On standby: Kid’s present box

Over the last 15 years I have gotten a lot more organised with kid’s Birthday presents. This came from necessity, my husband has 5 nephews, and (especially when we were first together) their birthdays would creep up on us and we would make a mad dash past the shops on the way to their birthday parties. It didn’t take me long to come up with a formula for presents and a plan for gift shopping. Welcome to the ‘present box’ idea. I know many people use these and, like me, are always on the lookout for cool presents and bargains that can go into the box and make a great present for any child at a moments notice.

First, you need to get a few things organised. I started by getting sticky tape, paper and generic birthday cards and storing them in a box. I also have balloons to put in the birthday packages. All of these are quite economical if bought at places like 2 Dollar shops or K-Mart/Big W.

Second, come up with a ‘present formula’. This helps when shopping and also when gifting. I found it helpful with the 5 boys to buy for, as it always made sure the presents were fair across the years. We also have a price limit on birthday gifts for kids, otherwise it can get out of control. My ‘present formula’ is pretty simple: Something educational (eg a book), Something Fun (eg a small toy), something to share with their siblings (usually a packet of lollies) and some balloons (’cause birthdays are fun). As the boys have gotten older, I don’t always put in the sharing thing, they often get a lolly or chocolate bar for themselves. The balloons are still a hit, even with my now 18 year old nephew (he did complain when I stopped putting them in when he was a teenager, so they were re-instated LOL).

Next, when you are out and about shopping keep an eye out for discounted items or sales. If you have your formula and price bracket in mind, this becomes easier. Things I have on hand in my ‘present box’ include: Packets of pencils/textas/crayons, Activity books, children’s books (we are still working through the stack of Mr Men books we got at an Aldi sale!), sticker packs, stamp packs, tubs of playdoh, fuzzy felt, glitter glue, craft paper, felt, small project kits (include things like sand art, foam art and making bags/jewellery), novelty paper clips and erasers, small meccano or lego sets, matchbox cars and paint by number kits (or the newer canvases with paints). These are mostly not gender specific gifts, so are flexible in that all children will enjoy them. With LT at primary school and birthdays (it seems) every couple of weeks, this present box is a brilliant time saver.

Do you have a present formula, or even a specific gift you like to give to kids?  Do you have a present box? What other tips could you add…please feel free to comment below.

Until next week

Fiona T

 

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