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With the holiday season on the horizon, now is the time to start brainstorming gift ideas. Gift guides for kids of all ages are easy to find. Most of them contain a long list of the popular toys of that year. But what about gifts that aren’t just toys, especially if you want to buy the entire family a gift? That is where my non-toy gift guide for the entire family comes in.
(Click to read why I don’t want people to buy my kid toys for Christmas)
This gift guide is designed for entire families. Whether you are parents buying for all of your children or an aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, etc. who wants to buy something for an entire family, this gift guide is for you. Presents for the entire family don’t have to be big or expensive to satisfy everyone.
If you want to read non-toy gift guides for other ages, make sure you check out my Non-Toy Gift Guide for Babies, Non-Toy Gift Guide for Toddlers, Non-Toy Gift Guide for Preschoolers, and Non-Toy Gift Guide for Elementary Aged Kids.
I have talked about the benefit of memberships before (especially when going out and about with toddlers) but let me just sing their praises again. Having a membership to a fun place means you don’t have to plan an entire days worth of activity at a location just to feel like you got your money’s worth. If you get somewhere and baby has a blowout or toddler has a tantrum, you can leave without wasting the admission fee you just paid.
So what kinds of places should you consider a membership to?
I feel like some people might read “board games” and be a little confused because this list isn’t supposed to include toys. But I feel like an educational board game can be fun without being a toy. There are games the entire family can play that children can get a lot out of.
Rooster Fin Games makes great board games for the whole family. Most games start around age 5 or 6, but could always be played with “teams” of adults and children to help the littler ones. Rooster Race is a card game where players guess high/low in order to win corn to feed their roosters. This is a great game for number recognition and number values. Turtle Flip is a fast-paced card game where players try to play the highest value card. This game involves not only number values, but teaching children right from left.
Family dinner is a great tradition for all families. Spending time together, eating and making conversation is so good for kids. But what about if you don’t know what to talk about? That is where conversation cards come in. The Melissa & Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions is full of questions and conversation starters meant to inspire stories and anecdotes both serious and funny. The questions are meant for all ages, from preschoolers all the way up to adults. If you want something a little different, Kid Talk: Conversation Cards have fun facts along with questions for conversation starters. You can even add your own questions on cards that are included.
Floor puzzles can be fun for the whole family. Melissa & Doug makes multiple floor puzzles with all sorts of fun subjects. You could get one with dinosaurs, the solar system, construction, or the ocean. A fun foam floor mat can be a fun puzzle when it involves letters and numbers. This Alphabet and Number Puzzle Floor Mat could be used for many fun games. Letter and number recognition, spelling games, number sequencing, and more could be fun, educational games to play with this fun floor puzzle.
Okay, I know I am weird and would absolutely love this, but it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Make sure to take into account what the family would think of matching pajamas and, if you decide they would love them, make sure you send them extra early in the season so they can wear them all month!
Just a beginning note: there are sooooo many different styles of family pajamas, so make sure you check them all out to find ones to match the family! Some sets, like the SleepytimePJs Nordic Family set, have pajamas for everyone including the family pet and any beloved dolls! SleepytimePJs also makes a Flannel Family Pajama set that are a more subdued choice. If that is still a bit too wild, try the SleepytimePJs Holiday Red Pajama set for a classic, subtle holiday choice.
If “holiday” choices seem too constraining or the pajamas won’t be able to be delivered early enough to be enjoyed, consider non-holiday sets. Footsteps Clothing makes an adorable Bear Family Pajama Set. Every member gets a shirt noting their “title” (Sister Bear, Baby Bear, Mama Bear, etc.) and some comfortable pants with a paw print.
This is along the same lines as a membership, but are not for physical places, but for services instead. If the family loves cooking, food, and/or trying new things, get them a CSA share or a membership to a local Co-Op.
If the family loves to watch movies, get them a gift card or subscription to Netflix or Hulu.
Amazon has multiple services/subscriptions that would make a great family gift. Amazon Home Services offers a new way to find services such as house cleaning, handyman services, house painting, and plumbing and electrical work, among many other services. You can go through Amazon to either custom select a job to be done or pick a pre-defined package of services.
If there are many book lovers in the family, make sure to try Amazon Kindle Unlimited. It offers over 1 million titles for free for Kindle apps. Subscribers are able to read and listen to as many books as they’d like for a low price each month. Even cooler is the fact that Amazon offers a 30 day free trial so you can see if it is a good fit for your family.
Amazon Prime is amazing and if you don’t already subscribe to it, you should. It might feel like a hefty fee, but it truly pays for itself quickly. Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping and they stick to that promise. We once had a Prime package that took longer than two days to arrive and they very apologetically offered us a gift card to pay for any inconvenience. Great customer service! Not only is there the free shipping, but they also offer access to their Prime streaming service which offers TV shows, movies, and original programming along with audio streaming. Make sure to try a free trial yourself and also get a gift membership for your favorite family!
Amazon also offers a program that is similar to Prime, but focused on families. An Amazon Family subscription offers Prime benefits like free two-day shipping and streaming services, but it also offers exclusive coupons and deals and 20% off of any diaper subscriptions. Any time you can save on diapers, it’s a good idea to grab that deal!