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As any parent will tell you, when it comes to birthdays kids party planning is front and center. And for a kid birthday parties are the epicenter of a kid’s social life. Whether it’s an over the top extravaganza or a bowling party, everyone wants to be included. It’s the see and be seen equivalent for school kids.
But it’s a little more complicated today. The days of Monopoly, Archie comics and red and blue Adidas bags are long gone. For parents, whether you’re hosting the party or the parent of a guest, one of the big considerations is what to give as a birthday gift.
Kids Party Planning – The Usual Suspects
There are a lot of great options for parents to consider that won’t break the bank.
Arts and Crafts are always a great option. They encourage creativity, are an interactive activity and can be done individually or as a group. And they’re age appropriate with different sets available for kids of all ages. And big bonus…they’re popular with both kids and parents.
Electronics and video games are some of the more popular items with kids, but they’re also one of the most expensive. For the smart shopper there are definitely some great deals to be had. Be sure to check out last year’s version of a game you may be considering, they’ll be half the price and are often just as good as the new one. Of course, one of the pitfalls may be doubles. If you’re thinking of gifting electronics or video games be sure to check with the parents to avoid doubles and to ensure you are aware of the likes and dislikes of the birthday boy (or girl).
Gift cards are a fun and easy option. The child can take it and are able to purchase exactly what they want, sometimes saving up for a bigger gift. Gaming stores are popular and lots of shopping malls have gift cards that can be used at any store in the mall, which adds the option of choice.
Kids Party Planning – And Now For Something Completely Different
The new kid on the block in the world of kid’s birthday parties is ECHOage.com. A newer concept in charitable giving, ECHOage.com works with parents to offer something different in the area of gift giving. Parents are able to send out the party invites generated on the web site. Guests are able to RSVP on the web site and contribute whatever amount they would normally spend on a gift. The birthday child is able to watch and see the amount grow. And after the party, they receive a check for half of what was donated and then they get to choose which charity (from a list of over twenty) the other half goes to.
It works on several different levels. For one, your child starts to learn about charity and developing a philanthropic nature at an early age. And two, instead of a pile of gifts they may not want, they get to go out and perhaps buy one big gift that they may not otherwise be able to afford.
Kids Party Planning – So Many Gifts, So Little Time To Play
According to Oprah, re-gifting is considered a four letter word. To try to pass something off as a gift that you purchased can be perceived as tacky and cheap. But what are you suppose to do with the toys your kids never opened?
A friend of mine has three kids and a closet full of gifts that were either not age appropriate, duplicates or something her kids had absolutely no interest in them. What’s a parent to do?
During the holiday season multiple charities collect gifts for kids that may not otherwise have a Christmas. This can be a great opportunity to put those gifts to good use! Go through the unopened gifts with your kids and see what they don’t want or would never use. Involve them and explain that all the gifts they give away will help kids who are less fortunate. You’ll be surprised how much your kids get into it!
The point of a birthday party is to celebrate…not to see who can spend the most on a gift. But for many, it’s also a great opportunity to teach their kids about giving back. And who knows, you may even start a trend in kid’s birthday parties!