04 March 2019

In between burpees and bicep curls at the gym the other day I learnt something knew about birthday present buying… or not buying, as the case was.

Kids at a birthday party

One of my boxing gym buddies was telling me how, instead of buying a birthday present for a mate, her young son was encouraged to simply bring a $5 or $10 (perhaps even a $20) note to the birthday party. The birthday boy/girl then gets to spend the combined money on something he or she has been pining for. Perhaps it’s a junior version – in some ways – of brides and grooms requesting a contribution to their honeymoon fund. I have no problem with the later, partly because it’s their big day and their desires should be paramount, and because I adore the idea of blob out overseas holidays – perfect for honeymooners busy adoring each other. The money instead of a gift for young ones of primary school age, for example, doesn’t grab me in quite the same way. Where’s the fun and suspense of unwrapping the unknown?

I think there’s plenty of fun to be had in buying gifts for children and encourage parents to put some time and effort into buying suitable gifts. There’s a plethora of ideas out there – We’re spoilt for choice with cool things that encourage creativity, outdoor play and even quiet time. A how-to-make slime book, a dinosaur sticker book, a pretty box in which to store treasures, a quirky monkey headpiece with headlight (there are other creatures too), lamps and cushions for the bedroom … these are but some examples. A photo frame with a picture capturing friends having fun can also be a nice idea and momento.

I have always had a gift drawer where I stash things – as I find them – which I know will be well received. It’s a good idea for the time poor too, as there’s less chance of a rushed purchase that may not quite hit the mark. Besides all that, buying in preparation enables you to make the most of the sales …cases in point are the karaoke microphone and the lightning bolt light, both of which are now one-third their original price. If, however, cash is requested and I feel the need to go with the flow, I’d perhaps put the money inside something like the ice-cream Sunday cup ($1.47) I found at Freedom. There’s still the opportunity to present a gift to unwrap then. For me, that makes the cash giving idea more palatable.


Cool birthday gifts for kids


1. Niko and co, Dino lightning bolt LED light, $18, from Bed Bath & Beyond | 2. Juremiah Gift box, small, $17.50, from The Importer | 3. Puri photo frame, $22.50, from The Importer | 4. Samara flower cut-out lamp, $34.90, from Bed Bath & Beyond | 5. Wahu mini beach footy ball, $19.99, from Rebel Sport | 6. Companion kids’ headlamp, $14.99, from Rebel Sport | 7. Rubiks cube puzzle, $19, from Warehouse Stationery | 8. Elmers everyday slime starter kit, $24.99, from Warehouse Stationery | 9. Usborne build your own dinosaurs sticker book, $14.99, from Briscoes | 10. Poppiseed sleepy cat cushion, $29.99, from Briscoes | 11. Sundae cup, $1.47, from Freedom | 12. Magic Karaoke, $29.99, from NOOD.

Note: Prices mentioned, and availability of products featured are subject to change. If you love the look, we recommend you head in store to find out more.