Cute & Simple: Birthday Gifts

Did you know that the months of July and August produce the most births?  I don’t know what the deal is here…perhaps it’s the cool fall air that bring couples together, encouraging the making of a little miracle.

Whatever the case, there are lots of babies being born in the late months of summer.  And if there are birthdays, then there are bound to be parties, right?  And gifts. 

Sure, you can go to Target and puruse the toy aisle in search of something for the Birthday Boy or Girl, wrap it up and viola–done!  I’ve done this on many occassions.  But if there is a special friend in your child’s life–a best friend, a special cousin, or someone you’ve known for a long time, then you may want to do something a little more unique.  Finding the time and the ideas to do so can be daunting.  Here are some tips:

  • Something personalized is always a nice treat…kid-friendly stationary, personalized pencils, a monogrammed bag.  You can make your own personalized things as well.  Just get yourself to a craft store like Michaels and head to the iron-on decal aisle…find what suits the birthday kid and get ironing.  Tee-shirts, cover-ups, towels, bags all make great gifts. 
  • Another crafty project you may enjoy involves painting your own wood letters to spell the honoree’s name.  If this is a close friend, I bet you have a good idea what their room looks like–colors, decor, etc…each letter is only about $1 and then add your time and some paints…it’s shouldn’t top out more than $15.  Attach the wood letters to the wall with poster putty.  Yep–it works just great and won’t destroy the wall. 
  • The Beverly Clearly book, “Ramona and Beezus” is coming out as a movie on July 23rd.  Why not give the book and gift cards to  go see the movie?  The book is easy enough for parents to read to emerging readers before bedtime, plus it’s a good introduction to chapter books.
  • Along those lines, give a few passes to a local attraction such as a children’s museum or water park.  Attach a small toy that represents the “fun” they will have at the chosen location…an inner tube for the water park or a sapling for the Arboretum.
  • If the Birthday child is wild about trains, how about a gift certificate to a train-themed restaurant and a Thomas train? 
  • If your parents or grandparents ask, “What does Junior want for his Birthday?”  Consider suggesting a large gift certificate to the local park district and apply the money to soccer lessons, preschool, or gymnastics.
  • A subscription to a kids’ publication like “Highlights” or “National Geographics for Kids” is always welcomed
  • Present the kiddo with something educational–yet fun– from the local teacher’s store
  • Consider putting together a fun, at-home school supply bucket.  Pick up extra supplies when you buy for your own child–great if they’re on sale–add in a few extras that the school list doesn’t call for, and now the Birthday family won’t have to scramble for poster paint when they are working on the fall science fair project. 

I could probably rattle on even more on this subject.  I’ll stop.  A few more pointers:  A gift should be something the person wants, but wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves.  A gift is about the other person, not you or your kid.  And finally–nothing too “junky” that you wouldn’t want at your own house.  Happy gifting!

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