Christmas is just a few weeks away and the more I think about the toys that will be invading my house, the more I start to twitch. I know that grandparents and other relatives mean well, but after the carnage of Christmas morning my house looks like a Toys R Us exploded in our living room. So in an attempt to curtail all the stuff that the kids acquire over the holidays I’ve come up with over 50 gift ideas that aren’t toys.
Give an Experience
The memories made attending at a special event or taking a new class will last a lifetime. You can plan your experience at Christmas time or give them something to look forward to later in the year.
- Go see one of the two Nutcrackers here in Jacksonville – The First Coast Nutcracker or The Community Nutcracker
- Buy Concert Tickets for a Favorite Performer.
- Purchase a gift certificate for a workshop at Creative Grain.
- Give a Gift Certificate for a Week of Summer Camp – check out the Jacksonville Mom’s Blog guide to summer camps from last year.
- Purchase Tickets to a Local Sporting Event
- Pay the registration fees (and possibly a few months) for a class they’ve been wanting to take.
- Pay ahead for some Summer Swimming Lessons – check out our list of swimming lesson resources in Jacksonville.
In lieu of traditional toys, I always appreciate educational gifts that my kids will enjoy learning and discovering with. Consider some of the following.
Consider giving a family membership that can be enjoyed all year long. Prices vary widely, but most family memberships for a museum or the zoo start around $100.
Keep those creative juices flowing all year long by inspiring your young artist with these gift ideas.
- Art Supplies – Colored Pencils, Paints, Blank Canvases, Oil Pastels
- Journal or Sketch Book
- Easel or Chalkboard
- Rainbow Loom
- Pay for a Children’s Art Class at the Cummer Museum
- Frame A Piece of Their Artwork
If an annual membership isn’t what you were looking for, consider tickets or a gift certificate for a fun day out at some various attractions around Jacksonville.
- St. Augustine Alligator Farm
- Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
- Adventure Landing
- Chuck E. Cheese
- Velocity Air Sports
- Doing Dishes Pottery
- Pump It Up
- Movie Passes or Gift Certificates
We’re lucky to live in Florida where the kids can play outside almost year round. Activities and games that can be used outside are always a big hit at our house.
- Swing Sets
- Bikes & Scooters
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Jump Ropes
- Sand & Water Table – Check out my post to see all the cool stuff you can do with one of these.
- Slip & Slides
- Fishing Rods & Tackle
- Kid-Friendly Garden Equipment & Seeds
- Sporting Equipment – Soccer Balls, Bat & Glove, Surf Boards, Kayaks
Give a Gift that Helps Others
I have found that most kids can benefit from a lesson in giving to those less fortunate around this time of the year. Consider making a donation in a child’s name, or as a family. These are just a few of my family’s favorite charities.
- BEAM – You can donate off their wish list, or sponsor a garden box for the year. They’ll even give the kids a tour and talk about what they do there.
- The Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville – Purchase a brick, donate items from their wish list, or collect pop tabs for donation.
- Family Promise of Jacksonville – Donate from their wish list, make a financial contribution, or participate in their cardboard city event to help raise awareness of homelessness.
- Heifer International – Get kids involved in selecting an animal to donate, a flock of chicks starts at just $20.
Other Gift Ideas
Here are a few more ideas outside of the traditional toy box to round out the list.
- Board Games
- Magazine Subscriptions
- A Favorite Food
- Dress Up Clothes
- New Backpack & Lunch Box
- United States Savings Bond
- Share of Stock
So moms, what are your favorite non-toy gifts for the kids?
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