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Not Your Average Birthday Present…

February 2, 2012

I’ve been having a run of good luck with my homemade Fun Box.

I start with a Sterilite Snap Box (found at Target) and do the lettering with the help of some painter’s tape to keep me straight.  Then I head to my local Craft store (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc) for the innards.  The key is to buy in bulk and get into my Costco-size Ziploc bags to do the dividing.


So here are the goodies:


1)  Velvet coloring activity I found in the $1 bin;  2) safety scissors; 3) glue stick (you might want to warn the parents about this one); 4) crayons – I like these new Crayola twistables; 5) a bunch of stickers; 6) foam stickers (animals, stars and bells, letters and numbers); 7) colored craft sticks; 8.  regular craft sticks; 9) bells; 10) pompoms; 11) googly eyes; 12) pipe cleaners; 13) activity books: dot-to-dot, mazes, etc. (School Zone Publishing has great ones for about $1.40 each and available here:

Mazes Animals Activity Zone

My dear friend Erika – a teacher – uses books, cute lettering and stickers:

How cute is that??

She also uses these adorable reusable shopping bags for boys:

I also heard an idea a while back about a special playdate (bowling, horseback riding, a trip to the bounce house place, etc) in lieu of a present.  I’ve been trying this with mixed results.

Yes, and sometimes, I just grab the LEGO set and go with it!

What are your ideas for birthdays?

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  1. Cathy

      on February 2, 2012 5:10 pm

    Since we get invited to a lot of Girl Parties – I do something similar with several hair accessories – headbands, barrettes, pony tail holders, mirror. I also watch sale racks at Claires and Justice for jewelry, nail polish, lip gloss, etc – and small purses/bags to put the stuff in. With girls, you can never have too much of that stuff! :)


  2. RLR

      on February 4, 2012 7:30 am

    Now that our kids (and therefore their classmates) are reading, I love to give a collection of books (kid classics based on age/gender, if we know the child well) or a gift card to a book store with a bookmark or two. I used to think a gift card was taking the easy way out, and it definitely is a quick and easy choice, but I like the idea of letting kids select a book that’s just right for them – something they are interested in, and at the appropriate level. Also, there are activity books (Klutz, bor example), how-to books, game/puzzle books, and even a toy section with some pretty nice toys (Legos, Story Cubes, Math Dice, etc.) at our chain bookstore.
    My go-to gift seems to change from year-to-year, but I have always loved the idea of giving gifts that aren’t just toys, but require some thought or interaction. We did craft bins for a while – so much fun, and usually a quiet activity. As a rule, I try not to give noisy toys as gifts! Plus, the kids loved helping me shop for these. Now that the kids are in school, I usually shop solo. Spending time in the bookstore is a treat!
    Love Cathy’s idea of of hair accessories, polish, and a small purse. My daughter’s getting to that age, so I guess we’ll be doing those soon enough!


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