By TMoM Team Member Laura Dydek

My son just turned one! The saying “The days are long, but the years are short” has never felt truer. The first year of his life flew by and it gets more fun each day. His birthday fell right in the middle of COVID-19, so there was no big party to be had but that did not stop friends and family from showering that little boy with ALL the gifts he could imagine.

Before I say anything else, know that I am so incredibly thankful for each and every gift he received. Everything came from the heart and I know everyone wants the best for my son. With that being said, this kid now has more toys than he will ever know what to do with! He is one. His attention span last, at most, a few minutes and then we are off to the next activity. Most of the time, he finds the most entertainment from brooms, our dogs, or toilet paper rolls.

Our recent toy explosion got me thinking about alternatives to toy gifts for kids! There are so many options that are lasting and appreciated in place of physical toys! These ideas are mostly geared towards toddlers, but many would be appreciated by older children as well. Also, please keep in mind that some of these gifts will have to wait until the world gets back to “normal.”

Here is a list of 30 gift ideas for children that are NOT toys!

  1. Children’s Museum/Zoo/Aquarium Membership
  2. Tickets to an event
  3. Dinner for the family
  4. Offering to Babysit- we could ALL use a break
  5. Music Class Membership
  6. Clothing- while it’s not the most glamorous gift, the child has probably outgrown all of their “baby shower” gifted clothes and could use a new wardrobe that fits!
  7. Diapers, diaper cream, bath supplies- again, not exciting, but absolutely necessary and it would be nice to not have to buy them. You could always pair it with a cute pair of pajamas or a stuffed animal to make it a little more “fun.”
  8. Savings Account/ Disney Stock
  9. Photo Album
  10. Cute/Personalized Toddler Bath Towels
  11. Arts and Craft supplies
  12. Books
  13. Subscription Activity Box
  14. Puzzles
  15. Fun bedding
  16. Their own special chair/seat
  17. Shoes
  18. Personalized Stool
  19. Swimming Lessons
  20. Photography Sessions
  21. Magazine Subscription
  22. World Map
  23. Personalized Blanket
  24. Letters/Notes for them to open when they are older
  25. Family Member Matching Picture Game
  26. A date at the trampoline/bounce park with YOU
  27. Bird feeder with bird seed
  28. Make a donation in their name to a meaningful charity
  29. Sprinkler
  30. Personalized Luggage

These are just a few ideas that I feel our son would enjoy at his age and help create memories to last a lifetime. What ideas do you have that could add to this list?

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