It happens every time at Eid. Parents wonder what gifts to give their kids that they’ll appreciate more than the usual toy. Something that won’t break, the novelty won’t wear off in a day or two, and which isn’t the usual ol’ piece of plastic.
Nowadays it’s hard to find wholesome gifts for kids that won’t break the bank, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a parent, is that kids are more simple than their parents think! We parents, sometimes buy things we think our kids want when our kids want something much less expensive or complicated.
With my six kids, I feel there is not much in the toy area that they haven’t tried or tested alhumdulillah, and I am pretty tired of toys breaking, needing batteries and lying around unused later. So a few Eids ago, my husband and I decided to purchase our children other types of gifts.
Here is my list of non-toy items that have proven to be a hit with our kiddos when the toy gift-giving was not appealing to us any longer.
I want to point out that the gifts I recommend are big and some are small, but your gift should depend on your budget for that Eid year, and what your child has earned through their behavior. As parents, you are not bound by a certain amount each year and you have the right to buy what you can afford for your kids, and not more than you can afford. There may be an Eid where you cannot afford anything, but you can still make it special for your kids with your time and creativity – they won’t love you less :-).
Non-Toy Kid Gift List
1. A Watch
2. A Craft Set
These are kits like sewing, crochet, embroidery, decoupage, and knitting sets. My girls love these sets and they will watch the accompanying YouTube video for tutorials that show them how to maximize their kit more effectively.
3. A Board Game
We all have bought the usual board game in the past, but there are a lot more choices and better games nowadays. The key is to have your board games organized and in one place so your kids see it and feel the enthusiasm to play. We place our board games in our family room on a shelf so it is their first choice before turning to a device. My kids love games such as Battleship, Monopoly, Payday, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Chocolate Fix, Rush Hour, Risk and the compendium of old favorites.
4. Exciting Books
I have some kids who THINK they don’t like to read, but in my mind, they don’t KNOW they like to read! The key is to show them the love of reading by buying them some exciting content. We have bought our kids books like almanacs, adventure stories, joke and riddle books, activity books and artsy books to learn to draw etc.. I break the mold and not worry too much about the educational aspect, but rather the enjoyment aspect.
5. A Stationary Set
My personal favorite gift to give and receive. Try purchasing your child a cute journal with a fancy pen, drawing books with crayons, colored pencils and pens, giant sets of colored pencils, markers, gel pens (my kids love these), fancy erasers, unusual pencil cases, even a new, trendy school or book bag.
6. A Tea Cup, Mug, Glass or Water Bottle
Yes, crockery is a great gift for kids, who’d have thought right? But my children love it! You can buy your kids a personalized mug, a tea cup set with matching saucer and coaster, a drinking bottle with an awesome saying, or a fancy long-stemmed glass with a beautiful design on the side. Kids adore this gift a lot more than you think, maybe it makes them feel more adult-like when having a personal drinking vessel. You can also have one personalized with their name, online or at a photo shop.
You can buy your child a new coat, gloves, scarf and hat set. A few beautiful hijabs with decorative pins, a pair of classy shoes, or a lovely dress or suit, This is especially popular with older kids who are more concerned with how they look and may want more quality clothing than what you usually buy for them other times of the year.
8. A Baking or Kitchen Set
A baking set for older kids with an apron, mixing bowl, boxes of cake a cookie mix, and measuring cups is always a hit! For little kids, a set of pots and pans to play with is a great gift, and you don’t need to buy them the toy version, but real, smaller ones that will last much longer.
9. A Restaurant Visit
Take your kids to a restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner on Eid, and let them choose a meal of their choice that is not from the kid’s menu. They will like the feeling of being treated all grown-up! To make it even more special, choose a restaurant that is more classy and they get to dress-up to go.
10. Sporting Equipment
Most children are into sports, but even if they’re not, they’ll still love sports gifts – especially boys. Buy them a better basketball or soccer ball, a new bat, batting gloves or a mitt. For a bigger gift or multiple children, you can buy them a basketball hoop for the yard, a trampoline, an inflatable pool, or a bike (don’t forget the helmet).
One Eid, we bought our children a membership to a popular kid-friendly tourist place. It included one year of train rides, rock climbing, bouncing in the bouncy house, adventure golf etc. This was a gift they loved and were able to enjoy year round!
12. Field Trip
Let your children choose a place that they would like to visit, like the zoo, planetarium, museum etc. and let them have a day of enlightenment. You can give them an allowance for a meal and a trinket from the gift store to make it more generous if you wish. Alternatively, you can give them vouchers for a few field trips that they can enjoy during the year.
13. A Theatre or Movie Show
Treat your child to a classic feel-good movie with popcorn and goodies, or better yet, a theater show! I know theater shows are not popular for many, but from my experience, it is way better. A classic tale performed in a theater has a more personalized feel that you will appreciate. There are usually children’s theaters shows in many major cities.
14. A Subscription
We’ve also purchased magazine subscriptions for our children as gifts, especially in their areas of interest, and it lasts a year or longer. You can also purchase subscriptions to science or craft sets that your child receives throughout the year.
15. A Pet
This is a tricky one I know, but it does not need to be a headache. We have purchased our children a pet fish each of their choosing. They got to name it, choose the bowl, environment, flora, and fauna, and a toy for their little fish. They loved this! And it taught them to be responsible for someone besides themselves. If you’ve been wanting to get a kitten for a while, this is a great time to bring one home!
You can offer your children vouchers as gifts for things like no chores for a specified time, outing privileges, decision privileges, even menu privileges! The fact that they get to earn major decisions is very appealing to children and is a gift that most parents would not think to consider, yet kids would adore it.
We all know this one is very popular amongst older children. They feel independent and accountable for their own decisions when able to choose what they want. You can place the money in a nice card or envelope and write something loving and memorable for them to remember and keep.
18. A Personal Trinket
This could be a personal necklace, bracelet or ring that says, “Best Daughter!” or has their name engraved on or in a locket. Boys can have a keychain or pocket watch that they can add on their school bags or elsewhere. Stainless steel and sterling silver is lasting and usually a more cost-effective choice.
19. A Personal Grooming Gift
Another great gift for children is their own grooming kit. You can find a set that includes many items of good quality. It can be items like an electric toothbrush, with flosser, miswak, toothpaste, and mouthwash. A hair kit with a hair brush, hot iron, hair dryer, hair clips, bands, or other hair accessories etc. A manicure and pedicure set with a henna kit, fancy nail clippers, nail polishing machine, buffer, nail art, foot treatments etc.
20. A Gift Card
21. A Camera or Older Cellphone
Most kids love to take pictures and video. You can buy your child a camera as a gift or an older cellphone. We have purchased older model phones instead of a camera to serve the same purpose, and it also worked as an alarm clock, flashlight, and stopwatch. Be careful of giving a wi-fi enabled phone without a restrictive app.
22. A Cd Player or Mp3 Player
These gifts are not to get your kids into music, but for those children who love good audio stories, nasheeds and who are memorizing Quran. One year we gave our children this gift, and I cannot express how much they benefitted from having it. They memorized faster, they could hear stories at their leisure, and listened to nasheeds when they were bored or needed to feel inspired. To make it easier, you can download most of these items from Amazon onto their mp3 player (my choice), or use your already-owned CDs to download content onto their mp3 player. Be careful that your cd player or mp3 player does not include a radio – I learned that the hard way when my kids found that function :-0!
23. Apps or Website Subscriptions
There are so many choices for children when it comes to website subscriptions and apps. If your child uses a tablet, you can buy them a few of their favorite, wholesome apps to enjoy. If they use the computer, a subscription to some awesome, kid-friendly sites would be another great choice for them to enjoy for a longer time. I usually choose educational or Islamic apps and websites for my children to enjoy. As long as there is some benefit for my child, I usually let that be my determining factor.
24. Modeling or Clay Kits
Like the handicraft kits, you can find a nice assortment of clay kits with many different pieces to make models and figures for both boys and girls. These include all the items to keep your child busy for hours in a nice box that is easy to pack up and store away.
25. Tool Sets
If your child is older and handyman – or girl inclined, buying them their own fix-it kit is a good choice. My younger son loved his toy tool kit but was frustrated by its limitations. As an older kid, he enjoys having his own tools to work on his bike or help me fix small things around the house.
26. Science Kits or Gadgets
Recently I showed my older sons the science aisle at a popular store, and they couldn’t make a choice! There were items like a Tornado in a Bottle, fiber optic lights, lava lamps, pin push art, a night light with a reflector to show the stars on a ceiling – to name a few. Older kids are fascinated by these and it is also great decor for your child’s room.
27. Circuit and Building Sets
Technically, this is considered toys, but even some adults play with this! Lego and such have moved beyond toys as there are countless adults making amazing creations using building blocks. My children love Legos, K’nex, Mega Blocks, Interlocking blocks, clip and click blocks, wooden blocks, and magnetic blocks. One of my sons’ ultimate favorites are the circuit kits whereby children learn how to assemble pieces to make a light turn on or a part move – awesome for children inclined towards engineering.
Well, that’s it. I will add more as I find. I hope my gift list helps you with your Eid shopping stress this year inshAllah ;-). Eid Mubaruk!
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