Best Birthday Presents

For whatever reason, our family seems to have a plethora of birthdays in the summer months. Birthday parties means figuring out birthday presents, and it gets even more complicated when you want to give a present as opposed to money. So what are some of the best gift ideas that I’ve observed at kid’s parties? Here are some tips!


Books can be expensive, and with e-readers and public libraries at kid’s fingertips, print books can go by the wayside. For my goddaughter’s birthday last weekend, I bought a copy of my all-time favorite children’s book, The Little Prince. To make the gift even more personal, I put an inscription on the inside front cover along with the date. Now, it’s not just a book–it’s a memento. Although books are an easy gift to turn into a memento, you can put an inscription on a lot of gifts to make them more personal.

Do It Yourself

Over the summer months, kids tend to have a lot of free time. What could be a better gift, then, than something kids make themselves? Do it yourself type gifts range from friendship bracelet kits to microscopes. Try to base the DIY gift on something that the birthday boy or girl is already interested in, but don’t feel too restricted! Maybe you’ll help spark a child’s interest in something new. After all, when my brother and I got a telescope for our birthday in the late 90s, we developed an interest in the stars.

Take It Outside

Another way to help occupy kid’s time and help them enjoy the great outdoors is a gift that will get them outside. Beach toys, pool accessories, hula hoops, sidewalk chalk, and other items that encourage outdoor activity can make great gifts. For these kinds of gifts, it’s probably best to call the child’s guardians ahead of time to check in and see what items they already have so you don’t replicate. After all, a dozen hula hoops seems a little excessive, doesn’t it?

Interior Decorating

For teens, tweens, or the child who has everything, why not try giving something that can be used to decorate a bedroom? This requires a little more advanced planning, but a quick phone call to the child’s guardians can give you an idea of color schemes and what might be appreciated. For my fourteenth birthday my parents decked out my new bedroom with a bookshelf, a repainted dresser, and a big chair for reading, and those gifts have lasted a lot longer than many other gifts I received. This doesn’t mean you have to go big or go home, however. Small gifts, like a picture for the wall or a rug or a bedding set, can be just as effective as larger gifts. After all, a little goes a long way in a small space.

The Gift of Time

This gift has the added benefit of helping out the child’s guardians as well as being a great birthday gift. This gift idea gives an interesting twist to the traditional gift card or card with money. Give the child a certificate to do an activity with you–whether it’s a trip to the museum or the beach or to go out to dinner or to a play. If you’re not sure what activity would be best, don’t necessarily offer carte blanche, but give a few different ideas on the homemade certificate.

What are some other great ideas you have for kid’s birthday gifts?


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Filed under My Experiences, Parenting

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