Sarah and Abraham: Anything from this cute site fits the bill. We have given the place mats, plates and gift labels with lots of positive feedback. Be sure to join the email list for discounts and free shipping alerts.
Sweet Birdie's Nest: Everyone knows that I am a HUGE Sweet Birdie's fan! I love supporting other Mama's and there is no one sweeter than Heidi and Beverly. This duo designed the most adorable note cards for three of Evie's friends with upcoming birthdays. The cards are too cute for words! One recipient has already received his cards and his Mama was delighted with the quality and kid appeal of the note cards.
Mementos: It's always special to receive a memento of an important occasion. Photographs, silhouettes, ornaments etc. I mentioned these ornaments several weeks ago in my post on my favorite gifts. These ornaments can be made out of birth announcements too and make a wonderful gift for a first birthday. Let me know if you'd like information on ordering one - there is not a link because you have to send the card or announcement by mail for the ornament. My email address is JenniferNiemeyer@comcast.net - I will be happy to send you the order form.
Games: Evie received a few games for her birthday and they have been a hit! I love playing games with her. It's an easy way to sneak in some learning too along with problem solving skills, taking turns and working those little fingers in preparation for learning to write letters and numbers. Outdoor games are excellent choices too even with a winter birthday.
Books: New books are always appreciated at our house even though we have enough books to open a small library. There's nothing better than a new book especially when the giver inscribes a message inside. Evie always has me read the notes from her friends inside the book. That's her favorite part and it always makes her giggle.
Snack Traps, Bibs and Cups: These are every day essentials for young children and we lose these items weekly. It's especially fun to receive a cool cup or a different snack trap that the gift giver has found to be useful. These items can be expensive to replace and the parents will thank you for this practical gift. Carl's parents bought Henry a sippy cup and bib for Christmas and it was one of my very favorite gifts that he received for Christmas.
Clothes: Monogramming and appliques are super popular choices. Evie thinks it is so clever when her clothes have her name or initial on them. Everything looks cuter with a big pink monogram or an applique. Evie received a bag with princess appliques from my parents and that princess bag goes everywhere with her!
Experiences: Think about giving a gift card to an ice-cream shop, a play place or even cash towards ballet lessons or gymnastics classes. Parents always appreciate this and it's never too early for our kids to learn that memories with people are more important than accumulating stuff. Evie received her first gift card this year and she is thrilled to have her own money to spend on our upcoming Disney World trip. Mama and Daddy are even more thrilled!
So there you go, just a few tips from this Mama! Of course, toys have their place and grandparents especially love to buy toys but these are the gifts that keep on giving. I have learned that the gift that seems so exciting while being opened quickly loses some luster with time. While, the kid might not be super excited about a new cup or stationery while opening the item will still be using that item several months later. Useful gifts with a little pizazz are always my favorite choices for giving and receiving. Happy Shopping!