Every mom should keep a stash of kids’ birthday gifts. Lesson learned. Late last Friday, I was in a panic. There was a birthday early Saturday morning. I had not prepared.
There was really no time to get a present…I had no idea what to even get. It was a kid – a little girl – from my son’s preschool class. She was turning three. I have two boys and although we have so many nieces, I always struggle with gifting. I think it’s because I want it to be so perfect…anyone else out there feel that overwhelming gifting anxiety? In addition, we don’t really know her too well. So have no clue what she is into. Anyways, I found myself with a window of exactly 20 minutes and so there I was in my favorite place on the planet…Target. I had to stay focused. Ladies, you know how it is in there. You should be getting dental floss, swim diapers and peanut butter…but instead, you’ve got a cart full of ‘absolute cannot live withouts’ from the dollar section, two lip glosses and a new polka dot planner. Umm…a girl’s gotta stay organized, obviously.
Anyways back to the gift situation, I found myself staring at some random doll in the toy section. She was like ‘buy me! buy me!’ Every girl loves a doll, right? Ahhh…it just didn’t feel right. I was running out of time. I darted into the cards section – at least I could knock that out. Normally I get my older one to help make a card…but I didn’t want to chance it. The party was early, mornings are crazy. Birthday card – CHECK! After that, I walked into the craft aisle. My boys love crafting and have recently just got some of the best model tanks kits so I thought, why not see if they have any more kits for this little girl. Somehow, I wound up in front of these wooden letters and paint. YES! I had the perfect gift. CHECK!!
I grabbed a couple of different colored paints (some shimmer acrylics for wood – a pretty teal blue and purple) and a wooden letter ‘H’ since the birthday girl’s name was Harper. I threw in a paintbrush when I got home and wrapped it up all pretty, ribbons and the works. There you go – a perfect, simple present that was also a craft…something she could show off on her dresser or hang on a wall in her room. The thank you card I got from Harper’s mom further validated to me that this gift was a major hit. She thought it was super creative and a neat idea that she was going to for sure steal. It’s like one of those “why have I never thought of that?!” There were other wooden objects in the aisle – elephants, birdhouses and hearts too. You could totally pair some paint with anything wooden. An actual arts and crafts store would give you so many more options. Or even online at like on Amazon.
This recent experience got me thinking that I should keep some basic gift ideas handy for last minute gifting or as classic ideas that are easy, timeless and for sure hits with kids. Here are 5 that I have thought of so far. Busy moms, take note! And comment with your own birthday gift hit list too.
- Wooden letters with paints – wrap up a letter in the initial(s) of the child. Pair with a set of paints and a paintbrush.
- Classic board games like monopoly, scrabble, jenga – these are the games that many of us grew up with. Pick up a few and keep them on hand. They are fun for the whole family…parents get to reminisce and kids get to play old school games!
- Books – lately, I am digging the books with no words and pictures. They totally take kids’ imaginations to another level. We recently posted on the Book with No Pictures – my boys adore it. I also love the ABC Dreams book. I’m going to start keeping a stash of these types of books handy…kids LOVE them. Oh, one more….”Oh the place you’ll go” by Dr. Seuss. This is a great one to give and have kids’ teachers sign each year.
- Easy Dollar Bill Origami – another book but for the older kids especially. I saw this idea online, totally stealing it. Get this origami book and pair it with a 20, 10, or 5 dollar bill.
- Initial/horoscope nameplate necklaces – Recently, I got my nieces initial necklaces. They love them. It’s personal and a huge hit. Another idea is to get horoscope necklaces. Again, personal without being too over the top. You can find cute necklaces in a 20 dollar-ish price range on etsy.com. I found mine at Nordstrom’s for around the same price.