BookmarkBookmarkTick

Top 3 Simple (and Fun!) Birthday Gifts for Kids at Every Age

ByAbigail Green
Updated
March 2, 2017
Hero Image
Image: Veer / The Bump

It’s that time of year again, when the e-Vites and pastel-colored envelopes start arriving weekly – birthday party season. If you’re thinking, “Yay! How fun!” you obviously haven’t been to as many kids’ birthday parties as I have. Listen, I like small-talk with fellow preschool parents and garishly colored sheet cake as much as the next mom, but the part that stresses me out is the gift. Buying a present for a kid you don’t know that well is nerve-wracking.

Did you see the movie Date Night? Remember that scene where Steve Carell’s character offers to buy a kid’s birthday present to help out his wife with her to-do list? And Tina Fey says, “No batteries. And it can’t be made in China. And it’s got to be educational.” Welcome to my world.

I’ve decided that there are a few foolproof kids’ birthday gifts. Gender-neutral, always welcome, can be found at most every price point and for every age. Are you ready?

1. Water toys. Rubber duckies, toy boats, buckets, watering cans, a cute hooded towel – for the pool or beach in the summer or for the bath any time of year. Who couldn’t use an extra towel and some of those plastic squirty toys that have to be replaced regularly since after awhile they start to grow that yucky black stuff inside? The kids will love anything that’s new and cute and the parents will love that it’s practical.

2. Arts and crafts supplies. In our house, Play-Doh and markers are, sadly, pretty much disposable. Someone mushes it all together into a brownish blob or leaves the cap off and that’s the end of that. Crayons break, coloring books get used up. You can never have enough art supplies, if you ask me. Even the tiniest tot will enjoy age-appropriate stuff like finger-paints, colored pipe cleaners, stickers, etc. Just make sure they don’t eat them.

Related Video

3. Personalized stuff. Every kid loves stuff with their name on it – placemats, water bottles, towels, T-shirts. Of course, that takes advance planning, unless you’re the DIY type. Another idea is to find a book with the child’s name in it. This works best if they have a common name. For instance, I plugged “Emily” and “Jack” into Amazon under children’s books and instantly came up with dozens of options for each. When in doubt, get toddlers and older kids a book about underpants. You can’t go wrong.

Anybody else have ideas for can’t-miss birthday gifts?

Etsy announces back to school trends which include personalized products and home learning activities.

These Are the Top 5 Back-to-School Trends on Etsy Right Now

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
08/02/2021
Happy mom holding her curious baby.

The Most Curious Babies Become the Smartest Learners, Study Says

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/14/2021
The Mattel barbie version of Naomi Osaka.

Mattel Has Launched a New Barbie Role Model Doll to Honor Naomi Osaka

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/12/2021
Dr. Fauci, chief medical advisor to the president.

Dr. Fauci Has a New Children’s Picture Book Coming Out

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/29/2021
Two outdoor toys, a slide and water play station products on color background.

31 Awesome Outdoor Toys for Toddlers

profile picture of Martina Garvey
Martina Garvey
Associate Editor
Mom reading a book to her toddler child on the floor at home.

These Are Amazon's Picks for the Best Children's Books of 2021 (So Far)

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/09/2021
Late night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon.

Jimmy Fallon’s Upcoming Children’s Book Celebrates Grandmothers

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/03/2021
Toddler plays with blocks.

This 2-Year-Old Is the Youngest Member of American Mensa With an IQ of 146

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
05/27/2021
Three illustrations of toys, including a dog weave string craft, puzzle and play-doh.

These Are the Top Toy Trends of 2021

profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
02/17/2021
Article removed.