Have you ever been in a panicked frenzy rushing towards the nearest toy store, desperately hunting for a suitable toy to buy for a child’s birthday or Christmas gift?
Chances are, this situation would sound very familiar to you.
Expensive character playsets, fancy racing cars and figurines can excite a child, but what if you used the opportunity to instill important life values that will make a true difference instead?
Gift ideas for kids do not have to revolve around toys. We have curated a list of gift ideas for kids that are not toys.
Our List of Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids
1. Scrapbooking kit
A scrapbook encourages children to pick out memorable events of their lives and immortalise them on paper. It is more than just a photo album. Children can take creative control from the start by choosing and printing out photographs and work on their fine motor skills when they use the scissors to cut out shapes or glue on embellishments.
2. Magazine Subscriptions
Instead of purchasing an educational application, encourage literacy in young children through a screen-free method, such as a magazine subscription. The NatGeo Kids magazine features wild animals, exotic places and interesting phenomena around the world and is suitable for children aged 6 to 12 years old.
Alternatively, you can also consider Panda Junior, Singapore’s first magazine for kids that inspires them to take action for the environment and features local wildlife, tips from environmental experts and activities.
3. Child-safe Digital Camera
Wouldn’t it be fascinating to view the world from a child’s perspective? A child-safe digital camera is one of the many great gift ideas for kids you can consider. These cameras are affordable, light and durable with shock-proof material to withstand knocks and bumps.
4. Activity Boxes
Activity boxes are just that – boxes with themed activities.
KiwiCo is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) project box that is produced by experts and tested by kids. Your child can feel accomplished by building up his or her own project according to the instructions.
For younger children, consider sensory play kits from Tickle Your Senses.
Read also: 6 Positive Ways To Discipline Your Child
5. Cash Top-up into Savings Account
This gift may not be something they want because there’s no immediate gratification, but it is something they need. If your child has started learning Mathematics in school, then you can use the opportunity to explain the concept of interest and how saving money in a bank is better than keeping money in your wallet.
6. Personalised Story Books
Books are excellent gift ideas for kids that are not toys. Go a step further with a personalised book, where the name of the birthday girl or boy is used as the main character’s name.
Local online bookstore Little Rainbow Dreams has various themes that help children to pick up good habits, welcome a new sibling and celebrate differences. Another option is Wonderbly, an overseas store that ships to Singapore.
7. Parent and Child Workshop
Parent and child workshops are a perfect way to bond with each other whilst picking up new interests. There are various types of classes to choose from, ranging from rock climbing, pottery, art jamming to even Muay Thai.
8. Celebration at Venues Supporting the Disadvantaged
Gathering close friends and relatives together to celebrate a birthday or Christmas certainly makes for a treasured memory. When selecting a venue, prioritising places which support the socially disadvantaged not only acknowledges their importance in our society but also serves as a learning point for your child to respect differently-abled persons.
ASPN Cafe for All is staffed by persons with special needs and the venue is free to book with the purchase of food for up to 50 people. The Enabling Village is home to several social businesses that hire persons with disabilities.
Read also: 8 Things You Should Never Buy Used
The above gift ideas for kids will ideally teach children to look beyond temporal gratification and appreciate gifts with a deeper meaning that helps them to appreciate life. Recognising the efforts of the socially disadvantaged builds up empathy in your child, which in turn will help your child be more mindful of their thoughts and actions.