17 Christmas Gifts for Toddlers that Aren’t Toys [but still super fun]

Here are 17 Christmas Gifts for Toddlers that Aren’t toys…but they’ll still have a blast playing with them. A lot of these gifts are intended to stimulate the child’s development, whether that be their coordination, fitness, their creativity, or just stimulate some awesome play. And many of these gifts will be good for several years and “grow” with the child.

17 Christmas gifts for toddlers that aren't toys
Christmas Gifts for Toddlers that Aren’t Toys

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17 Christmas Gifts for Toddlers that Aren’t Toys

1) Balance Bikes (18 months – 48 months)

Bikes and tricycles are a fun way for toddlers to get some physical play and improve their large muscle skills (they call this “gross motor skills” as opposed to fine motor skills which is intricate work).

The balance bike in this photo is made by Chillafish that is appropriate for children up to 4 years old.

2) Radio Flyer Scooter (with sit or stand options)

  • your toddler can get some exercise…
  • use their imagination (maybe race against a unicorn?)
  • and have fun with this sit or stand scooter from Radio Flyer

3) Books

Books are a great Christmas gift for toddlers that aren’t toys.

And being able to read the books to your toddlers helps create bonding experiences.

If you need help finding a good book you can always ask your local librarian.

4) Costumes

Children love to play make believe and get creative. Costumes can be a fun addition to their playtime.

This T-Rex costume shown in the picture above is available in different sizes appropriate for different ages.

5) Balls

Balls – such as these soft, inflatable balls – are a great gifts for toddlers because it gets them some physical play and they can do so much with balls: throw them, kick them, carry them, and my daughter’s favorite thing is to sit on them and try to balance.

6) Basketball Hoop Set by Little Tikes (Ages 18 months+)

Playing sports and activities like basketball is fun way for toddlers to get some exercise and move their little muscles. These hoop can adjust from 2.5-feet up to 4-feet tall.

7) Art Easel

Let your toddler explore their creative and artistic side with this height-adjustable art easel. It has a white board on one side and a chalkboard on the other.

  • this is a gift that will grow them (height adjustable) and it can be used for many years
  • children of all ages love to draw, paint and create

8) Puzzles

Puzzles are another great non-toy gift for toddlers. It helps them develop their fine motor skills too by trying to place the pieces into place.

You can find puzzles for toddlers at most local toy stores, but if don’t have one in your area, you can check out this 4-pack on Amazon (made by Skyfield).

9) Musical Instrument Set for Toddlers

Music and dancing is a fun way for toddlers to express themselves and explore the amazing world of music-making. This 23-piece musical instrument set is sure to have your toddler jingling, jangling and smiling in no time (or maybe 4/4 time?).

  • And no, buying this for someone else’s toddler doesn’t mean you dislike them
  • Who knows, maybe they’ll become the next Mozart

10) Pop Up Play Tent and Tunnels for Toddlers

This is like having an indoor play place right in your living room! They claim it can be used outside too.

Your toddler will have fun playing in the tent and crawling through the tunnels.

There is also a ball pit…but you have to buy the balls separately.

11) Outdoor Fun –> Snow and Sand Block Making Kit

With these brick molds your toddler can make awesome sand castles at the beach or snow forts in the winter.

The resulting bricks are 9″ x 5″ x 4″ high.

A unique building gift to the toddler in your life. You may be able to find a set at your local department store, but if not, you can check out this set by Superio on Amazon.

12) Snowball Maker – more outdoor winter fun

These snowball makers will allow you and your toddler to make some good snowballs…hopefully with less freezing hands. (And can be used in the summer to make sand spheres.)

Could be a fun way to get your toddler outside in the winter for some outdoor play.

Christmas Gifts to use throughout the year –

We often get caught in the trap of thinking that Christmas gifts have to be used RIGHT NOW…played with right now…but Christmas only comes once a year and children play throughout the entire year.

Why not get them some gifts for Spring, Summer and Fall too?

Christmas is warm and sunny for many people throughout the world.

And living up North, I often forget that for many, many people it is still warm and sunny at Christmas. So for toddlers that live in warm areas, they could start using many of these gifts right away.

13) Gardening Set by Green Toys (18 months+)

This little watering can set will help your toddler to start forging a bond with nature, gardening and plants.

  • And, it is made from 100% recycled plastic.

14) Puddle Jumpers (fun at the beach or pool)

These puddle jumper water vests can be fun for toddlers to wear and splash in the water (with adult supervision of course).

  • the manufacturer (Stearns) says it is for children that weigh 30-50 pounds
  • our local pool let us bring our daughter’s puddle jumper to the pool…does your local pool allow it too?

15) Water Squirters

Most toddlers love to play with water. These foam water squirters will be great in the summer, but they could be fun in the bathtub too (if you have a full tub enclosure).

You can usually find these at your local store, but if its off-season they may not have them right now. You can check out this 4-pack on Amazon.

16) Sand Toys by Green Toys (100% recycled plastic)

This could be a great summer toy set for your toddler. But they can also use it in the winter to carry around snow or make snow castles.

17) Beach Balls

Beach balls are another fun gift for toddlers that aren’t gifts. They can kick it around a grassy backyard or bring it to the beach for some fun in the sand.

I hope you’ve found some inspiring Christmas gifts for toddlers that aren’t toys.

What is great about most of the gift ideas on this page are that your toddler will continue to use and enjoy the gifts for years to come. Their skills and imagination will grow and these gifts will be there right with them waiting to challenge and entertain their new level of development.

For instance, a child may first scribble on an art easel, then color pictures, then start to draw their own pictures, then paint, and who knows, you may have a little artist on your hands.

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15 Rip-roarin’ Gifts for Kids who Love Dinosaurs

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15 fun & super cute Baby Doll Accessories

7 Cute Baby Alive Toys for Kids

Thank you and have a safe and fun Christmas and holidays.