All this got me thinking…
It’s about time to start worrying about Christmas and all the toys we’re bound to receive. The thought made me cringe. I can hardly bear it. I’ve had some difficulty getting rid of the toys my daughter doesn’t use and I’m going to have to find room for more? I need to put a plea out there for fewer toys. So, here’s a list of the non-toy gift ideas I came up with for toddlers and preschoolers. (Hey family: there’s a few hints for you if you’re reading this).
Non-Toy Gift Ideas for a Toddler or Preschooler
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What an amazing way to bring new stories, pictures, and educational materials into the home that doesn’t take up a lot of space. Plus, it’s really exciting for the littles to receive their own mail on a monthly basis. Its like giving a gift every month … how cool does that make you?
Highlights Magazines – High Five is geared to children ages 2 – 6. Highlights Magazines offer another subscription for babies ages 0-2 as well.
Other good magazine subscription ideas are:
National Geographic Little Kids
Cricket Media magazines – Babybug, Click, or Ladybug
While these might be considered “toys”, there’s still so much educational value and family bonding experiences to be had with games. Plus, I still have room for games in our coat closet AND I’m tired of the 3 that we have that are age appropriate for my daughter. Here are a few toddler games I can recommend.
- ThinkFun’s Move & Groove: I reviewed Move & Groove a while back and fell in love with the game. My daughter calls it “the cube game”. Our family had a great time getting up and moving according to the instructions. This game provides family bonding opportunities, a few giggles, and plenty of opportunities to keep your kid active.
Aside from the fact that we’re completely out of space on our bookshelves, books are always welcomed. My daughter loves reading so many books, that she practically has her own library and we still borrow books from the real library on a weekly basis. She’s been known to make me sit down and read all of our borrowed books in one day, too. And, she’s good about sneaking an extra book or two in the room at bedtime.
I love the idea of having more activities available to do out of the home, but sometimes the expense of them is a bit of a deterrent. Some great ideas include:
- paint your own pottery sessions
- museum memberships
- zoo memberships (we already have this and love it)
- classes – art, swimming, music etc
Monthly Subscription Boxes
There are plenty of age appropriate monthly subscription boxes that would be a great addition to the work we do at home. These can range from book subscriptions, crafts, or hands-on projects that I’d be grateful not to have to plan and organize.
I reviewed the Little Thinker subscription box which happened to take a lot of pressure off of me to gather and prepare supplies and kept my kiddo busy for a long time!
Green Kid Crafts offers subscription box plans as well as discovery boxes in their shop. These are Craft and STEAM Science boxes designed for ages 3-10.
Kiwi Crate looks like another good service – you can purchase subscriptions of 1 month or up to 1 year, or even purchase single boxes of your chosen them.
Even Little Passports came out with an awesome looking new subscription for preschoolers called Early Explorers.
Are there any subscription boxes you would recommend for toddlers and preschoolers?
Foreign or Second Language Education
Get kiddos learning more than their ABCs. Try giving a children’s kit for learning a foreign language or even sign language. There are intellectual benefits to learning a second language early on and there are plenty of options suitable for children. My two favorites are Dino Lingo and Signing Time.
The Gift of Sleep
Still working on sleep training or having trouble with fears of the dark? Try something like Dream Team Pets. Your child thinks they’re training their pet to sleep, but they’re training themselves.
Our favorites are ABC Mouse and the Agnitus iOS app. I was lucky enough to have won a subscription, and then recently received another subscription to do a review of ABCMouse. In fact, as I’m here editing this post, my daughter is playing her games in front of me.