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To ask the mum

(21 Posts)
Mishy1234 Wed 10-Aug-11 19:15:51

DS has started to be asked to birthday parties and his first one is in a few weeks. It's a little girl who he attends nursery with, so I don't know much about her and have never met her mum (DH drops off, I pick up quite early so we have never crossed paths).

I want to take a present of course, but I want it to be something she actually wants/needs rather than just another thing cluttering up her room.

AIBU to ask her mum what she might like or what kind of thing she's interested in when I call to confirm we're attending? I don't want to seem completely ignorant, but I am really as I don't know her daughter at all. There's no point in asking DH as he's only 3 and I'll likely get some ridiculous answer!

I had also thought of asking the nursery staff, but don't want to make them feel awkward.

I did think of making her a little messenger bag and putting an Amazon/Watersones voucher inside, but that doesn't seem terribly exciting and a bit lazy. I could make her a tutu, but that's only appropriate if she's into that kind of thing.

Mishy1234 Wed 10-Aug-11 19:16:49

I meant to say that DS is only 3 (although DH acts as if he's 3 sometimes!).

BBwannaB Wed 10-Aug-11 19:17:57

A home-made tutu sounds lovely, nursery staff would know if she would like that, but you could end up making them for all the DC...

cjbartlett Wed 10-Aug-11 19:18:24

A three year old girl will love peppa pig/fife/my little princess books
Or colouring books and crayons
Play doh
I wouldn't overthink
In reception you'll be mass buying presents you can't personalise every gift

AuntieMonica Wed 10-Aug-11 19:19:06

I think making a little bag with a voucher in it is a lovely idea, but if you asked me, as that child's parent, I'd also be flattered (i think that's the word)

So NBU, it's very thoughtful of you smile

Carrotsandcelery Wed 10-Aug-11 19:19:07

I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask. I have asked loads of times and loads of people have asked me.

What a shame to get a pile of Barbie stuff when she would really have liked some more animals for her farm etc.

Sometimes the parents don't have a clue either, but sometimes they know exactly what would be appreciated.


missorinoco Wed 10-Aug-11 19:19:25

Not unreasonable, presents for children you don't know are a nightmare. Welcome to the next few years! Be prepared to be told they don't need anything, which is why I never asked, although I agree it is a good idea to try to find out.

Failing that I used to buy presents from stores like ELC who are good at returns, and attach a gift receipt. Or even if you don't attach a receipt they will exchange anyway if it is an ELC c.f. branded product.

BUT the idea of a tutu is so lovely I think you should ask on this occasion.

Good luck.

cookielove Wed 10-Aug-11 19:19:25

Speaking as a nursery worker, i wouldn't mind being asked, i certainly know what they children play with at nursery however i wouldn't be able to tell you what they have at home, so you may end up duplicating with something they already have. I think it is fine to ask the mum, i have asked a friend what she wanted for her dd's several times in the past.

cjbartlett Wed 10-Aug-11 19:20:37

I think a three year old would be disappointed with a voucher
They love unwrapping presents, it's part of the fun!

ruddynorah Wed 10-Aug-11 19:21:29

Go to next or claires and get something peppa pig. Clips, sunglasses, a hat or a bag would be fine. And attach a gift receipt.

TubbyDuffs Wed 10-Aug-11 19:22:10

I'd ask the mum. She can't be offended in any way, and surely would rather her child got something she wanted/would play with than something she already has or wouldn't be interested in.

There is no way you can know what she has at home.

Mishy1234 Wed 10-Aug-11 19:26:07

cjbartlett- yes, I agree. I have visions of her opening the bag and holding the voucher with a 'what on earth is this' look on her face.

I have 2 boys, so any chance I get to make a tutu I grab it! That's not to say that boys can't wear tutus (DH certainly does), but I probably wouldn't give one as a present to a boy unless I knew that's what he wanted.

I think what I'll do is ask her mum. If I know the child well (been round to their house etc) then I often buy books as I know their taste and what they already have. 3 is such an interesting age and they are starting to really get into role playing/independent play, so she might have something like a farm or dolls house she's adding too.

Bit of a minefield really.

Thanks for all the advice! This is pretty new to me as you may have guessed.

BelleDameSansMerci Wed 10-Aug-11 19:26:09

I always ask the mum and/or nursery workers. Also, my DD (now 3.11) does seem to know what her friends are "into". So, not unreasonable at all.

youarekidding Wed 10-Aug-11 19:26:40

YANBU to ask.

My DS' birthday is next week (he'll be 7) and neighbours and guests parents have been asking what DS is into.

I usually say cars/lego/trains and what would be considered 'boys' toys. I also say he's not into the Ben10, Star Wars and other character items. I have been adding that DS is just happy to share his day with friends.

I think people prefer to be asked what a child is in to as opposed to a direct 'what would he/ she like' because then you don't have the embarassent of peoples budgets/ what they'd spend.

BelleDameSansMerci Wed 10-Aug-11 19:27:05

Now, tell us more about the tutus... smile

Mishy1234 Wed 10-Aug-11 19:27:08

Good God, another DH/DS substitution on the tutu front. I'm sure DH would try one on though, but I've never made one his size!

Flowerista Wed 10-Aug-11 19:29:30

I buy cinema vouchers, that way they can have an outing. Crayons and play doh always a winner. Can you make me a tutu I've always wanted one smile

ebbandflow Wed 10-Aug-11 19:31:28

Loving your mistakes-so your DH is three and likes wearing tutu's.

mummynoseynora Wed 10-Aug-11 19:37:49

I always asked DD what her friends liked doing at preschool when she was invited to a party... she was right everytime - which I learnt after apologising in advance for the mountain of arty stuff, only to be told 'oh no, she's right .. my DD will draw / colour / paint ALL DAY LONG' grin

Trust what your DS thinks... after all its a present from him wink

Mishy1234 Wed 10-Aug-11 19:39:17

ebbanflow - maybe my mistakes are more telling than I care to admit...

EssentialFattyAcid Wed 10-Aug-11 19:42:29

Good idea to ask the parents but too young for a voucher imo

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