• May 23, 2018, 11:31:51 PM

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Author Topic: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)  (Read 17465 times)

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Hair clips/bands/ ribbons
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.

Library Dragon

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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.

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.

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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.
“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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Magazines subscriptions (one of my all time favorite gifts!)
gift cards


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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.


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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.


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Art supplies--always running out.
Books as most people have said.
Native Texan, Marylander currently


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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.


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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!


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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)...

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


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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.