Ten Gifts for Kids – that aren’t Toys 2013

 

In addition to our Top Twenty Toys and Games, we also like to give our children useful tools. These aren’t necessarily tools in the sense of hammers and screwdrivers, although we’ve given those too, but something that can be used to accomplish a task or purpose.

Some of our favorites may surprise you. Read on for some fun ideas:

[If you are reading this in an email or RSS reader, you will not be able to see any of the links. Please click on my blog if you would like to see the entire post.This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. ]

Light: headlamp, flashlight, reading light

I just asked Samuel to name the one tool that has been his favorite gift and his answer was a headlamp. Our guys use these all the time for camping and backpacking, but also for feeding cows, or doing any chores in the dark. Along the same lines, but not quite as adventuresome are reading lights and light wedges. I keep one in my suitcase and another in my nightstand for reading when the rest of the room needs to be dark. They also work well in the car and kids love them. You can also never go wrong with a good flashlight.

Cookbook/Kitchen Tools

On Bee and Ladybug’s 11th birthdays, they each received an apron and a Recipe Notebook that had page protectors and dividers for the basic types of recipes: Breads, Soups, Salads and Sides, Main Dishes, and Desserts. I put copies of simple family favorites in each section. They loved this gift and continue to regularly add recipes. It cost nearly nothing to make and has given them a sense of satisfaction as they learn to cook. We have also given cookbooks, especially to Sweet Pea who loves to cook.

Other fun things are cake decorating tools and special baking pans. Mimi was the french bread making champ at our house for years and a friend gave her these nice pans.

Magazine Subscriptions

Kids love getting mail! At various times our children have had subscriptions to Ladybug, Spider, Muse, Our Big Backyard, American Girl, Money, Kids National Geographic, and others.  We also enjoy Family Fun magazine, which is a great bargain.

Tools: toolbox, pocket knife, cleaning tools

We’ve given a toolbox for the car with tools necessary for quick repairs, a toolbox with general tools, and even a toolbox with a small hammer, level, and picture hanging supplies. A pocket knife is a great gift for a responsible child.  In our home, the small broom hand vacuum are considered lots of fun.

Knitting/Sewing/Crafting: sewing machine, knitting supplies, books

My girls all love to knit and are in the midst of some great projects.  Last year we gave them a simple sewing machine to share which was a huge hit.

Nature: gardening tools, bird feeder, binoculars

Russ loves to garden with the kids and we all enjoy having a bird feeder.  Binoculars are a great gift; we have three pairs that are always in demand.

Office Supplies

Laminator, stapler, jumbo paperclips, label maker, page protectors, scissors, a ream of paper, pens and pencils — what’s not to love? A child with a label maker can be a great assistant when it comes to organizing.

Education: globe, map puzzle, sign language DVD

I can’t help myself, I love things that teach my kids and stimulate their minds.

Travel/Camping gear: sleeping bags, lantern, rolling suitcase, travel games

Kids love to have their own sleeping bags and suitcases, and fun travel games help pass the hours on a long road trip.

Experiences:

A number of years ago my parents took all of their children and grandchildren to see The Nutcracker in downtown Seattle.  It was a fabulous and memorable gift. How about a concert or dinner out at a special restaurant?  What about taking a class together, or going to a ceramics painting studio?  Not only can we give our children a life experience, we’ll build memories that will last a lifetime.

Questions: What non-toy gifts have you given your children, or would like to give them?

Have a great start to your week, friends.

Lisa

One Thankful Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Kirsten
    December 16, 2013

    I love gifts that are not toys. We recieved a generous gift from my grandfather this year for Christmas. He lives on the other side of the country and we can't always spend the hoildays with him. We live about a hour away from Toronto and the kids loves going on adventures, so that is what we are doing. We are going to spend the night at a hotel in downtown Toronto and then we'll spend the next day at the Ripley's Aquarium that opened earlier this fall.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      December 16, 2013

      That sounds wonderful, Kristen. We're thinking about doing something similar with our kids.

      Reply
  2. kristen
    December 16, 2013

    Thanks, just placed a quick order for some fun gifts!

    we've also given cameras in the past and love using them for nature studies and memory making!kris

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      December 16, 2013

      We've done cameras too and the kids love them. Merry Christmas, Kristen!

      Reply
  3. Debbie
    December 16, 2013

    My kids love anything personalized with their names, cups, tote bags, beach towels, pillow cases, etc. They think it's fun. I think it's practical! Win. Win.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      December 16, 2013

      Great idea, Debbie! My personal favorite is monogrammed bath towels.

      Reply
  4. Leia Jackson
    December 16, 2013

    This year were doing memberships! One to the zoo and one to a children's museum. I'm very excited to give time and experiences and not just stuff!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      December 16, 2013

      That sounds fun, Leia. Great idea!

      Reply
  5. RachelSarah
    December 17, 2013

    This year we signed our 4yo daughter up for ballet lessons, something she's been asking for. On Christmas, she will open up the required attire. Our 6 yo son will receive some soccer attire with the announcement that he is signed up for a winter soccer camp. A few craft supplies and one toy that they're " giving each other" and we're done. My parents are giving them bunk beds, something we were going to have to buy soon. I'm taking notes on all of your great ideas here.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      December 17, 2013

      That is my kind of Christmas! I love the gifts you've chosen for your children.

      Reply
  6. Sarah
    December 18, 2013

    I'm still a kid! (I'm twenty.) May I chime in? I don't know if Christianity works this way, but I know that some of my most treasured gifts over the years have been those that allow me to participate in Jewish rituals. I got a prayer book as a prize for perfect service attendance when I was eight–still going strong. i got my very own Sabbath candlestick in second grade–never really used it due to my fear of fire, but I recently got over that and will be using it when I go home this break. And for next Hannukkah (I'll be 21 already, but I think my parents are still planning to give me something), I have asked for my own, nice, Hannukkah menorah to last a lifetime. In short, gifts that help kids participate in rituals are a great idea!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      December 18, 2013

      Thanks for those suggestions, Sarah. I like the idea of gifts that encourage children to grow in their faith. Great thought.

      Reply
  7. shahi
    December 19, 2013

    One of the most encouraging gifts for kids. Truly loved by kids at home, specially Tasco Essentials Binocular!!!
    Good collection.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy