyone to stretch their legs and explore.

15. DIY Travel Kit

Create individual travel kits for each child with a mix of toys, games, and activities that cater to their interests.

Remember to plan for breaks, pack essentials, and consider the preferences and interests of your children to make the road trip enjoyable for everyone.

If you will be traveling with your kids, grab this free road trip packing list.

Tips for Finding Local Attractions as Experience Gifts for Kids

Finding local attractions for kids can be an exciting way to provide entertainment and educational experiences.

Here are some tips for discovering kid-friendly activities in your area:

1. Online Searches

Use search engines to look for kid-friendly attractions in your city or region. Include specific keywords such as “family-friendly activities,” “kids’ attractions,” or “children’s museums.”

2. Local Event Calendars

Check local event calendars on community websites, city pages, or parenting forums. These often list upcoming family events, festivals, and activities.

3. Social Media

Explore social media platforms for local parenting groups, family-focused pages, or event announcements.

Platforms like Facebook often have community groups where parents share information about kid-friendly activities.

4. Tourist Information Centers

Visit your local tourist information center or check their website for brochures and information about family-friendly attractions.

These centers are designed to help both tourists and locals discover interesting places.

5. Community Centers and Libraries

 Community centers and libraries often host kid-friendly events, workshops, and story hours. Check their schedules for upcoming activities.

6. Ask Other Parents

Talk to other parents in your community or your child’s school. They may have recommendations for great local attractions or know about events happening in the area.

7. Local Parks and Playgrounds

Explore local parks and playgrounds. Sometimes, there are special events, festivals, or programs happening in these outdoor spaces.

8. Children’s Museums and Science Centers

Look for children’s museums, science centers, or discovery zones in your area. These institutions often provide interactive exhibits and educational programs for kids.

9. Check with Schools

Schools often organize or promote community events. Contact your child’s school or nearby schools to inquire about upcoming activities.

10. Visit Local Businesses

 Toy stores, bookshops, and family-friendly cafes may have information about local events or attractions. Some businesses may even have bulletin boards displaying community announcements.

11. Attend Family-Focused Events

Attend community events specifically designed for families, such as fairs, parades, or holiday celebrations. These events often feature kid-friendly activities.

12. Local News Outlets

Keep an eye on local newspapers, TV stations, and news websites. They may highlight family events, attractions, or activities in your area.

13. City or County Websites

Explore the official websites of your city or county. They often have sections dedicated to recreation, parks, and family activities.

14. Parenting Magazines

Look for local parenting magazines or newsletters. They often include calendars of family-friendly events and attractions.

15. Online Review Platforms

Check online review platforms like Yelp or TripAdvisor for recommendations and reviews of kid-friendly places in your area.

Remember to consider the age and interests of your children when exploring local attractions to ensure a positive and enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Conclusion

This holiday season, consider stepping away from the traditional toy aisle and explore these practical and memorable gift ideas for little kids.

From fostering creativity with art supplies to encouraging outdoor play with sports equipment, these gifts contribute to a child’s development while providing hours of entertainment.

As an Amazon Associate, we’ve included affiliate links to make your shopping experience easier.

Whether you choose a magazine subscription, board games, or a digital camera, these gifts are sure to be a big hit and create lasting memories for the whole family. Happy gifting!

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