If the outside of your family’s refrigerator looks anything like ours, there are multiple invitations to children’s birthday parties scattered among the art work and expired coupons at any given time. And while it’s great to see the joy in a child’s face as they blow out their birthday candles, the financial burden of buying birthday gifts can be a bit much. I have a few stand-by gifts that are not only easy on the budget, but are a lot more useful than yet another toy that will get lost in the black hole of the toy chest. Several of these gifts can be purchased in advance and are easy to store to keep a few on hand for those who find themselves fanatically running through a store to purchase the perfect gift 10 minutes before the start of the party (isn’t this everyone???).
These gift ideas will help your birthday gift budget and maybe even banish last minute, back seat gift wrapping from your family’s weekend party-hopping agenda.
1) Snackeez and Snackeez Jr. – These cups come in two sizes and are perfect for kids of all ages (grown-ups too). Snackeez hold a drink and snack all in one neat container that is great for on-the-go snacking. Some added bonuses are that these awesome cups are dishwasher safe, have a straw that cannot be pulled out by little fingers, and can be found in some stores with popular characters on them. Snackeez are priced around $10 and can be found at most major stores such as Wal-mart or Target.
2) Beach Towels – Especially great for summer birthday parties, and what family can’t use another beach towel? Beach towels are easy to find, can be purchased in tons of different designs, colors and themes and are easy to store. You can usually find a good quality beach towel at most stores for about $15 and can stockpile them at the end of summer for even less. If you’re willing to spend a little more, adding a monogram to the towel is a nice way to make the gift more personal.
3) Art Supplies – What kid doesn’t love a brand new pack of colors or markers? Giving the gift of assorted art supplies can provide hours of fun and entertainment. Stock up on these items in the late summer when school supply prices are cheap, and you can make an awesome gift to fit any budget!
4) Dinner Winner plate – This amazing plate turns dinner into a fun game with prizes at the end, making meals less of a battle. I have purchased these plates from Amazon for as little as $14. The company that makes these plates, Fred and Friends, makes other super cute and entertaining dinnerware that would also make great gifts. You can order these precious plates here.
5) Kiwi Crate – If your family has never received a Kiwi Crate then you are really missing out. These glorious little boxes are delivered straight to your door and contain ALL the high-quality materials and easy-to-follow instructions to complete 2-3 fun art activities. The boxes are theme-based (you can choose your preferred theme) and include tons of educational materials for hours of hands-on fun. Kiwi Crates can be sent as a monthly subscription or just once. The price tag for one month (including shipping) is right at $25, but once you purchase you will get countless coupons and special offers e-mailed to you that offer great discounts. I really cannot say enough about how great Kiwi Crate is! Visit www.kiwicrate.com to explore gift options.
6) Barnes and Noble Gift Card – Give the gift of reading while letting children have an opportunity to choose their own present. An outing to the book store is a terrific (and cheap) option to entertain your kids. And, if the gift card isn’t spent on a new book, Barnes and Noble also offers some really unique toy options. Barnes and Noble gift cards can also be purchased at several other stores that offer a gift card selection.
7) FarFaria Subscription – At $23.99 for a 6-month subscription, this app gives children access to unlimited daily stories on Apple and Android tablets and phones. The stories are well organized into categories and can be read to the child or read independently. There are several stories that are relevant to current seasons and holidays. The FarFaria app is like having your own personal children’s library at your fingertips. Information on gift subscriptions can be accessed here.
8) Ranger Rick Magazine Subscription – A magazine subscription is the gift that keeps giving. Ranger Rick magazine appeals to a wide range of ages (they also offer a Jr. edition) with fun and informative non-fiction stories about animals and their habitats. Little ones will love receiving mail occasionally, and reading this magazine will spark interesting discussions about wildlife and animals. A 10-issue subscription to Ranger Rick costs $25. More information can be found here.
My daughter has received several of these items as gifts, and they have all either been extraordinarily useful or truly enjoyed by her. And, it really makes me happy as a mom knowing I am giving a reasonably priced unique gift that will actually get used. Now the question is…where to store the other 50 toys your kids will get at their next birthday party??