Top 10 Non-Toy Gifts for Toddlers That Rock

Everyone has been asking me what to get my 2-year-old for Christmas and my answer has been…anything but more toys!  He just had his birthday in October and I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed from what he got then.  With a new baby on the way our accumulation of stuff seems to continue to grow…and I can’t give any of it away with a new baby on the way!

In honor of trying to cut down the clutter of my house I have come up with some ideas on great gifts that won’t fill the house!

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your toddler but don't want anymore toys? Check out these top 10 non-toy gifts that won't clutter your house via Parenting Expert to Mom.(This post contains affiliate links.  To read our full disclosure policy click here.)

Magazine Subscription

When I was little I remember my grandparents getting both my sister and I magazine subscriptions as a gift.  We always looked forward to checking the mail, but it was even more excited when there was something in their for us!  Magazines are a great way to explore print in a different form which is great for early literacy skills.You can get a lot of use with them by reading them and then saving them to cut up for craft projects later.

Highlights Magazine was one that I LOVED growing up.  They have options that are wonderful for the 0-6 crowd.

Hello Magazine (0-2 years)

High Five Magazine (2-6 Years)

They also have holiday gift guides which you can check out HERE.

Toddler Activity Plans


I actually came across these activity plans by accident but fell in LOVE immediately when I received my first set. As a stay-at-home-mom I sometimes get stuck in a rut as far as activities to do with my toddler.  I am one of those people who will get excited by what they see on Pinterest…Pin a bunch of stuff…and then leave it.

Being pregnant and with a busy toddler on my hands I was scrambling on ways to have fun and celebrate Christmas.  Honestly, the holidays were just making me feel overwhelmed.  I came across  Celebrate: Create a Joyful Christmas with Simple Activity Plans first and downloaded them on a whim.

Once I opened up the PDF I knew I had found something great!  These activities are so simple…yet seem like so much fun!  I had almost all of the supplies needed on hand.  The best part is EVERYTHING is planned out.  This activity plan covers DAILY Christmas crafts and activities for 4 weeks! I would highly recommend them for anyone with a toddler that needs a little help getting organized and fun planned for the holidays.

Hands On:  As We Grow offers activity plans for children from age one up to preschool.  After I downloaded the Christmas set I downloaded the Early Years Bundle (check it out here) and have not been disappointed. If you are looking for a way to engage more meaningfully with your child and need some inspiration and guidance then I highly recommend getting this bundle or gifting it to someone who you know would enjoy it.

There is also a very affordable Activity Room Subscription (click here for more info) that will keep you busy all year!

Subscription Boxes

This is a great option if you are looking for some new activities that are shipped right to your door.  Kiwi Crate offers boxes for birth on up that include developmental information along with age appropriate STEAM activities. The boxes are economical and come in a variety of different plans to meet your needs.  You can check out Kiwi Crates by clicking HERE.

Green Kid Crafts is another option for children 2 and up.  Boxes include a magazine and activity to dip deep into a topic that your child finds interesting.  You can check them out HERE.

Museum Passes


Passes to your local museum can get expensive.  Instead of spending money on toys you could take it and invest in this learning experience for your little one.  Toddlers learn so much from new experiences and it is a great family activity.

Baby and Toddler Classes


If you are looking for a way to make some fun memories with your toddler a class would make a great gift.  Look in your area and see what is available.  Here are some ideas of classes to check for:

  • Gymnastics
  • Swimming
  • Music
  • Art



Does your toddler love to dance and sing?  Invest in some new tunes to listen to in the car or at home during dance parties.  You could also put money towards a subscription like Amazon (click here to see their plans) to have unlimited choices.


Sensory Bin Starter Kit


If you still want presents to be wrapped under the tree then this is wonderful inexpensive and entertaining option.  Toddlers love to explore and a sensory bin lets them do that.  If you have space you could invest in a sensory table (like this one) but bins work just as well and don’t take up the room.  Here is what you would need to get to get started:

Small tubs or bins (this is the size we use)

Utensils:  Most anything you have would work.  Cups, spoons, or small bowls that they can use to dig and fill will work well.

Small Toys:  Any small toy can be fun to bury in a sensory bin.  My son has been enjoying hiding his plastic bugs (these are the ones we have).  

Something to fill the bin with.  You can get multiple things and then just switch them out weekly or whenever you feel like.  Here are some examples of things that work well:

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Cottonballs
  • Kinetic Sand
  • Water
  • Shredded Paper
  • Craft Sand
  • Popcorn

Just think how intrigued your child will be when they open up a bag of beans on Christmas!

Sticker Books


Sticker books have become a favorite thing in my household.  Not only are they extremely entertaining, but they are also a great way to encourage fine motor, language, and cognitive skills. We always have them in our diaper bag for doctor appointments or when we are waiting at a restaurant (this is my son’s favorite).



Are you getting tired of watching the same 3 movies over and over?  Christmas is a great time to add a couple of new ones to your collection that your child may enjoy.

College Fund


It may not seem like the most fun gift right now, but when your baby is all grown up they will be glad that they have money in their college fund.  Even if it is just a small amount it is a great thing to invest in now!

Want to chat?  Then Make sure to come join our Facebook Group Mindful Parenting for Babies and Toddlers!  

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About Kayla ONeill

This is me and my beautiful bouncing baby boy! Before my little guy arrived I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education Birth to 21 as well as my Masters in Education. For six years I worked as an Early Interventionist serving children and families from birth to age three before becoming a stay at home mom to be with my son.

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