clutter free Montessori gifts

Clutter-free Christmas list for children

Are you dreading the number of toys your children will receive this Christmas?

I do!

I don't want them to receive lots of toys they might or might not play with. I don't want to have to deal with the amount of wrapping papers and empty boxes. I don't want to add more clutter to my house and especially to their "small" bedrooms. Seriously, my children are 5 and 9 and they have toys to last a lifetime.

So here's my clutter-free gifts list, with a Montessori twist!

clutter free Montessori gifts
  • Playdough: possibly home-made in cute little jars that you have recycled or can reuse later.
  • Good quality art material: we never have enough paints, pencils, wax crayons, and chalks in our house! Sketch pads and good quality paper.
  • Sticker: stickers and more stickers, plus sticker books
  • Recipes and ingredients for baking and cooking during the holidays. There are some ready-made boxes such as this one
  • Clothes: yes we always ask for clothes as gifts, especially from grandparents because they have very good taste and my children love those gifts
  • My children are now in their Elementary years, so they like the “activity gifts” like tickets for a movie, circus show, or anything like that.
  • Classes: why not ask your family to offer swimming lessons? Horse riding session? Toddler group sessions? Honestly, if your toddler is under 5, he will be happy to open one or two gifts and enjoy those activities! Take pictures of your child enjoying the class and make a little photo album for the generous contributor.
  • Membership for the local farm, museum, or indoor play centre (and you can invite whoever offered this on a regular basis)
  • I include anything from the charity shops that will go back to the charity shops after use. It works well if your child is under the age of 3 as they probably will not remember that specific jigsaw, stacking toy, and so on. I used to buy good toys but cheap ones in charity shops and gave them back when my children were done with those toys. Check my post about Montessori-inspired toys and materials in Charity shops.
  • Donations: if your children are older, why not ask them to not have toys but donate to a charity instead? My son went to a birthday party recently and we donated to two associations instead of offering gifts. Oxfam does great gift donations.
  • Bank account and stock: what about a very small gift (in terms of value and space) and anything else that you and your family want to spend goes into a savings account? It might not be meaningful for your child now, but they will thank you when they are 18 years old!
  • A photo album: how many times do you sit down to watch photos with your child? Make an album now to enjoy together.
  • A photo calendar: make a calendar with family pictures and offer it to your child to start the year! My children love to write their own activity, to tick the day when it’s over. Children like routine and being aware of what’s going on.
  • Candle-making set: if you like to burn candles in your house, make natural candles with the children and use them.
  • Kits to make gifts: like coasters to decorate, calendars to decorate, keyrings to decorate. Make the gifts, offer the gifts (grandparents are generally very keen).
  • Useful gifts: we love magnets in our house and we play and use them on our fridge.
  • Bath products: as my children are getting older, they love bath products. We chose them nontoxic and eco-friendly.
  • Ask family members to participate in one big gift: you want to offer a bike, a wobble board, or a playhouse for the garden but it’s pricey: pool up together for a big gift! I still remember to these days that everyone in my family participated in buying me my bike and my music player!

Do you have any other ideas? Share in a comment!

Need more ideas? Check the gift lists here. 

Technically speaking, our subscription box is not clutter free but most craft materials are reusable again and again and you will use the box content for years to come! 

Discover the Montessori Subscription box!

Are you looking for Montessori activities for your child, but you don't have time to make three-part cards and search for printables?

Are you unsure what activities are appropriate? How best to present them to your child?

The Montessori Family box is a monthly subscription box for children aged 3 to 6, delivering Montessori activities directly to your door.

No more searching, printing and laminating!

This year, I have created a box of Montessori activities for Christmas!

Have a look and order it now to receive it before the Holidays!

About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.

  • Great ideas my sons birthday is close to Christmas so we end up with double the amount of toys and I find i have to have a big clear out beforehand.

  • Great ideas! We often ask grandparents to buy a membership for somewhere local that we can use all year round, this is a brilliant gift!

  • Katy Stevens says:

    There are some fantastic ideas here! Especially the bank account and stocks one!

  • This is spot on advice! I felt like this for my daughter’s birthday, so family clubbed together to give her a princess makeover experience. She loved it and she really didn’t need any more toys!
    A friend also gave her a llama walking experience! Love it!

  • Charlotte says:

    this is so good! I love how thoughtful people are but we don’t have the space for all the giant gifts everyone insists on getting!

  • Kira says:

    Some great ideas . We got a national trust family pass once – was the best present !

  • aww i love some of these, especially the classes and membership ideas. such a great alternative.

  • tots2travel says:

    Products that they love but can use are a good idea. As you say bath products perhaps in a Paw Patrol theme or something along those lines,

  • Cathy Glynn says:

    Some really good ideas. Gee loves what I call rubbish and won’t let go of it, even though it’s probably not age appropriate x

  • What a fab idea! I’m dreading Christmas to be honest, the kids already have SO much stuff! These are great gift ideas!

  • Kara says:

    We have a very strict budget for xmas so my kids don’t get that much – we prefer to spend money on their birthdays

  • Emma says:

    I have asked for lots of playdoh, sticker books and money towards our travels next year. It can be so easy to go overboard at Christmas.

  • Steph says:

    What a fantastic list of gifts. I’m going to save this for Xmas ideas

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