We get invited to lots of birthday parties.
Such is life with a 5-year-old.
Whenever another party rolls around, I always struggle with what to buy, even when I know the birthday boy or girl well. Because I know that if their party is like most birthday parties, the kids will get lots of presents. Dozens. More toys than they can reasonably play with and more toys than their parents have room for. We, for instance, have enough stuffed animals to start a zoo. No more, please! (i’m talking to you Nana and Grandma. Don’t be bringing your plush madness around this house anymore.)
So, I’ve been trying to think outside the birthday box and give different gifts. Handmade gifts. Experiential gifts. Gifts that aren’t pieces of plastic, made in China. Something the kid will enjoy and something that won’t make their parents grimace.
So, I’m starting a new regular feature around the blog sharing our creative and sometimes handmade gifts for kids, as well as other ideas around blogdom that inspire me.
Today, I’m starting out with 10, but I will be adding more. And I’d love to include yours in the next roundup. Leave us a comment if you have a great kid gift to share.
Recently, we were invited to a birthday party for a pair of brothers. One was turning 5 and the other 3. What could we get them that was fun and different and maybe could be enjoyed by the entire family?
I thought about tickets to the zoo or our local science center or a gift certificate to their favorite fast food restaurant, but none seemed like the right fit for this pair.
Then, I came upon the idea of giving their family an outing to the movies because taking a family of four to the movies can be an expensive proposition. And I know these boys like going to the movies.
I whipped up some red-and-white popcorn boxes, tickets and labels using my Silhouette Cameo. But you can find plastic popcorn boxes at the Dollar Spot in Target all the time, if you don’t feel like making your own.
Because I believe in sneaking in candy and other snacks at the movies, I added a few boxes and bags of sweets to each boy’s popcorn box. I also included a bag of microwave popcorn for a family movie night and some flavored popcorn salt. Finally, I included two gift cards, enough to cover the cost of tickets to a movie. (If they don’t want to see a 3D film, that is!)
We’re heading into busy birthday season around these parts, so I’ll be sharing some other creative kids birthday gift ideas in the coming weeks and months. Jackson and I are cooking up quite a clever idea for one pal, and I’m shopping for components of another present for a party this weekend. And Jackson has a birthday coming up next month, so I have to come up with something clever for my own child.
In the meantime, I wanted to share some creative and different kids gift ideas from Pinterest and our archives:
What kid wouldn’t love a rainbow collection of homemade Play-Doh? Art Nest has a great recipe for homemade Play-Doh.
For those winter birthdays, why not make up a Snowman Kit. Make it Do shows you how.
What kid doesn’t like forts? Or superheroes? Meg + Andy combine both in this adorable superhero fort kit.
Speaking of superheroes, a friend created superhero capes and masks for all the kids at her son’s birthday party last year. While she made these as party favors, they would also make great gifts. I speak from experience. My son still has his cape and mask, and he dons it often when he assumes his secret superhero identity, Dino Jack. (Oops, did I just spill the beans?)
And this isn’t a handmade gift, but I think this store-bought gift featured in the UK Daily Mail would be easy to copy. Create a pigtail kit for a little girl’s birthday by boxing up a brush, comb, mirror, bows and other hair styling essentials in a pretty tin or basket.
This oven mitt full of kitchen utensils and gadgets is intended for an adult, but you could easily make a kid-size version with tiny wooden spoons, rolling pins and a cute timer. So much better than an Easy Bake Oven.
The school supply cake from What’s Scrappin would make a great gift in our house. We run through glue sticks and crayons almost as quickly as we use up toilet paper. (Was that TMI?)