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What’s on your gift wish list?

Actually, what’s on your kids’ wish list?

Or better yet, what do you wish was on your kids’ wish list? Do your lists seem to match? Do they impulsively want every toy that comes on a commercial? Do you impulsively buy all the bright and fun-looking items in the toy aisle when you’re out shopping?

We’ve all been there, but how many toys do kids actually need and use? Isn’t there a point where the toys become excess and even overwhelming, where the kids don’t even appreciate the items that they have?

No-Toy Gift Guide

When it comes to your kids, chances are you have enough toys to last a lifetime. The last thing you want to buy your children or receive as gifts is more junk toys to overflow your bins, am I right?

We like to keep toys minimal anyway, so I’m sharing a list of the best gifts that do not include conventional toys, aka “stuff.”




– Consider this list when it comes time for the holiday, birthdays, or just because presents, and be sure to include a receipt for easy returns just in case.

– I also suggest taking a serious audit of your children’s toys and making some important decisions – what are the ‘must have’ items?

– Are there items with missing pieces or defective parts? Toss them.

– Are there toys that have been once loved but just kind of sit there? Donate or sell them.

– Do this periodically and keep things organized with bins, grouping like-items together.

– Get your kiddos involved in the clean up process and teach them to sort the right toys in the right bins – it will not only start teaching the idea of chores and helping out around the house but will help them practice their sorting skills.

I’m including a list of general gift ideas as well as gifts for boys and girls that work well for a variety of age groups broken into these categories:

  • Adventure and explorer
  • Arts & crafts
  • Musical
  • Experience
  • Practical & fun

What gifts do you enjoy buying?

If you have kids, what kind of gifts do you wish you would get for them? Let me know in the comments below!


Adventure and Explorer Gifts


A perfect getaway for babies, toddlers, and kids alike, teepees make great play spaces and reading nooks.



Science lab kit

Walkie talkies & phone

Spy kit

Constellation projector



Arts & Crafts Gifts

Easel and chalkboard

Finger paints

Reusable stickers

Stickers are great…well, kind of. How could they be better for kids and parents? Get the reusable kind, of course!

Create your own puzzle

Dress up clothes

Musical Gifts


Gifts of Experience

Museum membership

Sign up for a community class (music, dance, gym, reading, travel)

Practical & fun

Chair or bean bag




Sleeping bag


Non-toxic, colorless makeup anyone?!


Happy shopping! Be sure to Pin and share for future reference. 

You might also like: Holiday Gift Guide for Her, 2 Ingredient Play Dough, and In Defense of Toddler Tantrums.

  • Shannon Marie

    Great ideas! My girls would love some of these!

  • Paige Allison

    I’ve already asked for books only for Otto’s upcoming first birthday!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      So smart – we asked for no toys for Ginny’s bday too and will continue to do so.

  • Ashley Freligh

    We’re definitely going to buy some arts and craft items for my son. He’s starting to really get into drawing!

  • Emma R

    I ask for arts and craft supplies for every birthday and Christmas! My oldest LOVES crafts!

  • Mary mozingo

    my kids love some arts and crafts!! these gifts are perfect

  • I love these ideas! A tepee is just what Caleb needs!

  • Uh, this gift guide can pertain to me. I want the mermaid snuggie and the pink polaroid camera. Thanks!

  • Emily Bendler

    These are great!! My son loves pictures,and binoculars, and stickers, and painting. I really love the make your own puzzle idea!

  • These are great suggestions! I hate getting more toys for the kids for Christmas, but I always like getting them more art supplies, more building blocks (technically a toy), or coloring stuff! And zoo passes and museum memberships are always a great idea too!

  • Shani Ogden

    I love these suggestions! I am definitely picky about what toys we buy our kids for birthdays/holidays because I hate extra stuff. I like how a lot of the things you put on this list are educational or promote imagination.

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    Our wish list includes no “things.” I actually have a post about it coming up. I love that camera though and may get it for A.

  • I LOVE the idea of no toys! I feel like my nieces and nephews have all the toys they could ever want – but these are pretty darn cool options.