The Gifty Girl

20 Unique and FUN DIY Experience Gifts for Kids (for cheap or free!)

Experience Gifts for Kids are a great option…but they can be expensive!  Creating a DIY gift experience can save a ton of money AND  make for a unique gift that you can’t put a price tag on.  I added a few fun products you could add to the gift certificate if you’d like, but these are great gifts even by themselves. 

How can I give experiences instead of gifts?

I thought up 20 unique DIY Experience Gifts for Kids and made 18 free printable gift certificates to make it super easy for you to give experiences instead of gifts. Find an experience that the child on your list would love and print the corresponding certificate from my free gift printables library! Sign-up to receive my weekly email below and you will get a password and access to ALL of my free gift printables to make giving experiences instead of gifts fun AND  easy!

Experience Gifts for Kids Free Printable Gift Certificates

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you anything)!  Get more information in my full disclosure.

DIY Experience Gifts for Kids ages 2-8

Picnic Experience Gift for Kids Printable

A Picnic at the Park: Grab some fun lunch food (or grab a Happy Meal!) and head to a nearby playground! Grab the free printable! You could also include any of these items as part of  your gift.

experience gift for kids zoo certificate

A Trip to the Zoo: If you can’t make it to a real zoo, you could go feed some horses (or even set up stuffed animals in a pretend zoo!) It’s always fun to give kids $5 or $10 to grab their own souvenir. Grab the free printable, and here are some other things you could add to this gift.







tea party experience gift certificate

A Fancy Tea Party: My kids (boys AND girls) love to have tea parties! Put on your fancy clothes and hats, don appropriate tea party names (Mrs. Flowerbottom, perhaps?), and break out the teeny tiny foods! Little sandwiches, tiny cakes or cookies, lemonade or juice. So much fun. Don’t forget to grab the free printable. This Green Toys Tea Set is one of my daughter’s favorite toys. Super durable and very adorable.








experience gift for kids movie party certificate

A Movie Party: Pick up a new movie on DVD (or from Redbox), pop some popcorn and cuddle up under a blanket. Kids LOVE to watch their own special movie.  Grab the free printable!

experience gift for kids pretend space trip

A (pretend) Trip to Outer Space:  make a spaceship out of a cardboard box (let the kids help!) and maybe some astronaut hats! Have a countdown and maybe spot some aliens or meteors! This is one of my kids’ favorite things to play.

A Play-doh Party: Play-doh is the best…you can make your own (here is a great recipe) or grab some from the store. Add some cutters and rolling pins and you can have hours of fun!



A Dolly/Baby Party: Warm up some bottles, change some pretend diapers, rock the babies to sleep. My 3-year-old could play babies all day!

experience gift for kids treasure hunt

A Treasure Hunt:  (for smaller kids you could use picture clues!) Print off a treasure map (there is a free one in my gift printables library!) put some treasure (candy? Glowsticks? Small stuffed animals?) under an X  and have an amazing treasure hunt. Check out this other treasure hunt gift idea (and see the free map).

campout certificate for kids

A Campout: For this age, they would love to have a tent pitched in your backyard (or in your living room). Make some easy s’mores (graham  crackers spread with marshmallow creme and chocolate chips), and use your flashlights! You can tell some stories too…(overnight optional!). Grab the free printable! Here are other fun outdoorsy gift ideas for kids who love to camp!


cupcake decorating printable experience gift for kids

A cupcake decorating party: Bake up some cupcakes and have some frosting and lots of sprinkles ready. Expect more frosting in their bellies then on their cupcakes, but they will have such fun! Grab the free printable (and maybe some fun supplies).

DIY Experience Gifts Kids: Girls and Boys


experience gift for kids painting class certificate

A Painting Party:  Even if you aren’t a painting pro yourself, kids would have so much fun with a painting experience. You could get canvases, or even wooden or ceramics to paint. You could watch an online tutorial together!

experience gift for kids baking class

A Baking Class:  Kids love to spend time in the kitchen and there are so many things that they would love to learn about. You could teach kids how to bake bread, make cookies or brownies, or even a bigger cooking class and have them make a whole meal. Grab the free certificate

stargazing experience gift for kids

A Stargazing Party: Even if you don’t have a telescope, you can borrow one from a local university or even the library. Check out some books and try and find constellations or watch a meteor shower. Make sure to have some fun snacks and warm blankets. This will be an experience they will always remember.  Check out these other fun gift ideas for a Stargazing Gift Basket (Grab the free printable certificate.)

DIY cake decorating experience gift for kidss

A Cake Decorating Class: Have the cakes pre-made or let the kids cook those as well! You could try normal buttercream frosting or even get fancy with some fondant. Grab the free printable gift certificate and maybe add a few decorating essentials.  Grab the free printable.

Experience Gift Spa Day

A Spa Day: I made this certificate specific to Grandma (if you want a different one please let me know!). This would be such a fun experience gift. You could make some DIY face masks, paint your nails, fix your hair and have some snacks! Check out my Spa Kit Gift idea for kids here and grab the Free printable certificate.


experience gift for kids sports party A Sports Watching Party: Kids would love to have some special time hanging out and watching a game! Make it a special experience by doing a one-on-one sports party. Tons of great snacks and a game too! Grab the free printable.

Girls Night Out Experience Gift

A Girls’ Night In/A Girls’ Night Out: This could go a ton of different ways! You could let the girl pick out what they want to do, or surprise her (maybe a chick flick? a dance party?) Grab the free printable.

experience gift for kids sewing class

A Sewing Class: If you know how to sew, kids would love to learn how to sew something! You could get a pattern and take them shopping for cute material. We had lots of fun making pajama pants. But you could also do something like a simple tote or even doll clothes. Here are some other fun gift ideas if you have an aspiring fashion designer. 

A Chocolate/Cheese Tasting: It would be fun to get a bunch of different chocolates or cheeses and have a tasting party.


A Book Club: Pick out a book and plan a monthly book club discussion. A great book to start with is A Tale of Despereaux or The Goose Girl. You can read more about a Book Club in a Box gift here.

I hope these DIY Experience Gift ideas for kids have sparked your imagination!  And I  hope the free gift certificates make giving these gifts easy and fun. 

Happy Gifting!




Experience Gift ideas are a great alternative gift that cuts down on clutter, but they get expensive. Check out this post on 20 DIY Experience Gift ideas for kids that are cheap or free. This includes free printable gift certificates to make giving these experience gifts for kids fun! #thegiftygirl #creativegifting #thoughtfulgifting #giftideas #experiencegiftideas #experiencegift #giftsforkids #giftguides #freeprintables #printablesforgifts


  1. Candice

    November 14, 2018 at 7:18 am

    These are great ideas! I think I could use some of these ideas for my hard to buy for teens!

  2. Heather

    November 14, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I love the idea of gifting experiences & your Printables make it super easy! The treasure hunt looks like so much fun. My son would love that!

  3. Amy Pelzner

    November 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Love all these ideas! My kids would definitely love the book of the month club and stargazing. Thanks for the printables!

  4. Rachel

    November 15, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    This is such a great list! My mind is not creative in this way, so thank you for sharing such a wide variety of ideas!

  5. Marisa

    November 16, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Love these! Thanks for putting this together! I’m not seeing them in the printables, though? Thank you for all your hard work!

    1. The Gifty Girl

      November 17, 2018 at 8:18 am

      Marisa! I’m so sorry…I thought I had put them in there but I hadn’t. Thank you for telling me, you should be able to access them now! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Jenny

    November 17, 2018 at 7:13 am

    I’m so over toys and love the idea of experiences! Great list of ideas!

  7. Christine

    November 20, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    What fun ideas! I love activities that get kids thinking and doing.

  8. Meg

    November 25, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    These are all great ideas!! Pinning for later.

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