The Very Best Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages

The Very Best Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages

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The Very Best Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages

Taking a Pass at Toys

With the holidays around the corner, it's easy to fall back on toys if you have kids of any age on your list. Here's a thought: don't. Most kids have more toys than they know what to do with, and many are collecting dust in some far recess of their room or closet. If you're looking for a gift for a kid of any age this year that will do more than just keep them occupied for a few hours, check out this list of ideas that include decor, electronics, STEM kits, and more. 


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: Retro Gifts for Kids With Too Much Screen Time

LeadHER Kids Crafts
Kids Crafts

LeadHER Kids Crafts

$30 from Amazon

Shop Now


Encourage the next generation of strong female leaders by gifting her one of these inspiring kits. Each kit in the collection features educational and crafting material related to a powerful woman in history: Maya Angelou, Greta Thunberg, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. As she decoupages a wooden box, creates a colorful wall hanging, or embroiders a canvas, she'll also answer prompts about how to use her own voice to make an impact in the world.

Two little girl at music school.
Liderina/istockphoto

Musical Gifts

Research has found that music helps kids' brains develop, but they won't know you're gifting them any one of these items for that reason — they'll just know they're having fun and developing a whole new appreciation for how music is made. 

Loog Learn to Play Acoustic Guitar
Uncommon Goods

Loog Learn to Play Acoustic Guitar

$79 and up from Uncommon Goods

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Budding Jimis and Eddies will be making melodies before you know it with this beginner acoustic guitar. It has three strings instead of six, so kids can learn faster, easier, and with less frustration.


Related: The Best Gifts for 8-Year-Old Boys


Carpool Karaoke Mic
Singing Machine

Carpool Karaoke Mic

$60 from Singing Machine

Shop Now


With this wireless microphone, Carpool Karaoke fans can recreate their favorite James Corden moments on their next road trip. It pairs with an FM station on a car's radio, and raucous roadtrippers can rock out for hours of fun and singing. With the latest 2.0 version, the mic's been given a boost with new voice changing effects, sound effects, and the option to add a second microphone for duets. Choose from either gold or rose gold.

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Synthesizer
Amazon

Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator Synthesizer

$49 and up from Amazon
Shop Now


These pocket-sized synthesizers will help any budding instrumentalist create and lock-in beats, effects, and more. Themes include rhythm, factory, arcade, robot, and a few others. 


Related: Gifts for Teenage Boys They’ll Actually Like

Electronic Drum Set
Amazon

Electronic Drum Set

$82 from Amazon

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Tap into that musical brain with this electronic drum set featuring seven pads that can be customized to include a snare, three toms, a crash, a ride, a hi-hat, and more. The set comes with a headset jack and two built-in speakers. Earplugs for the grownups not included. 


Related: Cool and Creative Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

Kid bedroom with teepee and bunk bed.
RUBEN RAMOS/istockphoto

Decor Gifts

Not all gifts have to be educational — items like these will just help them spruce up their own space and make it more of a place that they'll love to hang out. 

Sparkling Personalized Fleece Blanket
Personalization Mall
Pompom Fairy Lights
Natural Life

Pompom Fairy Lights

$15 from Natural Life

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Give that kiddo's room a pop of color, fun, and ambiance with one or more of these lights. Each 9-foot string features 30 LED lights and requires three AAA batteries (not included).

Smoko Dumpling Light
Urban Outfitters
Pottery Barn Kids Denim Anywhere Beanbag
Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn Kids Denim Anywhere Beanbag

$165 from Pottery Barn Kids

Shop Now


Made of soft denim material, this bean bag is just 31 inches in diameter — perfect for kids and their rooms. It can be personalized with a name, and the cover is removable for easy washing. 


Related: The Best Bean Bag Chairs of 2022 For Every Budget

Micro Heart Light
Pottery Barn Teen
Music-Sync Strip Lights
Amazon

LED Music-Sync Strip Lights

$25 from Amazon
Shop Now


These aren't just any LED lights — these will sync with a musical beat so your kiddo can turn his or her room into a nightclub all their own. These are also waterproof, come with a remote control, and include 20 colors and four music modes.


Related: Gifts for Couples That'll Make Them Both Happy

Cotton Weighted Blanket
Amazon

YnM 100% Cotton Weighted Blanket

$55 and up from Amazon
Shop Now


It's not simple being a kid or teen these days even in the best of times. Help the youngster on your list relieve some of life's anxiety, stress, and worry with one of these blankets that come in different weights, colors, patterns, and sizes. According to the folks at Parenting Pod, this is the best option for kids and teens.

Star Projector Night Light
Amazon
Having technological fun with my little brother indoors
gradyreese/istockphoto
Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch
Amazon

Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch

$68 from Amazon

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This talking robot smartwatch with over 100 expressions can do so much. Kids can play games, take selfies, make videos, and track steps, amongst other features.

Comiso Waterproof Speaker
Amazon
Family receiving a delivery from the mailman
FG Trade/istockphoto

Subscription Gifts

From baking and reading to crafting and more, these non-toy subscription gifts will help them develop their hobbies and interests. 

Reading Bug Box
Cratejoy
The Preschool Box
Cratejoy

The Preschool Box

$29/month + shipping from Cratejoy
Shop Now


The Preschool Box contains 16+ activities in every shipment. Each guarantees a book, craft materials, and activities that help teach reading and math skills.

Ipsy Subscription Box
Ipsy

Ipsy Subscription Box

$13/month and up from Ipsy
Shop Now


This monthly box comes with five or more makeup products for kids who are just getting started with makeup or figuring out which products they love. Reviewers say it's a great cosmetic starter kit for teens, and it comes with a cute makeup bag.


Related: Thoughtful Gifts for Sisters

The music makes us want to move
gradyreese/istockphoto

Fashion and Accessories Gifts

As kids get older, they tend to turn toward appreciating gifts that help them embrace their individuality and style. This group of gifts will help them do just that.

InvisaWear Jewelry
InvisaWear

InvisaWear Smart Jewelry

Price varies from InvisaWear
Shop Now


A non-toy gift that could also be a life-saver, InvisaWear's bracelets, scrunchies, necklaces, keychains, and other pieces feature a built-in panic button that will initiate an S.O.S and send an alert to ADT. ADT’s professional 24/7 monitoring services can notify emergency contacts, alert authorities, and share a location to get the wearer the help they need.


Related: The Best Gifts for Moms Who Have Everything

Athleta Girl So Snug Sherpa Hoodie 2.0
Athleta

Athleta Girl So Snug Sherpa Hoodie 2.0

$65 from Athleta

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Kids love soft blankets and clothing, so they'll almost certainly appreciate this sherpa hoodie that includes smart details like a ribbed hem, a front kanga pocket with phone storage, and thumb holes at the end of the sleeves. Comes in three colors and a unisex style. 

Rainbow Crossbody Bag
Etsy

Rainbow Crossbody Bag

$44 and up from Etsy

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This adorable linen bag comes in two sizes and can be customized with a name in a unique scripted font (that is actually Etsy seller Mama Bleu Designs' own handwriting). The bag is lined in cotton, had a braided strap, and includes a zipper closure.

AOLO Personalized Custom Name Necklace
Amazon
Group diversity kids girl making cake bakery in kitchen
Nattakorn Maneerat/istockphoto

Food Gifts

Have you ever met a kid who doesn't appreciate snacks or the ability to make their own treats? These gifts will have them noshing on things they love or venturing into the kitchen for some culinary independence. 

Baby Cakes Mini Donut Maker
Amazon
Banana bread
Kuvona/istockphoto

Kidstir

$24 and up from Kidstir
Shop Now

Kidstir's cooking kits includes recipes, activities, and cooking tools "that create opportunities for kids to spend time with their parents and siblings while developing lifelong cooking skills and learning to love fresh and wholesome food." You can also choose subscription boxes to send on a more regular basis. 

Hawaiian Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine
Amazon
Redbox Movie Night Care Package
Amazon

Redbox Movie Night Care Package

$25 from Amazon

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If the kid on your list in your life loves a movie night, he or she will enjoy this gift set, which will make the evening even more fun and tasty with plenty of popcorn and a variety of candy.


Related: Best Gifts for Movie Buffs

2 asian chinese sibling brother sitting on sofa playing online video games with headset in living room during weekend
Edwin Tan/istockphoto

Gaming Gifts

Let's face it — most kids these days are into gaming, even if we'd rather they not be quite so into it. But remember, research shows that certain games can help develop problem-solving and strategy skills, so support that brain-developing interest with one of these items. 

Steam Gift Card
Steam
Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic
Amazon

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic

$50 from Amazon
Shop Now


Know an aspiring podcaster or gamecaster or YouTuber? Then get 'em this USB microphone, and they'll be able to run their mouth for hours as they're glued to their screens (and just maybe make some money doing it). 

Homall Gaming Chair
Amazon
Redragon All in 1 PC Gamer Bundle
Amazon

Redragon All in 1 PC Gamer Bundle

$47 from Amazon

Shop Now


Upgrade their PC gaming with an accessory set that includes a keyboard, headphones, mouse, and mouse pad. The keyboard features seven different RGB light modes and effects and four brightness levels, and the headphones feature a microphone for gaming with friends.

Teen boy solders wires to build robot
SDI Productions/istockphoto

STEM Products

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — so you know the following items will help build those skills that could someday develop into a job that'll help support you in your old age. 

Gravity Maze
Amazon

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run

$30 from Amazon

Shop Now 


This isn't just another marble run — it's a logic game that helps build critical thinking and spatial awareness as kids figure out how to build a path for their marble to get to a certain target. Best for kids 8 and older, it comes with 60 challenges suitable for beginners and experts alike.


Related: Great Gifts to Buy Your Grandkids


National Geographic Break Open 10 Premium Geodes Kit
Amazon

National Geographic Break Open 10 Premium Geodes Kit

$25 from Amazon

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Kids of almost any age love treasure, and this fun gift gives them multiple opportunities to find it. The kit includes 10 geodes with crystals inside as well as a goggles and a display stand. For extra educational appeal, there's also a 16-page full-color learning guide included that will teach him or her all about the discoveries. 

Elenco Snap Circuits Jr.
Amazon

Elenco Snap Circuits Jr.

$21 from Amazon
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Keep them busy for the entirety of winter break with this STEM-friendly set of snap-together circuits. Among the 100+ projects: Kids can make a siren wail, make a plastic helicopter fly, and control a light with their voice.


Related: Awesome Gifts for 12-Year-Old Girls

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Pattern Block Kit
Amazon

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Pattern Block Kit

$15 from Amazon

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Colorful building blocks like these stimulate hand-eye coordination, teach basic principles of geometry, and promote creative problem-solving skills. This set includes a magnetic board surface, six double-sided pattern cards, and 120 magnets in a variety of shapes and colors.

Inchimals
Fat Brain Toys

Inchimals

$37 from Fat Brain Toys

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This menagerie of 12 critters, ranging in height from 1 inch to 1 foot, are designed to teach youngsters learning about numbers, units of measurement, and basic math skills. The kit comes with a puzzle book featuring 100 brain teasers.

Melissa & Doug Abacus
Amazon

Melissa & Doug Abacus

$11 from Amazon

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An abacus is a time-honored tool for teaching kids about numbers, logic, and mathematical concepts such as the powers of 10. This sturdy, colorful abacus comes with an activity booklet to get the learning started.

Sillbird STEM 12-in-1 Solar Robot Toy
Amazon

Sillbird STEM 12-in-1 Solar Robot Toy

$34 from Amazon

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Older kids with an interest in robotics, computer programming, or electrical engineering will get a kick out of this 190-piece kit. Youngsters can build a dozen different solar-powered robots that emulate the motion of critters such as turtles, snakes, crabs, and more.

'The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs'
Amazon
Makey Makey
Amazon

Makey Makey

$50 from Amazon

Shop Now


This award-winning STEM product teaches kids the basics of circuit building and coding using household items such as pennies and paperclips. (Did we mention you can also turn a banana into a touchpad?)

Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook
Amazon

Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook

$10 from Amazon

Shop Now


Know a middle schooler who is struggling with science class? Or one who can't get enough of the subject? Slip ’em a copy of this acclaimed study guide, which covers topics from biology basics to physics and chemistry. Colorful illustrations, mnemonic learning aids, and quizzes are included to make learning fun. Similar texts are available for English, history, and other subjects

Window Garden
KiwiCo
A cute little boy with his face painted is painting with finger paints in his room
aquaArts studio/istockphoto

Arts and Crafts Gifts

Like music gifts, arts and crafts-focused gifts help build the brain in ways other products can't. For a kid who's into creativity big time, consider one of these gifts for the holiday season. 

Surprise Ride Build Beeswax Candles Activity Kit
Fat Brain Toys
Crayola Crayon Tub
Amazon

Crayola Crayon Tub

$26 from Amazon

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Crayola crayons are a perennial holiday wish-list favorite, and for good reason: They provide hours of creative fun for kids of all ages. This kit comes with 240 crayons and a storage tub to keep them all organized.

Mondo Llama Paint-Your-Own Dinosaurs Kit
Target

Mondo Llama Paint-Your-Own Dinosaurs Kit

$15 from Target

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We love this set of ceramic dinos that come with six acrylic paints that creative kids can put their own stamp on. The kit comes with a paintbrush and four creatures. 


Craft-astic Learn to Sew Kit
Michaels

Craft-astic Learn to Sew Kit

$21 from Michaels

Shop Now


Tactile crafts such as sewing foster creative-thinking skills and promote hand-eye coordination. Plus, it’s fun! This kit includes everyone a youngster needs to begin basic sewing and needlework projects.

Gift Art Set by Artist's Loft Necessities
Michaels

Gift Art Set by Artist's Loft Necessities

$65 from Michaels

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The only thing more fun than making art is learning how different media, such as paints, pens, and pastels, behave when applied to paper or canvas. This 126-piece kit includes oil, acrylic, and watercolor paints, plus oil pastels, colored pencils, brushes, palettes, and more. All they'll need to add is creativity (and maybe a surface to work on).


Related: Creative Gifts for Artists That Are Sure to Inspire

Creativity for Kids Hat Not Hate Quick Knit Loom Kit
Michaels

Creativity for Kids Hat Not Hate Quick Knit Loom Kit

$25 from Michaels

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Like sewing, knitting is another great craft that stimulates young minds. This kit will teach youngsters how to knit two acrylic hats and comes with all the materials they’ll need for a positive, creative project they can share with friends or family.


Related: Meaningful and Unique Gifts That Give Back

Light-Up Terrarium Kit for Kids
Amazon
Skateboard Skills
SolStock/istockphoto

Sports and Adventure Gifts

We'd all like our kids to spend a little more times outdoors, developing sports skills, experiencing adventure, or just enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Help them embrace all of that and more with one of these gifts.  

Slackers Ninjaline Hanging Obstacle Intro Kit
Cabela's

Slackers Ninjaline Hanging Obstacle Intro Kit

$100 from Cabela's 

Shop Now


Do you have an aspiring ninja warrior on your list? Nudge them toward those dreams of pushing the buzzer with this set, which includes a 36-foot ninja line with lots of accessories to help them build that growing athleticism and confidence. Everything comes packed in a convenient and portable storage bag. 


Related: 30 Fun Yard Games to Get Your Kids Out of the House

L.L.Bean Junior Archery Set
L.L.Bean
GlowCity Light Up Basketball
Amazon

GlowCity Light Up Basketball

$46 from Amazon

Shop Now


Never let the earth's rotation stop the hoops again with this basketball, which will stay well-lit with two bright LEDs and features an auto-shutoff function to conserve battery power.

Razor E300 Electric Scooter
Amazon

Razor E300 Electric Scooter

$416 and up from Amazon
Shop Now


Scooters have been a hot holiday gift for years, but there are still plenty of older kids teens who have never owned one. Maybe this is the year to change that. This Razor scooter can accomodate riders up to 220 pounds, has a top speed of 15 mph, and can run for 40 minutes on a full charge

Just what I wanted!
PeopleImages/istockphoto

Other Ideas

Here are a few more non-toy gift ideas that don't fit neatly into any of the categories above.

Journaling Set
Amazon
Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit Game
Target

Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit Game

$8 from Target

Shop Now


D&D has made a huge comeback during the past year as kids (and OK, some adults) find themselves with ample time on their hands. If you want to get your kiddo on the bandwagon, get them started with this set, which includes everything they'll need to create characters and get started on dungeon-mastering skills.


Related: 10 Awesomely Cheap Games for Family Game Night

Chevy Chevelle Scale Model
Amazon
Wordstruct
Wordstruct

Wordstruct

$25 from Wordstruct

Shop Now


Know a kid who enjoys Words With Friends or Scrabble? Then give ’em a copy of Wordstruct and take wordplay into the third dimension. Build words horizontally or vertically with these metal discs, create word-search games, and make vocabulary-building fun.

Glow in the Dark Puzzle
Amazon
Stephen Johnson Classic Rolling Luggage
Amazon

Stephen Johnson Classic Rolling Luggage

$48 from Amazon

Shop Now


Kids love having their own travel bag, and this option offers 16 styles to choose from. Features include zippered pockets and pouches to keep things nearby that they'll want easy access to, like devices and books, and rolling wheels that make it easy for them to pull their own weight on trips and adventures. 


Related: Gifts for Women Who Love to Travel

Moonjar Moneybox
Amazon

Moonjar Moneybox

$22 from Amazon

Shop Now


Help them master money management skills with this "piggy bank" for modern times. The award-winning Moonjar has three sections for save, spend, and share, and it'll help kids learn fiscal responsibility and generosity. 

Happy Box
Natural Life

Happy Box

$25 from Natural Life

Shop Now


These gift boxes come packed with goodies including stickers, a bracelet, air freshener, and more. Available in 10 different themes, many of which are well-suited for kids.