Gifts for kids that don’t mean clutter for parents

I was going to wait till next week for the next installment of my gift guide, but this Frugal Friday post about stocking stuffers dovetails nicely with my ideas for a post about kid consumables, because most of them fit in a stocking and aren’t expensive. Though they are certainly gifts that would be good for any young kids, not just for your own and not just for stockings.

By consumable gifts, I don’t mean just food; I mean anything that gets used up instead of sitting around taking up space forever. These are things we go through often that the kids enjoy enough to see as a legitimate gift (unlike when I put vitamins and toothpaste in Mark’s stocking. He wasn’t impressed.)

  • Playdoh — store-bought or homemade
  • Crayons — I highly recommend Crayola Twistables because kids can’t break them or peel off the wrappings to leave everywhere. If you have tons of broken crayons to use up, you can make the muffin tin crayons mentioned in the post linked above. I keep meaning to do this but I doubt it will happen.
  • Glue sticks
  • Paint (Grace got two sets for her bday and they were gone in 2 weeks. She liked the poster paint style better than watercolors)
  • Paper – white, colored, notebook, large, pretty much any kind will do
  • Stickers
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Bubbles
  • Bubble bath
  • Bathtub crayons
  • Band-aids with cute designs
  • Toothbrush with a favorite character
  • Chap stick (though not till they are old enough not to eat it or smear it everywhere. ie not for Connor!)
  • A favorite snack, candy, cookie, etc. if you think the parents will be ok with that
  • Fun, bendy straws
  • Batteries, especially if giving a gift that requires them. There is nothing worse to a kid than not being able to play with a toy right away because there are no batteries of the right size in the house.

I’m sure there are more ideas out there. What do your kids go through like water?

4 comments for “Gifts for kids that don’t mean clutter for parents

  1. December 4, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    These are all great suggestions. My kid also goes through paper like it’s going out of style. Construction paper, white paper, any kind of paper. You need something to use all the paint, crayons and glue on.

  2. Liz
    December 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I also think that the craft foam stuff is always a big hit, particularly the sticky back kind or the projects.

  3. December 12, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Thanks for reminding me that I can actually avoid clutter if I really put a bit of effort and thought into it! (Doh! I wish I thought of this before I started my Christmas shopping!)

    PS My Mother-in-law used to give packs of white paper as gifts too! ;)

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