It happens at Eid every time. As parents, we wonder what gifts to give our kids for Eid that they will appreciate more than the usual toys. 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.
It’s also hard to find wholesome gifts for kids nowadays that won’t break the bank. And if there is one thing I have learned about being a mom, is that kids are more simple than their parents! I think parents sometimes buy the things they think their kids would want, when their kids might be thinking of wanting something much less expensive or complicated.
With my own six kids, I feel that 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. So for a few Eids now, my husband and I decided to purchase our children other types of gifts.
Here is my list of 27 non-toy items that have proven to be a hit with my kiddos, when the toy gift-giving was not appealing to us any longer.
I want to point out that some 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. You are not bound by a certain amount each year. You as a parent, 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.
1. A Watch
This gift is a hit, especially for my boys. It is even better when you buy one that is water-resistant, has a night-light, date, alarm etc. and you can find a quality one for under $20!
These are kits like sewing, crochet, embroidery, decoupage, and knitting sets. My girls love these sets and they will watch the YouTube video for tutorials, showing them how to maximize their kit more effectively.
3. Board Games
Yes we all have tried having board games in the past, but there are a lot of choices and newer games nowadays. The key is to have the board games organized and in one place, so your kids see it and feel the enthusiasm to play it. We put our board games in our family room on a shelf, so it is the first choice they see before turning on the telly. 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 in a nicely packaged wooden assemble.
I have my share of 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 and buy them some exciting content. I have bought my kids books like, almanacs, adventure stories, joke and riddle books, activity books and artsy books to draw or color in. I break the mold here and not worry too much about the educational aspect, but rather the enjoyment aspect.
My personal favorite (oh yeah, we’re talking about the kids gifts :-D). Try purchasing your children cute journals with a fancy pen, drawing books with a color set, fancy 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 I am saying crockery is a great gift for kids. Who’d have thought? But my children love it! You can buy your kids a personalized mug, a teacup set with matching saucer and coaster, a drinking bottle with an awesome saying, or a fancy long-stemmed glass with a beautiful painting on the side. Don’t ask me why, but kids adore this gift a lot more than we think, maybe it makes them feel more adult-like when having a personal drinking vessel. You can have one personalized easily, even with their name on it, 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 clothes that you usually don’t 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 Gift
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 kids 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 there.
10. Sporting Equipment
If your children are into sports, or even if they are not, they will still love sport gifts, especially boys. Buy them a newer, better quality basketball or soccer ball, a new bat or batting gloves or mitt. For a bigger gift or for multiple children, you can buy them a basketball hoop for the yard, a trampoline, an inflatable pool (please not for very young kids or kids who cannot swim), 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, kids 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 Jelly Belly Factory, Planetarium 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 they can partake during the year.
13. A Theatre or Movie Show
Treat your children for a wholesome movie with popcorn and goodies, or better yet, a theatre show! I know theatre shows are not popular for many, but from my experience, it is way better. The actors perform so well, that you feel as if you are watching a movie! The reality of theatre, is that it gives a more personalized feel and appreciation when the play goes smoothly and the actors make no mistakes – it is pure talent! There are usually children’s theatres or kid shows in many major cities.
14. A Subscription
Yes, we also purchased magazine subscriptions for our children as gifts, especially in their areas of interest, and it lasts a year or more long. You can also purchase subscriptions to science packages or craft sets that get sent to your child throughout the year.
15. A Pet
This is a big one I know, but it does not need to be a headache for you. We have purchased our children each a pet fish of their choosing. They got to name it, choose the bowl, environment, flora and fauna, and a little toy for their little fish. They loved this! And it taught them to be responsible for someone besides themselves.
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 consider, yet kids would adore.
We all know this one is popular, especially amongst older children. They get to feel independent and accountable for their own decisions. You can place the money in a nice card or envelope, and write something loving and memorable on it for them to remember and keep always.
18. A Personal Trinket
This could be a personal necklace, bracelet or ring that says, “Best Daughter!”, or has their name engraved on it, outside or inside a locket. Boys can have a keychain or pocket watch that they can use on their school bags or elsewhere. Sterling silver is usually a much more cost-effective choice.
19. A Personal Grooming Gift
Another “adult” gift for children is their own grooming kit. You can find a set that includes many items and is quality and classy. It can be items like an electric toothbrush, with flosser, miswak, toothpaste and mouthwash. A hair kit with hair brush, hot iron, hair dryer etc. A manicure and pedicure set with a henna kit, fancy nail clippers, nail polishing machine, buffer, nail art, foot treatments etc. Another idea is a haircut or style of their choice at a salon, with a hairbrush and comb set, hair clips, bands, or other hair accessories.
20. A Gift Card
Like money, this is always a great gift for anyone, not just kids. Who doesn’t like to choose their own gift right?! You can purchase gift cards for your child’s favorite ice-cream place, restaurant, store or online shop.
21. A Camera or Older Cellphone
Most kids love to take pictures and video. In previous years, some of our children received a camera as a gift and loved it, especially developing their own photos. Now with cellphones, most people use their phones and this saves on having to develop those old cartridges. Moving with the times, we have purchased older model phones instead of cameras, to serve the same purpose, and it works as an alarm clock, flashlight and stop watch too. Be careful of giving your child a wi-fi enabled phone – I do not advise it – stick to a phone that has many functions besides wi-fi.
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 the 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 listen to nasheeds when they were bored or needed to feel inspired. To make it easier, you can give them a nice range of cds in a cd bag, download most of these items from Amazon onto their mp3 player (my choice), or use your already-owned cds to download content onto your computer, to download onto their mp3 player. Be careful that your cd player or mp3 player does not have an included radio – yup I learned that the hard way when my kids found out that function!
23. Apps or Website Subscriptions
There are so much choices out there 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 more, 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 apps or websites for my children, but there are also the semi-educational ones, like Minecraft, which I am ok with for older kids. As long as there is some benefit for a child, I usually let that be my determining factor.
24. Craft or Clay Kits
Like the handcraft kits, you can find a nice assortment of clay kits with many different pieces to make models and figures, and craft kids for both boys or 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 you child is older and is handyman (or girl) inclined, buying them their own fix-it kit is a good choice. I know my younger son would love 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 in the house. They also come in various kits and in an array of colors.
26. Science Kits or Gadgets
Recently I showed my two sons the science aisle at a popular store that had all these amazing science gadgets and kits. They could not choose what they prefered best. There were items like a Tornado in a Bottle, Fibre Optic Lights, Lava Lamps, Pin Push art, a night light with reflector to show off the stars on a ceiling, to name a few. Older kids are fascinated by these especially, and it is great decor for your child’s room.
27. Circuits and Building Sets
Technically, I guess this is considered toys, but the fact that some adults play with these kind of items is proof that it shouldn’t be under the category of toys. Lego and such have moved beyond children, as there are countless adults making amazing creations using building blocks. Plus it is great for critical thinking! My children love building blocks and not just Lego, there are so many to choose from, just search on Amazon to see the choices. Some we enjoy are, K’nex, Mega Blocks, interlocking blocks, clip and click blocks, wooden blocks and moving blocks. One of son’s ultimate favorites, are the circuit kits, as it is very mechanical and children learn how to assemble pieces to make a light turn on or a piece move – awesome for children inclined towards engineering.
I hope my gift list helps you with your Eid shopping this year inshAllah. If you want to see some of the items that I mentioned in this post, visit my “Recommendations” tab and you will find the items I have purchased or highly recommend.
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