50 Non-toy Christmas Gifts for Kids

Over the last few years I have started to come up with some ideas other than toys for my kids.This year we downsized from a 3 bedroom house to 2 bedroom apartment due to a move. So the need to get creative with ideas became even more necessary. During the move I went through the toys several times and lets just say we still have way too many. It’s actually quite impressive the amount of toys they do have because we don’t buy them  on a regular basis. The boys are lucky and well loved, so come birthdays and holidays they get gifts from so many people.

I have talked to many other moms who feel the pain of just too many toys and nowhere to put them, then the thought of Christmas time is enough to make you want to cringe.Now I’m not saying no toys for Christmas, but I’d like to even it out a bit. The quote that I try to remember “Collect moments not things”. It’s equally important to give our kids experiences and our time.

Are you out of ideas to tell relatives? Or like me , can’t imagine squeezing any more toys in your house? Or maybe you’re a grandparents or relative looking for something different to give this year. Whichever it is,  I hope some of these ideas will help you out.

  1. Magazine subscription such as Highlights, Boys Life, or American Girl
  2. Gift cards for bowling or mini golf
  3. Gift card to favorite fast food restaurant
  4. Subscription box (Kiwi CrateDoodle Crate or Little Passports) We haven’t tried these yet but look forward to trying Little Passports this year!
  5. Gift card for favorite Ice cream shop
  6. Maybe the child would like to try karate, jiu jitsu or some kind of dance class
  7. Gift card to movie theaters
  8. Sleeping bag
  9. I tunes card, my boys love getting their own card to use towards apps and songs
  10. Membership or tickets to the local zoo or aquarium. Prices for a family trip to either of these places adds up quickly, even by buying a ticket for just one child can help tremendously.
  11. Their own umbrella
  12. Bluetooth wireless speaker. My oldest has his eyes on a Star Wars one for his room.
  13. Camera If they aren’t quite ready for an actual digital camera there are quite a few out right now for kids. We have the V-Tech Kidizoom Action Camera which comes with mounts for the bike, an underwater case and a lot more. It’s actually a very good little camera and he’s used it at the beach and pool! It’s fun to see what they would take pictures of.
  14. Tickets to an upcoming event. Maybe Disney on Ice, Disney Live, a children’s play at a local school or theater.
  15. Tickets to a concert (great gift for a pre teen or teenager)
  16. Bike or scooter, this is a great idea especially if the child has a fall or winter birthday.
  17. Trip to or tickets to the ice skating rink
  18. Gift card to Michaels for the kid who loves arts and crafts
  19. Kids cookbook and apron
  20. Gift certificate to a pottery place where they can make their own
  21. Tickets to the bouncy place
  22. Overnight stay somewhere fun. Not thinking anything crazy but maybe there is a Great Wolf Lodge not too far from you. Just somewhere fun and feels like a getaway!
  23. Their own watch. If your kids are anything like mine they always want to know what time it is. Time to get them their own watch 😉
  24. Museum tickets, could be an art museum, history museum or just a children’s museum! We loved Port Discovery and Please Touch Museum when we were in Maryland and can’t wait to try the ones here in Florida.
  25. Bath paint, crayons or color drops
  26. Snow gear
  27. Snorkeling gear
  28. Online membership to abcmouse.com
  29. Science experiment kits
  30. Sports equipment
  31. Tickets to a sporting event
  32. New sunglasses or hat
  33.  How to Magic kit
  34. Child size tent
  35. Hammock for your backyard ( we found some at Five Below and the kids love them)
  36. Gift card for an upcoming trip ( Disney, Legoland, Hersheypark, Sea World etc)
  37. A one day ticket or Annual pass to a  local amusement park
  38. Gift certificate for a manicure or pedicure
  39. Their own kid sized suitcase
  40. Book about somewhere they may be visiting soon
  41. Dressup clothes
  42. Movie or cartoon themed calendar for their room
  43. Savings bonds
  44. Art supplies
  45. Travel pillow
  46. Modeling kit (Jo-Anns has a good selection)
  47. Adopt a pet. Not the kind you’re thinking 🙂 Our local marine life center has sea turtles you can adopt. You get updated on your sea turtle and it’s rehabilitation. They send you a picture and certificate as well.
  48. New pajamas
  49. Board games
  50. Headphones My boys love having their own headphones for road trips.

That wraps up my list. Please feel free to leave any other ideas you have in the comments.


Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Classroom

A few years ago when I worked at a daycare in Maryland, I was given the task of redecorating the classroom in a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme 🙂 Being a total Disney fanatic I had so much fun with this. I happened to know the show inside and out since I had a little boy at home who also loved Mickey!

Ok lets get the part you came for 🙂 I only have 2 pictures of the room unfortunately.

So one of our requirements was to have some kind of kindness tree. We used Chip and Dale’s tree for this! We made the tree out of no fade brown butcher paper. We used no fade green butcher paper for the grass and then laminated that and the acorns at our local staples. We then could use the acorns to write what kind things the children had done. For example Janey held the door open for Jack.


This masterpiece 😉 was the circle time board (The Clubhouse). We used all no fade butcher paper for this as well. The main part of the head was the size of a hula hoop. We used Mickey’s shoe as our daily schedule, the slide to display our numbers and you can’t see it but on the wall to the left is the big Mickey glove balloon. We used that for our “Handy Helpers”. For our birthday board we had cutout of Mickey holding balloons, each balloon had a child’s birthday on it!
I found the alphabet heads at an awesome website http://www.teacherspayteachers.com the best part about them is they are free! Just download and print 🙂 My other favorite part about them was all the letters were Mickey heads except for vowels they were Minnie. Here is a direct link to those but I suggest checking out the whole website they have multiple other Disney/Mickey things as well. So we cut them out, laminated them and put them up. I am trying to get more pic of the room and if I do I will post some other things as well.
Thanks for stopping by.

Cheesecake Sopapilla Bars

A picture of these yummy bars popped up on my FB feed the other day, so when it came time to find a recipe for my husbands potluck lunch, I knew this was what I wanted to make. I had made these once before, but it’s been years. I forgot just how delicious they are! The perfect mix of cinnamon sugar and creamy cheesecake filling.

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It’s these small things that I love doing for my husband. When he was in the military they had potlucks for everything! I would always make something and then go up to his office for the potluck. I’ve missed making food for him to take into work, I always used it as an opportunity to try new recipes. Back to these yummy treats, they were a huge hit! Seriously you guys have to make these, and not only are they yummy, they are so quick and easy to make! Unfortunately, I was rushing to get these bars made so I didn’t take pictures during the process.

Here’s the recipe I used:


  • 2 (8oz.) packs of Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 2 (8oz.) packs of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Press a can of the crescent rolls to the bottom of the dish.
  4. Combine softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
  5. Spread cream cheese mixture over crescent rolls.
  6. Place the remaining crescent roll over the top and stretch to the edges.
  7. Brush across the entire top of the crescent roll with the melted butter.
  8. Sprinkle the top with 1/2C cinnamon sugar.
  9. Bake for about 25- 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Let cool ( I placed mine in the fridge overnight so the cheesecake filling would thicken)
  11. Slice into bars and serve.

If you try these, let me know what you think 🙂

Chicken Alfredo

This is one of our favorite recipes, yet it seems I don’t make it often enough…Chicken Alfredo! This alfredo sauce is amazing and just as good if not better than what you’ll find in the restaurants.

This is a recipe you’ll have to multi-task for but it’s well worth it.
Here’s what you’ll need, plus the chicken  🙂

First I cut the chicken into small pieces and let it set in italian dressing. No certain amount, use your best judgement.

Next I start boiling water for the pasta.
And start cooking the chicken.
Once you get those two things going you can start on the sauce.
First I add the butter to a pot.
Once the butter is melted add your heavy cream
Get those two mixed in together and then add your parmesan cheese 1/2 cup at a time
Give it sometime for the cheese to melt before you add more
When all the cheese is mixed in I let it cook a little longer to finish melting the cheese and let the flavors mix.
Here’s a picture of the finished product of everything mixed together
Chicken Alfredo
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 -2 c shredded parmesan cheese
1 lb pasta (any kind you like)
1 lb chicken
1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces
2. Marinate in italian dressing
3. Boil pasta according to pkg
4.Cook chicken over medium heat in skillet
5.Melt butter in pot over low medium
6. Add heavy cream
7.Add parmesan cheese 1/2 c at a time
8. Cook until sauce is smooth and all cheese is melted.
8. Once everything is finished mix together and Enjoy!
You could also just bake the chicken in the oven on 400 F for 25 min. Another side note is when possible I try to buy fresh shredded parmesan cheese 🙂
Would love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe.