Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Isometric on June 10, 2013, 08:27:25 PM

Title: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Isometric on June 10, 2013, 08:27:25 PM
BG - I don't have kids. Admittedly, I don't relate to them all that well -  I'm not very maternal! I do try, but don't seem to "click" with them. I don't know whether this clouds my opinion. Our friends Anna and John have two kids, Miriam - 1 and Lucy - 5. Although I dislike making assumptions like this, I think it might be relevant to note that in comparison to the rest of our group, they seem to be a bit better off financially. Lucy's birthday was in February, we all went to the birthday party. Lucy sat at a table and ripped through her presents production-line style (tore open the wrapping on one, pushed it to the side, started on the next one) There was no thank you from Lucy or her parents, Lucy wasn't told which present was from whom. End BG

Miriam's birthday party is this weekend. We can't go, so I dropped off her present last night. I had asked Anna (the mother) what Miriam would like, she said she loves everything. I bought some fun looking bath time toys. When we went there last night, I was quite surprised by the sheer number of toys laying around - they must pack them away when they have parties! Our gift was opened at which Lucy proceeded to bring out a large box brimming with bath toys. I said "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize, ours can be exchanged" Anna said "Oh, that's ok, we have doubles and triples of most things."

Anyway, I left the receipt there but departed feeling a bit dejected. I know our gift wasn't super fantastic, but we do budget carefully. It's hard to know what to buy for these kids, especially since they have two girls so clothes and toys are well catered for.

So my question is (thanks for hanging in there!) what do we get these girls who have everything?? More "stuff" seems superfluous, they're probably too young for money in a card... I would rather buy a toy for an in-need child than buy 2nd or 3rd replicas of things they have already.

I guess I'm just a little hurt that our (humble) gift wasn't appreciated, but don't know if I'm being a bit sensitive because of the reasons in the BG!


Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Jones on June 10, 2013, 08:33:33 PM
I always do books. I'm the Book Auntie. If the last book wasn't appreciated, I will gift secondhand but still very nice condition books. We have discovered some real gems on the Goodwill shelves! And, if a kid likes reading, their book is a thrill again and again (says the mother who was forced to re-read DS's current favorite a dozen times yesterday)...
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: TootsNYC on June 10, 2013, 08:46:43 PM
Weird breakfast cereal. (if you can find someone who lives in a test market, get them to help--otherwise, just get something fun. Movie tie-ins sometimes pop up.)

My vote, some sort of fun food.

Or go for funny--pay close attention to what fruit they like, or any other sort of thing, and then give them that. How much fun will it be to open a box w/ a cantaloupe or kiwifruit in it, huh? Or Teddy Grahams, even when the kid is 15.

Books, yes, that might work as well.

AND...here's the real trick: never deliver your presents on the same day that they get all the other ones. (unless it's cereal or some other food--then the contrast will be really fun)

Deliver it a couple of days later--it'll have a bigger effect.

The other option is experiences.

Or, since these are your friend's children, just don't get them anything. I don't expect my friends to buy presents for my kids. My *closest* friend does, but she's also quite close to my kids themselves.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Tabby Uprising on June 10, 2013, 08:57:50 PM
Yeah, it's tough.  Kids can be really fickle and a favorite this week will be old news by next week.  Or you have the kids who love princesses or basketball and they already own everything even remotely related to those subjects. 

Books are always a winner for my 20 month old.  He loves being read to and "reading" to himself.  And hey, he may not love the dinosaur book this week, but next month it could be his most favorite book in the history of the universe.  He can also be rough on his stuff too so duplicates can be super helpful.  I know why you'd feel deflated giving a gift the kids already have.  I've been in that position a number of times myself and I can relate.  But I can say when my little guy manages to chew up a board book it's great having a fresh one on standby! 

With my niece (a princess fanatic), I try to find arts and crafts gifts.  She seems to like them! 

So with the older one I'd try getting "project" type gifts and the 1 year old I'd stick with books.  But don't stress about it too much.  My sons favorite thing is attention  ;)

Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: *inviteseller on June 10, 2013, 09:10:42 PM
Books, craft kits  or tickets to a zoo or museum.  I have begged my sister to not buy more than 1 outfit and 1 toy for DD's birthday on Saturday and she told me she bought her a bunch of stuff  >:( >:(.  My house is over run with toys, between hers and older DD's that were very well taken care of and I can't stand another toy!  My DD loves books and outings, altho she said she can't wait to see all the presents Aunt Give Everything has  >:( >:(   
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Library Dragon on June 10, 2013, 09:25:31 PM
Another vote for books  ;)

Like the weird food, there are many great, quirky books on topics that kids love. Princesses? The Emperor and the Kite is a great variation on a princess story. Cowboys? The Gingerbread Cowboy is a story time favorite. Celebrating imagination? Not a Box.  Love this story and perfect for preschoolers and up.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: wheeitsme on June 10, 2013, 10:01:53 PM
Another book vote.  And don't forget to write your name, the date, and a short message inside!
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: MommyPenguin on June 10, 2013, 10:24:15 PM
Books are a great idea!  For the little one, you might look at the "That's Not My..." series ("That's Not My Puppy," "That's Not My Dragon," etc.).  My 3rd daughter ADORED those books around age 1-2.  Sandra Boynton books are a lot of fun, too.  I do think books are great.  Unlike the others, though, I wouldn't write in it and I'd include a gift receipt.  That way, if they did already have the book and it wasn't the type you'd want more than one of, they can exchange it.  That depends how you feel about the idea.  Personally, it wouldn't bother me, but if it would bother you, then you don't have to.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Promise on June 10, 2013, 11:14:55 PM
We live in Amish country and their grocery stores has bags of the marshmallow shapes from Lucky Charms. Kids LOVE that. The parents might not, but it's not about them.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Isometric on June 10, 2013, 11:45:49 PM
Thanks everyone! I'm having a bit of a "duh" moment, books are the obvious answer, I'm a total bookworm myself.  ::)

Also love the novelty foods and crafts!
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: TootsNYC on June 10, 2013, 11:57:32 PM
I give my kids cereal every Christmas, and they get VERY territorial about having *their* box of cereal.

But if I discovered the 5yo loves cheese, you can bet I'd be buying some nice Colby or something. And I'd keep it up all the way until they were out of gift-buying range.

or, socks--or maybe you always get them a blue shirt, or something. Some sort of little gimmick that makes your gift be the "quirky gift she always gets me."

(also, if both are girls, get them remote-control cars!! Or soldiers. Or Star Wars Legos)

And the point of any gift is to create a bond between the giver and the recipient. So if you can carve out your own niche, even if it's something silly like that, then you'll enrich   your non-birthday relationship with them.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: m2kbug on June 11, 2013, 12:03:04 AM
The thing is, the toys multiply at night. 

I'm going to agree with the previous posters that if you're worried about an abundance of material things, than a gift certificate for someplace might be good, except maybe not so much for the baby, but at this point you can do just about anything for the baby.  You can't go wrong with bath toys, to be honest.  Sometimes it's nice to rotate them around.  Books are good.  Playdough always dries out and paints and paper are always needed.  You can get unusual paints or markers, sidewalk chalk, bubble blowers with refills, and any number of things that are consumable.  If they like to play games you can get them memberships to some that they like, like Club Penguin (is that one for 5 year olds?).  Hopefully mom would know.  And books.  GC's for video games, McDonald's, or any play area geared towards little ones.

I'm mostly considering the 5-year-old.  The baby would probably love some books or a nice set of blocks (ours lasted for many years), Legos.

Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: DottyG on June 11, 2013, 12:09:36 AM
Everyone else took my answer. But books. Absolutely books.

Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: kudeebee on June 11, 2013, 12:22:34 AM
Books are good, but before spending a lot of money on books check with the mom to see if the kids already have the books.  I hate to see people spend a lot of money on a book, personalize it, only to find out the kid already has it.

I like consumable gifts for those that have all--markers, paper, colors, chalk, art kits, etc.  A favorite food treat if you know what it is.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Lynda_34 on June 11, 2013, 01:36:02 AM
How about magazines.  Hilights, Ranger Rick and when they're older Smithsonian.  I've given these to my niece and nephews as they were growing up.
Yes of course books.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: CakeEater on June 11, 2013, 01:42:31 AM
Hair clips/bands/ ribbons
Books
Stationery/craft supplies
A funny hat

Sometimes my kids appear completely underwhelmed by gifts at the time, but in a fews days/weeks/ even months or years' time, they become favourites.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Library Dragon on June 11, 2013, 01:52:34 AM
I give my kids cereal every Christmas, and they get VERY territorial about having *their* box of cereal.

But if I discovered the 5yo loves cheese, you can bet I'd be buying some nice Colby or something. And I'd keep it up all the way until they were out of gift-buying range.

or, socks--or maybe you always get them a blue shirt, or something. Some sort of little gimmick that makes your gift be the "quirky gift she always gets me."

(also, if both are girls, get them remote-control cars!! Or soldiers. Or Star Wars Legos)

And the point of any gift is to create a bond between the giver and the recipient. So if you can carve out your own niche, even if it's something silly like that, then you'll enrich   your non-birthday relationship with them.

This is the kind of fun food idea that kids talk about. When DS1 was 7 he asked for cheese for Christmas. For years he received Mini Babybel cheeses. When he was older it changed to dead fish (Swedish fish), sticks (licorice), and snowman p00p (mini marshmallows) because he was such a bad teenager.  He loved it. 

This type of special gift is remembered long past the latest whim.

Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Jones on June 11, 2013, 07:12:36 AM
I don't like paint or markers, personally, as even my 7 year old tends to be a messy painter. I buy special washable markers for her and would hate for someone to get her something more permanent at this point. Colored pencils are not so messy and not in danger of drying out due to absent mindedness.
I like the magazine idea.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Roe on June 11, 2013, 07:45:01 AM
Books
Magazines subscriptions (one of my all time favorite gifts!)
gift cards
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Take2 on June 11, 2013, 08:10:14 AM
My house probably looks similar to what you describe, OP. Which is why I caution about books. Because my kids have millions of toys...but they have even MORE books. I cannot turn down a request from my child for vegetables, exercise or a book!

I like the idea of experiences. Does your friend have easy access to 1:1 time with each child where another adult takes the other child? If so, watch Groupon for deals on a sample Mommy and Me type class. Art studios, gymnastics places, yoga studios, indoor soccer, nail painting places, laser tag.

Or find out her big gift and get the cool accessories. A bike helmet shaped like a unicorn or bike bell or basket is an awesome present for a child who just got a new bike. A personalized chef's apron and hat is perfect for a child who just got a toy kitchen. A conductor's hat and train whistle for a child who just got a train table. My DD's grandmother got her a purple gerbil wheel for her birthday to go with her new gerbils, and she was ecstatic.

But really, you may also need to set your expectations. It doesn't sound like your friend is teaching these children to be gracious about gifts or appreciate the kind gesture of a gift. That is unfortunate, but improving the relevance of the gift is not going to resolve that.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: z_squared82 on June 11, 2013, 08:19:41 AM
Definitely books.

When my boyfriend wanted to get gifts for his friends’ children birthdays (two friends each had a boy within weeks of each other), he was at a loss. I told him book because they were going to be getting so many toys anyway. His response? “But they’re one, they can’t read!”  ::)

Then I had to explain that their parents would read to them. This idea was reinforced when both mothers thanked him for the books, they couldn’t wait to read them to their sons.

In the alternative, a second a consumable. Maybe stickers? My neice loves stickers.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Betelnut on June 11, 2013, 08:20:15 AM
Art supplies--always running out.
Books as most people have said.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: scotcat60 on June 11, 2013, 08:25:16 AM
Then I had to explain that their parents would read to them. This idea was reinforced when both mothers thanked him for the books, they couldn’t wait to read them to their sons.


I agree with the book idea. "A book is a present you can open again and again"Even if the child can't read, the parent can. My great nephews were started on "Peter Rabbit" in their cradles.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Secret on June 11, 2013, 08:29:06 AM
Mom of a toddler here.  Unfortunately, I have a ton of hand me down books and toys.  I really don't need anymore books.  I don't want anything that isn't consumable.  I try to do this with my nieces and nephews as well.

Even if you don't want to take the kids somewhere, a zoo gift certificate or some experience is the best one.  We gave our neice and nephew major league ball tickets one year.  Gave them a puzzle to figure out what the gift was.   Bubble solution, outdoor toys (they get lost easily), bubble bath, bath crayons or paints.  all consumable and get used up!
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: TootsNYC on June 11, 2013, 08:34:52 AM
Ooh, I like the "dead fish" thing.

Or, just a "fish" thing. Pick something like that, and then every year you get them something. A fish T-shirt. Swedish fish candy or chocolate fish. A fish hat. A fish washcloth or towel. Fish drawer pulls (and you help them swap them out--a 3yo can do this).

Or maybe pandas. And every year, you're the panda lady.

or maybe it's just "funny animal stuff."

You really don't need to add to their hoard of material goods--you're not needed to "outfit them for life."

You want to tell them that you care about them, and that you think about them.

It's not necessary to give gifts that are selected from the Official Gift Categorytm.

Just give them something that will make them think of you.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: TootsNYC on June 11, 2013, 08:44:15 AM
Another thought--don't feel pressured to spend a lot of money or get anything substantial for these kids.

if their parents are at all sane, they're probably cringing every time a gift-giving occasion arises. Something small and fun (expandable wash clothes or pop-up sponge?), or something that goes away (food; balloons delivered 4 days after their birthday?), will probably make them incredibly grateful.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Eden on June 11, 2013, 08:47:39 AM
Books are great. I also love gifts that invite imagination, adventure and intrigue. Spy kits, safes for stashing treasures, diaries. Also, I've had great success with a cheap purse or wallet with $5-10 inside. It's way less than I'd spend on a different gift and the kids love it.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: TootsNYC on June 11, 2013, 09:13:40 AM
Also, at the ages these kids are, dress-up is fun.

And they'd rather, most of the time, have grownup versions instead of made-for-kid versions.

So a cheap purse w/ fake credit cards, fake money, uncut key blanks (or those old keys you don't know what to do with), etc.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: readingchick on June 11, 2013, 09:23:32 AM
I always do books. I'm the Book Auntie. If the last book wasn't appreciated, I will gift secondhand but still very nice condition books. We have discovered some real gems on the Goodwill shelves! And, if a kid likes reading, their book is a thrill again and again (says the mother who was forced to re-read DS's current favorite a dozen times yesterday)...

Are you me? My younger cousins get a book every year from Cousin readingchick; they seem to like it :)
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Calistoga on June 11, 2013, 09:34:13 AM
My family was big on craft kits, and I always liked those.

Last year I went through just after Halloween and bought a bunch of deeply discounted Halloween costumes, decorated a chest, and gave my niece a dress up kit.

Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: amylouky on June 11, 2013, 09:35:22 AM
I'd go for consumables (food, play-doh, fizzy bath stuff, etc) or "experience" gifts. Movie passes, gift certs to kid friendly restaurants, or if you have them in your area, passes to a kid themed place (we have a bouncy house place and a gym that's specifically for kids near us).
Personalized stuff is also a good way to make your gift stand out.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: rose red on June 11, 2013, 09:44:54 AM
Since so many mentioned books, some favorite gifts of one kid I know are cookbooks for children.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: cwm on June 11, 2013, 11:10:33 AM
I'm going to buck the trend here and say get nothing for her birthday.

My favorite uncle growing up never did birthdays or Christmas. He'd surprise us with things all year 'round. You never knew when Uncle P would show up with coins from Siberia to put into our foreign coin purse. He traveled the world, and even if he was just bringing us spare change, it was the best thing in the world for me and my sisters. When we got older, he'd call us up and see if we wanted to go to a concert for whatever band was coming into town and take us.

My grandma also had a neat tradition for gifts. She'd give us a certain amount of money, but take us to the mall to spend all of our gift money. And we'd go through all the stores and mark down in a notebook what cost how much where, and what I really wanted. It made me think before I just spent all my money at the first store.

Creative storage units are always fun, too. Go to a thrift shop or a crafts store, get a blank box, and then take time with the kid to decorate it together. Even a 1 year old can do this, with water based paints. That box can hold special toys or special books or SOMETHING, but that box will always be special because they helped make it.

Or if the kids are old enough, take them to a Build A Bear Workshop. I took all my cousins there when they were 3, and it was the coolest thing ever. (Quintuplets, it was quite a trip. I'm glad I had another adult to help out.) I actually collected money from other family members who didn't know what to get them, so they had a budget of I think $25 each for a bear and clothes, and sis and I would help them with the math to see what they could afford, but they each got a gift that was perfectly uniquely theirs, and they've cherished them ever since.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: flyers75 on June 11, 2013, 11:14:40 AM
I see a lot of replies for books, which I love to give as gifts. Since the OP stated that these kids do get a lot of gifts, my fear would be that they have a lot of books too. One thing I like to give, when either the kids are overloaded with stuff or I don't know what to get, is a Savings Bond which, of course, only works if the OP is in the US.

I know it's not an exciting gift, but the kids will appreciate it later. I know I was thrilled when I cashed in my bonds after they matured.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: MommyPenguin on June 11, 2013, 11:33:38 AM
Play-doh also occurred to me, as something that is fairly "consumable" due to the tendency to lose little pieces every time you play it, have it dry out, or have the colors mix.  And sets like LEGOs, if the girls get into them (the Friends LEGOs are really cute), you can't really have too many of, if a kid really plays with them, because the more pieces you have, the more you can build from your own invention... even duplicates can be nice because you then have more of a given color and can maybe rebuild the set into something bigger/more elaborate.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: cwm on June 11, 2013, 11:38:27 AM
Play-doh also occurred to me, as something that is fairly "consumable" due to the tendency to lose little pieces every time you play it, have it dry out, or have the colors mix.  And sets like LEGOs, if the girls get into them (the Friends LEGOs are really cute), you can't really have too many of, if a kid really plays with them, because the more pieces you have, the more you can build from your own invention... even duplicates can be nice because you then have more of a given color and can maybe rebuild the set into something bigger/more elaborate.

The problem with LEGOs is that it's hard to buy things that aren't "sets" these days. We have a LEGO store in town, and you walk in and hidden behind everything in the back corner on the bottom shelf are two different products that are just sets of bricks. EVERYTHING these days is a very specific set, and a great deal of those have specific pieces that can't really be used very creatively. I would never want a set like that, I much prefer the plain bricks that I can build with however I want. YMMV, though.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Sheila Take a Bow on June 11, 2013, 11:53:34 AM
The problem with LEGOs is that it's hard to buy things that aren't "sets" these days. We have a LEGO store in town, and you walk in and hidden behind everything in the back corner on the bottom shelf are two different products that are just sets of bricks. EVERYTHING these days is a very specific set, and a great deal of those have specific pieces that can't really be used very creatively. I would never want a set like that, I much prefer the plain bricks that I can build with however I want. YMMV, though.

I would disagree that statement just a bit.  I thought the sets would really limit my daughter's creativity, but I've found that just isn't the case.  She can see every piece as something unconventional, which means that the lab set that we bought her can turn into a kitchen or a castle or a superhero's secret hideout.

I do see how some kids (like my niece) would be limited to building only what the box is supposed to build (as determined by the pictures).  But not every kid would react to LEGOs that way -- it's definitely not a universal problem with LEGOs.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: NyaChan on June 11, 2013, 12:32:00 PM
How close are you to the parents?  Could you just ask them what the kids would want? 

"Friend, I wanted to get the girls a present for their birthday/Xmas/etc., but I'm not sure what they would want.  Do you have any ideas for things they would enjoy?"

I'm in my 20s and my relatives still ask my parents what they should get me  ;D  It is kinda nice since my mom can't keep a secret to save her life so I basically get to pick out a few things and my mom passes them on as "suggestions"
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Stirling on June 11, 2013, 12:33:26 PM
Savings Bonds.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: TootsNYC on June 11, 2013, 01:04:50 PM
The problem with LEGOs is that it's hard to buy things that aren't "sets" these days. We have a LEGO store in town, and you walk in and hidden behind everything in the back corner on the bottom shelf are two different products that are just sets of bricks. EVERYTHING these days is a very specific set, and a great deal of those have specific pieces that can't really be used very creatively. I would never want a set like that, I much prefer the plain bricks that I can build with however I want. YMMV, though.

I would disagree that statement just a bit.  I thought the sets would really limit my daughter's creativity, but I've found that just isn't the case.  She can see every piece as something unconventional, which means that the lab set that we bought her can turn into a kitchen or a castle or a superhero's secret hideout.

I do see how some kids (like my niece) would be limited to building only what the box is supposed to build (as determined by the pictures).  But not every kid would react to LEGOs that way -- it's definitely not a universal problem with LEGOs.

My son has spent hours "kit-bashing" all his construction-specific LEGO sets. And you can certainly buy LEGO bricks online!


But I'll agree w/ the "just don't get them anything" idea.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: emwithme on June 11, 2013, 02:50:17 PM
I always do books. I'm the Book Auntie. If the last book wasn't appreciated, I will gift secondhand but still very nice condition books. We have discovered some real gems on the Goodwill shelves! And, if a kid likes reading, their book is a thrill again and again (says the mother who was forced to re-read DS's current favorite a dozen times yesterday)...

Are you me? My younger cousins get a book every year from Cousin readingchick; they seem to like it :)

I'm also the book aunty.  I buy my niece the books I enjoyed as a child (or as an adult!).  She was my flower girl last September, and I actually got her a book for Christmas the year before which was set in the venue we got married in. 
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: NyaChan on June 11, 2013, 02:56:56 PM
I don't get to see my older cousin's kids very often, maybe once or twice since they were born, but my cousin used to live with us when he was in college so I feel very fond of them despite that.  I sent them the book "The Gas We Pass" figuring my cousin had a good sense of humor about those things (you kind of have to on my dad's side of the family  ::)) and though the kids were too young to read it themselves, the parents were happy to have something different to read to them.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: LadyL on June 11, 2013, 04:47:29 PM
Savings Bonds.

This may be the least "fun" example, but as someone who is just now cashing in savings bonds from when I was little to help pay for my wedding - I appreciate them now!
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Camarynne on June 11, 2013, 08:58:00 PM
I second the magazine idea. My grandmother did this for me when I was little and it was awesome getting real mail. Nowadays when everything is pretty much electronic, that would be even more exciting.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Library Dragon on June 11, 2013, 10:59:17 PM
Combining the theme and mail is a great idea.  For my nieces (once they were 5 and up) I mail them a little something every other day--less likely to have more than one envelope arrive on the same day--with the number matching their birthday.  5 years, 5 envelopes.  One would have a turtle bookmark for the the niece that likes turtles, title earrings, etc.  Nothing big in and of itself. Most of the joy is in the anticipation and receiving mail.

I did something similar, but not cutesy, for DSs when they were each in basic training.  DS2 and the guys in his unit were didn't have enough reading material.  I printed out Shelock Holmes stories in public domain and sent them a few pages at a time.  Yes, I could have sent a book, but this was more portable and they discussed what was going to happen.
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: Thipu1 on June 12, 2013, 03:24:13 AM
I second the magazine idea. My grandmother did this for me when I was little and it was awesome getting real mail. Nowadays when everything is pretty much electronic, that would be even more exciting.

Add me to the magazine subscription party. 

Kids love getting mail addressed to them.  Getting something with good stuff in it every month would be heaven to most kids. 

If you can find it, a membership to a (preferably children's) museum that sends out monthly bulletins would be ideal. 
Title: Re: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)
Post by: kaybee on June 12, 2013, 03:41:16 AM
it sounds like these kids have a lot of stuff.......if you are close enough imight give the child an iou to go out for ice cream or pizza with you.....
if you want to actually give them something tho......

perhaps tickets to a children's play....my parents have been giving this to my 7 yo son for a couple of yesrs.....they live an 11 hour plane ride away and sending something is expensive.......so we have a subscription of 4 plays to use throughout the year............

magazine subscription is also good.......

a goft that i got as a child that i loves....was a box of all different kinds of buttons with colored string and i loved to string the buttons in different patterns