Skip to Content

Non Toy Toddler Gift Guide: Presents That Aren’t Toys

The holiday season is quickly approach and every toddler mom knows you want to avoid the insanity that is last-minute holiday shopping. Here are my top picks for toddler gifts that aren’t toys.

I don’t know about you but the space in my house is fairly limited and has already been taken over by my tiny little monster. Every corner of the house is covered in toddler toys and products.

The worst part is he prefers to play with the box the toys come in more so than the actual toys themselves.

So, I thought this year we would focus on non toy gifts for toddlers instead.

Why give a Toddler Non-Toy Gifts?

Just to clarify, I am not a GRINCH! I totally love toys and believe imaginative play-based learning is the way to go with little ones.

However, I also think TOO MANY toys can be a negative thing. Having so many choices can be overwhelming for little ones. Even if they have a bunch of toys, I think it’s better to keep just a few out for your child to choose and play with and rotate them often.

This gives them the freedom to choose without being too overwhelming. I will of course be getting my little guy a toy (probably just 1 or 2) but I also LOVE non-toy gifts.

I was reading an article in the LA Times a while back and it mentioned that the children in the US make up 3.7% of the world’s population of kids but they own 47% OF ALL THE toys & books.

It just got me thinking, who needs SO MUCH STUFF?!

I really think less is more, don’t you?

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but this comes at no additional cost to you. 


I think toddler furniture is a great idea for a gift for young children. A lot of these kinds of products help toddlers feel like they have their own space and help foster independence.

They are purchases that can often grow with your toddler and you will get years of use out of them.

Since they actually serve a function, they actually get used all the time, unlike toys that are forgotten 5 minutes after opening.

If you’re interested in checking out any of the items you see, just click the image or name of the product.


A toddler stool is a must-have to help our little ones feel more independent and start trying things on their own.

These adorable little stools can be used to:

♡ help toddlers wash their own hands after eating

♡ using the washroom

♡ they can even be used to allow little ones to help out in the kitchen (cooking baking anybody?!)

I definitely want to do lots of baking with my little guy so a stool like one of these would come in handy.

I would prefer an adjustable one that can grow with my little guy just to avoid purchasing multiples but keep in mind these are often pricier than the plastic one-size ones.

Here are a couple of great options at different price points:




Am I the only one that loves stuff that turns into other stuff?


Another great place to look for these learning towers is on Etsy!


What little explorer wouldn’t love their own hide-away? This is such a fun and special gift that gives a toddler their own space and privacy (and possibly a little me-time for mom).

Your little one will love playing in their own clubhouse which you can set up with blankets, pillows, and anything else that makes it comfy cozy, and exclusive.

Maybe you need a password to get in? Imagine all the fun to be had!

Here’s a few cute options for inspiration (some are currently on sale too!):


This one is super cute, easy to assemble, and great quality (nice thick canvas material, not the flimsy stuff).

Check out this customer photo + review to see how it looks in person!


Here’s another great option that’s easy to do, plus it comes extras! Who doesn’t love a good bonus?

If you’re curious how it looks in person, you can check this customer’s photo.


How awesome is this little club house?! Plus it’s a steal too. Check out these little ones having fun in theirs.


Another fun find for busy toddlers is a comfy bean bag chair. It’s the perfect place to get cozy and kick back with a good book.

It offers a fun tactile and sensory experience as well.

I love falling and then sinking into a good bean bag chair.

Bonus: some even have built-in storage so your child can put their toys away or use it as a secret hiding spot for special items.


This one is really inexpensive but great quality and the storage is massive! Just check out this customer’s photo, look how much stuff they got in there!


Here’s another cute option with ample storage space for all those stuffed animals (take a look).


Another great idea is a small table and chairs set for your toddler. A space that they can work, craft or eat that fits them just right instead of feeling dwarfed by adult furniture.

Kids Furniture Set – 1 Craft Table + 2 Charis

KidKraft Wooden Round Table + 2 Chair Set 

Melissa & Doug Solid Wood Table + 2 Chair Set

toddler table and chair set with dry erase top

Lily and River Smart Activity Table Set

For some more unique options like this smart activity table with dry erase surface check out Etsy. This beautiful set by Lily and River is a best seller and Montessori-inspired.

It promotes play time as well as independent clean up.

It includes a LEGO building mat and dry-erase tabletop surface!

Customized Name Furniture for Kids

Another super fun idea is to get something customized for children. Maybe a chair or stool or a piggy bank with their name on it and maybe even some things that they love.

You can allow them to customize their furniture further with stickers or decals. Here are a few beautiful customized pieces you can order. Make sure to order well before you need it, customization can take some time.

Custom Name Chair

What kiddo wouldn’t love their own personalized name chair?

One of my very favorite ones is the Anywhere Chairs by Pottery Barn Kids but they’re on the pricey side. This dupe Cozee Chair by Delta Children is a pretty close second at about half the price!

I also loved this teddy chair seat with embroidered name from Muzpony on Etsy.

Doesn’t it look so soft and squishy?

Another option is a cute rustic personalized rocking chair!

Although not custom, these nugget-inspired couches are also a fantastic gift! This couch is meant to be taken apart and rebuilt as your kiddo wants.

Built tents, forts, your own clubhouse or whatever your imagination wants. It’s basically like having comfy giant foam blocks you can turn into anything you want!

They’re made of good quality material and easy to clean so it’s perfect for little ones.

Personalized Night Light

I love these unique personalized night lights.

There are so many awesome designs to choose from to fit evey kiddos interests like dinosaurs, trucks, trains, unicorns, race cars, and so many more.

These lights have adjustable brightness and multiple color change modes and speeds.

What a perfect addition to your little one’s bedroom.

Personalized Ceramic Piggy Bank

It’s never too early to start teaching your little one about finances, budgeting and saving money. A wonderful way to introduce these ideas is with a personalized ceramic piggy bank.

My little guy loves collecting coins to put inside his piggy bank. It makes saving for a rainy day a little more fun.

You can even add a few coins to get them started or give them a few coins in a cute kiddie coin pouch.

This classic gift is pefect for Christmas or any special occasion.

Books Make the Perfect Gift for Kids

I absolutely LOVE books and I want to share that love with my little guy. So one of my favorite non-toy books a for 1-year-old or older is the perfect book.

Whatever the occasion, a book is almost always involved in this house.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is unwrapping a book each day leading up to Christmas. It doesn’t even have to be a new book, we just wrap what we already have and add in maybe 2 or 3 new ones.

Each night we unwrap one book and read it for bedtime. It’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions, you can read some other traditions we love as well. If you’re looking for even more holiday books there’s a post for that too!

Santa Books

a page from the book 10 things you didn't know about Santa

10 Things You Never Knew About Santa by Giles Paley -Phillips is a really fun book for kids that includes a lot of fun facts about Santa Claus. It’s light hearted and funny with beautiful illustrations throughout.

A definite winner among little friends.

Another fun read is How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan.

It’s perfect for read alouds and gets lots of laughs. It teaches you all the elusive tips and tricks you need to catch Santa this Christmas.

Be warned though, after reading this your little one is probably going to start planning some elaborate scheme to catch Santa themselves.

Classic Christmas Stories

You really can’t go wrong with classic Christmas stories that have stood the test of time. They’re heartwarming, memorable and really capture the spirit of Christmas.

Every kid’s book collection needs some of these classic Christmas books.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore (This one is a #1 best seller and for good reason)

How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer by Thea Feldman

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

12 Days of Christmas Board Book

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Personalized Christmas Books

The only thing that can make a wonderful Christmas book even better is some personalization!

I’ve checked all over amazon for good quality personalized books and it’s pretty slim pickings. If you want wonderful personalized books that are of great quality I would highly recommend checking out Etsy instead.

little boy reading his personalized Christmas book

This adorable personalized letter from Santa story book by letterfest is just adorable!

Santa shows you his house, reindeer and introduces his special elf helpers. You’ll see him checking his list for your little one’s name, make and wrap the presents and delivering them on Christmas eve.

The illustrations are gorgoes and your little one will love seeing their name sprinkled throughout the book!

There’s also space on the last page for you to include a custom message.

Another fantastic option is this high quality personalized Christmas story collection book from InTheBookUK. This one is a collection of a bunch of Christmas stories and is 120 pages long!

Art Supplies Make Great Non-Toy Gifts for Kids

I love gifts that my toddler can get a lot of use out of and things that can grow with him. We love making art and crafting together so naturally, art supplies and crafting items make the perfect gift.

It helps them practice their gross and fine motor skills and release that imaginative side.

We recently made some tree ornaments together. They were super easy to make and don’t need much.

Check out this snowflake tree ornament or this ribbon star ornament or this cute DIY Christmas Cards.

Chalk Boards & Easels

Here are a few super cute chalk boards and easels to get your little Picasso started on their creative journey. I love that they’re multipurpose products so you can get a lot of use out of them for years to come.

We’ve got this Melissa and Doug Delux Standing Easel and we love it! One side is a magnetic chalkboard and the other side is a white board so you get the best of both worlds.

It’s got holders on the bottom for paint and has a little slip for you to put paper through as well.

This one is well built and sturdy so it’s stood the test of time at our house.

A similar option at a fraction of the price is this deluxe standing art easel by a lesser known brand but keep in mind you get what you pay for and this one isn’t as sturdy as the Melissa and Doug one but it gets the job done.

This one is the Amazon’s Choice for kids at easel and it’s great one, it’s just a bit smaller than the Melissa and Doug one but very competitively priced.

Art & Crafting Supplies

Why not stock up on all your art and crafting essentials for the holidays. I love these kinds of gifts because it lends itself to hours of child-led play that is open-ended.

Why not get an entire arts and crafts center completed with supplies?

This way you and your child can keep things organized with ease. There are an endless number of things to make, maybe even some DIY holiday gifts for the family.

Image having everything you could ever need in one place with this arts and crafts supply center kit that’s filled with supplies!

It’s the perfect way to keep everything organized and ready to play!

If you wan to take a look at it in person check out this review with a video.

If you’re looking for something simpler then check out this adorable montesorri busy board art kit or this fun kit of handprint crafts for toddlers.

One more favorite at our house is this reusable sticker pad animal habitats collection!

Your little one can stick and re-stick animals in different habitats and create different scenes in different habitats like a farm, in the jungle, under the sea, and in prehistoric times with dinosaurs!

This one is a great stocking stuffer for little ones and is perfect to practice those fine motor skills.

Letter To Santa Kit Ultimate Bundle

I recently launched my very first Etsy Shop for my exclusive printables. The first thing I created is this beautiful letter to Santa Bundle that includes:

  • 1 Page Santa and Christmas Lunch Box Note Jokes
  • 1 Santa Door Hanger

If you’re interested in checking it out just hit this link for the CenzerelyPrintables and let me know what you think!

Clothes Are a Great Holiday Gift for Kids

Although your child may not agree, I think clothes are always a great gift for kids

. Who doesn’t love a new pair of holiday-themed PJs to wear to bed on Christmas eve?

As a kid, I was always perplexed when someone gave me clothes as a gift but that was because it was, more often than not, something hideous I would never want to wear to school (and then later be made fun of for wearing).

Lucky for us all, children’s fashion has evolved since the 90s and they are actually super cute and fashionable these days. Just look at these adorable options!

How about a set of matching Christmas pajamas for the whole family?

That’s one of our favorite Christmas traditions. We usually open one gift on Christmas eve and that’s everybody’s new holiday pajamas.

This set family Christmas pajamas set from The Children’s s Place is a #1 Best Seller. I can see why, it’s got such a cute and festive print and isn’t ridiculously expensive.

This classic green stripes set is Amazon’s Choice and made of 100% cotton.

Another super cute option is matching Christmas onesies for the whole family!

You don’t just have to stop at pajamas, maybe you want to start the ugly Christmas sweater tradition instead.

Outdoor Recreation Gifts for Kids

Why not get your child something that helps them get outdoors and active?

One of my favorite things to do every winter as a kid was go tobogganing!

Why not get some sports equipment or a gift that gets them on the move like a tricycle, sled, toboggan, or ice skates?

How cute is this flexible Flyer Pull Sled?

They’re actually pretty durable too! We got lots of use out of ours over the years and it’s still in great condition. I initially just got it for cute photos by the Christmas tree but of course my little guy couldn’t wait to try it in the snow.

He loved being pulled around in this thing!

A classic Christmas gift for kids is a shiny new radio flyer tricycle!

It’s such a cute tricycle and well priced. My little guy got one for his birthday and rode it all the time both inside the house and outdoors.

The little bucket in the back was perfect for collecting things on our outdoor scavenger hunts.

It’s survived years of use and now it’s been handed down to his little cousin who’s not quite old enough for it just yet.

Another memorable gift is your first pair of ice skates!

You’ll create memories for years to come of fun family ice skating trips. You could even include ice skating lessons along with the skates.

I’m all for any gifts that will get my kiddo outside and enjoying some fresh air and exercise.

Just last year we got him his own little snow shovel and he loved helping us clear the driveway after a big snowfall.

Holiday Themed Flatware & Cutlery For Kids Gifts

I think it’s a wonderful idea to have special holiday utensils just for the kids.

You can choose their favorite holiday characters like Santa or Rudolph and it can be a fun Christmas tradition to use them for the holidays every year.

Older children may love a holiday themed mug like the ones from the Disney store.

Even the grown-ups in my life love those. You can even fill the mug with little gifts and treats.

Or if you have a little one that loves to help in the kitchen, get them their own set of kitchen utensils.

Who wouldn’t love a personalized Christmas plate with their name on it?! Sign me up please!

There are a bunch of different designs but I really liked this festive one.

These divided holiday dinner plate sets are personalized but they sure are cute.

If your kiddo loves to leave treats out for Santa and his reindeers, they might love these adorable cookies for santa personalized plates from Etsy.

I loved anything personalized, it just feels extra special like these adorable personalized Christmas mugs for kids.

Etsy has some really unique ones like these stainless steel personalized mugs.

More Non Toy Holiday Gifts For Kids: Give the Gift of Experience

Here’s a few more gift ideas for kids that aren’t toys.

I think it’s such an awesome idea to gift experiences or activities that you can do with your kids.

This is a wonderful way to make memories together and maybe even family traditions. I’ve listed some unique gift ideas here as well, like subscription boxes that are great for kids.

  • SEE A SHOW TOGETHER– why not give the gift of a holiday show or performance like Disney on Ice or a kids Holiday Concert
  • VIP MOVIE EXPERIENCE– in Canada, you can buy gift certificates for kids to have an awesome movie experience that includes a movie and snacks. You can even make your own coupons for these and add in whatever you want to your VIP movie experience
  • LESSONS– does your child have a love of music?A favorite instrument? Or maybe you have a tiny dancer? Or a little swimmer?Whatever they love, why not sign them up for lessons to master their craft?
  • PLAN A TRIP– this can be as simple or over-the-top as you want. A little road trip for the family maybes? Or a full on get-away-from-the-cold type vacation.
  • SLEIGH RIDE– book a magical horse-drawn sleigh ride for the family
  • WINTER FESTIVALS– treat the family to a visit to the local Winter Festival or Christmas Market. The ones linked are for Toronto but take a look at your local listings to see what’s going on.
  • ATTEND A SPORTS GAME– if you have a little sports fanatic, like my son, a family trip to watch a live game could be an epic present. I can’t wait for the first time we take Nav to a basketball game to see the Raptors.
  • VISIT A WATER PARK OR AMUSEMENT PARK– if your child is a little thrill seeker they may enjoy tickets to an amusement park or water park. My little guy is such a little fish and absolutely adored our trip to the Americana Resort + Water Park
  • SUBSCRIPTION BOX– another fun idea is to have something special arriving every month with a subscription box. There are a ton catering to every interest and age group. Crate joy has so many options to choose from

More Holiday and Christmas Gift Guides

The Best Newborn Christmas Gift Ideas

Practical Gifts For Toddlers This Christmas

The Best Toy Educational Gifts For Toddlers

The Best Arts and Crafts Toys For Kids

The Best Gift Ideas For Mom

Gifts For Expecting Fathers

Non-Toy Holiday Gift Suggestions

That about wraps up our toddler non toy holiday gift guide.

Did you find some useful ideas? Do you have some awesome non-toy gift ideas that weren’t on the list?

I’m always updating posts so feel free to share in the comments and I’ll add your suggestions to my ever growing list.

Enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones. Make and share memories, that’s what they’ll remember most (not the gifts).



Tuesday 7th of September 2021

These are great stuff! Personalised children's books can be a great gift too because kids engage more with a personalised book. Imagine the look on your kiddo’s face when they see themselves in their own book! Personalised children’s books also encourage reading. When children see their name in the story, they are more interested in the story. They are also more motivated to continue reading the story and read it many more times! I got mine at ❤️

Cendu Param

Wednesday 8th of September 2021

I couldn't agree more! We did a personalized book for father's day and it was so so special. hubby and little man love reading it together.


Sunday 17th of November 2019

Love these ideas! We have been telling family to get the boys non toys! They’re freaking lol

Amy Gougler

Saturday 16th of November 2019

We did a kitchen stool last year for Christmas! It's been amazing. I love the arts and crafts ideas and the sweet little tables. Those are things that kids always love!

Julie Smith

Saturday 16th of November 2019

I always appreciate good quality experience gift ideas. Thanks!


Friday 15th of November 2019

I love this guide I am following the idea to give one book, one toy(something they really want), and one thing they need. This helps me find something that is not a toy. We already have way too many.