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Alternative presents this Christmas!

By Dr Amanda Gummer

If the thought of more toys in the play room fills you with dread or you are wanting to find something a little different that will last past Christmas day, you may like to take a look at some of our ideas for alternative gifts. Children almost love the unwrapping process as much as the present itself, so why not turn it into a game of pass-the-parcel too?!


The beecard is a lovely opportunity to give children a gift that will enable them to try new skills and make new friends. Older family members might like to give a beecard as a way to pass on their own love of a particular activity, promoting family bonds and supporting children’s holistic development.


As adults, we often forget the excitement that something in the post brings to our little ones.

Some of our favourite subscriptions include First News – an independent, weekly national newspaper for children.

Good Toy Guide gift card

Just can’t decide which toy is best for your little one? You don’t have to! Put the power into their hands! With a Good Toy Guide gift card they can choose from over 100 tried and tested Good Toys.

Charity Donation

Gifts that build brighter futures. Through charities like Oxfam, you can gift anything from a ‘Life Changing Chicken’ to a ‘Pile of Poo’! Talk to your child about the true spirit of Christmas and ensure they grow up with a social conscience.

A piggy bank or pre-paid cards

Learning the value of money young is a really important life lesson, as well as budgeting and financial sense. A good old fashioned piggy bank still works, but if you’re feeling more techy, check out something like gohenry or Roosterbank apps that give your children more opportunities for saving and managing their money. Gift cards are a popular alternative to money for older children.

A voucher from the ‘Bank of Mum & Dad’

These vouchers don’t have to cost the earth – in fact, they don’t have to cost anything at all! Why not create these vouchers yourself for things like ‘1x sleepover with friends’, ‘1x skip-the-veg dinner’ or ‘1x chore-free Friday’. You can wrap up the voucher as a scroll or in a card, or include it with a relevant trinket – a scrap book or something relevant to the voucher.