As a parent I love making the holiday season magical for my kiddos. I grew up loving all the holidays and hope the same for my girls. However, I also see how quickly our playroom becomes overflowing with new toys that get no playing time. Toys that break quickly, get lost, or are no longer fun after approximately 5 minutes. My husband and I made it a goal to set a Christmas gift tradition for our kiddos to find the magic of the holidays through long lasting non-toy gifts. Experiences and ideas that will last beyond the new year. If you are looking for some unique non-toy toddler gift ideas that last beyond one holiday, check out some of our ideas!
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Subscription boxes for kids are a game changer. It allows them to continue to receive a little box of join each month instead of just Christmas. We have a list of different boxes we are interested in trying with our toddlers, but our tried and true favorite is KiwiCo. Their themed monthly boxes are geared appropriately by age while also being super interesting and fun for our kiddos. They loved getting “mail” each month with a new box. I loved how the girls were able to do most of the activities on their own. They are challenging enough to last for a full day project for them with minimal intervention. Check out the various age ranges from toddler to middle school, to see if your kiddo would love to try them! Subscriptions are great non-toy toddler gift ideas for something affordable and ongoing.
My toddlers love baby dolls and stuffed animals of all kinds. This year, we opted for keepsake bears made from their first outfits and hospital blanket. We ordered from Stitches by Natalie, and I was blown away by the quality of her work. These bears are not only adorable, but it is something I will treasure for years to come along with each of my kids. You can use any favorite outfits, swaddles, or blankets to remember their newborn days or someone in your life.
Sleeping Bags/Bedroom Sets
Precious toddler sleep! Hopefully yours is getting some, and hopefully you are too! We are using holiday gifts as an opportunity to invest in bedroom sheets and comforters for our toddler’s impending move to a big girl room that she will love. Personalizing her bedroom will be something she enjoys for more than just Christmas. We also decided to snag long lasting sleeping bags that the kids can use for years. They love making forts and sleeping together, so sleeping bags will be the perfect fit. There are tons of animal sleeping bags like these, and everything from mermaid tails to sharks. They are perfect for future sleepovers or girl scout camping trips and we cannot wait to see them in use! Our toddlers love gifts that they can personalize with their own style.
Play Tent or Playhouse
Our kids love imaginative play. Serving pretend ice cream from a truck, cooking pretend dinner, or living in a pretend house. There are tons of creative and high quality options for an indoor playhouse such as this fun ice cream truck playhouse that make for hours of imaginary play. Our oldest already has a teepee tent in her room that she uses as a reading nook, and they love spending their days playing inside.
If you have a hands on toddler, they can spend endless hours building. Building forts, using blocks, and creating are great for independent play time. We have the mega blocks in our playroom and our kids love building castles, towers, and zoos for their animals. This year we are getting our toddlers some Piccaso tiles to step up their building game! For older children, there are even more challenging building options such as model building sets that will require many hours of effort. This is the closest item to a “toy” on our list, but allows for lots of creativity and hands on learning.
Kids Yoga or Exercise Equipment
Exercise is a staple (most of the time) in our house. Our kids see the various fitness routines we do at home, and love engaging in their own exercising. There are some really fun exercise kits for kids like this Yogi Fun yoga kit for kids that includes easy yoga poses and games. Pair it with a kid-sized yoga mat, and you have an exercise routine that they can continue with for months to come.
Bring on the sweet treats! My toddlers love any opportunity to whip up a delicious treat in the kitchen (with parent help.) Gift them a fun toddler recipe book and some baking supplies for creative time in the kitchen. If you have family recipes to share, this makes for a great opportunity for quality bonding time with your child all throughout the year! We cannot wait to make some cake pops with our toddlers with this cake pop maker! If you really want to invest in a baking/cooking relationship with your kiddos, or you are interested in healthy eating activities, the learning tower is an absolute MUST for toddlers in the kitchen!
Even if you live in a winter wonderland during the holidays, stocking up on fun outdoor activities is a great gift idea for toddlers. Kids love to get their hands dirty and spend time outside whenever possible. Check out some kid’s gardening supplies for an ongoing summer project, or invest in a high quality tree swing like the one for a fun outdoor activity that they can use all year. The outdoors can be the best place for play, so stocking up on non-toy toddler gifts for use outdoors can brings lots of exploration.
While most parents are not too keen on getting kids a serious pet as a Christmas gift, there are some other options with less responsibility that can make great toddler gift ideas for your animal lover. Get a high quality bird feeder and bird seed to attract new birds to your yard. Check out this butterfly garden that allows kids to watch the full life cycle of the butterfly. Invest in a small fish tank with a starter fish such as a betta fish as a starter “pet.”
As the sister of a speech language pathologist, I am very aware of how important speech development can be for toddlers. While speech is a milestone with a wide array of timelines for all kids, there are tons of activities you can do at home to foster speech habits and practices. We are giving our toddler a SmartFelt toys farm which is n awesome sensory learning tool with a reversible 3D felt play activity. While promoting early language and vocabulary development. It is a fun storytelling and preschool geared game that the whole family can enjoy.
The holidays are a magical time, but my wish for you is that you all enjoy the magic long after the day is over for the year! What are some of your favorite non-toy toddler gift ideas for this year?
All the best,