Let's face it - cute party themes and games and fun cakes aside, it's really all about the gifts. And for anyone other than my own children, the gift giving is the hardest part for me. Will they like it? Will they use it? Does it fit their style/taste? Do they already have one? Is $X enough to spend on a gift? etc etc
So let's give ourselves a reality check here, shall we? The point of any gift is to show the person we are giving it to that we are thinking of them and wanted to brighten their day a little bit. It truly is the thought that counts. So let's give ourselves a little break and stop worrying about spending too much money. With a little creativity we can give great gifts without breaking the bank.
I also subscribe to Flylady's concept of clutter-free gift giving. That means I try not to give anything that will be used once then tossed aside to collect dust and take up space. Kids, in particular, usually have WAY too much stuff already. Sometimes I try to think of gifts that can be used up like treats, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, lotion, or even gift cards. Sometimes I try to give experiences like tickets to shows/zoo/museum, a kit with all the supplies to bake cookies or make something, or lessons for things like dance classes. And sometimes I have to fall back on my list of ideas that you can never have too many of, like books or games.
So here is my quick list of Go To gift ideas for kids:
-arts & crafts supplies (anything from markers and paper to premade craft kits. Always remember to make sure everything is washable!)
-music (CDs, Itunes gift cards, etc)
-outdoor games/sports equipment
-dress up supplies
My oldest seems to naturally request things that follow along with the No Clutter ideal and generally has very few toys on her list. For her birthday this year we have a new bike helmet (she's is getting a new bike for Christmas but the helmet isn't going to wait until then as her old one is cracked), a desk lamp (so she can read at night without having to get up to turn off the light - her request. I had big dreams of finding an inexpensive one and dressing it up with ruffles or bows or something to match her room but in the end I found an adjustable one more in line with what she had requested, on clearance at Target for $5), new dance clothes (Hello Kitty theme - her favorite!), and a Hello Kitty necklace/watch locket thing (it's cute and she's going to love it). She also requested some Kids Bop music so if I can find a good deal on those I may add that to the list.
Do you have any other ideas for fun gifts for kids? I'd love to add to my list.
Flylady also has a fairly comprehensive collection of ideas from her readers here. I hope you find one of these ideas helpful the next time you have to buy a gift!