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Non-Toy Gift Suggestions for a Preteen Kid

Updated: Apr 13

The holiday season is just around the corner and what more fun than gifting yourself, your friends, and your kids with lovely, useful, and eco-friendly gifts?

It’s time to do some holiday shopping. I love shopping for kids’ stuff. I actually go around window shopping for age-appropriate products for my kids and then shop.

But do gifts always have to be shopped for?

Not necessarily.

Children and Parents hold onto memories. Toys and accessories excite kids of all ages, they adore them. But the meaningful family times, fun trips they went and happy experiences they had with family and friends get cherished.

Gifts are best when handpicked based on age and needs. Gifting a teen with rattles doesn’t sound fun to them right? Here are a few cherishing gifting ideas that I loved gifting preteen kids.

What Not to Buy

Before we start our shopping list, let’s have a few peeks at what we don’t go for.


The things our children will look back and remember as adults won’t always be the toys they received. Most times it will be the memories and experiences – not just from around the holidays but all year long.  

It’s not what they receive, it’s who they spend time with and what experiences they have. These non-toy gifts will help you give your children memorable experiences to last all year long, and for many years after that! 

Books, Books, & More Books!

a child and teddy bear, bathed in soft light, sharing the joy of reading a book together, embodying childhood wonder and imagination

Nothing beats like, gifting a book.

It’s a treasure, a company, an influence, an inspiration, and a beautiful memory. Your gift can start a life-changing reading habit in a kid. If already a reader, the kid is going to love you more for digging into the child’s favorites and picking a perfect book. 

Preteens love books on adventures, science experiments, encyclopedias, fantasy novels, funny light reads, inspirational stories, moral stories and etc… You can also gift them books based on their hobby. There are plenty of books on knitting, gardening, music, art, craft, dancing and etc… Understand their interest gift a book suiting their hobby.

If your kiddo already owns a kindle, you could gift e-vouchers to purchase e-books of their choice too!

Tip: Always gift the kid with a little note of love, with a sign and date. It can be an everlasting treasure for the kid in your memory, as preteens grow up in a jiffy and time always flies by quickly

Wrap an Experience!

How about letting the child get the point that piling up on material stuff, most of which is not liked, not used, not needed, or not wanted is actually a waste? Instead, let the child enjoy the experiences and activities.

Surprise the kid with a course on swimming, a camp on pottery, scuba diving, or even a simple trekking ticket. This can be a chance for the child to have fun exploring nature, and the wild, and also getting to know the outer world, or much so his own self.

A Family Outing could also be a great option – Amusement Park, exploring local markets, Pottery Painting, Rock Climbing, Ice Skating, Jumping Gym, Bowling, Skating, Zip Lining, Horseback Riding, Roller-Skating, etc... Involve people, arrange for a get-together and just go have fun.

Tip: You can surprise them by not entirely disclosing the experience beforehand. You can just tell them we are out for a ride and then you can take them to an amusement park. But make sure you pack all their necessities.


Subscriptions to science-based newsletters, kid's newspapers, and art magazines are a great idea to foster imagination and creativity in kids and also enable them in identifying their passion.

I still remember the tinkle subscription my granny gifted me. All those funny Suppandi tales, cool science facts, and colorful illustrations are still close to me. It made my first train journey momentous.

Not only are these subscriptions engaging, but they can also keep the child motivated and directed to fields in which they have special interests. They can also come in handy in school projects and experiments in their coming academic years.

Art Classes and DIY Kits

Two children immersed in painting at easels, surrounded by art supplies, focused on creating vibrant masterpieces with strokes of blue and green on their canvases

Art supplies for kids of every age are always great gifts to foster your child’s love for the arts, as well as use their imagination. A great option would be to pair art supplies with an experience such as paint and brushes with a trip to a local decoupage excursion or another form of art creation class.

Building satellites, bridges, and dams, home gardening, farming, carpentering your own woodwork cooking and baking are a few of the endless list of interesting DIY activities a preteen might love doing.

Do-it-yourself kits always work their magic be it young or adult. They give the child a sense of accomplishment and foster their independent self.

Hope the list above comes in handy in choosing gifts for your loved ones. After all, what could be more special than gifting with an extra bit of love and an extra bit of thoughtfulness.

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