Buy gifts which actually matter to kids!

Lately, we seem to be having a super busy social life with not just work and regular commitments but a pretty active social life. Every weekend, the whole family has been partying and I mean, PARTY with dance monkey playing loud on the speakers and people bobbing up and down to it for hours. 

After two years of covid and lockdowns, schools and parties have started in earnest, kids and adults are both socializing to their heart’s content and this means, the era of play dates and birthday parties have started again. A kids birthday party is the perfect excuse to show your social standing, have a merry time and stand tall in your social circle. 

While I was growing up in the 90’s, birthday parties meant Monginis cake, potato wafers and delicacies cooked by mom. The paper hats and colorful party streamers were about the only decorations available and now when I think about it, it was so much easier back then.  It did not matter how the house looked or how elaborate a party it was as long as you had these simple prerequisites in order.

And now, I cannot imagine hosting such parties for my daughter. Even when she was still in pre-k, I had hired a party planner to decorate the houses and arrange activities appropriate and fun for the toddlers. The final price tag was still a shocker for hosting a party for 10 toddlers at our home. But, that’s how birthdays are now- we need to plan activities, have perfect return gifts, cut designer cakes and make a child’s birthday an event worth remembering for months to come.

Now, let’s face one factual truth- we like gifts! Actually, we love gifts and the gifts that we give symbolize the image you want to create for yourself. If you set the bar by gifting something very expensive, that is the price range you will have to follow every time. Similarly, if you buy something cheap, that is a reflection on you, as well.

As an earning member and a mother whose child attends a birthday party nearly every weekend, these are some of the best gifts I have received and given till date:

Gift vouchers:  Yes, it sounds painfully boring and kids will not understand how something that comes in an envelope can be of any relevance or fun. But gift vouchers from Amazon, Hamleys, Toys R Us, Crosswords are actually life changing as you are paying for something that the owner actually wants to buy is and is relevant to them. I thoroughly cherish thoughtful vouchers of Rs.1000 rather than spending Rs.2000 on toys and gifts that could be repetitive and not relevant and useful.

Books: From picture books to younger kids, activity books and story books for older kids; books are a thoughtful gift and as an avid reader and writer myself, I doubt books can ever be a waste of money. For gifts for kids under 10 years old, I usually stick to the Dog Man series, Captain Underpant series, Harry Potter and Enid Blyton.

Night Clothes: This is not just a highly personalized and thoughtful gift but extremely useful, as well. Since kids outgrow clothes and their pj’s especially pretty fast, buying clothes a size bigger and gifting them can never be a waste of money.

Art Supplies: If you want to play it safe, the safest bet is buying art boxes, water colors, sketchpens, neon colors, the works which are not just relevant but something kids of all ages need all the time. 

Lunch Boxes: From fancy water bottles to bento boxes, the choices are abundant and you can also opt for a smart and affordable set of bottle and lunch box as per the age group you’re buying for. This paired with insulated lunch bags make a perfect go-to school accessory that will actually be used every single day.

Amusement Park Vouchers: A day pass with a 6 month or 1 year validity to your local amusement park, play area, planetarium and arcade area can also be a great and fun gift for the entire family. 

If you are gifting to somebody close to you or your children, you can also opt for personalized stationery labels, stamp pads, stationery pouches amongst others. They also make for great return gifts when you are catering to a small group of people.

At the end of the day, no matter the price tag behind the gift, the efforts behind choosing the gift reflect your thoughts on them. It doesn’t matter whether you buy something big or small, it is the thought which makes all the difference in the world.

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