Alternatives to Kids Birthday Party Gifts


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    By: ActivityTree

    I understand the desire to be inclusive.  In the realm of birthday parties this often means inviting your child’s entire class to a birthday party.   I am absolutely positive my child does not need to receive 20 or more birthday gifts from friends.  And, as the party invitations roll in from every classmate, the number of gifts each family is expected to purchase is reaching the ridiculous.  Here are a few ideas for gift giving that still allow your guests to show their appreciation, without contributing significantly to the pile of unused toys you hide in your closets.

    Gift Cards

    Not ready to refuse your child the joy of receiving birthday gifts just yet?  Take a baby step and request gift cards instead of toys or other gifts.  Your guests will not have to struggle to guess what your child likes and what he may already have.  They can just swing by Target and pick up a gift card.  No wrapping, no returns and no waste.  Your child will relish the opportunity to go shopping and pick out just what he wants.

    Specify a Dollar Amount

    Another alternative to eliminating gifts altogether is communicating a dollar limit for gifts - $10 or less.   Feel free to make suggestions.  A card game, rubiks cube, Barbie, craft, nail polish, bouncy ball, yo-yo or small lego® would all fit the bill.


    Instead of bringing toys, each child can bring a book for the birthday girl or boy.  Consider having guests bring a second book to swap. 


    Request that your guest make a donation to a charity of your child’s choice instead of bringing a gift.  If your child is an animal lover, request a donation to the local animal shelter.  If your child has an allergy or intolerance, ask that your guests donate to fund research related to similar immune deficiencies.   Scholarships for children’s sports organizations, Make a Wish Foundation, Feed My Starving Children, homeless shelters, the possibilities are virtually endless.  Or consider donating to Cheerful Givers, a nonprofit that provides birthday gift bags to food shelves and shelters so children living in poverty can still receive a gift on their birthdays.

    Toys for Donation

    Your guests can still bring a toy.  Just clarify in the invitation that you will be donating them.  If you don’t have a charity in mind, you can contact Donation Town.  They partner with local charities and in many cities will pick up your donation and deliver it to the charity for you.

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