You know ALL those toys your kids have that they have played with once? They get gobs of exciting toys at their party and play with them for a short time and then they’re yours to store. Good luck. You have two options: have a big house or know how to get rid of clutter. When I go to birthday parties, my kids brings non-toy gifts about 95 percent of the time. It’s something much more practical to do, fun for the child, and something a parent can really appreciate. Here are some ideas and some of the gifts that we like to give.
1. Gift card to self-serve yogurt shop. A small gift card gives several visits which can all be used for the child, their siblings, and maybe the whole family. It’s a special treat, a fun trip, and they will love getting to build their ice cream/yogurt and pick all their toppings. This can be packaged in really cute ways.
2. A balloon filled with a dollar for each year of their life that they have to pop. Even young children know that cash money means you get what you want!
3. For a toddler, buy a bunch of carousel tokens from the mall and package them by wrapping the coins in a tiny box and using them as a balloon weight to a bundle of birthday balloons.
4. For a little girl, get a gift card to a spa that offers children’s chairs and pedi/manis. She can take a friend along or do it as something special with a mom or sister. She will remember this forever, unlike a toy.
5. Passes to a zoo or children’s museum. If you know the parent’s well and live within an hour of one of these locations, this is a gift that many won’t mind driving for if there aren’t zoos or museums in their hometown. It’s active, stirs the imagination, and gets the whole family going.
6. Gift card to a painting place. Again, they can do this with friends or family and use their imagination picking and painting their own pottery.
7. Gift certificate for bowling, putt-putt, ice skating, go karting, or roller skating. Get them out of the house and active, doing something they only do maybe once or twice a year at best.
8. Do your research on your hometown and see what’s offered locally. Where I live you can go on cave tours, boat cave tours, butterfly gardens, zip lining (offers a course for children), and horseback riding which is offered in most towns. Buy them a gift certificate to do some of what makes your city special. Let a little one get to know what’s neat about their town and get them experiencing new things!
9. If you are going to a summer party, buy a pass to a local or near by water park or amusement park if it’s offered near your town. Have your child give the gift and package it with flip flops or sunglasses in a confetti filled cellophane bag with a tag that says “A day at the water park with me!”
10. If you can’t attend a party for a toddler or young child but want to do something special for them, go to Baskin Robbins and get one of their classic clown ice cream cones made up with their favorite ice cream. Grad a balloon or two and stop by their house with their clown cone. They will be excited for the unexpected surprise and yummy, personalized treat!
11. Give a gift card to a play place where they can run, jump, and slide no matter the time of year or weather!
12. I bought two one dollar stinkin’ cute pails from the one spot aisle at Target and filled it with tokens to Chuckie Cheese. The party was for two kids so I bought 150 coins and split 75 in each pail which is 75 games and or rides/kids! Whoa. This means they will get more than one trip from the gift. The coins were tucked inside in a Chuckie Cheese coin cup that I put down in a clear bag tied with decorative ribbon.
Fun to receive, fun to get gifts that require activity, encourage family fun, and ones you will NEVER have to store….except in your memory box in your head. All the moms will think you are one smart cookie and the kids will have something as unique as them and something tailored to what they already like or a chance to try something new!
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