Thursday, July 01, 2010

Birthday Gifts

This time of year seems to be a major time for birthday parties. It gets somewhat complicated when it comes to gift giving with three same-aged children. Because they have been in separate classes for the last two years, there are some friendships that are somewhat specific to each child. I never assume the invitation to a party is for all three--but generally the hosting parents are kind enough to extend the invitation to the siblings as well.

I feel like if they are all invited to the party we should give the equivalent of three gifts. Take three classrooms full of children and this starts to add up quickly. I love to give gifts, so I thought I would share some of our favorite gifts to give (and receive) at reasonable prices!

I keep a gift closet with things that most kids would enjoy. If I know that child has a particular passion we will branch out to something more specific, but the gift closet has made life much simpler.

Disclaimer: I get absolutely no kickback for things I write here...these are just some ideas I wanted to share.

Ed Emberly books (and stamp pads) I cannot tell you how much we adore these books. They are the source of endless rainy day fun. The best thing is that adults enjoy them as much as kids. I have found the stamp pads at the dollar store, but you have to piece together colors. Melissa & Doug makes a great rainbow colored set that I prefer.(age 3-99)

My Book About Me
This Dr. Seuss book was a gift this year that my children dove into immediately. They had a great time completing the book and I know we will treasure it (with their answers) for years to come. (age 5-8)

Fred & Friends Food Face Plates
I randomly discovered these at Barnes and Noble one day and bought them (as a trial run, of course) for my children. We had a blast with them (and continue to). My one hold up was a concern that it would encourage bad table manners. If you have a problem with children playing with food I do not recommend these...but we use them at lunch time from time to time and my children adore them. We have not attempted this yet, but I think they would be fun to use with toddlers at non-meal time with frosting, whipped cream, etc...just as entertainment. Note that this are ceramic, so probably not useful for very young children. (age 3-8)

McDonald's or Ice Cream Shop gift cards
This is an easy gift to keep on hand that my trio LOVES receiving. They like to look forward to the treat in the time between when they receive the card and when we get to use it. They also seem to revel in the opportunity to 'pay like a gwown up' with their own 'cwedit card.'

Although this is billed as a 'boy gift' K loves this as much as the boys. The great thing is that our Daddy (ok, and Mommy) thoroughly enjoy it to. (age 5 & up)

Sticky Mosaics
I discovered these a couple of years ago and they continue to be a hit. My children spent hours on these last Summer (at age 5). They come in various themes (masculine and feminine) so it is fun to match the interest to the recipient and/or party theme.

So, I would love to hear from you in the comments. What is your 'go to' birthday gift that always brings a smile (at a great price)?


Bailey's Leaf said...

First, I'll be kind and tell you that I absolutely love the food face plates, but your link is hooked up to the Seuss book. We sell the plates at work and they are great!

As a mama with one, we only have to give for one so I keep in the price range of 5-6.00, but give a rockin' deal of a discounted gift. I do much of my shopping in January during the Christmas clearances.

Popular gifts? Jewelry sets for girls. They love beads and if they are old enough with dexterity and all that, it is a great thing.

I tend to stock up on games. I was able to get a lot of Noodleboro games for next to nothing last year at Target. (Their further mark down days up here is Thursday.) That way, I can give a 20.00 game for probably 4-5.00.

Boys I generally stock up with outside games. I bought some type of hovering ball that every single boy I gave absolutely loved.

This year, lots of the boys at Christmas will be getting LED compass zipper lights for their coats. What boy doesn't appreciate a flashlight? I mean, can they possibly have too many?

Nikki said...

My daughter is 8 (and a half!) and loves to give her friends 'diaries.' We discovered that we can find really inexpensive spiral bound-diary sized notebooks at CVS (and other drugstores) and also include a Kooky pen or some other little trinket on the package. We also like to give dry-erase boards and markers. I'm a big fan of the gift closet. I've also realized that jsut wrapping a gift can increase the bottom-line so I've stocked up on plain white bags from craft stores and let my children decorate the bag with stickers/markers/glitter, etc. Then, we save money and the birthday child knows that my child had something to do with the gift.

k and c's mom said...

We order from Scholastic Books in my classroom. Each month there are several books on sale for $1, and many under $5. I buy several every month and put them away for gifts. I also found these really neat bookmark kits at the Dollar Store. You get 10 foam bookmarks with ribbons in a package for...well a dollar, of course. The birthday boy/girl can decorate them with markers, stickers, whatever. So: a few books and the bookmark kit make a great gift and instill a love for reading.

Sharron said...

I am a grandma and enjoy your account of your life with your three little ones. This topic is great and gave me some good ideas.

I wanted to tell you that I gave my daughter the Dr. Suess book 35 years ago and the children love looking at it. They each have their own book now but Mom's book is a source of great delight.

Thank you for sharing.

Dawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawn said...

The gift closet is a great idea! As is the shopping and stocking during the after Christmas clearance sales.

As for gifts my children receive, about two years ago I felt I needed to change things. My children had so much and, as my girls grow older, sometimes the gift are not items I would approve (make-up, posters of boys, BRATZ dolls, etc.)I didn't like that my children were starting to try to make their birthday invite list ten miles long to up the bounty! So, we switched it up. Now, they can still have a bday party, but I have them choose some type of donation as a gift. For example, there is a wildlife rescue and my daughter is nuts for animals so on her bday invite she put a list of supplies needed and collected those. The day after her party, we deliver them...she loves getting to visit the rescue and the rescue really needs the supplies. :) So far, so good...

Arlene Chase said...

A gift closet what a wonderful idea!!

La Familia Garcia said...

We do a gift closet too! I add to it from the dollar section at target or Clairs or after Christmas when things are discounted! It has definately been a life saver!

Love Being a Nonny said...

Did you get the stick mosaics at Barnes and Noble too? I love a gift closet! Thanks for sharing these ideas. I will use some of the ideas for my littles!

The House of Sprout said...

We love to give the Melissa and Doug sicker pads...hundreds of stickers for boys or girls for around $5.

JMom said...

Nonny- I ordered the mosaics from
The great thing about stocking up is the free shipping. :-)
Love these ideas!

Tara said...

Some great ideas here! Thank you very much.

My sons favourite to give is ALWAYS lego. Thank goodness they do small sets.