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Present ideas for children that are NOT TOYS

(70 Posts)
Pruhoohooohoooooni Thu 05-Oct-06 10:14:55

Someone on another thread suggested getting my ds a dustbuster so he could help with the vacuuming. He would LOVE this so we have decided to get him one for his 3rd birthday.

Also thinking about a real digital camera - a cheap one - because he goes mental over ours and is totally capable of operating it.

He has tons of toys and a big family who will buy more.

Are these terrible ideas? And any more ideas for real things that we could give as gifts, especially things that need him to work out how to do it - he's very analytical.

misdee Thu 05-Oct-06 10:16:08

my dd's have been using my camera for ages now, and i want to get them their own one. as they hide me so i cant find it.

they are 4 and 6years old.

SecondhandRose Thu 05-Oct-06 10:17:57

Swimming/riding lessons. Clarks voucher! McDonalds voucher. Cinema voucher.

Bozza Thu 05-Oct-06 10:18:47

A CD player for his bedroom? We got DS one last Christmas and he listens to music all the time. Admittedly he is a bit older.

Marina Thu 05-Oct-06 10:19:14

Our two adore binoculars and looking through them at things, in fact, how about a basic microscope Pruni?
Something else that both love is those mini chests of drawers from eg Ikea, that you can then put all your mangled stickers and wizened conkers in.

Pruhoohooohoooooni Thu 05-Oct-06 10:20:59

Oh a microscope is a great idea. He is such a little scientist (not surprising given dh's career).
SOmetimes I worry about how analytical he is

Marina Thu 05-Oct-06 10:21:23

Oh, and if his fine motor skills are that good, one of those things you can practise lacing up and tying knots in - for shoelaces and trainers.
And, if you don't count art stuff as toys, ds has loved a handsome set of "real" alphabet stamps with a proper ink pad which he has had for years. I wish he would stop writing ransom notes with it now though (he's 7)

zippitippitoes Thu 05-Oct-06 10:22:11

apropos of nothing..I still fantasise about the toy cooker i had when i was little that really boiled water! It had tablets you put in it and you could heat things up!

Marina Thu 05-Oct-06 10:22:41

ooo, ooo, and though they are sort of toys, what about a Jacob's Ladder, or a Slinky, or a Hoberman's Sphere if he is a budding scientist/mathematician...

Marina Thu 05-Oct-06 10:23:39

Ho ho, zippi, I bet there are a billion EU Toy Safety regs outlawing that kind of thing too. I had my dad's toy train which ran on real steam and a little paraffin boiler

zippitippitoes Thu 05-Oct-06 10:28:47

in fact this is it

1960s Boxed Solid Fuel Stove and Kitchen Unit(Reference #6-3-66)
Made by Fuchs of West Germany in the 1960s, this impressive tinplate and solid fuel-burning cooker and kitchen unit stands 11.5" tall. The cooker has an opening plastic door and controls, and the unit has a plastic storage section with six small drawers (unfortunately, two of these are missing). Apart from some of the accessories, everything else is made of tinplate. The accessories comprise a tinplate kettle, various pots and pans, a baking tray, some plastic crockery, and a plastic chicken. The toy is also complete with its original tablets of solid fuel. Sadly, it lacks the two burners that would originally have held these in position on top of the stove. However, as these are standard pieces and it is unlikely that anyone would want to actually fire the stove, this is not too serious. In terms of condition, the cooker and unit suffers from some surface marking and scratching (namely to the back plate), but is in generally good condition. The box is complete and intact, but does suffer from scuffing, minor tearing and some paper loss. The graphics though are still bright and colourful, and are very reminiscent of their time. This would make a delightful addition to any collection of girls' toys or of kitchen-related memorabilia. (WR) US$45.00

Price: £25.00
sadly no picture

I loved it and my Merit chemistry set also fraught with danger as i just mixed stuff together and used to go to the chemist and buy random chemicals aged seven!

Pruhoohooohoooooni Thu 05-Oct-06 10:37:13

DH remembers fondly the Christmas he got a bottle of silver nitrate from his stepdad.

zippitippitoes Thu 05-Oct-06 10:38:11

and we played with beads of mercury in our hands at school!

charliebat Thu 05-Oct-06 10:39:12

magazine subscription

melrose Thu 05-Oct-06 10:41:37

Instant polaroid type camera?

fairyjay Thu 05-Oct-06 10:44:33

A goat for a family in Malawi. Dh thinks this is a lousy idea - but I think it's particularly appropriate for teenage relatives who don't bother to contact us to say thank you for any presents!

Might be a bit much for a 3 year old though!

mapleleaf Thu 05-Oct-06 10:45:25

the early learning centre do a really cool digital camera for children ages 3+ .. it costs £60 i think, but if you buy this months mother&baby magazine you get a 20% off coupon which makes it a more reasonably price.

mothersruin Thu 05-Oct-06 10:48:17

walkie talkie was the hit of last christmas. dd goes to the bottom of the garden and then i contact her when lunch is ready. dh taught her how to say roger over and out and so on!
other pressies she had recieved from my brilliant sister include :
a years supply of chocolate ( 12 individually wrapped choccy things to open on the first of each month.)
a trip with two friends to mini golf/ bowling/ day at the beach. She does a special certificate on the computer and presents it to dd.
gardening kit a bag of tuluip and daffodil bulbs and a little trowel and pots
character cake mix: you can disney princess or dennis the menace etc
a batch of homemade shaped cookies and some icing tubes fordd to do the decorating.
bike accessories - bell and helmet(not a really expensive one) and a day out in the forest park biking

batters Thu 05-Oct-06 10:49:14

Agree with all the suggestions so far.

Dd loves sawing things, dp bought her a tiny little saw and they often go out in the garden and saw through chipboard together! She wears goggles so we are reasonably safety concious.

I loved buttons when I was very young. But the button tin got taken away from me when I, ahum, fed my 9 month old brother several and he had to go to hospital.

Pruhoohooohoooooni Thu 05-Oct-06 10:51:07

Some really great suggestions, thank you everyone.
(Good tip mapleleaf)

Gobbledispook Thu 05-Oct-06 11:03:27

I'm going for 'non toy' things for xmas too.

Mine are 5.5, 4 and 2. Quite easy for the older two - I'm thinking of getting them a watch each, I'd like them to have a globe, bought books, sticker books.

Also ordered Cars and Over the Hedge on DVD - these are the films they saw on their first ever cinema trip.

Have got them pencils with their names on too.

This is a great thread - keep the ideas coming!

Pruhoohooohoooooni Thu 05-Oct-06 11:06:52

We were discussing this last night and my friend told me he got a bible every year from his parents for Xmas.
So there's an idea.

BudaBeast Thu 05-Oct-06 11:16:39

PMSL at the bible every year! I should do it to wind DH up!

Love the camera idea Mapleleaf! DS is 5 and would love that. Cheaper in the long run than disposables too. Need to find someone to buy me a Mother and Baby magazine for the disc voucher. Can't get it in Hungary!

Quadrofiendia Thu 05-Oct-06 11:22:35

we are doing non toys for xmas, so far they have new rucksacks which my kids love filling up with all manner of crap, a globe for my ds (the girls already have one and love theirs), a digital camera, new duvet covers, a torch each (for camping), reading books, cd's and dvds, oh and they always get new packed lunch boxes

fennel Thu 05-Oct-06 11:22:45

Bug collecting kit
Worm farm
Ant farm
Caterpillar/butterfly nursery

(spot a theme here, my child is bug-mad)

plants to grow.
science-in-the-bath type toys. you can get kits on the internet with various water-based scientific activity.

real cooking set, mini sized. you get them in Lakeland and various places.

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