If you haven’t been there, you will be. At some point, you’re going to get the Dreaded Birthday Party Invitation, and you’re not sure what you should bring. You might know that the child has plenty of toys, books, clothing – what else is there? What do you get for him or her? What are the best gifts for the kids who have everything?
The Best Gifts for Kids Who Have Everything
Some kids are just hard to shop for. They have enough toys, enough books, enough clothing. You want to give them something personal but when you try to think of a gift, you’re stumped.
Or it may be a situation where you don’t really know the child that well. You aren’t sure what they like or dislike. Is she into unicorns? Doe he like ninjas? Who knows?
Maybe you’re trying to pick up a gift at the last minute…oh, what am I saying, I’m sure that’s never happened to you!
My best advice is to always ask the parents if the child has anything specific they would like – but sometimes, you don’t have the ability to do that. In that situation, my second-best advice is to give a gift with a temporary shelf life. Something they’ll use, they’ll enjoy, but it will all be gone shortly. Nothing that clutters up the house.
I like to do buckets or bags built around a particular theme, personally. These make great gifts for kids who have everything because they don’t last forever, they’re easily personalized, and they’re generally very inexpensive – it’s like the secret recipe of gift giving!
Gift Ideas for Children
Even in today’s world, with kids getting bombarded by flashy toys and gadgets that have more computing ability than the early Apollo missions, children still appreciate relatively simple things. You don’t have to get fancy with these, and they can work for kids from toddlers even up to middle schoolers (at which point, I’ll save you the trouble of figuring something out – they just want money).
The outdoor bucket might work well with an actual bucket – pick up a plastic pail from the dollar store. Fill it with chalk, a jump rope, bubbles, a Slinky, those little cars that go forward when you pull them back – the possibilities are endless. You can even make a variety of this with a “s’mores bucket” – if you know the family enjoys bonfires or grilling, a bucket of graham crackers, marshmallows, and a couple varieties of chocolate bars would be a great present!
Movie Night at Home
It’s hard to go to the theater with little kids. Let the theater come to them with a bag full of their favorite snacks. Fill it with popcorn (theater-style butter, of course), popcorn flavoring, Twizzlers, Whoppers, Sno Caps, gummy bears, or anything else you know they like. Include a bottle of their favorite drink. Top it off with a few dollars so they can rent something from Redbox if they want.
Art Station in a Bag
I say “in a bag,” but for a slightly more “sticking around” solution, you can do the kind of tote you might put cleaning supplies in. Include crayons, washable paint, a pad of drawing paper, Play-Doh, child scissors, glue sticks, stickable gems, pom poms, or whatever else you can think of. Let them explore their creativity!
Something great for the younger ones – make a sensory kit. Fill a clean, clear plastic bottle halfway with beads and rice. Screw the lid back on and tape it to seal it. Use another old bottle and pour in oil and water with a little food coloring in each (definitely make sure you tape that lid!). Grind some graham crackers and oats in a blender or food processor to make edible “sand.” Include some Play-Doh or Silly Putty or something similar (make sure it’s non-toxic). Have some pom poms or feathers or fabric scraps. The possibilities are endless – just focus on the different textures and experiences.
Bag of Fun
This idea is what started it all – I bought a bunch of small things for my four-year-old nephew. I got a coloring kit that was the special “only colors on this paper” type of thing, some snacks I thought he’d enjoy, and I topped it off with a pinwheel. This can be a bunch of random items – just find little things they might like.
The Best Advice for Giving Children Presents
Honestly, my best advice overall is just don’t overthink it.
Unless you’re dealing with a spoiled brat, even simple things can be relatively impressive to a child. I think sometimes, just like adults, our children crave simplicity. It’s hard to deal with a world where there’s sensory overload coming in from everything, and that’s a normal state of being for kids. Small things to focus on are welcome to them.
I remember, as a child, someone gave me seven packs of gum for my seventh birthday. It was just cheap mint gum, but I loved it. I can rarely remember presents I got in my childhood, but I remember that (and this was in the mid ’90s so it’s not like that was all there was!).
You aren’t trying to prove a point to children. You aren’t trying to show off or “keep up with the Joneses” – and if you are, I ask that you reevaluate your priorities.
Keeping it simple can come as a pleasant relief to both you and them! Honestly, there’s a lot to be said for going into a store like Dollar Tree, Dollar General, or Five Below, and just getting some small things.
I hope this gives you some ideas for the next time you’re invited to a birthday party and you have no idea what to get, or you’re looking for gifts for kids who have everything. I have the feeling these will be some of my go-tos for upcoming years!