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Author Topic: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)  (Read 17439 times)

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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!


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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)...
A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems. CS Lewis


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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.'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.

Tabby Uprising

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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  ;)


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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  >:( >:(   

Library Dragon

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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.

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Another book vote.  And don't forget to write your name, the date, and a short message inside!


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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.
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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.


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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!


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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.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 11:59:17 PM by TootsNYC »


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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.


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Everyone else took my answer. But books. Absolutely books.


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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.


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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.