This reader’s question came to me from, Carrie, and she writes:
“I was talking with a friend, and mother of three, today and she told me that due to budget constraints her children are only allowed to go to 1-2 birthday parties a year. She limits their spending to $10-15 per gift as well. They are facing serious financial hardship as two ailing, elderly relatives live with them. Do you have any suggestions on gift giving for younger birthday parties to help her kids be able to enjoy a few more a year? The children are about 8, 9, and 12.”
Birthday parties can be expensive to attend but I know that kids love to go to parties. I wouldn’t let the cost or expense of the gift keep someone from attending a party, especially if it’s a good friend. $10-$15 is a lot to spend for 3 kids, 2 parties each. I think lowering that amount is good place to start. Here are some ideas I’d suggest.
Kid’s Birthday Party Gifts
- Homemade gifts or cards are always nice to give. A special card or a special art project for a younger child’s gift is very sweet.
- A drawing tablet and set of colored pencils makes a good gift that will surely be used.
- As kids get older, a book is a good gift. This doesn’t have to be a new book. It could be one that was purchased used or that a child has admired.
- Purchasing an item second-hand is also an option. Just because something is bought second-hand doesn’t mean it’s any less thoughtful.
- Have kids make a gift – a sewn or knitted item for a special friend can be very sweet.
- Card games are another favorite gift my kids have given and received. Card games are inexpensive and never go out of style.
I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with limiting the number of birthday parties kids go to. Adults can’t go to every event we’re invited to and I think that’s a good thing to teach our kids as well. Declining an invitation gracefully takes practice.
Another idea is to have the 12-year-old buy their own gifts when invited to attend a party. My kids are responsible for purchasing gifts for the parties they attend. Between allowance and earning money around the neighborhood, kids can do their own purchasing of gifts. This seems to help them focus their thoughts on what they really think their friend would like, at the right price.
What are your suggestions? Any go to gifts I’ve overlooked?
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