Present ideas that aren't toys!

(45 Posts)
wallpaperaddict Sat 31-Aug-13 22:13:38

My DC have plenty of lovely toys, there's not really anything more they need as things have been bought for the eldest and past on down to the youngest who is now getting hours of enjoyment! I am looking for ideas of non toy presents that I can suggest to family, as they always ask me what to buy and I never know what to say. So far I've thought of books or stationary and perhaps cinema gift voucher for my eldest. Any other ideas would be brilliant!

Pascha Sat 31-Aug-13 22:15:57

A years pass to a local attraction?

wallpaperaddict Sat 31-Aug-13 22:17:28

Good idea, thanks!

2cats2many Sat 31-Aug-13 22:17:51

How about these:
PJs
Bike accessories (lights, horns, etc)
Magazine subscription
Sea monkeys
Music or story CDs
Clip on book light
Watch

In the past ive suggested swimming kit, personalised towel/bag/diving toys etc.

Nightwear, dressing gown, slippers, pj's

Money towards extra curricular activities

A family pass for a local theme park or similar

My dd has had those workbooks with stickers in, you know like phonics, ks1 maths etc. shes also had wipeable flashcards that were good for learning etc.

A piece of jewellery? My dd wants a big girls necklace to keep when shes 5!

PollyPlummer Sat 31-Aug-13 22:19:39

Yy to a years pass. Swimming lessons. Will watch with interest as we are in the same position.

BikeRunSki Sat 31-Aug-13 22:19:42

DS and DD both have autumn birthdays, we have this problem all the time! In the past, non-toy presents have been

Course of swimming lessons
Family out at a later date
Small present + money to DH&I towards a new bike for DS in the summer
Trip to a climbing wall

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 31-Aug-13 22:21:05

Activity vouchers - local ski slope, ice rink or white water centre?

2kidsintow Sat 31-Aug-13 22:24:21

I've bought tickets to take DD1 to a show. She will be over the moon when she opens them.

For other members of the family, I've bought panto tickets this year to treat them all to a family outing. (I took Dad last year and he loved it, and am taking him as well as my sisters and their families too.)

It was a big bill when buying the tickets, but it's nice to know I only have to buy one or two Christmas presents now as everyone else is sorted - and will be every year. smile

AFishWithoutABicycle Sat 31-Aug-13 22:28:31

Butterfly hatching kit (need to be done in the summer)
A 'voucher' they make themselves for a dinner or a day out etc
A pet (sick insects, fish, frog, ants)
Craft stuff
Magazine subscription

PoppyWearer Sat 31-Aug-13 22:31:14

Everything everyone has said so far.

Magazine subscriptions - CBeebies comic or The National Geographic one for children?

nancy75 Sat 31-Aug-13 22:36:25

my parents always buy merlin passes for us for my dd's birthday, that way we get to go to chessington, legoland and other places all year round without having to pay. obviously they are only any good if you live near the right attractions and they are expensive, you could ask people to put x amount towards them. my dd has got more pleasure from the days out we have had than she would have got from any toy

wallpaperaddict Sat 31-Aug-13 22:38:30

2cats I had to google sea monkeys, DH knew what they were are said that's a fab idea!
All these ideas are great! Thanks everyone! Going to research mag subscriptions, and see what local attractions have annual passes.

newtonupontheheath Sat 31-Aug-13 22:42:41

Bedding/ stuff for bedroom (fairy lights, pictures etc)

Puddlesuits/wellies/umbrella

Paint your own mug/plate

We already have enough toys and so mine are getting nicer versions of stuff they already have, for example, they have cheap plastic food for their kitchen that my ds chews. So they are getting one nice wooden food sets (with the velcro that you can cut) for their birthday, both in october, and I am chucking the crappy broken food away.

^^That looks awful now I've written it down... the crappy food is from an enormous 100 piece box my mother bought when I had in fact asked her for a nice small set to go with the kitchen so my house wasn't covered in plastic food which it now is

Yy to the butterfly hatching kit I buy them in sainsburys around xmas but they are made by national trust. We did ours a few weeks ago and for 3 year old dd and she thought it was just magical grin

wallpaperaddict Sat 31-Aug-13 23:04:31

newton my mum does the same! You suggest a 10 pack of colouring pencils for example, she buys a 100 piece art set!

Footle Sat 31-Aug-13 23:26:58

Subscription to Aquila magazine ? Grandchildren abroad aged 11,9,7 share this as their Christmas present and seem to genuinely like it.

I like the idea of a voucher. DD (nearly 9) would love one to design the sort of day out she would like, probably cinema, lunch out etc. I'll add that to the list, thanks!

everydayaschoolday Mon 02-Sep-13 00:54:19

lots of great ides here, that I'm about to google! My contribution:

vouchers for teenagers:
Costa/Starbucks (where every they hang out with their mates), Wetherspoons (friday lunch ritual with school mates),
iTunes
Odeon
Any pizza place or restaurant near cinema

For the littlies:

ceramic breakfast sets (moving on from melamine)
duvet sets (that santa puts on in the night and they wake up to)
Novelty wellies (like green frog ones etc)
Novelty brolly
Sledge
Theatre tickets/vouchers (check for upcoming kids shows at your local)
money towards trailer seat for the bike (aka center parks)
winter wear (hat/scarf/gloves or coat or boots)

For the family:

National Trust family annual membership
Panto/Theatre tickets/vouchers

everydayaschoolday Mon 02-Sep-13 00:56:07

Sorry, I repeated some of Newton's ideas blush. Only cos I'm doing them for my littlies and they were in my head!

My dcs would love a humongous collection of new pens, coloured pencils etc. the sort of thing that disappear during the course of the year. I think Father Christmas will be bringing such stuff this year.

Clarencestar Mon 02-Sep-13 14:58:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

wallpaperaddict Mon 02-Sep-13 16:33:03

Glad I started this thread as there are so many great ideas here! I'm going to do a craft box for DD as I've been through all of our stuff today and it could well do with a refresh! Also found a lovely melamine crockery set which means I could get rid of the stuff we have which has seen better days. DS is 10 and stuff for him is a bit trickier. I did wonder if a kindle or similar might work, he's always got his head in a book and has filled 5 shelves with books this year, either from booksales, charity shops, friends or gifts! He likes to keep them all and at least a kindle would save space!

MortifiedAdams Mon 02-Sep-13 16:35:06

Oh definetly a Kindle! I have the basic.one and love it.

duchesse Mon 02-Sep-13 16:36:16

Books! Not enough people give books any more.

BiddyPop Mon 02-Sep-13 17:17:39

A nice outfit of clothes - not nice for parties - nice jeans and top set maybe that they'd wear at weekends for being nicely dressed but not uncomfortable.

PJs, dressing gowns, wellies, rain gear etc.

Sports equipment and/or clothes, or good gear bags. (A bicycle??)

Books - fiction and/or reference (nice atlas or dictionary) or other non fiction (travel, recipes, science etc).

Globe

Science stuff - telescope, microscope, DIY kits

Real equipment for baking, tools for DIY etc - including any necessary safety or "anti-mess" equipment (goggles, helmets, gloves, aprons etc).

Craft things - either things that get used up like paint, glue, papers, stickers, foam sheets etc - or equipment - easel, scissors, brushes, ....

Nice bedroom sets - sheets and duvet covers - in their favourite characters or colours. Their own swimming towels.

I've probably repeated loads of ideas - just thinking off the top of my head.

Have you asked the DCs if there is anything they want/need/would really love in their dreams?

wallpaperaddict Mon 02-Sep-13 17:36:23

biddypop I asked my 2.5 yr old DD what would she like if she could have anything, her answer... A winky like her brother. Yeah, so clearly that's not happening!
My DS has a birthday in Nov, and I think will be getting a bike as a joint family present for that as that's what he has asked for and has outgrown his current one! Birthdays close to Christmas complicate things further!

ep1977 Mon 02-Sep-13 17:52:25

some great ideas on here.

my dd is 4 next month so xmas is close so she usually gets loads of clothes, which to be honest we've been given so much she doesn't really need. She does need shoes, boots and school uniform as she starts nursery on thurs.!! (that's another thread altogether!!)

She has so many toys its unbelievable.. not expensive stuff but nothing gets thrown away... I gave all her baby toys as gifts to my siblings little ones last xmas . My way of recycling.

DearPrudence Mon 02-Sep-13 18:06:40

Other stuff for their bedrooms - lamp, rug, nice pegs to hang things on, blankets/throws, cushions, posters, torch or wind-up lantern, tory CDs, CD player.

BikeRunSki Mon 02-Sep-13 19:45:00

Pixar and classic Disney DVDs. Also older children' s films like Bugsy Malone, Chiity Chitty Bang Bang.

Katieweasel Mon 02-Sep-13 20:12:43

I have bought a family ticket to Airkix. It's an indoor skydiving centre. Suitable for 5 years and up. The family ticket is for up to 5 people so that is several presents sorted in one. You can get great deals through groupon and with Tesco vouchers.

neontetra Mon 02-Sep-13 21:55:24

A musical instrument? Nice stuff for school? (Bag, pencil case, lunch box etc).
My friend had a nice idea of getting her ds dvds of old kids' TV shows like Paddington - he loved them.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 02-Sep-13 22:05:52

Magazine wise - if you are a bit geeky, we really like okido a kind of science/art magazine for 4+ yos.

I ask for clothes - especially nicer/party/character stuff I wouldn't normally buy.

Dressing up clothes.

fuzzpig Tue 03-Sep-13 12:18:16

A framed poster of their favourite movie, character, work of art etc? You can get loads online. We are getting DD a poster of a van gogh painting (she did artists at school last term and loved it), and I'm hoping to get a print from fantasia or something for myself.

Lurleene Tue 03-Sep-13 20:20:45

I definitely agree with an annual pass, but also many places such as Monkey World of SeaLife Centres allow you to sponsor a specific animal in return for an annual pass. That can make it more exciting for children, knowing they are going to see 'their' monkey / otter/ etc.

fuzzpig Wed 04-Sep-13 11:00:22

Yes to dressing up clothes. TK Maxx do some gorgeous non-Disney dresses - DD got a medieval style one.

Also to musical instruments. We got DSD a djembe drum once. I might try and get some wooden fair trade ones from a local shop - they do things like rain makers.

Lurleene Wed 04-Sep-13 21:55:33

My nephews like Microsoft or X-box points which you can buy online or even at the supermarket.

DS keeps asking for a Moshi Monster giftcard which gives you a subscription to the website for a month. I'm still a bit undecided on that one though as I'm worried that he will then want one every month.

Chocolateteabag Fri 06-Sep-13 23:02:52

Depending on where you are the Historic House Association annual pass may be worth it - they have a mix of different NT and EH plus other private houses included.

sashh Sat 07-Sep-13 06:36:54

Depends on the age. I bought one of my neices a riding lesson when she was about 8, she lives hundreds of miles away from me so I phoned riding schools near her and asked about costs then sent a cheque and letter saying what it was for.

More recently her younger brother and sister have had a scuba diving lesson and the eldest (away at uni) got tickets for 'Avenue Q', booked for a Wednesday matinee.

One has just had a digital SLR camera for his 18th, so there is plenty to buy him in accessories. If any of them is developing a hobby then presents to do with that are useful.

Charm bracelets - then they can collect charms for significant events in their lives - maybe not so poplar with boys.

My nieces also got jewelry sets, a bracelet and necklace. I thought they would be put away for years, but I'd forgotten prom night, everyone else had Claires' accessories, then in the middle dn has 'real'.

I once arranged a make over for a 13 year old at the bodyshop, many years ago and it was free - not sure if it still is but that went down well.

FriskyHenderson Sat 07-Sep-13 09:10:56

Loads of good ideas here.

Zigby Sat 07-Sep-13 09:13:38

We once had a family trip to Legoland including a stay in the hotel. The children still talk about it now. Much better than a toy that they play with for a few days and then lose at the bottom of the toy box - and parents enjoyed it too!

Mumsaysno Sat 07-Sep-13 18:10:38

I have just brought my eldest did a load of girlie stuff from body care for her 14th birthday next week and a lovely gift box from card factory for less than £3. Has made a lovely pamper hamper put in some tissue paper and shredded paper. Got her things like nail varnishes, nail varnish remover pads, individual face packs, body sprays, shower gel, body lotion and loads of other stuff. Has filled the box (large shoe box size) with about three different layers of stuff. She will love all the stuff and it was more fun choosing and putting it all together and cheaper than a boots equivalent. Might be useful for teenage girls for Xmas presents

LippyDiDooDah Sun 08-Sep-13 17:03:13

We ask for family games and have now a great collection. Each child could get one but one that can be played by everyone - for e.g:

Frustration
Uno
Monopoly
Ticket to ride
Labyrinth

A lovely photo album that each child could keep. Last year DD 8 got two and 100 photo's that we printed from her camera/ipod and she spent all Xmas day choosing where they went. Also photo frames went down well especially the ones with 8 different sized holes.

She got a jewellery tree and a 'grownup' necklace plus a handbag and some party shoes (with 1" heels) and lots of crafty bits.

She'll be 9 this year so we definitely don't want lots of toys as she has plenty already cluttering up her room that she still plays with.

HTH

fuzzpig Sun 08-Sep-13 19:03:10

YY to board games, it is becoming a tradition that we get a family one each year.

UniS Sun 08-Sep-13 19:14:42

activity session vouchers, music lessons, sport courses, sports kit.

Things that will belong to the child rather than the family ( so they will take them when they leave home), like a computer chair/ desk,Tools, suitcase, bed linen, kitchen equipment .I realise this may be more suited to older teens who have college ambitions.

DS has wanted some random things in the past , a boot jack, a shirt and tie, this year its leather belt he would like ( along with a pile of lego) . He will also be given a few things he needs such as a new bike helmet or swim goggles.

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