Friday, May 28, 2010

birthday presents for parties

Dieter is getting to the age where he's starting to be invited to parties. Here's a little gift we put together for the last party that I've been meaning to share here. In anticipation of such events, I have set aside a few extra sets of crayons and markers from Stubby Pencil. Dieter selected one to give his friend who was having the party, and I made a little blank book for him (just crease blank paper and a cardstock sheet for the cover and sew down the spine--easy and cute. I applied a label to the front). I think this will be our standard birthday party gift for the forseeable future. I don't agree with all the plastic, made-in-China junk that is usually given at these parties, but hopefully this is just a little less junky and still fun for the birthday child.
Dieter got in on the wrapping. Next time, if I think a bit more ahead, he can finger knit the ribbon to tie on the gift. That would be perfect and I bet a finger-knitted cord would be a huge hit with the birthday child--open-ended toys are huge with my boys anyway (finger knitting and playsilks both get a lot of play here).
Dieter also made the card. So what is your go-to birthday gift for child parties? I'm thinking that if we ever do throw a kid party for Dieter we'll go gift-free altogether. The party itself would be the fun thing . . . his birthday is January 3rd so usually we are entirely too exhausted from Christmas to even think about a party. (We celebrate with the family, of course!)

And thanks so much to everyone who commented on my spending freeze post. It sounds like many have gone before me into simplifying and "having more with less." It feels good to find so much support!

20 comments:

Jenna said...

I don't have a go-to gift, but now you have me thinking about one..... thanks!

Julie said...

I usually go with a small gift card to a book store or movie theater. Not very original, but clutter-free. My youngest son was recently invited to two birthday parties that actually requested NO GIFTS. Instead, we were asked to consider a food donation to CHOW and a monetary donation to a children's leukemia foundation. Amazing to see this happen!

Jay said...

Almost always a book. If we know the family well and cleared it ahead with the parents, it might be a plethora of used books. I love Dieter's gift to his friend, very thoughtful and lovely. It would be well received in this house! :)

Miko's Girl said...

A gift card or a book is my go-to present. I tried to have a bday party with no gifts - but people ignored the request and brought gifts. We have, however, had much success with charity birthday parties. Our charity of choice was the local SPCA - people brought pet food, and toys.

amy said...

Our go-to gifts are Schleich animals or books - my son enjoys picking sharing his "favorites" with his friends. It's interesting to see who ends up with a polar bear or a copy of Caps for Sale.

We just requested no gifts at his recent birthday party, and while no one listened (we should have done a donation instead!), the gifts had more of homemade bent than I'd expected. It was a nice surprise!

emerzim said...

I usually do some sort of applique on shirts for a useful, personalized, thoughtful, and inexpensive gift. Here are a couple of examples:

http://emilyinthedesert.blogspot.com/2010/04/tulips-for-spring.html

http://emilyinthedesert.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-ribbon-shirts.html

http://emilyinthedesert.blogspot.com/2009/08/letter-applique.html

Rain said...

I like your blank book idea. I usually give art supplies, a good book or if its summer, a small trowel with sunflower seeds.

Amanda @ www.kiddio.org said...

We quite like giving a copy of one of Ed Emberley's fingerprint drawing books and a nice rainbow ink-pad. It's been a big hit with boys and girls alike, and introduces a layer beyond drawing. For our children's birthdays we usually host a book exchange. Each child brings a new, wrapped book and we just trade. It's lovely since we don't have to worry much about party favors (a.k.a. throwaway junk) and we don't get a bunch of stuff we don't need/doesn't fit our lifestyle and interests.

Lise said...

My standard birthday gift is always books. I've been shocked to find how often I'm the only one giving books (especially at baby showers!)

Jen05 said...

If not books or art supplies, I try to give gifts that can be used for outside play. We recently gave a little 5 year old guy a kickball type ball and a foam paddle ball set. Not home made by any means, but easy to find at just about any store, and I know it will be played with in the right way: outside and open ended. Oh and simple bored games are also a hit!

Anonymous said...

Recently I have been marking felt marker rolls for birthday gifts. I ask the kids to tell me what their friend likes and then I make a felt applique for the front. We also give a quality pad of drawing paper as a gift.
You mentioned gift free birthdays... we had an art party for my son and I made simple aprons for each child. That and their creations were the take home gifts!

BethS said...

I had to pop in and say that my Connor's birthday is January 3rd also. I feel your post-Christmas birthday pain. :) Lately, we love giving balloon rockets as gifts. Craft supplies and bare books are also faves. It's hard because many of our toy philosophy differs from many of our friends. So, we do what we can.

pilgrimama said...

I am so excited about the blank book idea and directions! I was recently given a sewing machine and can make stuff like this now!

Mama Voss said...

Great idea and I'm sure kids love it. I stumbled across your blog and I've had fun reading it. I usually gift books or art supplies as gifts. We started having "friend" birthday parties every-other year. It took the kids a bit to get used to it, but I love it. I want to celebrate my kids, but in the right way. I have always wanted to do the "no gift" thing... I think we will try it. Thanks for the inspiration.

Amanda said...

For the past year or so, I have been making cute little bean bags. I tie up a coordinating set of three with pretty ribbon and I've gotten great feedback from the parents that the bean bags are really played with. Very inexpensive, easy, and best of all-handmade!

Sarah said...

my son just recently attended a birthday party where they did a book exchange instead of gifts and goodie bags. It was great the kids loved it.

Maiz said...

We try to do home made gifts whenever possible. My favorites were when my son gave his friends some kind of edible treat. Once he gave a box of home made cookies, and it was his friend's favorite gift. Another time we learned that a little buddy loved root beer, so my son gave him a 4 pack of Virgils. It was pretty cute, and it really made his friend excited.

lisarenata said...

I totally agree with you on all those plastic, china made toys. I usually make the b-day gifts for my kids friends. Just last month I made about 5 tie-not tutu's and a couple of wool felt hair clips. Really I end up making what ever I am in the mood for that year...and every child gets the same thing. Just a way of making it a bit easier for me. As for the wrapping...though I love wrapping paper, I am also trying to stay away from using to much. So other alternatives I've come up with are re-using the kids art work (since we have sooooo much) as wrapping paper or to make the b-day cards. The Sunday funnies are also great for this. I also got a great idea from this green magazine (can't remember the name right now, sorry) to use old shipping envelopes and turn them into gift bags. I've made several and they have been a hit. (e-mail me so I can give you the correct name, if not I plan to post about it in the near future- sooner than later I hope).

kera said...

we usually do books or my latest thing has been a sewn pencil roll (very easy and takes very little fabric) along with a pad of blank paper. typically costs under $10 (http://hughesxs4.blogspot.com/2010/03/hand-me-down.html). our daughter b-days fall on 12/20 and 1/13, so we too are overloaded with christmas BUT my mom always celebrated BIG for birthdays.....not meaning BIG money spent just celebrating OUR day. i have very fond memories of that and want to continue that for my girls as well. life is precious and fragile and each birthday is worth making a big deal of, i think! love your blog!!

Anonymous said...

I love your idea for a gift. Sometimes when I find something great on sale, I stock up like you did. I have seen you sew some cute bags! I think a child would love to have his art supplies in a little bag with his initial on the front! That is what I'd do if I could...and want to learn!