Gifts For Kids With Too Many Toys
Between birthdays, holidays, family visits, and various other special occasions — "Congratulations, you're out of diapers!" — a typical family home is overflowing with toys (some of which probably never see the light of day from the bottom of the toy chest). If you're looking to gift your kids with something that doesn't involve charging cables or batteries — something a little more meaningful and practical — we've got a great list of present options that aren't toys.
Read through to see our 19 picks for a variety of ages.
A Holiday Book
Giving a holiday book like Home Alone: The Classic ILlustrated Storybook ($19) on Christmas Eve gives the kiddos something to open before Santa comes, and the whole family can benefit. Snuggle up in blankets, make some cocoa, and read until they fall asleep.
Star Wars Droids Allover Print Large Backpack
A new Backpack ($27 - $55, originally $35-$75) for the second half of the school year or to use as a weekend bag is a great gift idea (and they can even store all the rest of their new gifts inside for easy Christmas morning clean up. A gift you both you and your child).
The Gift of Time
As your kiddo grows and starts to develop independence and autonomy, a watch like this Timex Digital Watch ($16) can be something that gives them a sense of responsibility, which is something both of you can be proud of.
Family Bucket List
The Family Bucket List kit ($18) is a creative way to shake things up in the house. Printed on the popsicle sticks are group activities like stargazing and fort-making, so on days when your clan needs an activity, you can choose one from the bucket list!
A Play Tent
While this may seem like just another storage solution for forgotten-about toys, a play tent ($119, originally $159) can be made into a really fun place for kids and parents to hang out. They can use it as a reading nook, to engage in imaginary play, or as a place to unwind.
Fun Room Decor
As kids get a bit older and want to personalize their spaces a bit more, room decor can be a great gift. Something like this Faux-Fur Creature Speaker ($55, originally $69) or a cute Bean Bag Chair ($135 - $235) can give their rooms a bit more personality and make their spaces more exciting to be in.
A Book Series Gift Set
There's nothing better than starting a book series with your kids. It's an activity that brings you all together and brings you into another world, if only for a short time before bed every night. The Harry Potter Series ($142) is great one to start with young kiddos.
Think outside the iPhone and gift them with a camera that prints its own photos on the spot. A halfway point between the instant gratification of a smartphone camera and a film camera, a Polaroid Camera ($64) is a fun way to show your kiddos how to capture the moment with a more careful, patient eye.
A Magazine Subscription
There's nothing like the feeling of getting actual paper mail — a joy that, sadly, our kids will experience less and less. With a Magazine Subscription ($15 per year for National Geographic Kids), their holiday gift will last all year long, and they can get excited about receiving something from the mail carrier with their name on it.
A Piggy Bank
Much like a watch, a piggy bank can teach kids a lesson — this time about saving. If it's a cool bank, like this Darth Vader Piggy Bank ($12), it will hopefully have the effect of them wanting to do more chores to earn more allowance to place inside (wink).
A Museum Membership
Whether you already have a favorite museum to visit or your family is itching to discover a new one, buying a family membership will give you the chance to visit the museum as a family throughout the year — without feeling the need to rush through the exhibits in one isolated visit.
Electric Ice Cream Maker
Even on a cold day, nothing beats an ice cream sundae party. With an ice cream maker ($140, originally $250) your kiddos can imagine their own flavors or stick to the classics — either way, they'll be proud of something they made themselves that the whole family can enjoy.
A Subscription Box
There are tons of moms who love getting a monthly subscription box in the mail, so why not let you kiddos have the same monthly mail joy? A service like Kiwi Crate ($60 for three months) may only come once a month, but its contents will keep them creating and imagining for weeks!
Several US cities — like New York, Chicago, Boston, and Seattle — have what's called a CityPass, which places discounts on a number of activities around the city. For example, the Southern California CityPass will get you a ticket to Disneyland Park and California Adventure, Legoland, SeaWorld, and, if you want to add it, the San Diego Zoo. It's a great way to take your kids to see the best of a city — your own or one you're visiting — for a discounted price.
An Experience Based on Interests
If your little one loves Eloise, you can gift them with a night at the Plaza Hotel ($2,043 and up a night) to live it up like E. Lots of kiddos' interests, like Harry Potter and Legos, have some type of experience that is tied into it.