B-day Gift Idea

Updated on May 08, 2008
J.B. asks from Tacoma, WA
14 answers

My daughter will be two in a couple of weeks. I also have a four year old girl and I am at a dead end as to what to get my youngest for her b-day. We live in a townhouse and would like to do outdoor stuff but kinda stumped and was wondering if anyone had any neat/not to expensive ideas. They have tons of baby stuff etc. Also if anyone has any ideas for a really neat b-day party but also inexpensive.

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answers from Seattle on

A great idea that would be cheap for the party is to do a tea party. Little girls love to act like grown ups! Make decaf tea & let them add a ton of sugar cubes. Or simply give them hot chocolate instead.

Then serve pb&j sandwhiches with the crusts cut off....very fancy! LOL Add a few cookies in as well, & they will think they are in heaven!!

Good luck.

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answers from Seattle on

You know you might try looking for outdoor stuff on Craigslist. Even though it's not technically "new" it's new to them and kids don't care. It's a cheaper way to get great stuff! I don't know how verbal your daughter is but ask her what kind of bday/cake she wants for her bday and go from there. You know what she's into and what she likes, so go with a theme she likes even if you don't care for it much......lol. Most kids like to dress up. There are dress up kits and clothes of all kinds at various stores. You could also do a dress up theme birthday. Just my thoughts...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My kids love the game Hullabaloo by Cranium. We've had it since my now 6 year old was 2 and it gets lots of use. It's an indoor game that involves walking, jumping, dancing, etc. I highly recommend it to any family. I think both your girls will enjoy it.


answers from Seattle on

For the party...Will there be alot of other kids? I am with the dress-up idea if there will be. My boys only have maybe two other kids that usually come to there parties so i keep it adult friendly but if you will have alot of other kids something that will keep them busy for a while would be a trunk full of clothes. You could hit the goodwill or value-village for some old fancy dresses..I would was them first though but that is just me. Do you guys take alot of walks? My MIL got us for christmas two years ago one of the plastic radio flyer wagons. AT first i thought it was useless but i brought it out of her garage about two weeks ago and have used it every day!! it is alot of fun for the boys too!! they can pack up snacks to take with us on our nature walks. You could also if you guys are near a zoo get a family zoo membership. It would be great for the summer and pays for itself by the third visit plus you can get in other people for free. You could get the memebership and tie it to her fav zoo animal (stuffed) and then explain to her what it is. We did this for my almost three your old for christmas a year ago and he loves it!! we can go for an hour check out his fav aninals and call it a day!! We take the wagon!! they have at target too those giant toys. They are like a soccer set blown up to giant size so that it is more fun they have soccer they have frisbee they have a ton of different things and they are very inexpensive. or they have a really good gardening for kids section. Wtih little wheelboros and shovels...but all girlie...that would be fun if there is a place for them to dig. I think now i am out of ideas but if i think of anything else ill get back to you!!



answers from Seattle on

J., I don't know if you daughter likes to look at books or not, I have three year old boy/girl twins and when they turned 2 We got them the power touch learning system by leap frog. it's all touch with their fingers and they are books that come alive to them. both of my twins love it and still use them every day. good luck. J.



answers from Seattle on

www.Flylady.net has clutter-free gift ideas for all ages. Here's the link to the children age page: http://www.flylady.net/pages/ClutterFreeGiftsC.asp
Also, I typed "frugal party ideas" in goodsearch.com and saw some great sites! I'll check back there for my son's birthday in June! Good luck and have fun!!



answers from Seattle on

Check out Parent Map. You can look it up at parentmap.com. It's a local publication that has tons of ideas for birthday partys, monthly kid-friendly events and advertisements that cater to kids and families. You could even (to save money) - find one that sounds interesting and do a version of it at home. Some fun ideas I've come across for parties are:
Tacoma Museum, Hands On Children Museum, Pump it up, Odyssey, Mad Jacks Ice Cream Laboratory.
As for a birthday present, maybe spend the day with her and take her to Build A Bear, the zoo or a kids museum. Just a few ideas if you're not wanting to buy more toys.
Good luck on making your little one feel special on her special day!



answers from Eugene on

For the birthday party - you could totally do a pot-luck bbq. Hotdogs for the kiddos and hamburger patties or chicken for the adults. What is your daughter into? Princess, pink, barbie and such.....then you could go to either goodwill, st vinnies or Ross. Garage Sales are awesome too or craigslist for lightly used items...and get a push-along, ride-along toys for your youngest for outside. Sand boxes are good - just make sure that you keep the top on it when not being used otherwise the stupid cats think it's a gigantic litter box just for them. I have no harsh feelings....about that. lol. For a tight budget - I understand. But hey - I wouldn't feel bad if you have to go and get your daughter a used toy for her birthday - if she likes it - that's all that matters. At that age - it doesn't matter to them if it's new or not. Heck - they would just be happy with a fort made of blankets and an empty box to climb in and out of. Good luck - no pressure. I know you want it all to be perfect -but life isn't always perfect. It's how you feel in your heart what matters.



answers from Seattle on

we did a great party for our son when he was 1 - I think (becasue we have moved) that we will repeat it for his third...we based it on the book "If you give a pig a pancake" - I ordered little piggy banks (ceramic) from Oriental Trader, each child painted one. We read the book, sang animal themed songs (I passed around a toy for each song - these were the elements of the goody bag - i.e. rubber ducks for the duck song, farm animal figures for old mcdonald). Then, we made pancakes for lunch and had cake...the end. For the pancakes, I made a "menu"...with pictures. Kids picked a circle, their initial, or micky mouse. then they got to pick chocolate chips, blueberry or plain, and they were able to pick some toppings.

As for a present - we are getting a water table for outside this summer - we also live in a townhouse...I think that it will be great fun.



answers from Seattle on

My daughter turned 2 last year and I made her a felt board-it was fun and easy and she gets a lot of use out of it. I just covered a cheap painting canvas with felt, and had some photos (of friends, sibling, grandparents, animals, etc) laminated and stuck some velcro on the back. As she gets older, I add stuff like letters and numbers (on notecards with velcro). Then when everyone heaped toys and clothes on her, I felt like my gift was different and special. Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

I don't know what your budget is, but have you thought of a zoo membership? Our 2-yo loved the one that a couple of her grandparents gave her. The nice thing is that under 3, they are free so you can get one of the smaller packages (1 adult, 1 adult + child, 2 adults, etc.) and still take her for free. Also, with a paid membership, you can take up to 5 people with you for 1/2 price. So, if you got the 1 adult + 1 child membership, you could take both girls all year long, then if dad joins you on the weekends, he's half off! :-) The nice thing is you get a year of memories and adventures without a huge cost. And, you don't feel guilty for only hitting part of the zoo each visit - it actually adds to the fun because you can pick which animals to see each time.

As for the party, I'm really big into going with what your child is interested in. Our little girl LOVES books so we had a bookworm party for her 2nd. I made a 3D cake and custom invites. Because I didn't buy a pre-made theme (e.g. Backyardigans, Disney stuff, Elmo, etc.), I could pick out whatever decorations, plates, etc. I wanted (and save money). The best part is that most people bought her books (she ended up with 30+ new books) because of the theme. We didn't have a house full of new toys, and it made it easy for everyone who wanted to give her a gift.

Also, to save money, think of having the party at a park, your or a friend's backyard (weather permitting). It's a great way to have a cheap outdoors theme - you don't even need decorations. You could make cute bug (ladybugs, bees, etc.) and/or flower cupcakes, or super-simple "dirt cake".

One last idea is a garden party. Instead of toys, suggest that everyone bring a small plant so you can make an indoor (or patio) garden with her. Things like herbs or annuals would be great. Just some quick ideas. Have fun!!



answers from Anchorage on

You may want to look at PBSkids.org for birthday party ideas. They have invitations you can print off, cake ideas, game ideas, and if your daughter likes any of the pbs characters it could be really fun for her. My friend recently did a Clifford party for her 3 year old and it was a lot of fun. Also, if you have a $1 store you can get colored plates/napkins/cups and just put the character stickers on them to make them special.



answers from Medford on

sidewalk chalk, sprinkler to play in, toddler pool, slip-n-slide. Take her to the store and see what she gravitates to the most often. I was usually wrong about what I thought my son would enjoy. Listen to her, see what sparks her interrest in books. These will give you clues as to what she would enjoy. I hate getting my son gifts that just sit and collect dust because he is not interrested in it.

As far as the party goes, that dress up party idea sounds good. Make sure you have plenty of games to keep them occupied. You can take everyone's picture and glue it to the party hat to make a 'framed photo' remembrance. Bubbles are always a hit at this age, maybe get a bubble machine, or cool bubbles toys. They like ring around the rosey at that age too. Instead of musical chairs, you could do musical dots for them to stand on. YOu don't even have to take any away so nobody loses. They would have fun at this age just to go around with the music and jump on a dot when the music stops. If you want to do prizes, you could put a number on the dots and the one who lands on that dot gets a prize. Everyone would stay in the game for each round.

Well, have fun with that.

Update: Another gift Idea is a container garden. She could grow her own tomato, bell pepper, flowers, etc... They love to watch things grow. She could water her own garden, and everything, with your supervision of course.



answers from Seattle on

I went to a paint-your-own ceramic place for my daughter's 2nd birthday and painted her a piggy bank. SHE LOVED IT, and it will always be special. She likes to have me get it down so we can count all the money, learn the coins, etc. It was one small thing, but really fun.

Jumping off that book themed party someone gave you, my neices have done something similar. However, each child brings one book instead of a gift, and they are set out unwrapped. Kids draw numbers to each choose one, or play games and winners get one, etc., until everyone has one to take home. This eliminates party bags and a lot of new clutter for you. Plus, your child gets one of the books (maybe first pick) and a lesson that birthdays are not all about gifts...

Just an idea! Have fun!

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