13 Fantastic Gift Ideas For A Toy-Free Christmas


ideas for a toy-free ChristmasBack in October, I was in the hardware store and there were Christmas decorations that greeted us as we walked through the sliding doors. We as a family totally love Christmas and really the whole holiday season, so it never bothers me when all the decor comes out, even if it’s before Halloween.


The sign on the bench said to take a selfie.


We live in a time where everything is so easily accessible, literally at our finger tips. If I can order it online and not have to leave the comfort of my home? Ummm, who can say no to that? Not this mama! I wanted to talk about Christmas now because November is “the deal month” where all the stores are thankful for you so here’s another “deal to show our appreciation….”

I’m not saying this is a bad thing. For sure if it’s something you’ve had your eye on and just been waiting for the sale, it’s a good thing. I just wanted to bring up another way to approach the season of giving without loading your house with more stuff.

Ideas For A Toy-Free Christmas.

We have 8 people in our home…so we’ve got some stuff. It’s really unavoidable to accumulate stuff. But it’s also mentally draining to be surrounded by stuff!

So my kids and I (actually mostly my kids) came up with a list of non-toy gift ideas. I basically asked them what things they would like to receive. They are 3, 6,9, 11, and 13. My 3-year-old didn’t help with this list, but you’ll see some suggestions for that age as well.


So hide those gift catalogs when they come in the mail and check out this minimalist list instead:


#1: Gift Cards!

Money is fun but gift cards make you go to that specific place, which makes it feel like a special outing for your kids. So here are some places that my 6 year old said he would like gift cards from:

In N Out, Home Depot, Costco, Bass Pro Shop, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Savers.


#2: Special Treats!

We very rarely buy candy since one of mine is allergic to food dyes, and dye free candy is expensive. So my kids look forward to their stockings filled with special treats. These are things my 13 year old said:

Licorice, cookies, gummies.


#3: Tools!

Not much needs to be explained here. All boys and girls need tools and they have kid’s kits at hardware stores.


#4: Plants!

Cleaning the air and adding beauty to the home. Good idea son!


#5: Carving Kits!

There’s stamp carving, soap carving, and for those more advanced wood carving.


#6: Books!

We’re a Charlotte Mason homeschooling family so good books are the best!


#7: Arts and Crafts Supplies!

We’re talking journals, gel pens, paints, stamps, colored pencils, canvases, nice paper, face paints, glitter glue, paint brushes, etc. We bought our 3-year-old a pack of colorful glitter glue and she was the happiest little person ever!


#8: Army/Survival/Camping Gear!

This was mostly from my boys who wear camouflage attire more often than not. We just took some family pictures and I had to prepare my 11-year-old before hand that he would not be dressed in his army fatigues. My request was met with disappointment but he got over it and put a button up shirt on for his mama.

Army watch, straw filters, hand pump, tent, chairs, rope, grappling hook, flash light, first aid kit, canteen, walkie talkies, hydro packs.


#9: Bible/Devotionals!

There’s devotionals for all ages and my 9-year-old just reminded me that he needs his own bible (his older brother and sister got one for their birthdays with their names on them).


#10: Camera!

My 13-year-old said a film camera and I also thought about sun print paper.


#11: Season Passes!

Some places that came to mind are, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Aquarium Of The Pacific, OC Zoo, LEGOland.


#12: Skill Lessons!

Archery, instruments, sewing, painting/drawing, climbing, etc. Do your kids have an interest in something specific? A lot of times there’s deals for the first lesson for them to try it out. If you’re looking for guitar lessons, check out our partners Guitar Ninjas because they are awesome, and have adult lessons too!


#13: Experiences!

Ziplining, road trips, camping, family game night (new board games?), family story night (new books?), cruise.


The idea behind these non-toy things is they’re dual purpose, open ended, foster creativity, and encourage time together. That was the hope in putting this list together.


Do you have other ideas for a toy-free Christmas? I would love to hear how you have a minimalist holiday season!