Many kids seem to have it all these days. Between play rooms filled with expensive toys to devices empowered with the latest technology, it can be tricky to find meaningful gift ideas for youngsters.

Plus, parents tend to dread the holidays because of the gift clutter that often overtakes the house. Who’s to blame them? Some households don’t need (or want) any more “stuff.”


Here’s a list of clutter-free gift ideas to consider for the upcoming holidays:

1. Restaurant Gift Card

Plenty of people have a favorite eatery, children of all ages included. Maybe it’s the golden arches or even a freaky fast sandwich. Their favorite restaurant might be something a bit more high-class, such as a sushi bar or Italian cafe. No matter what their appetite serves up, a gift card will satiate their cravings.

2. Clothes

Clothes may seem like the ultimate clutter, which would make buying a kid more clothes counterproductive. However, consider clothing a practical gift instead of excessive. Do they have appropriate undergarments for the upcoming season? How is their sock collection holding up?

3. Favorite Treats

The holiday season is the perfect time to think about your individual child’s favorite treats—ice cream, candy sweets, chocolate covered fruits, etc. Clutter-free gift-giving is natural when the present is consumable! You can even go full-on DIY and attempt to make their favorite treats yourself. Of course, sticking to the professionals is a great route, too.

4. A Blog

Got a writer in the family? Instead of gifting your word slinger with another notebook, consider getting them a blog of their own. Dozens of content management systems, such as WordPress or Squarespace, make starting a blog super simple. Plus, the created content doesn’t have to go live until published by the blog owner. It may bring a sense of comfort to your little writer knowing their work is saved to the cloud.

5. Department Store Gift Card

Kids like to handle their money as they choose. However, most days, kids need a bit of direction. Some frugal families teach their children how to budget at a young age. So why not put a little power in the hands of a financially savvy young one? Give a gift card to them for their favorite department store, and watch the power go to their head.

6. Gift Certificate

A gift certificate works a lot like a gift card, functioning as a voucher. However, the reason gift certificates make the perfect gift is that they’re so specific. Instead of just directing your special kiddo to a store, you often gift them with a particular item or service. This customized approach makes the gift-giving season more unforgettable.

7. Audiobooks

Most hardcore readers revel in paper pages and the smell of an old book. But life doesn’t always allow hobbies to follow our rules. For example, if your child enjoys reading but is stuck in the dark seat of a bus for their traveling sports team, audiobooks could provide them with hours of entertainment.

8. Audible Subscription

If audiobooks have proven to be a success, take it a step further by purchasing a subscription. Audible is one of the most popular platforms for audiobooks. Also, Audible membership plans come in several different sizes, so you can adjust the subscription as you go. And don’t forget about the 30-day free trial!

9. Mani/Pedi

It’s safe to say that getting a manicure or a pedicure is a self-care luxury. So, why not give that indulgence to someone you love this holiday season? Not only is a mani-pedi one of the best consumable gifts, but it’s not something on which a child will not typically spend their money. Or, make it a date and get pampered together.

10. Music Lessons

Many people give children musical instruments for the holidays. After all, most kids enjoy tinkering around on a ukulele, guitar, or keyboard. Most times, however, those instruments end up collecting dust for the rest of the year. Instead of gifting an instrument, give music lessons so your special kid can genuinely enjoy their instrument throughout the year.

11. Music Subscriptions

Along with music lessons, music subscriptions also tend to stir joy in the hearts of many kids. It’s especially beneficial when they can experience gifts instead of just looking at them. Music is undoubtedly an all-encompassing experience. Go for subscriptions such as iTunes, Spotify, or even Amazon Music Unlimited.

12. Family Photo Session

One of the best clutter-free gift ideas for kids, and the entire family is a family photo session. Most families are racing against time, following a harried schedule. Slowing down to get an epic family photo isn’t always on the docket. By gifting a photo session, you allow your loved ones to slow down so they can treasure their time together and their family unit, too.

13. Sporting Event Pass

Convincing a sports-loving family member to attend a sporting event usually isn’t tricky. Event tickets will earn you some serious brownie points, too! And that’s just for starters. Go the extra mile by getting your special kiddo season passes and give them the chance to make wonderful sports-themed memories.

14. Hair Cut

Strangely enough, most practical gift guides skip over the idea of gifting a loved one with a haircut. As you likely know, getting your hair cut feels luxurious, so this idea only makes sense. Plus, some families have so many other things (and expenses) on their plate that haircuts tend to get boring and bland. This gift could be just the ticket to spice things up!

15. Amusement Park Pass

Making any great list of the best consumable gifts include passes to an amusement park. The main driver behind this gift is to help your special kid celebrate experiences instead of “things.” For the younger crowd, consider themed amusement parks, such as Storyland and Sesame Place.

16. Movie Tickets

Going to the movies with friends or family has been a perfect night out for decades. Despite the conveniences of Netflix or Hulu, this trend isn’t changing anytime soon. To change things up this year, give the gift of entertainment in the form of movie tickets. A modern twist on this idea is to provide the movie tickets to new parents and make babysitting your tag-a-long present.

17. Shadow Box for Ticket Stubs

If giving consumable gifts is your jam, then your family may end up collecting a multitude of ticket stubs. From sporting events to movies to amusement parks, tickets are a part of the deal. Of course, accompanying each stub is a memory, too. Instead of storing them in an old shoebox (or on a dresser), find a stylish shadow box for them to display those treasured ticket stubs.

18. Cooking Classes

Do you have a mini-chef in your family? Cooking tends to attract small children and teenagers alike. Plenty of cooking shows exist to support this hobby, as well. If you thinking of a gift for a child who loves to cook, sign them up for cooking classes.

19. Essential Oils

Essential oils are all the rage right now. And rightly so! Not only do they smell heavenly, but they offer health benefits, as well. For the child dabbling in holistic health or creating their individualized perfume line, opt for a starter kit of essential oils. The best part? This particular gift will do wonders for stinky rooms, too!

20. Art Classes

Multi-ethnic group of happy kids creating handmade pottery in art class lit by sunlight, copy space

Creating heavenly-scented concoctions isn’t the only way to support your child’s creativity. If your little loved one has a knack for the arts, sign them up for an art class. Granted, classes can seem so official or collegiate, but art classes are typically loads of fun. Plus, dozens of classy art programs are offered across the nation. Find one that suits your child and let the fun begin!

21. Photo of Childhood Home

Memories of a childhood home can run deep and wide, evoking emotions of all sorts. If your child has exceptionally fond memories of the house in which they grew up, consider giving them a framed photo of it. Another popular trend is to hire an artist to paint or draw a picture of the home, as well. It’s easy for kids to reminisce about days gone by when those moments are encapsulated in art.

22. Artwork

Perhaps you’re an artist, and you can create something unique to give as a holiday gift. Although art is an item that does take up space on a wall or the floor, it’s also timeless, so it falls under the clutter-free gift category. For motivation, think about an exceptional quality or interest they possess and then use their favorite colors to bring it all to life.

23. Charm Bracelet

Gifting jewelry can be tricky, depending on your child’s taste. Either the gifted piece can serve as a dust-collector in a jewelry box or worn every day until the end of time. One excellent idea is to give a charm bracelet and keep adding to the bracelet each as you create memories together. It’s fun to examine the bracelet to recall the charm from last year and the year before, etc.

24. Membership

During the holidays, the club on most adult’s mind is a gym membership. No doubt, we can attribute this mindset to New Year’s Resolution time! However, think about your child and the activities they enjoy. Are they trying out for the football or cross-country team? Do they need strength training for gymnastics or softball? Consider a membership that might support their endeavors.

25. Family Recipe Book

It’s no surprise that most grown children request their favorite recipes from family members. These dishes serve as comfort food, especially when children move far away from home. Before they hire a moving truck, gather your family recipes, and give them a family recipe book. With several options for “publishing” such a book, the design possibilities are vast.

26. Journal of Experiences

Kids love to read about the younger version of themselves—favorite foods, funny expressions, silly quirks, etc. Many parents and family members keep a journal of experiences to give to a child right before embarking on adulthood. Looking back at the past can boost confidence and provide hope for the future.

27. “Open When” Letters

In the same writing vein, consider giving “open when” letters. For example, some people like to write letters for kids to open on milestone occasions, such as a golden birthday or graduation. This idea is chocked-full of emotion and positive sentiment. Not sure how to write an “open when” letter? Consider making the “open when” a moment when they feel a specific way—sad, frustrated, anxious, etc.

28. Date Night

Spending and creating quality moments with people you love is never a waste of time. This approach to gift-giving essentially makes your time the ultimate present. A date night coupon, especially involving food or a yummy treat, will stay in style forever. Make it a one-on-one date, too. Families can get so busy that everyone gets bunched together. A little personal face time can make all the difference.

29. Customized Hobby Supplies

Let’s face it; hobby supplies can get expensive. Whether it’s pottery, equestrianism, or rock climbing, hobby supplies aren’t always on the discount rack. As you may have imagined, hobby price tags can get hefty for some parents. To help support your special kid’s hobby, ask what supplies they need to keep the venture going.

30. Framed “Favorite”

Most kids had a favorite stuffed dinosaur or raggedy old doll that they carried around with them everywhere. These treasures often find themselves stuffed in a plastic tub, only seeing daylight a few times a decade. To relish these favorites toys and keep childhood alive, frame their favorite item, and present it to them as a gift.

31. Wrist Watch

Give the gift of time this year in the form of a stylish wrist watch. You might think young people have no need for watches anymore with the ubiquity of smartphones and laptops. But maybe helping them be less reliant on their devices is a good thing. Consider a luxury, yet affordable, watch by Danish watchmaker Nordgreen. Best of all, a portion of every Nordgreen watch purchase this holiday will go towards buying meals for the homeless and other causes.

Dyanne Harvey