Author Topic: Kids with lots of toys - what to give as presents (a bit long, sorry!)  (Read 4848 times)

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amylouky

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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.

rose red

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Since so many mentioned books, some favorite gifts of one kid I know are cookbooks for children.

cwm

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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.

flyers75

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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.

MommyPenguin

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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.

cwm

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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.

Sheila Take a Bow

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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.

NyaChan

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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"

Stirling

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Savings Bonds.

TootsNYC

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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.

emwithme

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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 :)

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. 

NyaChan

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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.

LadyL

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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!

Camarynne

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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.
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Library Dragon

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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.

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