16 answers

How Much $ to Spend on a Classmates Birthday Party Gift?

My daughter is in kindergarten and has been invited to 3 parties in one month. It's very nice and my daughter is super excited but it's starting to break the bank. And I don't know these girls real well because they're from her classroom so we keep running into how much do we spend and what do we buy? These parties my daughter's been invited too have been pretty spendy it's costing the host $9-$15 dollars per kid. So my question is what's a fair good amount to spend and what are some creative or good ideas on gifts. I'm not really into buying Barbies and My Little Ponies etc., because I always worry the kid already has it or may not be into it.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow you all are so helpful I was spending close to 20 dollars per birthday party and I'm a struggling single mom so now I feel comfortable stepping down in my price limit. I think after next xmas I'm gonna do the clearance racks and stock up as well as go to Micheals and look for awesome craft ideas... Thanks to everyone!

Featured Answers

I always spent $10-12 and usually ended up getting some type of craft thing they could make. Michaels has a lot of them and so does Target.

For us it depends on how well you know the kid.
If I don't know them well, I usually will get some consumable art supplies (markers, tablets of colored paper, molding dough, stickers) Stock up at the sales and keep them stored for those emergency birthdays. Books too. Getting a nice hardcover new release (ask the clerk for a newer one that they probably wouldn't have) and a homemade card or bookmark.
Hit a clearance rack at BabyGap for a cute but cheap shirt. Claires Boutique usually has a clearance rack where you can get some inexpensive hair clips or bracelets to add on to a present too.
J. L.

More Answers

I always spent $10-12 and usually ended up getting some type of craft thing they could make. Michaels has a lot of them and so does Target.

Why not make up a coupon redeemable for a playdate?

I saw this in a magazine and have full intent on using it if I'm in a bind.

Worth a try and it will be a fun thing that surely no one else would think of to give!

How about splitting the cost of a gift with another family. I did that for a friends kid. He really didn't need more gifts (or any gifts for that matter) but you want to do something. My other friend and I went in together and got him a great gift for what we were willing to pay. It was better than what we would have gotten separatley and it was fun to shop with her. I did the card and she did the gift wrapping. The kid loved the gift. I am not sure if the mom was okay with it or not but I probably would have heard if she wasn't.

It is OK to say NO to the party itself. If they are just casual friends and not someone your child talks about then simply decline the invitation. You are not obligated to attend the party and thereby you eliminate the stress of the gift. If the mom is offended that you didn't come SHE needs to get over it. Kids parties are expensive for everyone. Later on you will have to worry about who to invite to your child's party.

Not sure if this would work but it sounds like a good idea. How about a point pass to the Mall of America (something like 10 points maybe), or there is an indoor park called Edinborough in Edina (it costs $5/child), they sell gift certificates for there as well (maybe a certificate for $10) I am not the greatest at buying gifts for other peoples kids, because I think "they probably already have that", and I get so frustrated. The Libby LU store at MOA always has cute things and I think that is a HUGE hit with girls of any young age. Stuff a Bear might be a good idea to, you can get Birthday theme ones, or try shopping at Claires for hair accessories. I don't know if any of these are good ideas or not, just thought I would throw something out there. Crafty things at Michaels might work as well, they have all of those kits. Just remember to attach a gift receipt for any items you buy. If she already has the item, then they can return it to buy something else.

I have always been told $1 per year of the child. It works great, because most of the time at that age, they are going to lose it, break it, or already have it. Also I know a lot of people hate gift cards, but they are nice because then the kid likes to choose the gift.

I know my son's favorite gift when he turned 6 was a $5 gift card to McDonalds. He was so happy with it, he wanted to leave right away to go use it LOL. Good luck.

For us it depends on how well you know the kid.
If I don't know them well, I usually will get some consumable art supplies (markers, tablets of colored paper, molding dough, stickers) Stock up at the sales and keep them stored for those emergency birthdays. Books too. Getting a nice hardcover new release (ask the clerk for a newer one that they probably wouldn't have) and a homemade card or bookmark.
Hit a clearance rack at BabyGap for a cute but cheap shirt. Claires Boutique usually has a clearance rack where you can get some inexpensive hair clips or bracelets to add on to a present too.
J. L.

Hi,
My daughter gets invited to a ton of parties and it gets really expeniece. So we try to keep it for sure under $15.. So $10-15 is fair in how much to spend. We try to keep with the same item for each girls throughout the year... For example...
One year we did a jewerly box with some fun little things to put in it. I got them a Claries real cheap and just bought a few at a time so I hand some on hand.
We have also done little scrapbook and crafts for the girls.
Once the girls got older.. (they are now in 4th grade) Gift cards they LOVE..
If you do buy little a barbie or someething, just attach a gift reciept, that way they can return it and pick something else out.
Hope that helps a little.

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