A child’s birthday party invitation has often left me wondering what gift I should buy them when I don’t really even know them! It was especially frustrating when our girls where 3-5 years old and getting invited almost every week to someone’s party. Here are a few tips that helped me to buy great birthday gifts for younger children and allowed me to keep things stress free and very simple.
Involve your children in your choice. Children love to help choose and wrap birthday presents. Almost as much as they like choosing and writing the message on the birthday card. Most children understand that buying a gift means that you are giving it away to their friend and relative, but you may have to continue to reinforce to younger children that it is not for them and how fun it will be to see the present get opened. Older children usually know exactly what to get for their friends and increase your chances and buying a really great present.
Buy craft projects and educational toys. Crayons, coloring books, sticker books, modeling clay and play-dough are always good choices along with other creative” items. They keep everyone occupied on rainy days, which means they are appreciated by the parents too! Give gift certificates or cash. This may seem a bit impersonal but if you just don’t know what to get these are fail safe options. Cash and gift certificates will always be spent on something they truly want and maybe didn’t get. As an alternative, take the birthday boy or girl on a shopping trip with you and let them choose something for themselves. This creates quality time and a chance to get to know them better.
Avoid toys that make noise. Parents hate these toys. It may be loved, but will probably end up on the highest shelf in the closet. Ask First It never hurts to ask. Parents are glad to give ideas and children almost always know what they want. It is much easier to ask and get it right, then to make a bad choice and regret it later.
Remember who got what. Keep a list of what gifts have been purchased for whom. This is a way you remember those that were successful and reuse the ideas for others later on. It also helps you avoid repeating a gift to the same child. This most important thing to remember is the birthday itself. Once you do that, the gifts will be a piece of cake.