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I can’t tell you all the toys I’ve purchased that sit un-played with just hours after they’ve been opened. Or, the toys I surprised my boys with, only to find that I was totally wrong, and they aren’t fun. I don’t buy many toys now, and this year for Christmas, I don’t plan to either. This is what’s on the list because they are toys that will challenge their minds, keep them quiet, help us engage as a family, and more. These aren’t toys at all, yet offer so much entertainment! This post contains affiliate links. 

Guess Who?

Winning Moves Games Guess Who? Board Game, Multicolor (1191)
Price: $17.99
14 new from $17.990 used

We’ve been playing this ever since I found it at the Goodwill. A super simple game that we can play together. The 4.5-year-old plays one side, and the three-year-old helps me on my side. I can literally see my 4.5-year-old’s mind working as he tries to guess my card and sound out the names of the people.

Whac-A-Mole Mini Arcade

Basic Fun Whac-A-Mole Mini Electronic Arcade Game
Price: --
0 new0 used

Yes, this exists! A mini arcade game for your kids. We had our first experience with arcade games at Round Table Pizza a couple of weeks ago. Let’s just say it was a huge hit, and now you can bring one home!

Frogger Mini Arcade

Arcade Classics - Frogger Retro Handheld Arcade Game
Price: $92.91
5 new from $92.910 used

Because we had such a blast with arcade games, and I loved Frogger, I have to link this one on there as well. This is such a clever idea!

Snap Circuits

Snap Circuits Pro SC-500 Electronics Exploration Kit | Over 500 Projects | Full Color Project Manual | 75 + Snap Circuits Parts | STEM Educational Toy for Kids 8 +
Price: $94.99
13 new from $94.990 used

I actually saw these at Target, and I was looking at them when a mom approached me. She said her little boy loved them and has for years. She said that you can buy more and more add-ons to keep them super entertaining as your children get older. I didn’t get it at the store, with a plan to order a larger one with my Amazon Prime. I forgot, and now I have it on the Christmas list. My little boy keeps asking about it, and I’m tempted to grab it earlier because the connector pieces are so great for learning!

Magformers Basic Set

Magformers Basic Set (30 pieces) magnetic building blocks, educational magnetic tiles, magnetic building STEM toy - 63076
Price: $49.99
4 new from $49.990 used

I’ve mentioned these a few times on the blog as one of the best ways to keep my kids entertained. They love playing with these, and they get more and more creative with the building. But, the trick is to not have them out all the time. I get them out once a day.

Little Dreamers Club Subscription Box

Little Dreamers Club Bi-Monthly Craft Subscription Box for Ages 3-5
Price: $32.99
1 new from $32.990 used

You get five to eight crafts, art supplies, a badge, and a top-rated book designed to get little imaginations going. This bi-monthly craft subscription box offers a lot of fun and a lot of learning for your young ones. You can wrap the first box and put it under the tree, then continue enjoying it for the following months.

Kitchen Toys Accessories Set

iPlay, iLearn Kids Play Kitchen Toys Accessories Set, Toddler Pots n Pans Cookware Playset, Pretend Play Cooking Utensils W/ Cutting Food, Birthday Gifts for 3 4 5 6 Year Olds Girls Boys Children
Price: $25.00
1 new from $25.000 used

My boys love to pretend they are cooking, and we talk about the different kinds of food groups, utensils, and more to learn while we play.

Do your kids love cooking? Here are some gift ideas you can give to them!

Easy Playhouse

Easy Playhouse - Kids Art & Craft for Indoor & Outdoor Fun, Color, Draw, Doodle on this Blank Canvas – Decorate & Personalize a Cardboard Fort, 34" X 27" X 48" - Made in USA, Age 2+
Price: $22.99
You save: $3.00 (12%) (12 %)
1 new from $22.990 used

I don’t consider this a toy. It’s a playhouse that you color yourself. I personally plan on letting my boys just scribble all over it for hours. There is so much pretend play to happen with this, and the creative environment is so great for their growing minds.

Eco Friendly Musical Set

Stoie's International Wooden Music Set for Toddlers and Kids- Eco Friendly Musical Set with A Cotton Storage Bag - Promote Environment Awareness, Creativity, Coordination and Have Lots of Family Fun
Price: $34.99
1 new from $34.992 used from $32.31

Gosh, my kids love music. We have dance parties, and they can’t help but make a lot of noise. So this is a great set to pull out for special times you can handle a lot of noise.

Jungle Sewing & Craft Kit

Four Seasons Crafting Kids Sewing Kit and Animal Crafts - Fun DIY Kid Craft and Sew Kits for Girls and Boys 120 Piece Set
Price: $16.99
You save: $5.00 (23%) (23 %)
2 new from $16.990 used

I’m actually super excited to get one of these for my boys because they love to create things, use scissors, and more. Obviously, it will require my involvement, but overall I think they are going to love it.

There you have 10 gifts that are totally not toys, and they all promote learning and growing your kids’ minds!

Next, take a look at these educational activities to help improve your toddlers’ math skills!

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