Navigating the Horror of Buying Party Gifts

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As soon as your children start going to school, parties are going to be a central theme on your weekends – for a good couple of years at least. As kids get older, they tend to prefer quieter affairs, but make no mistake about it – something like 30 weekends of the year will involve your children going to a birthday do!

The big question for today is – what are you supposed to buy? How much are you expected to spend? And what is the etiquette when it comes to making kids happy – but also their parents? Let’s take a look at some simple ideas to help you navigate gifting in the perennial children’s party season!

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Be modest

Whatever happens, don’t be flash with the cash, unless you already have a healthy relationship with the family hosting the party. Simply put, when it comes to your child’s birthday, many other parents will feel pressured into spending more than they might be able to afford as a result.

Be different

It won’t take you long to realize that the perfectly priced present you find in your local toy store is a popular choice – and the chances are that many other parents thought the same thing. While duplicate gifts aren’t a huge problem, they can be irritating for parents who have to exchange them for other gifts if their little ones get upset. So, think a little differently – and try to avoid the stereotypical blue for a boy, pink for a girl thing, too.

Be practical

That said, you don’t just want to hand over a pile of old junk, or useless items that will end up in the trash. Notepads and pens are always welcome in any family home, and anything that encourages creativity will go down a storm with children and parents alike.

Be age appropriate

Obviously, you wouldn’t countenance buying an R-rated Blu-ray for a small child – at least, I hope not! So when I say ‘age appropriate,’ I’m actually talking about the trends that kids will go through. The truth is you can pretty much date your kids birthday by the toys they receive. Paw Patrol toys might be all the rage when the kids are 5, for example. But by the time they are 6, they might have moved onto Pokemon or Marvel characters. And given the fact it’s likely tired parents will have spent the last few months carefully removing all signs of old trends, you don’t want to open that can of worms again!

Be aware

Also, be careful not to tread on the hosting parent’s toes. For example, let’s say you see a chocolate making machine on special offer in a store – a nice present for a kid that gives them a treat and also helps teach them about cooking, right? Well, you might think so, but what if the parent doesn’t allow their child to eat candies? Or what if they suffer from a lactose intolerance or something similar? Sometimes it’s worth sending the mother a text or email and asking if there is anything that is prohibited!

Gifting for kids parties can be a minefield – and it seems to be never ending when your little ones start school. I hope these tips will help!

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