25 Practical Non-Toy Gifts for One-Year-Olds and Toddlers

We are all looking for practical non-toy gift ideas for one-year-olds and toddlers these days, because the truth is, we all could use less stuff. I will share with you 25 practical gifts you can give a young child for any special occasion that they will use and love.

Practical Gifts for the Child to Use

My favorite type of gift is a practical gift! It is an easy way to introduce new skills to young children. These useful gifts will be a wonderful way for your one-year-old or toddler to participate in day-to-day tasks around the home! Gifting a child with things they will enjoy using regularly are the best non-toy gifts, here are 6 of my favorite.

Pitchers for pouring their own water

A great non-toy gift is a child-sized pitcher! Young toddlers love to do things themselves and this pitcher will give them that opportunity. Having the opportunity to pour from a pitcher is a great way to develop on hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

small glass pitcher

Window washing kit

Young kids love to be helpful. You could make a little window washing kit. Include a spray bottle, a microfiber cloth, and a squeegee. Remember with a gift like this that you will need to model and show them how to use these things!

small green spray bottle

Child-Size Broom

An easy way to get your own housework done is by allowing your child to participate as well. Gifting them with a broom that is their size. This type of gift will make them feel considered and appreciated. Another great option is a handheld dustpan and broom.

small broom and dust pan

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Small Potty

Odds are toilet training is right around the corner. Gifting your child a small potty could be a great way to get them excited about the new skills they are about to work on!

small potty for a child who is potty training.

Step Stool

This may be the best thing you could gift your child. It may not look fun at first glance but just think of all of the things they can become a part of using a step stool. I think it could very quickly become the most fun gift your child receives because it allows them to be more independent, which is what every toddler really wants.

step stool with two steps

Child-Sized Kitchen Food Cutter

A great gift would be a safe and child friendly kitchen knife. Giving your child the opportunity for a “snacktivity” is a great way to get them involved! They may enjoy slicing up their banana, cucumbers or tomato. Probably just about anything!! What is better than a practical non-toy kitchen tool as a gift idea!

small handheld wooden knife with an ergonomic handle.

Bird Feeder

A perfect addition to your outdoor area would be a bird feeder. Kids of all ages like to observe and notice birds. Your child will have a great time watching all the beautiful birds visit their bird feeder.

Bird feeder with three suction cups to attach to the window. Three birds at the feeder

Practical Non-Toy Gifts the Child May Need


We all need clothes and it’s likely your child is growing into a new size or entering a new season! A new pair of pajamas is always a fun gift, especially to wear on Christmas morning.

Stripped baby romper outfit

Water Bottle

Something about water bottles or cups with straws make drinking water more fun. Choose a water bottle in the child’s favorite color. Perfect gift for any occasion. You could get a fun ice tray mold to go with it. Then they could make their own ice cubes. I’m sure this would enhance the interest even more!!

Five water bottles with sip straws. Five different colors.

Beautiful or fun hook for Entryway

Finding a fun or beautiful hook for the wall so your child can hang up their coat can be a wonderful way for the little people in your life to be independent and have a special space for their things. By preparing a space for them to hang their coat they will be able to independently hang items like their coat, backpack or umbrella.

Four wooden animal hooks for hanging coats or objects.


Having a mirror in the bathroom or in your child’s bedroom where they get dressed can be fun for them. They may begin using a brush or comb on their hair and a mirror will help them work on that new skill.

A mirror standing vertically

Alarm Clock

They make alarm clocks that change colors to help your child know when it is time to get up and when it is time to sleep. This can help with those early morning wake-ups and it would be a great option for young toddlers as well as kids of all ages. With this particular alarm clock you don’t need to know how to tell time because the colors and display face communicate the time of day in a more general sense.

An alarm clock with a digital time and a happy face on the screen.

Piggy Bank

Your child may enjoy a piggy bank, especially if they start to get money on special occasions. A piggy bank is a great place for them to keep that money.

Wooden piggy bank with a clear plastic bubble stomach too see the money.

Non-Object Gifts

Set up a Savings Account

Setting up a savings account may be a great gift for a one-year-old because they probably won’t understand why they are getting gifts anyways! You could add to the account every year on their birthday!

A Special Experience

Children crave quality time with their parents, caregivers, or close people in their lives. Some of my favorite past gifts were those when I was given the opportunity to go and do something with someone I love. It is a wonderful way to connect in a more special way with a child. You could take a special trip to the zoo or out to ice cream. It can be simple but it will feel special to both of you!

Subscription Boxes or Memberships

Subscription boxes can be a nice way to go because it sends you developmentally appropriate toys and activities without too much thought behind it. KiwiCrate has subscription boxes for all ages. Their Panda Crate is for ages 0-24 months. This crate in particular includes sensory toys that children of this age love.

You often can get memberships to your local children’s museums or get season passes to an amusement park. This could be a fun way for the entire family to spend time together.

Gift Cards

If you just aren’t sure what to get your child you could get them a gift card to a store you like and then take them on a special outing to let them choose a new pair of shoes or a new book that they want!

Larger Items

Learning Tower

A learning tower is a very practical non-toy gift idea and a perfect addition to your kitchen. It will allow your toddler the opportunity to join you in doing some of the daily tasks in the kitchen!

Child standing on a learning tower getting access to the counter top. Mother hugging the child from behind.

Yoto Mini Audio Player

The Yoto mini is a screen free audio player that can play audio books and music. It is a child-friendly way to allow easy access to books and music without something too “techy” for that age child. You can even create your own audio cards based on the stories your family enjoys!

Yoto mini kids audio player. It is a screenless player. Has card sticking out the top, two knobbed buttons, a speaker and a small digital screen that shows icons.

Water Table

All children seem to love playing with water! A water table will provide your child with so much fun and a great way to cool down a little on a hot day as well. You can even use a water table with other sensory objects like sand, rice or beans!

Wooden water table

Balance Bike

A balance bike is a great and practical non-toy gift idea for a child around 18 – 24 months old! Once your toddler is beginning to walk it may be time to consider getting them their first balance bike.

Small child balance bike with two wheels.

Sleeping Bag

If your family is an outdoorsy family that likes to camp you could get your little one a sleeping bag. Find one in their favorite color and plan a special outing where they get to use it. This sleep sack sleeping bag is a great safe way to bring your little on on an outdoor overnight adventure while maintaining safe sleep habits!

A green child-size sleep sack made out of sleeping bag material.

Functional/Purposeful Toys

Dress Up Clothes

Maybe your child isn’t ready for whole dress-up outfits but consider dress-up accessories that they could play with. They may enjoy their own apron, hats, or sunglasses. All these things can be fun ways to encourage imaginative play!

Board Books

By 7 months old babies begin to show interest in books. Having some quality board books is great! I enjoyed finding some of my favorite books as a child and getting those for my children, so nostalgic! Board books make for a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer!

Three board books.
A beautiful board book set we love. The illustrations are incredible!

Musical Instruments

What better gift than some musical instruments? Did you know that rhythm and tempo are great ways to encourage language development? These musical instruments from Melissa & Doug are high quality and are the perfect size for little hands.

A set of musical instruments: tambourine, triangle, cymbals, maracas, clapper, and ridged cylinder with a wooden stick.

Photo Album of Family Members

Creating a photo book with pictures of close family members and friends can be a fun thing to keep on your bookshelf in the living room for your child to continue to recognize familiar faces and learn the names of the members of their family.

five small photo albums

Opportunities to Give Gifts

You may be looking for the perfect gift to give during the holiday season or for a first birthday. Whatever the occasion, these are 25 of the best practical and non-toy gift ideas that you could give to a child! There are so many other options besides kids’ toys when it comes to giving gifts. Most of the time the unique gifts are the best gifts to give and receive!

Recap List of 25 Non-Toy Gifts

  1. Pitchers for pouring their own water
  2. Window washing kit (spray bottle & squeegee)
  3. Child-Size Broom
  4. Small Potty
  5. Step Stool
  6. Bird Feeder
  7. Clothes
  8. Water Bottle
  9. Beautiful or fun hook for Entryway
  10. Mirror
  11. Alarm Clock
  12. Piggy Bank
  13. Set up a Savings Account
  14. A Special Experience
  15. Subscription Boxes or Memberships
  16. Gift Cards
  17. Learning Tower
  18. Yoto Mini Audio Player
  19. Water Table
  20. Balance Bike
  21. Sleeping Bag
  22. Dress Up Clothes
  23. Board Books
  24. Musical Instruments
  25. Photo Album of Family Members

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  1. This is so helpful-I’ve got four kids and about to have 9 nieces and nephews- sometimes you just need something to buy that isn’t toys. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I love these practical ideas! So often we are overloaded with so many toys…thank you for alternative options to share with others!

  3. Such great ideas! My toddler is the first granddaughter and niece on my side and my husband’s side of the family. So she gets lots and lots of toys. This list is wonderful because I’m always trying to get her things that are more practical because of all the toys we have!

  4. Fantastic ideas! I’m currently shopping for my niece and nephew’s bdays, so this is perfect timing. I especially love the kid-size cleaning supplies; win, win!

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