What Family Can Give Your Child (besides stuff!)

Stop the clutter overload!  You have toys in the living room, dolls in YOUR bedroom, nail polish, stickers and more stuff spilling out your kid’s doors into the hallway.  And you didn’t buy any of them!  How do you handle this?  Here are a few steps you can take to stop the influx of toys and actually instill appreciation in your child.  These non toy gifts for kids under 10 focus more on experience and less on stuff.

Yes!! I need some non toy gift ideas! Here are unique, inexpensive and fun gifts for kids under 10. Pass this list around!


I remember my room as a kid.  Most days, you could barely find the floor.  My dad used to tell me that everything should have its very own place to be kept.  But what if you have so many things that you simply run out of places to keep them?

That’s what our kids struggle with now.  Picking up their toys becomes a complicated task because they don’t know where everything should go.  There simply isn’t enough space for it all.

So, they fight us.  They whine when we ask them to clean up.  Their brains are overwhelmed.  Heck, my brain is overwhelmed.

So what to do?  First you need to stop the influx of gifts.

One way to do this is to encourage grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends to give items other than other toys.

Need a few ideas?  Here’s a list:

Non-Toy Gifts for kids Under 10

Dessert date at a coffee shop

Trip to the splash pad

Movie in the Park

Visit to the Zoo


Non-Toy Gifts for Babies/ Toddlers/ Preschool

Pay for a class through Parks and Recreation

Spend time riding trains at the airport

Buy one of the TOCA apps for your cell phone


Non Toy Gifts Elementary School & Older

POGO Pass – gives you free admission to a ton of kid friendly activities in your city.

Pay for a lesson (Think piano, dance, baton.. you name it)

Gift Certificate to Youth Digital – Kids can learn fashion design, how to make their own apps and design their own 3D games

Horseback ride

Indoor Skydiving – iFly has several locations throughout the US

Cooking class together

Craft class together – Michaels has a ton of events like this

Online cooking school – Programs like Raddish are geared to kids specifically

Self Defense Class

A dance at a local community center

Plan a scavenger hunt through a park

Lunch at the American Girl Bistro

Plan a hike

Find an adventure course near you

Learn archery together

Go Geocaching together

Miniature Golfing

Take them camping

Visit an aquarium

Visit a local amusement park

Go swimming with dolphins – Yes, you can do this in Phoenix!

Trip to a water park


By focusing more on experiences, your child and family will be creating more memories and having less clutter to control.  Everybody is happier and I bet, your child will not even miss the new toys.  They’ll be way too busy.

JoAnn Crohn

CEO/Founder at No Guilt Mom
JoAnn Crohn, M. Ed is a parenting educator and life coach who helps moms feel confident in raising empowered, self-sufficient kid while pursuing their own goals & passions.

She’s an accomplished writer, author, podcast host of the No Guilt Mom podcast, and speaker who appears in national media. Work with her personally in Balance VIP

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  1. This is a great list. Sharing experiences with our children is so much more rewarding than any item we could ever give them.

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