The older your kids get and the more families you meet, the more birthday parties you’ll find yourself balancing. If you’re lucky, the invite will say “No Gifts Please”, but even then, I find myself showing up empty handed when everyone else brought something anyway! The unending parties can get expensive. It’s unnecessary, especially for the really little kids who don’t know the difference. We have gifted and been gifted some really creative, but inexpensive things that have left a mark.
For the kid who has everything, a gift certificate to a nearby breakfast joint for “birthday pancakes” is easy. You can stick to a $10-20 amount, especially if you are just thinking that you’re paying for one kid’s breakfast. In St. Louis, you can buy gift certificates to the Shack online, saving you so much time! Plus, they have a bunch of locations.
The World Wildlife Fund has a page where you can “adopt” an animal for $25. It’s not the most inexpensive gift on the list (depending on what you usually spend), but it’s super cute! You get a photo, certificate and species card. There’s a very long list of animals to choose from so if you know the kiddo’s favorite, you will get extra brownie points! If you are looking to spend more, you can increase to $55 and it includes a stuffed animal.
Donation to Charity
For both of my kids’ birthdays, I usually say “No gifts, but if you would like you can donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in their honor”. Your family might have a cause that’s important to you and same with the birthday prince or princess. If not, a local children’s hospital or something youth related is a good call. The best part about this gift is that you can donate as little or as much as you like. Just $10 makes a difference and you can explain it in a card.
There are a handful of sticker clubs online to choose from. The first one that comes to mind is Pipsticks. You can gift a subscription for $12/month. It’s basically just a big box of stickers, washi tape and cards. For the right age, this is such a fun and creative gift.
Plain Tee Shirt & Paint
An easy, DIY craft kit might not be a parent’s favorite gift, but the kids will love it! You can get a tee and fabric or puff paint for very cheap online or at Hobby Lobby. Wrap it up in a cute box and you’ll look like the most creative mom at the party!