Author Topic: low-waste/affordable gifts for kid's classmates  (Read 778 times)

marie.brandt.colorado

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low-waste/affordable gifts for kid's classmates
« on: October 08, 2018, 03:20:09 PM »
Hi! I'm new to posting here (though read vociferously!) but was pulled out of my lurking today to share my hack for kid's birthday parties. We have a 2 year old and 5 year old, and the birthday parties (classmates! neighbors! friends! it never ends!) are pretty numerous. Buying gifts for them is the bane of my existence and always ends up being a last minute dash where I spend way too much. More than that, the waste generated from birthday party presents not only in the gift wrap itself, but also all of the packaging is pretty astounding.

Anyhow, today I decided to pre-buy buy gifts for the year so we just have something ready for each party without having to think about it. We're putting together craft kits involving a wooden birdhouse, a set of paints, paintbrushes, and an apron. I ordered one dozen of everything from Oriental Trading Post (usually I'd avoid that place like the plague, but desperate times) and the total cost per present came out to $5.91. Plus, the gifts are low(ish) on plastic  and I'm going to try and wrap them in the apron or if that doesn't work in a reusable drawstring produce bag to cut down on wasteful wrapping.

Had to share my small victory here--hope it helps!

MDfive21

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Re: low-waste/affordable gifts for kid's classmates
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 11:38:40 AM »
i feel your pain!  my dd is now 9 and about 3 years ago i stopped buying presents and started giving a set amount of money ($20 in my case, could be less or more) that i would have spent on a gift.  my dd writes a hand written note, and the giftee gets the note with $20 in it.  waaay easier on us, plus the kid gets cash to put toward whatever they or their parents want.

this comes after having parties for my own kid where she got 30 shitty last minute toy/doll/paint/etc that get opened, used for 1 day MAX and then relegated to under the bed or clutter piles.  i'm setting the precedent by doing this and i honestly don't care if anyone thinks i'm 'unthoughtful' for giving cash vs a gift.  those toys-r-us gifts are about as thoughtless as i can imagine imo.

the exception to this rule is when we actually know what the giftee wants, then we go out and get something thoughtful.

Aelias

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Re: low-waste/affordable gifts for kid's classmates
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 12:15:54 PM »
I've noticed a welcome shift in my cohort of "no gifts, please" kids' parties.  Sometimes kids bring handmade cards to those, which I think is sweet.  I also had someone bring some fun socks for each of my kids.  Not technically in keeping with the "no gifts" policy, but dammit we always seem to need more socks! So I was glad to get them.

Maybe you could adapt the "coupon" gift idea?  Like, a card with "One movie night at my house, you pick the movie!"  "Good for one sleepover or play date"?  The getting kid gets a fun activity to look forward to. The giving kid gets the valuable experience of planning something fun for someone else.  You have control over the cost and waste.


Frankies Girl

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Re: low-waste/affordable gifts for kid's classmates
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 12:56:12 PM »
Hi! I'm new to posting here (though read vociferously!) but was pulled out of my lurking today to share my hack for kid's birthday parties. We have a 2 year old and 5 year old, and the birthday parties (classmates! neighbors! friends! it never ends!) are pretty numerous. Buying gifts for them is the bane of my existence and always ends up being a last minute dash where I spend way too much. More than that, the waste generated from birthday party presents not only in the gift wrap itself, but also all of the packaging is pretty astounding.

Anyhow, today I decided to pre-buy buy gifts for the year so we just have something ready for each party without having to think about it. We're putting together craft kits involving a wooden birdhouse, a set of paints, paintbrushes, and an apron. I ordered one dozen of everything from Oriental Trading Post (usually I'd avoid that place like the plague, but desperate times) and the total cost per present came out to $5.91. Plus, the gifts are low(ish) on plastic  and I'm going to try and wrap them in the apron or if that doesn't work in a reusable drawstring produce bag to cut down on wasteful wrapping.

Had to share my small victory here--hope it helps!

Just an FYI about Oriental Trading...

It's a Berkshire Hathaway company. ;)

So no reason to avoid it; you're just making sure all the index fund investors are keeping profitable!

Hula Hoop

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Re: low-waste/affordable gifts for kid's classmates
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 01:10:23 PM »
In our circles, parents usually band together to buy gifts.  Usually one parent asks the parents of the birthday kid what he or she is into or needs (lego, crafts, roller skates, clothes, books etc.) then 5 or so kids put in 5-7 euros each and the one parent goes and buys a big lego set, an item of clothing, roller skates or whatever else the parents said that the kid would be into.


marie.brandt.colorado

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Re: low-waste/affordable gifts for kid's classmates
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2018, 01:05:50 PM »
Thanks for all of the replies. Some great ideas here! I agree that "no gifts please!" would be so nice for all kid's birthday parties. Alas it doesn't seem to be catching on as much as I would hope, and it feels terrible to show up without something when all of the other kids have gift in hand.

bogart

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Re: low-waste/affordable gifts for kid's classmates
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2018, 09:13:26 PM »
This is a really great idea!

We've also at times gone with dominoes and have a couple of times been on the receiving end of a beach ball that's a globe, which for us has gotten a lot of play and interest, though made of plastic itself (or vinyl, or something similar) involves minimal packaging and takes little space (deflated).