No doubt every parent will be familiar with this situation: little miss or little mister comes home from school, day care, sports practice or similar with an invitation to a birthday party for one of their playmates. All good! Excitement reigns! But the parent then has the unenviable task of coming up with a (preferably inexpensive) suitable gift.
No matter how clever we might be with arranging a party and knowing what party supplies are required, buying a gift – especially for a child we don’t know either well or at all – can be a minefield. Nobody wants to give a gift which will be considered “lame” – and though no polite or reasonable person will judge another on the basis of a gift given with the best of intentions, the sad truth is that there are plenty of people who do just this.
Conversely, giving an extravagant or expensive gift to a playmate of one’s child is not only unnecessary; it can cause discomfort and even embarrassment to the recipient’s parents and others giving gifts at the same time.
Gift giving should not be a competition. It should be genuine, from the heart, and the old adage “it’s the thought that counts” could not be more true. Children absolutely love receiving gifts – the whole process of holding, unwrapping, and viewing something new and special for the first time is magical for little ones. For some, as with adults, it is all about the receiving. For others, as they get older, it’s about the thought and personal attention that has gone into the choosing of the gift. These are the kids who grow up to love giving even more then receiving.
So what to buy? Below are some ideas for gifts to have your child give their friend at the friend’s party. Obviously, some are more suited to younger kids, others to older kids…
- Books: if you know the child is a book lover. If not, don’t risk it. Make sure to have an exchange voucher with the chosen book just in case.
- Play Doh: children love it, and too much is rarely enough. Many a parent will gleefully throw out scungy old play doh when their child is presented with a new set.
- LEGO: sets are available in a wide range of prices to suit. I’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t enjoy LEGO.
- Clothing – tread carefully here. It can be the best gift, or the worst. Older girls will possibly approve – but have your own daughter help pick the garment out. And beware – plenty of kids (and more so their parents) are label snobs: your child might be thrilled to wear something funky, but no matter how great the piece is, there are some who will never even remove the tags if it’s from somewhere mainstream like Target. You have been warned.
- Board games and puzzles – again, keep the receipt in case the child already has the one you’ve chosen.
- Craft kits – more suited to girls, generally – these can be a real winner.
- Plush toys – surprisingly, older girls will often appreciate these most!
This is just a taste of the most commonly considered gifts, which will generally be well-appreciated. Once a gift has been chosen, the party attendees and their parents can relax and enjoy the party – leaving the organisation and party supplies sourcing to the hosts!
Alana K Jones is a freelance writer and blogger and in this article, she writes about party supplies. For more information, Please visit http://www.parties2go.com.au/
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