Design: Gift guide for kids parties

Katie has been lucky enough to be invited to several parties recently. On the one hand this has led me to be in utter disbelief that I’m going to have a FOUR year-old, and on the other in a panic about what to buy for presents.

Those of you following my blog at Christmas will know that I despise buying (or receiving) ‘land-fill’ presents i.e. things that you would want out of your house immediately. I really don’t like buying for the sake of buying something – so I want to get this gift malarky right!

My first point of call was to turn to my more experienced (and therefore wised- up) neighbour! I figured she has great taste and would be able to point me in the right direction as to budget and ideas.

As a result of my research, I’ve decided that a budget of around £10 is reasonable for a child’s present. The cost of putting on a party is high, Katie is liable to enjoy the party for a good few hours – and I don’t want people to ‘thank me’ for giving them anything that could be categorised as ‘plastic fantastic!’ With those thoughts, here is my gift guide for small children’s birthday party presents:

Playon Stackable Crayons from Bunny-Hop, 9.50
Primary+Stack

For any crafty child, art supplies need to be limitless and these crayons strike me as very cool. I vaguely remember them from my own childhood (which is probably why I like them!) but their shape makes easy for a small child to hold onto. They’ve got the added bonus that they can also engage a child’s attention as a stacking toy. I could imagine stashing them in my changing bag to bring out when I needed to entertain Katie in a restaurant or while waiting somewhere.

Milimbo: Better to Eat You With from Bon Tot, 5.50

Milimbo_BetterToEatYouWith_book_game_BONTOT

It’s hard to explain whether it’s a book, a game, a toy, or just a piece of art – because it’s all of them. As you read the story of Little Red Riding Hood, you wear the mask that represents the character that’s speaking.

Aside from being a cool way to get kids involved in story telling, this looks like a really tasteful book. It’s not garish, noisy or involving Peppa Pig. We’ve had far too much of Peppa Pig. In fact, I would vote to involve Peppa Pig… if she could get eaten by the wolf.

Things You Never Knew about Dinosaurs by Giles Paley-Phillips, 5.99 (Affiliate link)

Things you never knew about dinosaurs

I’m lucky enough to know Giles personally – so I know that he’s a really nice guy AND a brilliant author. I would recommend any of his books as presents but my two personal favourites are The Fearsome Beastie and Things you Never Knew about Dinosaurs. I love that these aren’t really ‘predictable’ children’s books – and my kids love them. Along with bright and fun illustrations, the stories cause the kids to cackle and take delight in the story. I’d call that a win when it comes to kids’ stories!

Birthday Circle Tee from Blueberrybookids, 14.00-16.00

Birthday tee

Although this is a little over budget – I  still consider it a winner. Katie received a t-shirt for her 3rd birthday with ‘her number’ on it and has been keen to wear it since. There are a heap of different styles (and budgets) available online but I think these ones are understated – and pretty cool.

Illustrated Animal Memory Game Cards from Sarah & Bendrix, 8.00

Animal Memory Game

Finding card games that small children can join in with can be a little bit tricky. Ben loves to play games like Monopoly or Cludo, but obviously Katie is far too small to join in something that complex. A really good compromise has been to find games that both can play at different levels e.g. we have a ‘Bingo’ style game where Ben can read the words and Katie can identify pictures. This memory card game from Sarah & Hendrix would certainly fit the bill of being suitable for a wide age range – and is pretty to boot!

Wooden Dog Toy Pencil Holder from Sarah & Bendrix, 12.50

Wooden Dog Toy Pencil Holder

If you’ve been following my Instagram stream (if you aren’t – why not?!) you’ll know that I have a lovely collection of wooden toys from Sarah & Bedrix. I had originally thought they would be more suitable for Thomas but Katie is actually really taken with them; she has been dragging round the drummer dog for days (it was also a hit on a recent playdate with other kids!).

They really are toys that you are happy to have on display – I’ve certainly not been able to shut they away in boxes and now have a selection sitting atop the side cupboard in our playroom. The pencil holder therefore fulfils two aims – it would be a fun toy for smaller children and be a cool desk accessory for older ones!

I’d love to know if you’ve got other ideas for kid’s birthday’s parties! I’m really pretty new to it – comment here or come share your ideas on Facebook.

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17 Comments

  1. March 2, 2016 / 10:37 am

    This is a great list! Whenever my daughter goes to a birthday party of a friend, we always try to give them something that won’t end up being binned. Most times we buy books for her friends 🙂 x

    • March 2, 2016 / 6:04 pm

      I love to give and receive books but I worry that a lot of my friends would have the ‘mainstream’ ones already so like to dig around for lesser known authors. Can highly recommend any by Giles!

  2. March 2, 2016 / 10:50 am

    Ohh there are some really gorgeous things on here. Love the memory card game and the wooden pencil holder. Lovely. Would be happy if mine got them for gifts!

    • March 2, 2016 / 6:05 pm

      I’m kind of keeping them all in mind for when Katie’s birthday roles round! I guess when giving presents I keep in mind what I would want too!

  3. cvnxena
    March 2, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    some really great ideas! we haven’t gotten as far as a kids party yet though so this would definitely come in handy!

    • March 2, 2016 / 6:02 pm

      They come around fast! We had a great time at the one we went to today – although my wee one is now shattered! Will wait and see what they think of the present though!

  4. March 2, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    Isn’t it cool! I could imagine this branching off into other story telling sessions of your own too.

  5. March 2, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    We have a pirate themed party coming up which means I need to get Monkey an outfit to attend so £10 I think is reasonable I really like the stackable crayons they are so pretty and you can never go wrong with a good book! x

    • March 2, 2016 / 10:48 pm

      We’ve been to a pirate party and honestly most kids just wore jeans, a stripe top and then had a scarf tied round their middle! It was the best one ever! Stackable crayons are amazing – I’m thinking of getting a box to stash in our changing bag as they’re smaller than you’d think.

  6. March 2, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    These ideas are amazing! I especially like the stackable crayons! I am the same as you I never know what to give as gifts at kids parties! It’s a nightmare, I think £10 is the perfect budget at that age, that’s what I always spend. x

    • March 2, 2016 / 10:48 pm

      I’m so glad you like these ideas! Hopefully they’ll be useful to someone 🙂

  7. March 2, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    I love the birthday circle tee, in fact I want one for myself. I laughed when you said about Peppa being eaten by a wolf as that is how I feel sometimes!

    • March 3, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      I’m not sure I’d want one with my actual age though! My daughter has one with ‘three’ on it which she adores because it’s ‘her’ number but I’m about to turn 31 but it just doesn’t have the same appeal!

  8. March 3, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    Never mind the kids – I want those stackable crayons for me! They look so awesome!

  9. March 8, 2016 / 1:36 am

    What a fabulous gift guide. I absolutely adore the wooden dog pencil holder bid love one of those for me lol

  10. February 20, 2017 / 6:48 am

    Love those crayons…..they’re awesome!

    • February 20, 2017 / 7:39 pm

      They are really cute! Small than I first imagined but perfect for little fingers.

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