10 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Children this Christmas or Birthday
Is your house already bulging at the seams with toys that the children refuse to be parted with? Then how about giving one of these great non-toy gifts this Christmas (or for a birthday idea). These are our top 10, but at the end of this page you'll find links to loads more.
A season ticket to your child's favourite local attraction means you can visit together as many times as you want throughout the year. This takes the pressure away from feeling you have to spend the whole day there and allows you to explore one area at a time in depth, rather than skimming the surface in order to see the whole attraction .
Hearing a story rather than trying to read it opens up a whole new world of discovery beyond children's own reading ability. There is such a range of audiobooks now read by master storytellers. Think Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry, or many Roald Dahl and David Walliam stories have been recorded too. You might all enjoy it on a long road trip over the festive period and it'll be one they come back to time and time again.
You could raid Granny's wardrobe to find unusual items such as feather boas, long gloves, funky waistcoats or hats of all kinds. You could visit one of Salisbury's many charity shops to add to the collection and if you're lucky you'll find a characterful old suitcase or hatbox to put it all in. If you're looking for something specific, take a look on the Party Seasons website, or give them a call if you can't find what you're looking for.
Inspire them to spend some time with you (or Dad or Grandparents) in the kitchen with their own equipment - mixing bowl, cookie cutters, wooden spoon, and little whisk or even their own appliance for older kids who are more experienced. Funky Moose have some great kid's baking accessories here.
Tickets to an event
Something to look forward to in the future when the Christmas frenzy is over - could be a ticket to a show or sporting event,or a ticket to a favourite activity.
At the right age giving them a watch can help children to become more independent and responsible. Whether it's knowing they have 20 minutes left before going to school or what time their favourite programme starts - checking it on their own watch is a great skill to master.
Children love receiving something through the post. If you have a relative or friend asking for gift ideas this year, perhaps they could commit to sending a postcard or letter once a month - a great way to build relationships and foster friendships without breaking the bank and without adding to the toy clutter.
Fed up with answering how many days until Christmas, or their birthday or just about anything?! Then give them a calendar - there are so many now aimed at children. They can start by writing on all the events and birthdays they know already for 2016, then add extra events as the days, weeks and months go by.
A term of classes
This is another great one for grandparents or relatives and an ideal way for children to try an activity they've shown an interest in. You could always buy them a related item to go with the classes so they have something to actually open on the day, eg a riding helmet to go with riding lessons, a pair of goggles to go with swimming lessons etc.
A camera and photo album
There are some reasonably priced choices out there for a child's first digital camera, probably best for 7 years and over. Let them be creative with regular opportunities for taking photos. No doubt there will be some when you wish they hadn't! But as local photographer, Barbara Leatham says, kids see you first thing in the morning and they still love you! So, if they take some snaps of you that are not from your best side, who cares? Read some Top Tips on letting children take photos here.
We found some great articles on this very subject, so follow the links below if you need more inspiration: