I have always loved birthday parties – as a mom, I have a great time planning details for my children’s parties and genuinely enjoy helping my children celebrate other kids’ birthdays. In my (imaginary) perfect world, my babes create homemade personalized cards for each friend whose party they are invited to, I patiently guide them as they thoughtfully choose an age- and budget-appropriate gift based on what their friend likes, and the gift arrives at the party perfectly wrapped with a “real” ribbon.
But, here’s the truth: with four children under eight I’ve found myself strolling the aisles at Target the night before a birthday party scrambling to find a gift – any gift! – for my kids’ friends’ birthday parties more often than I care to admit. To help save you from this same fate – because, let’s be honest, you’d rather be checking out Chip and Joanna’s new collection than choosing between a Lego dinosaur and a Power Ranger for Billy – I’ve created a gift giving guide for ages 1-8 that I hope you’ll find handy the next time your phone dings with an evite to a kid’s birthday party.
All the gifts listed here are under $40, and most are in the $20 – $25 range.
Age 1 – Sensory gifts
Age 2 – Building & Moving gifts
Age 3 – Colors, Numbers, Letters gifts
Age 4 – Arts & Crafts gifts
Age 5 – Activity gifts
Age 6 – Explorer gifts
Age 7 – Personalized gifts
Age 8 – Gifts for readers and writers
Chapter books – Some favorites at our house are Magic Treehouse, Cam Jansen Mysteries, Good Crooks, The Riot Brothers, The Boxcar Children, and Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and Mercy Watson.
Tell me! What are your favorite gifts to give young kids? Did I miss anything on this list?