I love holiday gifting of all kinds and have always enjoyed picking out a fun gift for those I love. Now that I’m a parent though, I have started to appreciate the overwhelm that comes with holiday gifts. I don’t know about you but my son has already accumulated so many toys. And with another on the way, there are sure to be even more toys! And so as I’ve been thinking about upcoming holiday gifting, I’ve been trying to consider some other non-toy options for both my son and those I may wish to buy for. Don’t get me wrong, my son is still getting toys for Christmas, and plenty of them I’m sure. But I’m hoping having some non-toy options will help…minimize chaos and mess, provide opportunities for play based learning and make room for experiences.

Local Memberships

This is a great option or a non-toy gift that will get a ton of use and provide meaningful bonding time for you and your little one. Look around your local area and see what kid friendly places offer memberships. Around us we have a local zoo, aquarium, creative discovery museum and gymnastics gyms with open play time. You can buy packages, year round memberships etc to go enjoy these whenever you want!

Sensory Boxes

This would be a great DIY gift idea for your own kiddo or to gift to a friend or family member. My little guy LOVES sensory bins- an opportunity to explore different textures, play with some different tools, and just investigate and learn. There are loads of ideas for sensory bins for all ages on Pinterest so definitely explore those. But to make gifting easy- pick a sturdy container like a plastic bin with a lid, choose your sensory material (dry beans, colored rice, moon sand etc), and toss in a few play items (scoops, plastic animal toys, spatulas etc). Wrap it up and you’re ready to go!

Book Subscription

Can you have too many books? I don’t think so! And there are several subscription options that would be great to keep the books coming year round!

Literati is a subscription box that sends 5 books for you each month. You keep (and pay for) the ones you like and send back the ones you don’t. They base their boxes on student interests, and their age and development. They also provide a reading newsletter for ideas on how to connect with your reader with different resources and activities.

Highlights also offers a few subscriptions that would make checking the mail more exciting! They offer a magazine subscription- with different options for different ages from as young as 0 up to 12. They also offer puzzle book subscriptions and combination boxes. So whatever you need they’ve got something. And for those of you with young ones thinking my kiddo will just tear up a magazine, the 0-2 option is tear resistant!

OurShelves Subscription Box offers a one book box or a 3 book box every 3 months for a handful of age groups. The book boxes are very personalized to your kiddo and reasonably priced!!

What non-toy gifts are you buying this year?

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