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How to Buy Children’s Birthday Gifts

By Guest Contributor

By Elizabeth of Busy Mom

1. For young kids, develop an age-appropriate “standard” gift for a boy and for a girl.
If you have kids in younger grades at school, you likely have an avalanche of birthday party invitations, and you need to buy gifts and lots of them.

If you buy the same thing every time, when you have to run into the store to buy it on the way to the party, you always know what you’re looking for. The kids won’t notice, but if the parents do, just mumble something about it being your “signature” gift.

2. Cultivate a “birthday closet” at home.

For those of you who don’t buy the party gift on the way to the party (liar!), look for items on sale during the year that might make good birthday gifts and just “shop” from your own closet.

3. Keep gift bags, tissue paper and cards or tags, scissors and tape in the car.

When you’re ready to admit the truth that you do too buy the gift on the way to the party, be sure to keep a stash of wrapping supplies in the car, because buying a zillion dollar gift bag and tissue paper at the toy store adds up to more than the gift itself.

4. Ask what the birthday girl or boy wants when you RSVP.

If you didn’t follow the instructions in #1, and you’re still stumped about what to get, just ask the birthday boy or girl’s parents. However, you can be pretty sure the answer will be, “Oh, anything.”

5. Think outside the toy store.
There are lots of places to buy gifts, not just the toy store. One of the best and most useful gifts my daughter got for her birthday was a cute white board/bulletin board combination from an office store to hang on the wall, and a box of colorful markers.


Guest Contributor
About the Author

Guest Contributor

We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.


We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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Rather than just asking what the child wants also ask what are they into right now,(Sponge Bob, Barbie) their favorite colors, what size clothes they are in, or even if there is something the parents would like them to have or that they need. I asked a friend of mine this about her son, I was told Iron Man, orange, 6 and he can always use play clothes. Not only was I able to fill all of this (I know who would have thought you could find something orange with Iron Man on it), I did it in the first… Read more »

Sherry Artemenko

Hi Liz,
Those are great ideas for kids’ birthday gifts. How about a great book or fun educational game? I am a speech language therapist and have a blog, articles and toy and book reviews on great books, games and toys to build your child’s language. Parents are always asking for my advice on kids’ toys. A FAVORITE book that I just discovered is “One”, by Kathryn Otoshi–a counting and color book, full of metaphors and all about standing up to a bully. For more ideas check out my website at