It seems like when kids hit a certain age, say five, they start making their rounds on the birthday party circuit. Once this happens, gift-giving can feel like a never ending chore. When I’m in my “organized mode”, I keep a few gifts hidden away. We can grab, wrap, and go.
Once that stash is depleted (and I’ve forgotten that it is), we have to make an emergency pit stop at Target on the way to the party. I’m not the only one that’s done this, right? To help us all out, I thought I would assemble a list of birthday gift ideas, so the next time we need a gift or are wandering the halls of a big box store, we’ll be ready.
No matter a kid’s age, most can use art supplies. For younger kids look for colors, washable markers, play doh, washable paints, construction paper, washable glue, safety scissors and an apron. For older kids, a sketch book, colored pencils, acrylic paints or water colors, chalk pastels, along with a container to put it all in, will do the trick.
Books and Movies
Books and movies are great gifts for people of any age. And, if you stock up on the classics, such as Dr. Seuss, Harry Potter, or The Goonies, they’ll never be out of date. If you’re not into buying specific books or movies, you can always purchase a gift card for the birthday boy or girl’s electronic device. Such as an Amazon or iTunes card.
I included this one because I cannot even begin to count, how many Lego kits I have purchased over the last few years. This seems like it would be a gift more for a boy, but these days there all kinds of kits in different genres catering to different personalities. Lego isn’t the only game in town either. My son has also enjoyed building with Erector sets, K’Nex, and Magnetix, which are all great products too.
Dress-Up & Imaginary Play
There are so many fun things for kids to dress up in. You can buy fancy outfits or you can put a collection of items together yourself, such as hats, glasses, wigs, capes, jewelry and gloves. My son bought my daughter a face painting kit for her birthday, one year. She loves it and can really get into character. You can buy older kids funny hats in their favorite team’s colors or fun props for a photo booth for selfies.
The Gift of Memories
Doing a service for someone or making memories with someone is so much bigger and lasts so much longer than any toy or object ever will. I know this seems a little “hokie” but, I’d think you’d be surprised how many kids would love and appreciate any of the following ideas. Make a donation in their name; give them tickets to an event; purchase a gift card or membership to a local attraction; provide a scholarship for them to try a new activity; or give a gift card to a favorite local restaurant.
Toys are great and have a place in every child’s life, but most children I know (including my own) seem to have plenty already. I know as a parent, I appreciate practical gifts. One less thing for me to buy. Some ideas for practical gifts include: socks, underwear, umbrella, extra electronic charger, ear phones, water bottle, and toiletries such as lip balm, body wash, and nail polish. And, just because it’s a practical gift, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Get the neon socks or Wonder Woman underwear and a lot of kids will be happy as a clam.
If the party has a theme, it’s a sure bet the birthday boy or girl are in to whatever it is. Go with it. I’ve bought gifts at the Dollar Tree for princess and super hero themed parties. You can usually find a puzzle, coloring book, crayons and candy all in the same theme. Throw in an accessory such as a tiara or a cape and you’re good to go.
What are your favorite go to birthday gifts?