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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you ladies do when you're constantly invited to b'day parties for family, friends & little ones and you can't afford all of those gifts? Dh has a decent size family & everyone is expected to get together for EVERY event and buy a gift. Now that we a ds- he gets invited to b'day parties for little ones. I'm having a hard time buying gifts but feel bad for not going because of that. Any ideas?
 

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Can you make presents instead of buying them? If you get your DS involved in the making process, it makes the gifts that much more special.

Sorry I don't have specific suggestions - the couple of parties that we've been to, I've just taken a picture my DS has made (works the best for grandparents, but little kids don't seem to care too much about presents)
 

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I second making stuff. A t-shirt and fabric markers and voila! a present. Or if you sew there's tons of stuff to make with what you might have around the house anyway. TJMaxx and Marshall's also often have some good toys for less than the stores charge. Don't not go because you can't buy a present, though.
 

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dd has a very small social circle and I try to buy gifts under $5. puzzles, craft stuff (clay, paint sets, etc) A good friend has a huge social circle and 3 kids. She usually has atleast 1 party a week. She buys gifts when she sees them on sale and just keeps a bin full of gifts and that her dc pick from.
 

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You could print off coloring pages off the computer. Punch holes and tie with pretty ribbion. Make a cover with child's name. Add some crayons or cheap markers and there is a present they will absolutely love...

Make homemade playdough and give away with a cute cookie cutter...

Make some cookies and wrap up!! Any kid would love that!!!
 

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I was invited to a double b-day party so I needed to come up with two gifts and money was tight (ugh). I made homemade playdough and fingerpaints and included a box of freezer paper (great for fingerpaints) and wrapped everything in paper my dd1 had drawn on from her easel and had her decorate a plain brown paper bag. It was a big hit!

I made three kinds of playdough but this was my favorite. The fingerpaint recipe was just cornstarch, water, food coloring, and a couple drops of dish soap. I got that from the Super Baby Food book.

We've also found some great inexpensive gifts for parties at Five Below.

HTH!
 

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I stock up on cheap toys/arts and crafts kits after Christmas when they're marked down. Everything is gender neutral and then the kids can just pick and choose from a grab bag of stuff if they're invited to a party.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all of the ideas! I have a party this Saturday. I'll try and see if I can make some playdough and play around with it before then. What do you use for containers?

Also- what is cream of tartar (playdough recipe) and where do I find it? Is it in a spice aisle or something at the grocery store? Ds gets antsy- I may not have a lot of time to look. :LOL
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Isis
What do you use for containers?
I used gladware type containers since they stack nicely. They were probably the most expensive part of the gift
 

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Also, one of my daughter's favorite gifts ever was a basket of beautiful shells. The mother also made her a little tied-yarn dolly with a scrap of African-print fabric for a dress. That was for her 6th birthday and they are still treasured on her shelf, six years later, when the other gifts, whatever they were, toys, kits, books, are long forgotten.
 

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Cream of Tartar- In the spice isle. It's a white powder.

My friends daughter got a cool gift not unlike the shells. A woman went along a local lakeshore and collected a small box full of special rocks just for the child. Years later the child still plays with those rocks and loves them.
 

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We make all sorts of things for kids:

beanbags of different colors and a tic tac toe board
cheap Keds decorated with sequins, paint, glitter, embroidery, beads, etc. (or a kit to do their own)
a mix CD of their very own
a book on tape
see-um tubes (little fabric tubes filled with rice and a clear plastic window, and you find trinkets hidden inside)
cheap wooden boxes from Michael's decoupaged, painted, etc. (once, I printed off black and white pictures of Little Red Riding Hood, colored them, decoupaged them on the box, and filled with plastic beads for a 3 year old; she adored it!)
personalized aprons
pillowcases from cute fabric
fleece blankets
a small tin of cookies or brownies (kids love sugar)
 

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I second the seashell idea! Some of my boys favorite toys are simple things like a basket of seashells, a basket of wood pieces that they can(supervised)hammer nails into, pebbles, stones, sea glass, etc...
Put in a nice container or basket, tie with some ribbon or fabric and you've got a really neat gift!
One of my fave gifts that we give to my sons friends is a plain wooden treasure box(you can get these cheap at the craft store), either paint it or leave it. Then fill it with a "treasure map"(print one out from online or make one of your own)tie with a ribbon. Fill the box with little goodies, stones, gems, seashells, gold coins, etc...You can do this really cheap and kids LOVE it!
You can also do little spy kits, art bags, fairy bags, etc...similarly.
 

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Cream of Tartar os usually rather expesive at the grocery. I always buy it from the hfs in bulk.
 

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I always though of but never did....think of packaging the ingredients for thehomemade playdoh and wrappin git in a cute package and giving for a gift along with the directions. Do you guys think that would work? Also I think books are a good gift that dont cost too much.
 

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When we get invited to bday parties I set a limit of $10 for the gift unless it's someone we are very close to. So what? I bring the cheapest gift. It's a gift that's well thought out and I know the child will enjoy. I have even bought $5 gifts: two of those small paperback easy reading books you see at the bookstore, or a set of cardboard puzzles, or a big box of crayons and a coloring or sticker book.
 

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Wow I should show this thread to DH. DS just went to a little girl's party last week and I made a necklace for her with real pearls and sterling silver clasp. To be honest it's stunning, unlike the cheesey little girl jewelry you see in stores. DH looked at it and said "That's all?" and wondered if we should buy something else.
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by hopeland
I always though of but never did....think of packaging the ingredients for thehomemade playdoh and wrappin git in a cute package and giving for a gift along with the directions. Do you guys think that would work? Also I think books are a good gift that dont cost too much.
Great idea! Kids would have so much more fun making it before they used it! GREAT IDEA!


My current b'day party is for a 1 year old so I got some outdoor chalk and a shape sorter pull toy thing. I ended up only having to spend 8 dollars (including wrapping). So... we're going to the party and we'll be able to go to some other ones thanks to all your wonderful, thoughtful ideas!
Thanks!
 
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