15+ Gift Ideas That Aren’t Toys
The Toy Problem
I love buying toys for my children. I love when their eyes light up when they open a new toy and how excited they are to play with it.
But, you know what I don’t like? Picking up the toys.
Then, one day I came across an article that discussed how experiences provide more lasting happiness than material gifts and decided to try something new – what if I bought gifts that weren’t toys?
The article talks about how experiences create lasting memories of joy that we can draw on in the future, extending the joy and having positive effects on our emotions. Whereas, when we get a material gift, we are initially excited, but the excitement wears off and we need to find something new to bring us excitement.
Going off the theory that experiences provide longer lasting joy than material things, my husband and I decided to make an effort to spend more money on experiences (or items that provided repeated experiences) instead of just buying toys all the time. We still buy toys occasionally, but mostly we try to provide new, fun experiences for the whole family to enjoy together.
In today’s post, I would like to share some ideas we have used (or received) as gifts that are not toys. Just writing this list makes me smile thinking about the fun times we had doing these things. I hope you find some inspiration and make some great memories!
The ‘No Toys’ List
Show Tickets – This could be a Disney show, Peppa Pig, Music Concert, whatever type of show your kids would be into depending on their age.
Children’s Museum – my oldest requested this for her 5th birthday and we had so much fun that we became members for the year!
Aquarium – This is what my 3 year old requested for her birthday and it did not disappoint.
Kids Furniture – My girls have a little table with two chairs. They call it their “tea party table”. So cute! They use it for all kinds of things…eating, coloring, playing with their little figures, so much. Definitely a must have!
Subscription Box – There are so many options these days! Kids love getting things in the mail and subscription boxes offer everything from toys, traveling, snacks, and more. Kiwi Crates offer different options for different ages. Little Passports, Citrus Lane, KidPik, Gamebox, Book Case Club, and Green Kid Crafts are also great ideas!
Clothes – always a winner! And get two birds with one stone because you don’t have to spend money on clothes later!
Butterfly garden – My oldest got this for her 5th birthday and it was a huge hit, so we thoroughly recommend it! They ship caterpillars and all the things needed to grow them into butterflies. Super cool for a wide age range!
Amusement park tickets – This could be a water park, amusement park, or something else local.
Books – always a good habit to encourage! BookLender is a great service where you can rent books, kind of like Netflix for books. I used it for a while before I had kids and had more time to read!
Bookroo is a subscription box of books for kids.
Canopy tour – these are becoming more and more popular. Check Google to see if there is something near you.
Games – These are a huge hit with my girls. Here are some of our favorites:
Apron– My kids each have an apron for cooking with me and they love to put them on when we bake!
Once we started giving experiences instead of toys, we were hooked! Love this idea? Pin it for later and share it with friends! You (and your kids) will be glad you did!