Birthday Party Gift Ideas for Kids
By Christopher Byrne
For single moms, well, they can be a challenge. In addition to serving as scheduler and chauffer, mom also has to supply presents for the birthday boys or girls. Our surveys show that the average child goes to as many as 20 parties a year, and the average price of a present to bring is between $10-$20, the expense can mount quickly. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the time and stress of picking out gifts, wrapping and chauffeuring.
We can help you with some ideas for the gifts. Moms who have the birthday challenge under control tell us many of the same things. Here are their four top tips:
• Pick two or three different presents for boys and girls and buy them in quantity, especially if they’re on sale. Wrap everything at the same time and replenish your stock when it drops. No more rushing!
• Buy things that continue sets or collections many kids already have—Bakugan, LEGO, Hot Wheels, Barbie—because a little investment can add a lot of value.
• Consider things like Frisbees, board games, sports toys and classic toys—things that are fun, and that kids can’t have too many of.
• These are your kids’ peers. If your kids think something is cool, it’s probably cool for their friends. Let them help with the shopping—and the wrapping and the card. It’s never too early to teach and reinforce good social skills.
Here are a handful of ideas that deliver tons of play value and present appeal—without breaking the bank.
Moonlighter Frisbee By Frisbee
Price: $7.99. For ages 5 and up.
How cool is this, a Frisbee that glows in the dark? I had one as a kid, and we used to get it to light up by holding it against the car headlight.
Bakugan Vestroia Traps By Spin Master
Price: $7.99. For ages 5-10
For kids into the Bakugan craze, these are the new features that add dimension to the game. Lots of different ones to collect—and very cool to own.
Street Car Micro Motors By MEGA
Price: $6.99. For ages 6-10
A new collection of motorized mini cars that let kids build and create crashing, smashing mayhem. How much fun is that?
Flick Tricks Finger Bikes By Spin Master
Price: $9.99 and up. For ages 9-11
Finger bikes are making a comeback, and they’re going to be hot for playing and collecting. Don’t worry about duplicates—kids are often happy to have several, or trade.
Hot Wheels Roll-Up Raceway By Mattel
Price: $14.99. For ages 3-8
Classic side-by-side racing for Hot Wheels cars, and you score points with the birthday boy’s mom because it all rolls up to store neatly.
GX Racers By Jakks Pacific
Price: $5.99 and up. For ages 5-10
This assortment of awesome stunt vehicles uses gyroscopes and different engineering to create various stunts. These are going to be big at schools this year.
Liv Dolls By Spin Master
Price: $19.99. For ages 3-8
A new fashion doll that is designed to be a “real teenager.” Cool hair play with the wigs and a whole online world.
Barbie Happy Birthday Doll By Mattel
Price: $17.99. For ages 3-7
Since the average girl has more than six Barbies, this one can be a special addition to a little girl’s collection.
Price: $11.99. For ages 3-6
Definitely for younger girls, but fun—and consumable. Arts and crafts toys always make a good choice.
My Little Pony Styling Pony Pinkie Pie By Hasbro
Price: $16.99. For ages 3-6
Girls into My Little Pony can never have enough. This cute item adds an element of hair play that’s a little different from the typical My Little Pony toys.
Spa Factory Scentsations By Jakks Pacific
Price: $9.99. For ages 6-12
Make your own perfume! What else do we need to say. This is a fun, easy-to-use kit, part of a larger Spa Factory line.
Operation By Hasbro
Price: $13.99. For ages 6-12
This is an all-time classic. Sure to create lots of laughs and memories.
Magic 8 Ball By Mattel
Price: $9.99. For ages 8-12
Another classic that’s always a hit. It seems to get everyone playing and asking questions.
Of course there are thousands of other toys out there for you to choose from. You really don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a lot of play. In fact, you might talk to other parents and set a guideline for how much to spend so that it’s a level playing field.
Remember, it’s all about fun and celebration. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have a little bit of that yourself and make the process fun for your kids—and you.
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Chris Byrne, aka The Toy Guy®, is the Content Director of TimeToPlayMag.com, as well as president of New York-based Byrne Communications and a leading expert on toy, play and children’s trends. You can also find and follow Chris on Twitter or at TheToyGuy.com.