Enjoying The Journey

How I Choose Gifts For Children

Although I’m not an expert gift giver, I really enjoy picking out gifts for my niece and nephews! Besides Christmas gifts, I try to always pick up something for their birthdays as well as a few holidays during the year. Right now all four of the kiddos in my life are under five, and there are few things I keep in mind that help me when I’m looking for a gift.

It must be affordable – I’m not in a competition with anyone and I don’t need to buy their affection! I also like to ease the pressure on my family members. If they need to toss or donate something I’ve given one of their children, it’s not a big deal – I didn’t spend a fortune on it!

$10 at Target: Pre-K Christmas Gift

Part of the gift should be consumable. I know my family members have smaller homes and don’t need tons of stuff filling up their space! I look for things like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, fun band-aids, bathtub paints or character themed shampoo – things that can be used up and then thrown away.

I like to give gifts that are educational. I look for flashcards, books or learning aids that I think my family members will appreciate and be able to use as they teach their kids. I also look soft and quiet things that would be appropriate for use during church.

Big Sister Survival Kit

Of course, part of the gift needs to be fun! Super hero flatware, costume jewelry, tiaras and toys are so irresistible! I really have to keep the other guidelines in mind because I would easily get carried away with all the kitchen sets and workbenches!

For gifts other than Christmas presents, I also try to keep things small and light because they have to be mailed. 

Here’s what I’m sending my niece for her 4th birthday this summer:

  • Animal Flashcards (Target, $1)
  • Animal/Counting Board Book – I totally bought this just b/c it had kittens on the cover (Target, $1)
  • Necklace/Bracelet Set (Dollar Tree, $1)

The guidelines I listed aren’t rules – they’re just things that help me (as someone who doesn’t have kids) know what I want to buy for my sweet little niece and nephews! I also love finding gift guides or wish lists from other blogging mamas. Here are a few that might help you in your shopping!

What kind of things do you like to give as gifts to the kids in your family?


14 thoughts on “How I Choose Gifts For Children

  1. Great ideas! I like that you try to get something consumable and quiet toys. The toys with all the flashes and sounds are fun at first, but quickly lose their excitement. My son will play the longest with simple toys like cars, blocks, and trains.


  2. Great ideas! I made activity binders for my kids and some of their friends and they loved them! I waited until Dollar Tree had hard cover 3 ring binders and bought several. Then I put in a pencil pouch with crayons, markers, pencils, colored pencils and safety scissors. I put several sheets of stickers in the pockets of the binder, then divided packs of plain white paper, construction paper, and pages of coloring or activity books (age and educational level-appropriate to each child), used my trusty 3 hole punch and filled the binders. They’re great for home or to grab on the go. A bit time consuming to put together, but doing several at once cut down on total time spent per gift. I didn’t calculate the total cost per binder, but it sure wasn’t much!


  3. Good points! As a mom, I say yes to consumables! And things good for the car are always very useful – the small board books, small coloring kits, etc. And stickers are always great. I appreciate not spending much (bc as a parent I feel weird guilt when people spend money on my kids), as long as it’s not cheap stuff that rubs off dye or made of poor ingredients. But it looks like your choices aren’t like that. 🙂


  4. Great tips! I agree with everything you said! My 4 year old would be thrilled to get a fun treat, cute bandaids and we love those $1 board books from Target. I think we have four of them. I love the educational options that the dollar spot has been carrying recently. Thank you for including my birthday gift guides from this year in your post 🙂


  5. I am totally with you on the affordable aspects. Especially when giving gifts can really start to add up.Even with the girls I find myself price comparing and telling them if they ask for that present that may be the only toy they get. Gotta keep them grounded and this is a good way to do that.


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