Whether you are looking for non-toy gift ideas for a toddler’s birthday or Christmas, there are so many wonderful presents to give them that aren’t toys. At this age they find joy and excitement in the little things, so you really can’t go wrong. No matter the occasion, toddlers will enjoy receiving all of these gifts.
As a parent, I know how overwhelming it is to receive so many gifts for our children. Especially when it comes to toddlers, they don’t need that many toys. It’s really nice when friends and family give them experiences or non-toy gifts that they will actually use!
The BEST Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Toddlers
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Before I share my favorite non-toy gifts for toddlers, I created this list after we were asked by friends and family what our children wanted. Truthfully, our girls just wanted to spend time with them! But we understood that it was important to them, to give our children something.
Most of these gift ideas are either experiences or useful items. Although I wouldn’t consider us a minimalist family, we do follow a Montessori approach. These are all presents that our girls LOVE (or would really enjoy).
1. Learning Tower
These are so helpful in the kitchen! Learning Towers give your child the freedom to learn how to cook, bake, wash dishes, and so much more.
2. Montessori Table
Our daughter really enjoyed being independent at a young age, so she loved the freedom of having a Montessori Table. There are so many options out there at different price points.
I found ours on Facebook Marketplace, but it’s actually an Ikea set!
3. Sensory Table
Many Montessori-minded parents use a sensory table. It’s a great way to keep things like sand and water contained!
Here are a few ideas on how sensory tables can be used:
- Sensory Table Ideas by Pocket of Preschool
- 10 Fun Sensory Table Ideas by Fun With Mama
- Birthday Themed Sensory Table by Learning for Littles
We will get to some of our favorite books in a bit, but a bookshelf is such a great gift for toddlers. When books are displayed, they are more apt to read them.
We found this cute hanging bookshelf for my two-year-old. It’s hanging at her height so that she can easily reach everything. I love that she gets to explore more of her independence.
5. Wall Art
There are so many sweet quotes and sayings that would be perfect to give to a toddler. If you are spiritual, you could include a verse that they can hang on their wall!
Here are some cute Wall Art options:
6. Learning Posters
This is another fun gift idea that toddlers will love! Learning posters are a great way for them to learn some important concepts. I like that they will look at them daily and it has an educational purpose!
I just purchased an ADORABLE calendar by Melissa and Doug. My two-year-old is absolutely loving this right now. Every morning, she is so excited to change the date, observe the weather and see if it’s a special holiday!
8. Storage Baskets
Instead of wrapping paper, I love to give gifts in cute storage baskets or bins. Whether the toddler has a theme they are into or you get something fairly neutral, they are fun to fill with any non-toy items you choose!
Cute Storage Baskets:
Every kid needs pajamas, truthfully, they can’t have too many pairs. You could get some with their favorite characters or some that are high-quality and organic! (Check Out My Favorite Pajamas Here)
Shoes are another fun gift! Whether you give them a pair of barefoot shoes, rainboots, or running shoes, they will love playing (and showing off) their new kicks.
11. Outdoor Gear
We love playing outside (no matter what the weather), but having gear that keeps us warm and dry makes it more enjoyable!
Here are some outdoor gear ideas:
The funny thing about this is that my toddler asked for socks for Christmas! She was gifted these mismatch socks and she LOVES them. As a mom, I like that she can be independent and pick her own socks without worrying about them matching!
13. New Toothbrush + Toothpaste
When my toddler was asked what she wanted for Christmas, all she wanted was a new toothbrush and toothpaste! You could pair this will a cute bathrobe or even some Scandinavian bath toys!
14. Plates, Cups, Waterbottles + Utensils
It seems like we go through sippy cups and water bottles so fast! It would be really nice to have a quality set that was made to last.
Here are some Non-Toxic ideas:
15. Start a Savings Account
When we were full-time Rving, we asked that party guests help us in starting our toddler’s savings account. If you are unsure if they have a savings account, write in the card your intentions along with a check! This will inspire parents to start saving too.
16. Piggy Bank
You could also give them a piggy bank if you don’t think they have a savings account yet. There are so many cute ones that aren’t glass. This will encourage them to want to save money, especially if they can do it themselves! (I think these Wooden Letter banks are perfect!)
If a learning tower is out of your price range, you may want to look into a stepstool! Whether it’s going to the bathroom, brushing their teeth, or reaching something on a shelf, having a stepstool helps toddlers to be more independent! (I love these personalized stepstools on Etsy!)
18. Potty Set
Most kids start potty training between 2-3, so this is a great time to introduce items they will need for going on the toilet. Even if a toddler is on the younger side, having these items visible and accessible will encourage them to start potty training on their own!
Here are some things to include in a potty set:
- Potty Book (This book helped my toddler to start going on the potty BY HERSELF)
- Training Underwear (These are a little more absorbent)
- Potty Chair
19. Growth Chart
Wouldn’t it be sweet to have documentation of how tall they were? I love these wooden growth charts.
When I was a little girl, my grandparents measured us on the wall. Each year when we visited, we loved seeing how much we grew!
Just as my daughter turned two and a half, she became scared of the dark. There are basic nightlights and then there are items like the Hatch where you can program them!
My parents gifted our daughter a Hatch for Christmas. It’s been great because she still uses a sound machine, so it has everything we need in one device!
From shadow puppets to limbo, there are so many ways a toddler can have fun with a flashlight!
Here is an awesome toddler-safe flashlight on Amazon!
My toddler received a kitchen set for Christmas and her favorite thing from it is the timer! She loves to use her timer for everything. It comes in handy as a parent too!
23. Dry Erase Activity Books
I’m not sure if it’s just my kid, but she thinks markers are REALLY cool. I discovered dry-erase activity books and she loves them. They are educational and there is no fear of her ruining things with her marker. (We’ve been able to remove it from everything!)
Our Favorite Dry Erase Activity Books:
24. Sticker Books
This doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, some of my toddler’s favorite sticker books are actually from the dollar store!
Here are some fun larger sticker books:
25. Quiet Book
Keeping a toddler quiet might seem impossible! A quiet book is a great gift idea, especially if they are in situations where they need to be kept busy, often.
Here are some fun and entertaining quiet books:
- Polk-a-Dot Children’s Books
- Montessori Educational Soft Book
- The Toddler Busy Book
- Montessori Quiet Book for 1-3-Year-Olds
I think books are the BEST gifts to give a toddler. Our girls both love them and go through books so quickly. They don’t last very long in our house because they use them over and over again!
27. Bible (Age Appropriate)
Giving a toddler a Bible is a great way to get them involved in God’s word. I have found a few Bibles that our toddler loves…..
- The Beginners Bible (Lots of Pictures)
- The Toddler’s Bible
- International Children’s Bible Translation
28. Audio Book Subscription
Some toddlers LOVE to listen to music, so they might really enjoy audiobooks. We’ve been listening to these during quiet time and it’s been a nice way for my toddler to be entertained, but not overstimulated.
29. Magazine Subscription
I didn’t know these existed until I was looking for quiet time activities for my daughter. It’s nice that they get something new in the mail throughout the year! This is a gift that you know they will enjoy for a while.
Here are my top Magazine Subscriptions for Toddlers:
This is another great way to wrap a gift! I love to fill the backpack with activities and books for the toddler to enjoy… instead of using wrapping paper.
Just because a toddler doesn’t go to daycare or preschool doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a lunchbox! We use ours for picnics in the park and for short trips in the car. It’s always super exciting because they can fill it with whatever snacks they want to enjoy.
Pin this Image to Your Pinterest Board, so you don’t lose it!
Even if it’s just for sleepovers at grandma’s house, what kid doesn’t love a suitcase? This is another gift that you could pack with other things. It would be really fun for them to open it and see a bunch of little things too!
33. Toddler Knife Kitchen Set
Toddlers are natural-born helpers. One of my daughter’s favorite things to do is help me in the kitchen. I purchased a knife kitchen set and she has used it every day since!
34. Gardening Tools
What kid doesn’t like to play in the dirt? Giving a toddler a gardening set will encourage them to help with growing veggies and flowers.
35. Art Supplies
Kids love to paint, color, and just be creative! Go to Michaels Craft Store or shop on Amazon for some fun and unique art supplies.
Here are Some Arts and Crafts we LOVE:
Toddlers love the challenge of doing puzzles. There are so many difficulty levels along with themes, you are sure to find a few that they will love.
We love open-ended toys in our home, that’s why I always recommend Coogam. It grows with the child, which is always a huge bonus.
Let’s face it, toddlers love electronics. But as a parent, that’s the last thing we want to be pacifying them.
That’s why we gave our daughter a camera that was created for little hands. She loves to walk around the house and snap pictures. They definitely aren’t Instagram or Pinterest-worthy, but it’s fun to see the world from her perspective.
38. Photo Album
If you enjoy a good DIY project, create a photo album with everyone in their family. Toddlers love to thumb through familiar faces and practice their fine motor skills!
39. Bubble Bath
Bathtime is always more fun with bubbles! Grab some of these natural Bubble Pods, so they can enjoy them even if they have sensitive skin.
If it gets snowy, a sled is a great gift option. There are several different kinds you can choose from. But finding something that is age appropriate will help them to practice independence and enjoy their time in the cold.
Here are a couple of nice sleds for toddlers:
41. Wagon Stroller
I wish I had known about the Veer wagon stroller with my first. THIS IS hands down the best transitional stroller on the market.
It is a bit pricey, but we believe it is the best investment you will make! We use ours ALL THE TIME.
42. Pickler Triangle
I hesitated to put this on here because some might think it’s considered a toy, but there are so many benefits to it I figured I would include it. A pickler triangle is great, especially, for those that need something to do during the winter.
They are a bit of an investment, but many can be used until the child is 8 years old!
43. Soft Climbing Set
If the pickler triangle seems a little too adventurous for your toddler, a soft climbing set is a great option! There are many different variations and sizes of these. My favorite thing is that it encourages open-ended play!
44. New Bed
Toddlers are making the big transition from sleeping in their crib (or with mom) to their own bed. What a fun way to introduce them to the idea by giving them a new bed!
45. Teepee Tent
My toddler loves to build forts! That’s why I think she would really like a teepee tent (this one even includes star lights).
Parents could even turn this into a calm or quiet corner as well!
46. Activity Rugs
From hopscotch to Hotwheels, there are so many activity rugs that will keep toddlers entertained. Oftentimes, they already have the toys to make these rugs come alive!
Here are a few activity rug ideas for toddlers:
47. Time To Rise
Toddlers are known to be early risers, so helping them to learn when it’s time to get up can be really helpful. Not to mention, they feel security in knowing that when the light turns on I can get up.
We use our Hatch for this… and still ABSOLUTELY Love it!
If you are looking for a gift for a summer birthday, a sprinkler is such a fun one! They will definitely get a lot of use out of this, especially if they don’t have a pool.
Every time we go to my parents’ house, my daughter loves to jump on the mini trampoline. It’s a great way for them to get energy out too!
If your toddler doesn’t live near a park, getting a swing will be something they really enjoy.
Here are a few swings for toddlers:
51. Membership to the Zoo or Aquarium
We love when our children are gifted with experiences. Whether that’s a day trip with a family member or a membership to a local attraction.
Most kids love animals, so if you have a local zoo a season pass would be awesome!
52. Visit the Local Museum
If you have a museum that’s local, either plan a fun date with your toddler or gift tickets!
53. Sports/Art Lessons
Toddlers are just learning to explore different things they might enjoy. So, why not gift them with a few lessons?
Not sure what lessons are available for toddlers? Here are some ideas:
54. YMCA Membership
The YMCA has so much to offer little ones. This is a great gift that they will enjoy all year long!
55. Performance or Show (Disney on Ice)
You will want to pick a performance or show wisely because if it’s too long, they may lose interest.
Here are some show/performance ideas:
- Disney on Ice
- Discount Movie Theater
- Bluey or Pawpatrol Tour
56. Princess Breakfast
Every so often I see these advertised! This would be such a fun experience if your little girl is into Disney.
I would recommend looking at your Character Impersonators, they often help advertise events like this. I found ours on Facebook through our local moms group.
57. Disney+ Subscription
While we are on the topic of Disney, getting a Disney+ subscription is a great way to give them access to all the magical shows that we grew up with. It’s fairly inexpensive… and you can have multiple kiddos on the account!
58. One-On-One Date
Nothing is better than a one-on-one date with your toddler. They will absolutely love being the center of attention.
Let them pick the places they want to go!!
59. Restaurant Gift Card
If you can’t make one-on-one time work, get them a gift card for their favorite restaurant! They will enjoy being able to pick anything on the menu and giving the waitress their gift card.
Toddlers are so simple, it doesn’t take much to impress them. I hope that one of these non-toy gift ideas for toddlers gave you some inspiration on things that they might enjoy!
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