The idea of adding more toys to the never-ending pile sitting in your living room corner can seem daunting, and with your child’s upcoming birthday, you can’t imagine receiving even more. Who said all birthday gifts have to be toys, though? We’ve got the best ideas for birthday gifts that aren’t toys and we know you’ll want to share this with your friends and family before the next birthday hits your house. Take a look!

  1. Monthly subscription kits!

There are so many options when it comes to a subscription kit. Many companies have specific kits geared to all different ages and there are many different kinds that you can choose from based on the interests of the child you’re purchasing for. Some that we love are: Lovevery, KiwiCo and Little Passports!

  1. Adventure experiences!

What kid doesn’t love to get out for a day and do something fun? The options are endless when it comes to choosing an experience instead of a toy. You can purchase things like zoo passes, aquarium passes, and even concert or event tickets for the birthday boy or girl!

  1. Extracurricular activities!

Sports and extracurricular’s can be so expensive, asking friends and family to help out is a great option. Keeping kids active is so important and they love it too! Swim passes, soccer sessions or a public skating trip is such a fun way to celebrate someone’s special day.

  1. Dress up clothes!

Imagination with toys can only go so far but their imagination can really bloom with a tickle trunk full of dress up clothes. Let them create worlds of their own by providing them with the tools like princess dresses, superhero capes and so much more.

  1. A camera!

What better way to capture memories of not only their special day but every day after with their very own camera? Remember the days of having your own digital camera before smart phones took over the world? Let them live out that nostalgia by giving them the gift of reliving their favourite memories!

  1. A photo album!

A great gift to give which can also accompany the one above is a photo album. Make it sentimental by filling it up with any photos you may have that would mean something to them and leave a few empty slots for them to contribute photos to as well.

  1. Arts and craft supplies!

Although these can be messy themselves, not adding to the toy mess is still what we’re aiming for here. Things to fill up an arts and craft station such as markers, construction paper and glue sticks will add some creativity to their days!

  1. Magazine subscription!

Similar to the subscription box option, receiving something in the mail monthly or every other month is so exciting to a child. Even just seeing something consistently in their mailbox with their name on it is sure to make them smile! A few ones we love are Chickadee, National Geographic and Time Kids.

  1. Restaurant gift cards!

This is such a fun gift for a kid to receive because it allows them to pay themselves the next time you want to enjoy a dinner out. Make it even more fun by adding a few into a wallet for them so they can feel like the most important kid in the restaurant when you go out for a meal, dinners on them!

  1. Last but not least – some Mabel’s Labels- Name Label Gift Pack! 

    With so many options, there’s labels for everyone no matter their age. It’ll be so fun for them to receive something so personalized and giving them all the freedom to label whatever they want to keep as theirs and theirs only.

While toys are most commonly given at birthday parties, let 2024 be the year you switch up your gift giving to something on this list instead. No one will be disappointed with any of these options, and they will greatly appreciate the change-up. A kid can only receive so many toys for their birthday, so let’s say bye-bye to toys and hello to happiness and joy in other forms!

Looking for unique loot bag ideas that aren’t plastic junk? Check these ideas out!


Meet Alina - Alina is a mom of 2 from Ontario, Canada who is also a Journalism Graduate turned Content Creator and Mom Blogger. You can find her often on ice cream dates with her family, or cozying up with popcorn for a movie night in. She loves to write and create content that speaks about motherhood and the madness that surrounds it!

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