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With the Christmas season upon us, I know that many of us are shopping for nieces, nephews and friends, and fielding requests from grandparents for gift ideas. You may also be looking for gifts from your own kids, so I’ve rounded up some of my favourite non toy gift ideas for kids. That’s right, I said NON TOY (hallelujah)!
These gifts are all intended to cultivate creativity, boost their brainpower, or broaden their horizons - gifts that keep on giving! Many of the gifts are from local small businesses, because you know what they say - “BUY LOCAL or its BYE LOCAL”. We’re always proud to support small businesses, especially when gifting unique items that you can’t get from a big box retailer. Some of these generous small businesses even shared a promo code you can save on your order from them. Keep reading for the whole list!
TWELVE NON-TOY GIFT IDEAS FOR KIDS
Subscription Boxes - whatever your child’s interests are, there is a subscription box out there for them. The sky's the limit - whether its crafting, building, cooking, gaming, there’s a fun box out there for them. Some of our faves include:
1. *MASON’S CHOICE* Kiwi Co.: This monthly subscription box delivers STEAM based projects straight to your doorstep. It’s all the fun of creativity, and hands on learning, without all the prep. Just open the box, and you & your kids are building a fun project together. Check them out at www.kiwico.com, to get boxes for kids of all ages with big discounts for Black Friday.
2. ByUs Box: This quarterly subscription an educational toolkit in a box, aiming to raise inclusive, anti-racist kids. Each box includes activites, and materials to guide conversations about equity, while creating an interactive play experience. The boxes are designed in collaboration with educators, for specific age groups with books, a toy, an activity, and a learning guide. They’re already sold out for December delivery, but your first box will come in March of 2021 and they’d be a great way to learn as a family. Check out www.byusbox.com.
3. *ZARA’S CHOICE* EZ PZ Mat: For the kid who is always creating, or the one who loves sensory play, these paint mats are a way to dial up the fun without dialing up the mess. They can be used to sort beads, hold paint or sprinkles for decorating cookies - so many possibilities. They conveniently suction to the table, so there’s less risk of curious little hands knocking the tray right onto the floor. The mat is available through Hip Mommies and if you order this week and enter the code ANTIRACISTBABY, you’ll get a surprise Antiracist Baby book or pack of Crayola Multicultural Crayon Pack. You can also get 20% off all EZPZ from Hip Mommies with code EZPZSPARK until December 19.
4. *KAIA’S CHOICE* DIY Soap Kit: Don’t you love it when a gift is cool AND functional? Since we’re all washing our hands so much this year, why not get the kids in on the fun by having them craft their own soaps? They’ll be able to mold them into fun shapes like flowers and dinosaurs, and even hide treasure inside. Maybe it’ll make them actually remember to wash their hands . . .
Use code Spark20 to get 20% off a selection of 4 DIY craft kits for kids.
5. Bud Sprout Affirmation Cards for Kids: The Growing Kit by Bud Sprout is a beautiful set of affirmation cards with colourful designs that encourage confidence, teach kids about self love. This kit is special because it comes with cards to use at home, and also 40 mini affirmation cards for your child to share with special people in their lives to spread the love.
Have a look at the cards here: https://budsproutbloom.com/products/the-bloom-kit?_pos=1&_sid=9c36c9ecd&_ss=r
Playful Art Prints: Fill their bedroom or playroom with beautifully designed prints that speak to their personalities, and encourage them to be their best selves. I highly recommend this instead of filling their rooms with small plastic pieces that you know you’re gonna step on (it happens to the best of us). Some of my favourites are:
6. Wild Canary Studio: quirky watercolour illustrations available as printables, or ready to frame artists prints. My daughter’s room has a beautiful XOXO print that is so pretty. Head to www.wildcanarystudio and PRINTS15OFF to get 15% off your prints now through December 18.
7. Joyful Hearts Co.: Who wouldn’t want adorable illustrations with motivating words like “NEVER GIVE UP”? The prints come in sets, so you could hang different ones in each child’s room or hang them together in a playroom. Use code sparkholiday10 to get 10% off at https://joyful-hearts-co.myshopify.com/
8. Glow Kiddo Glow: These prints are so whimsical and magical. They come in sets by colour, or by affirmation, and even a classroom set so you can choose what words you want the kids to read every day as they explore. Use code GLOWKIDDO10 for 10% off at www.glowkiddoglow.com.
Magazine Subscriptions: Kids magazines like National Geographic, Owl, Chirp and Chickadee are staples in my home. I think I’ve passed on my love of magazines to the kids, plus it encourages them to enjoy reading, so that’s a win! They enjoy the monthly excitement of getting something in the mail, and then love to curl up and look through the magazine. Look them up at https://www.owlkids.com/
Fun Classes or New Experiences: As winter and colder weather looms, we’ll all be looking for more things to keep the kids busy indoors, so getting kids the gift of classes (especially Zoom based weekly lessons) is something for them to look forward to. Some great ideas include:
9. Create Art Danforth: This studio offers child, youth and family online classes so you can learn to draw, paint, or with clay together. They’ll even provide materials if requested, and they’re a fun way to share an experience together, and make something beautiful. Check out the schedule at https://createartstudio.ca
10. Little Robot Friends: My coding-obsessed son LOVED his weekly coding club with Little Robot Friends, and this is definitely on his wish list. He enjoyed learning how to design his own games, the social element of sharing his coding projects with others in his group, and the encouraging instructors. Little Robot Friends is all about fostering a growth mindset through STEAM activities, and this is a fun way for kids to learn this new skill. Check out the schedule at https://littlerobotfriends.com/
11. Books: You know me and my love of reading - I just had to include this Advent Calendar idea. Megan from Caribou Gifts will hand select books for your child, and individually wrap them so they can enjoy a new read each day for 12 days leading up to Christmas. They’re thoughtfully curated based on the info you provide about the child including age, and interests. But don’t snooze on this one - it has to be ordered by Friday November 20th in order to get the perfect books for your kiddo’s interests! Head to https://caribougifts.ca/book-a-day-advent-calendar/
Treat Gift Card: This is a SWEET bonus idea for their stocking, or for siblings to give to each other - load up a gift card for their favourite sweet treat spot, and book a date to enjoy it together.
12. A Gratitude & Growth Mindset Journal: Could I really write a gift guide without including our journal? The Heart of a Hero journal is a meaningful and mindful gift that will help the kids in your life develop a strong mindset, and build resilience. The hardcover book is a beautiful keepsake, and it’ll provide them with hours of connection and entertainment as we spend more time indoors this winter. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. www.sparkjournals.com
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