Discover some great non-toy gift ideas for 2 year olds to 6 year olds for this holiday season or upcoming birthdays that are sure to be so much fun and a hit with everyone! While we love new toys for birthdays and as Christmas gifts, we also know what it's like to overwhelm both our sense and our kids with too much stuff! A great way to avoid this is with experiences and items that support your child's development, like the wonderful gifts on this list!
List Of Non-Toy Gifts For 2 Year Old to 6 Year Olds
A really fun gift are these personalized books for our kids! They have age appropriate options for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. For babies, you can put their actual photo in the book; which is great because they love looking at themselves.
For 2 year olds and toddlers who have a hard time sitting through books, they have some fun silly books that encourage movement throughout like the dinosaur and digger books.
Lastly, they have some great books that instill values and encourage characteristics in your child like the “Wondrous Road Ahead” and “Great Prince/cess” books.
The Yoto Mini is our personal favorite audio player for kids.
Personally, I don't like the Toniebox teaches kids to hit their toys in order to change the station – definitely a behavior we try to discourage in our 2 year old.
And while the Yoto Mini isn't as durable as the Toniebox, you can get a case for it. It's also cheaper for the device and additional stories. We find the cards much easier to store and travel with too compared to tonies. Here are some top picks:
One of our favorite non-toy gifts are board games! They are the perfect gift for the whole family to enjoy! Plus they teach so many skills – including impulse control, taking turns, and more! Here are some top picks:
- For 2 year olds: Monkey Around Game + First Orchard by HABA
- For 3 year olds: Snug as a Bug in a Rug + Pete The Cat The Missing Cupcakes Game + Pancake Pile-Up, Sequence Relay Board Game
- For 4 year olds: Hoot Owl Hoot + Kids Charades + Outfoxed!
For more picks, price checks, or deeper comparisons read: 21 Best Board Games For Toddlers + Preschoolers (Cooperative Games for 2 to 5 years old)
While technically a play couch doubles as a toy, it's one of the most practical gifts we've received as we use it for our actual couch in our montessori playroom/living room.
For the strongest builds we use our Figgy play couch which has incredibly strong velcro to attach the pieces together.
TIP: pull the velcro down toward the ground to undo it when you first unbox, as it's very tricky!
It also features hidden teeth and zipper pockets to protect your walls, waterproof liners, and is made from Okeo Tex and CertiPUR-US certified foams and fabrics free of lead, PVC, BPA, BPS, and phthalates. Shop it here!
The other option we love is this one which also uses CertiPUR-US foam, no flame reatadants/PFAs, and is GREENGUARD GOLD Certified. While they don't have waterproof liners, their fabric is naturally water resistant as it's made from recycled water bottles.
My kids are *obsessed* with their pocket microscope we got in this play kit and makes one of the more unique gifts for little kids that will truly grow with them as a learning experience.
Heck, older kids even borrow ours!
But you can get this one which is super comparable zoom at 80-160x, and comes with 8 prepared plant and animal slides that also works with your own specimen. If you're okay with skipping the included slides, this is a budget friendly alternative too.
We honestly have SO many music instruments at this point that I wrote entire gift guides on the Best Musical Toys For Babies (Newborn to 1 year old) and Best Musical Toys For Toddlers + Kids (1-4 years old) but our top picks for quick reference are:
- Lovevery Music Set: This comes with 5+ music instruments and a guide for your child to learn music. Read the full review here.
- Loog Guitar for Children and Beginners: With options for 3, 4, 5, or 6 string guitars, left and right handedness, and music learning sheets these are one of the best beginner guitars to get kids starting as young as 2 or 3 years old!
- Niskite microphone: affordable price, cute colors, and bluetooth enabled to connect any song. Kids can adjust music volume, mic volume, record, and more!
- Fisher-Price Teaching Keys Keyboard: While it's on the smaller side so it's better suited for toddlers, it's one of the best little piano's for kids starting to learn music!
- KiwiCo Piano Xylophone and Shaker Set: This set is rated safe for 7 months and up, but even my 4 year old LOVES playing with it.
Both of my kids are obsessed with these cameras for toddlers + preschoolers! We've tested almost all of them out, but our top picks are:
This vegetable growing kit comes with the seeds and fiber soil for an easy, low mess, ready to go set up.
It also comes with toddler friendly stickers and a pot to decorate which my kids love.
My kids LOVE butterflies and this one comes with the caterpillars and a little learning panel highlight the metamorphosis process.
A magnifying glass is a great standalone gift, and also works well with the growing kits and butterfly garden shown above. Both of my kids constantly run around with these, and take them on nature walks.
Climbing is critical for kids growing bodies and there are tons of options to use indoors or outdoors (check all our picks here)
Mud kitchens are great for working practical life skills, STEAM, sensory play, independence, concentration, building a healthy immune system with getting outside and so much more.
They are an absolute favorite of ours and this is the best overall pick in our book! It has an extension making it big enough for multiple kids, a water basin, and loads of space.
For more picks, deeper reviews, and price checks read: Best Mud Kitchens For Kids
This bedding makes SUCH a great gift! They have the most adorable prints, patterns, and favorite characters. Plus they are organic, easy to clean, and durable!
We tend to follow the 5 gift rule, which means kids get something to wear each year.
We are obsessed with these shoes! They are SO easy to get on toddler and preschool feet thanks to how wide they open. Ultra comfortable, and great for foot development!
Sensory + Art Supplies
We love getting “consumables” that kids will eventually use up and work a ton of skills:
Subscriptions + Memberships
The StoryNest app offers hundreds of ad-free, original audio stories for kids up to 9 years old. Each story has a nice mix of regular reading, engaging sound effects, and sometimes different voices to really entice kids – without being too overstimulating; which is a rare find!
Unlike most platforms, every story is reviewed to ensure they are gentle and safe for sensitive children. They have tons of nature and animal based stories my kids love! Ann Steen's “Tale of Shaggles and Pretrooko” and Rebecca Sanderson's kids stories!
They also make it easy to navigate by authors, series, stories, or songs and length depending on how much time you need.
Chatbooks offers a wide variety of photo album selections, including board books, but our FAVORITE gift for toddlers has been the monthly minis. It's a monthly subscription and one of their more affordable offerings, and the books are kid sized with fairly durable paper for young toddlers (my 2 year old hasn't torn one yet!).
Each month you basically select (or let them select) 30 photos from your camera roll, that go into the book. You can arrange and crop them however you like, or skip that step. Then send it off to print!
My kids LOVE looking at the new books each month, and it's been nice to get them off my phone screen, and into the book.
It's also really nice to add pictures of family members who may not live nearby, or get a second subscription for them to see what you've been up to!
We typically only keep an Amazon Video membership year round since it comes with our Prime membership, and we can easily “purchase” free episodes of our favorite kids shows using digital credits when we select delayed shipping. Plus it has our favorite kids shows (Elinor Wonders Why, Guess How Much I Love You, When You Give A Mouse A Cookie, + Tumble Leaf).
But my kids LOVE watching Netflix or Disney Plus when at grandparents house and we recently talked about asking for a gifted subscription for the year since we're so over toys.
You may remember Highlights magazine from your own childhood and you'll be happy to know they have subscriptions for all ages!
For 0-2 you can opt for the Hello Magazine Subscription which has fun stories, games, and word play to do with your child.
For 2 to 6 year olds they have the High Five magazine which includes stories, crafts, puzzles, and recipes.
Look in your area for things your kids would like to do, and oftentimes they have a membership option. Some popular ones:
- Trampoline park
- Children's Museum / Museums
- Play gyms
- Gymnastics free play times
- State parks
Experiences + Nonphysical
In years past, our parents have gifted the kids gymnastics and ballet classes; both were a huge hit! Here's some to look up in your area:
Last year my kids were gifted gymnastic classes and they LOVED it!
Let your 2 year old choose the itinerary for the day or take them on a date they'll never forget! We've had a blast getting ice cream, jumping into whatever pretend play my little girl wants, or hitting the beach. Kids of all ages, but especially young children, just want your full attention, presence, and understanding of their world. There’s no greater gift than stepping into their wants fully for a special day date and some quality time!
College or Retirement Fund
The truth is, our kids have more than they need. Especially with my job reviewing toys! So we asked our whole family to skip the gifts and put money towards our kids savings account, college, and retirement funds.
We still tell our kids random items are from different extended family members, but because we don't need them to buy us anything else, we are more than happy to pass the credit along, and know when the kids get older the real surprise gift of their future's being taken care of is the best thing.
Gift Cards / Cash
Gift cards are a popular non-toy gift, but we personally hate them in our house. They are so hard to keep track of, and often either have a balance left over or you still need to use cash – that it just feels like more of a hassle for the parent with no added joy for the kids.
Instead we always suggest cash; it's the perfect non-toy gift kids can add to their piggy bank and it cuts out the “extra step” of remembering a gift card.
While the best part of Christmas morning or a birthday may be seeing a kids face in awe of the presents, we all know that toys often end up crush and thrown aside within hours as we end up with too much stuff. We personally get one to three (or max five gifts per the five gift rule) and say it's from everyone. This is a fun way to not overwhelm the child, and still gives plenty of options for the perfect non-toy gift or useful gifts that will last longer. In our experience, it's a wonderful way to still inspire that awe and a deeper gratitude.
MORE TODDLER ACTIVITIES!
Christmas/Winter Toddler Activities:
- $1 Indoor Holiday Activities For Toddlers
- Christmas Activities For Preschool + Toddler Kids [PRINTABLE PDF!]
- Montessori Christmas Tree
- Christmas Sensory Art Stamping
- Holiday Montessori Glue + Paste Box
- Best Selling Christmas Books For Babies & Young Children
- 50+ Best Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday Season
Toddler Gift Guides + Shopping Tips:
- Non-Toy Gifts For 2 year old to 6 year old
- Montessori Baby Toys For 0-6 Months
- Montessori Gift Ideas 6-12 Months
- Montessori Gift Guide For 1 Year Old to 2 Year Olds
- Ultimate Gift Guide Of Montessori Toys For 2 to 3 Year Olds
- Montessori + Waldorf Gifts For 3 to 4 Year Olds | Birthdays + Christmas Gift Ideas!
- 5 Money Saving Apps You Need To Download Before Black Friday & Christmas
- 39 Money Saving Hacks You Need This Christmas Season
- Felt Christmas Trees For Toddlers
General Toddler Activities:
- How To Make Oobleck
- How To Make Colored Pasta For Sensory Play | Easy Rainbow Spaghetti Recipe
- How To Make Foam | EASY SENSORY PLAY BUBBLE FOAM RECIPE
- How To Make Playdough
- 5 Ways To Use Grapes For Sensory Play With Toddlers: Taste Safe, Edible, Food Activities I Do With My 15 Month Old
- 7 At Home Toddler Activities With Household Items You Already Own
More Seasonal Activities:
- The BEST Easter Activities for Toddlers: Simple, Indoor, At Home [+FREE PRINTABLE!]
- 17 Fall Activities For Kids + Busy Toddlers
- No Mess Fall Toddler Activities You NEED To Try At Home
- Halloween Activities For Toddlers: Sensory Learning
- 21 Free Printable Halloween Color Pages + Activities For Kids
- 100 Halloween Books For Kids [For Babies, Young and Older Children!]
- The Ultimate List of Halloween Movies [100+ from Scary to Not-So-Scary!]
- The Ultimate List Of 59 Halloween TV Shows From Not-So-Scary To Scary [+ Where To Stream]
- 97 Thanksgiving Children’s Books For The Whole Family To Read
- Best Non-Toy Gifts
- List Of Non-Toy Gifts For 2 Year Old to 6 Year Olds
- Sensory + Art Supplies
- Subscriptions + Memberships
- Experiences + Nonphysical
- Final thoughts