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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’s a couple of great options at different price points:




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



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

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.

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

Classic Christmas Stories

Heartwarming Christmas Books

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.

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.

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 craft 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.

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:


If you’re interested in checking it out just hit this link for the Cenzerely Print Shop and let me know what you think! As a special bonus, right now I’m offering 2 additional bonus gifts: 1 page of Santa lunch box note jokes + a Santa was here door hanger. If you purchase through Black Friday (Nov 29-Dec 2 2019) just email a screenshot of your receipt to :

[email protected]

with the return email you would like me to send your free gifts.

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 90’s and they are actually super cute and fashionable these days. Just look at these adorable options!

Outdoor Recreation Gifts for Kids

Why not get your child something that helps them get outdoors and get 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.

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.

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

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.