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Birthday presents for other kids

(28 Posts)
cheminotte Wed 05-Aug-15 10:11:33

Ds2 is five and has 4 parties to go to in the next 2 months. All school friends who I don't know. For large / whole class parties I would spend Max 5-10 pounds per head. Was looking around The Works yesterday for sticker books / craft sets or similar and its all so gendered. This isn't a surprise of course but am really struggling that I find it difficult to buy the little boys a 'Make your own Mr. Bump' or to get the girls some Lego. Intellectually I know Lego is fine for girls but wonder what the parents will think? At ds's own birthday he got loads of Lego and some outdoor toys but no books which I found a bit sad.

ChunkyPickle Wed 05-Aug-15 10:53:12

I've always just sent DS in to buy presents for his friends (about the price range you suggest, unless a particularly good friend).

as a consequence he'd given his friends everything from wooden tool boxes to guitars to something called kinetic sand, nano bugs and flying doodad kits - and it was a girl the toolbox went to.

Not generally books though - we have so many books that I figure other parents are probably in the same boat and buy something more exciting instead.

No-ones complained yet or made comments at the school gate, so they must be happy enough with the presents.

FinallyHere Wed 05-Aug-15 10:57:10

Book vouchers are my go to present, especially when i don't know the person very well.

FinallyHere Wed 05-Aug-15 10:57:44

Book vouchers are my go to present, especially when i don't know the person very well.

Lightbulbon Wed 05-Aug-15 11:09:45

Yes I've found this hard too.

Sometimes you can get board games for £5-10, they are quite neutral. Or some science type sets.

There's always things like pens/pencils/crayons & paper/colouring books.

What about a cinema token?

Jigsaws can be neutral too.

Anything musical.

Some sweets if you need to top up.

LassUnparalleled Wed 05-Aug-15 13:07:55

How is a set of coloured pencils or felt tip pens or Lego pirates or anything to do with animals or dinosaurs or card games gendered ?

I've just Googled "jigsaws for 5- 8 year olds" on Amazon and apart from Frozen items nothing was gendered. There was a fantastic 3D jigsaw of an owl for £3.99, lots of puzzles, rubik cube/ sudoko cubes/ snap card games.

alexpolistigers Wed 05-Aug-15 13:38:33

I always give books, on the basis that I would love more books for mine to read.

No one has complained yet!

cheminotte Wed 05-Aug-15 16:47:05

Agree felt tip pens are fine. Hadn't thought of jigsaws. But the sticker books were a choice between 'My pretty sticker book', ' 'my princess sticker book' and 'Ninja turtles' , 'Spiderman' etc. I know there are boys and girls who like both but without knowing the child, I'd be reluctant to get the 'wrong' one. I do like the idea of getting DS to choose and he did pick up a Minions pencil case.

YonicScrewdriver Wed 05-Aug-15 16:47:16

Lots of 'pocket money" toys are gendered., DS1 likes sewing and it took more effort to find something that wasn't "sew your own pink flower purse"

I tend to ask the kids now to choose or do money and sweets.

YonicScrewdriver Wed 05-Aug-15 16:48:55

I also don't give books unless I know they'll be welcome / this is for girls and boys.

cheminotte Wed 05-Aug-15 16:54:27

Exactly Yonic re craft - DS teachers have suggested him doing some sewing to improve fine motor skills, but the shops have bracelets, purses, dolls etc which doesn't interest him so much. I did buy the Mr. Bump kit though but will use as a gift.

HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Wed 05-Aug-15 16:59:35

For that price, you could get a board game. They're always reduced in the entertainer, or toys r us.

For that age, what about frustration, hungry hippos, guess who, junior monopoly, ker plunk? Or a play doh set? The dentist one is gender neutral.

YonicScrewdriver Wed 05-Aug-15 17:07:10

I got something at a charity shop I think - let me try and find it

YonicScrewdriver Wed 05-Aug-15 17:07:42

It wasn't this but what about this!

www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0096PBTGE/ref=mp_s_a_1_24?qid=1438790798&sr=8-24&pi=AC_SX110_SY165&keywords=DMC+sewing

addictedtosugar Wed 05-Aug-15 17:08:00

Scoobydoo seems fairly neutral.
Garden toys - buckets spades, veg growing kits, cress kits etc, skittles

As an aside, hobbycraft has some dinosaur bags, gruffalo stuff and an octopus to see.

addictedtosugar Wed 05-Aug-15 17:09:31

To sew, after seeing! Had to correct the autocorrect again. Apparently not allowed to sew...

YonicScrewdriver Wed 05-Aug-15 17:13:31

Or this

www.amazon.co.uk/Tobar-5038728015278-02833-Knitting-Doll/dp/B000H6UTF8

stealthsquiggle Wed 05-Aug-15 17:20:40

OP, if you look at Usborne "doodle" books, especially on Book People and the like, and discount all the gendered ones, they are a really good option, especially if combined with some age-appropriate pens or pencils.

cheminotte Fri 07-Aug-15 10:04:41

Thanks for all the great tips. Just had a splurge at the Book people. They have Roald Dahl CDs back in.

LovelyFriend Mon 10-Aug-15 19:59:19

cash or voucher in a card so the child can choose for themself

serenaserene Mon 10-Aug-15 21:45:19

Usbourne 1001 things.. or See Inside... books are usually well received and very often sold well below RRP so a decent gift without looking too cheap.

There's always the possibility of duplicating but I figure most of us know how to deal with surplus presents smile

drinkscabinet Tue 11-Aug-15 21:16:34

I buy sets of books from the book people. They had a really nice set of 10 poetry books which I bought recently, I split the sets up and give multiple books as presents. Mind you my kids always complain that 'we always give books'. They'll learn, they are bookworms themselves so not sure why they don't like giving them. Good friends get other (more expensive) stuff.

I hate books as presents because they are always either duplicates or not relevant to the interest of the child - one year we got 4 copies of "Twas The Night Before Christmas" for Christmas (we already had it and none of the kids have ever liked it)... they are a "look at me, I am a giver who gives books" present.. for both my girl and my boys... [ducks and runs]

Lego City, Lego juniors, animal jigsaws (apart from maybe fluffy animals) and board and card games and a lot of craft stuff aren't gendered.

I also let my kids choose for their friends - but then whole class parties aren't a phenomenon here so they always know the child who's party they are going to, rather than barely being able to pick them out in the playground but the whole class has been invited - that would be harder! grin

From about age 5 kids here always put a wish basket together at a named toy shop... horribly grabby to an English sensibility but I love it now as it means you buy the child something they personally actually want, rather than something to be re-gifted/ thrown away barely used after gathering dust for a while/ shoved to the back of a cupboard/ given to the charity shop or sold at the next car boot sale...

Mashtag Tue 11-Aug-15 21:39:21

I always did nature gifts.
Totally gender neutral

Bird feeders esp the stick on to a window type so you can watch them feed from the kitchen etc
Or bee habitats
Planters and a packet or two of seeds with a smal trowel.

You get the idea

I have no qualms in cooking gifts for either sex too such a pack of cake mix and a spatula and some chocolate sprinkles etc for the topping.

I bet I'm known as the mum with the odd gifts!!

I've also given copies of things like the beans to boys and girls.

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