Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! A mother, father and their daughter prepare Xmas gifts. Baubles, presents, candy with christmas ornaments. Top view. Christmas family traditions.

Like most homes of families with young children we have toys everywhere. I feel like I am constantly purging the toy box (secretly, of course) and making runs to goodwill before every birthday or holiday to make room for the new toys my children will be receiving. This year I was determined to find ideas for gifts for my preschool age children that weren’t toys, here’s what I’ve come up with:

Dress up clothes – Start or refresh your dress up selection with real hand me downs and things picked up from the thrift shop. Store-bought dress up items typically limit the creative process in dress up and are far more expensive. Hand me downs from older siblings or even grandparents provide an entirely new experience and so many more options for dressing up.

A digital camera – stay with me on this. Seeing the world through the eyes of our children is nothing short of incredible. There are several, low-cost options for a basic digital camera that preschool age children can easily use to document the things in their life they find special. You will be entertained and touched by the things they want to remember forever.

Extracurricular activities – Things like gymnastics, dance, sports, wood-working, art, science… etc. are all fantastic options to give your child as a Christmas gift. These activities not only grow their large and fine motor skills but broaden their experiences for future endeavors as well.

Arts and craft supplies – go beyond the crayons and coloring book. Find a used easel, pick up huge pieces of paper from a teaching store and stock up on different art supplies like pom poms, fabric pieces, recycled items from around the house…etc. Set aside to time to break in these new art supplies together, not worrying about messes or cleaning up.

Refresh their kitchen play area with real kitchen items – My kids love to play “kitchen” and they get even more excited when there are real life items in their kitchen area. I pick up inexpensive utensils every now and then when I see them and add in things like cleaned milk jugs and peanut butter containers as we use them up. They love feeling like they get to use “real” items like they see us cook with every day and that it’s constantly updated.

Mail – I don’t know about you, but my kids would be ecstatic about getting something in the mail! There are so many wonderful magazines and monthly subscription services that are created for preschool age children and give them something to look forward to that’s just for them!

These are just a few ideas to get you started, what gifts are you excited about giving this year?