13 Non-Toy Gifts for Children

With the holidays coming up, our de-cluttered, simplified homes are in danger of becoming cluttered with new toys that will often only be interesting to the child for a short while.
In a matter of days the children will be back to playing with their favorite toys, leaving the new toys lying where they left them last.
Probably not in the toy box!
Between my sisters and sister-in-law we have 18 children to buy gifts for. That's ridiculously expensive and time consuming. Plus if we travel, we can't fit all those toys in our vehicle and us too!
Our solution - family gifts. Then I only need to come up with 3 ideas/gifts.
 Family gifts really helps to simplify the holidays!
I've made a list of non-toy items that would be great gifts for the children in your life. A lot of the ideas would work for adults as well.

Non-toy Gift Ideas

1.Gift cards - could be to a favorite store, restaurant, or online shop.
2. Special Meal - ingredients to make their favorite dish or dessert together. Or go out to a favorite restaurant, together.
3. Classes- pick something that interests the child/ren such as art, soccer, music. It could even be a tutoring class such as a math or ACT study class.
4. Membership - at an art, science or history museum. A gym membership is a good idea for teenagers. A membership to a local attraction would work as well. A membership to a American Science and Energy museum will get you into science museums all over the world for one small price. YMCA is a good idea too.
5. Weekend trip - pick somewhere everyone would like to go and go together. It could be a local place you've never been to but always wanted to go, or a destination that requires a short road trip. Planned together  - where to stay, where to eat, what to do at the destination - makes it something fun to do and look forward to as well. Family Fun has given us lots of family travel ideas.
6. Tickets - to a local amusement park, a musical or opera, a basketball game to see a favorite player.
7. Day trip - ice skating, roller skating, National park.
8. Camping - what child doesn't like sleeping out under the stars!
9. Books -  a series, a classic, or a popular new book. Once read, books can be shared or donated to the library. A cookbook could go along with idea #2. Goodreads has a great list of classic books.
10. Subscription - to a favorite magazine, or online educational site.
11. Art and Craft supplies - clay, play dough, glue, scissors, papers, markers - anything to bring out a child's imagination.
12. Outdoor activities - supplies for fishing, gardening, playing ball games.
13. Pet - either a real one - with permission - or an adoption of a pet at a zoo.

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