If there is one thing a kid’s birthday party shouldn’t be, complex. That is especially true when you’re a guest!

All guests really need to do is show up and bring a gift. But with all the cool new trends coming out at all different price points, how do you know your gift will stand out without having your wallet weigh too much less than it did before you started?

We totally get it, and that’s why we’ve created a guide to kids birthday party gift etiquette. Everything you need to know all in one place so you can focus on what really matters.

What Should I Buy For the Birthday Party?

Shopkins, Star Wars, and sports gear. Oh My!

With so many stores and even the online world at our fingertips, gift options are limitless for boys and girls, from babies all the way up to teens, and even beyond! But, with so many stores comes so much confusion. And the biggest problem is every child is as unique as snowflakes so there is no telling what in the world they may like. This especially becomes a problem when your kid is invited to a classmate’s party who you’ve never met.

Well, you’re in luck because we just made gift buying a whole lot easier. For each gender, for each age, and for each generation, it’s clear that preferences won’t be the same. But what you can do to make sure your gift won’t be given the old “heave-ho where’s the gift receipt” total shut down is ask.

Yes, it’s that simple. Ask the child’s parents. It will still be a total surprise to the child, but who better to know what a child will like than that child’s parents?

If there is no time, a fail-safe solution that can save time is always checking out Amazon’s Wishlist Favorites and get the top toys for specific ages. It’s a great resource for the parent on the go that doesn’t have time to keep up on the trends but doesn’t want to give the embarrassing gift.

How Much Should I Spend on a Kids Birthday Gift?

There’s no right or wrong amount to spend on a child’s birthday present. If you are able to spend a lot, that doesn’t mean you have to. And if you can’t afford much at all, there are still great inexpensive options available out there for under $10. It’s about giving something special to a child to acknowledge what the day, and the child, means to you.

But you want to give them something they will like and enjoy. Just remember, less is sometimes better. We’ve all seen the joy a child experiences over an empty box, rather than they toy that was in it. (EDITOR’S NOTE: We don’t recommend giving empty boxes as gifts no matter how entertaining they may seem.)

As a side note, the amount you spend will partially depend on what the child likes. So, again, ask the child’s parents ahead of time to see what may be within your budget.

Do You Still Have to Buy a Gift If You RSVP “Not Attending”?

You are in no way still obligated to purchase a gift for the party if you aren’t planning to attend it. But if you still want to, go right ahead. Depending on how close you are to the birthday boy or girl, you may want to take it a step further. Plan a date to hand deliver the present when you will be able to watch him or her open it. That has more of a personal touch and it will be something the child remembers.

As a side note, if you do RSVP “Not Attending,” don’t be that person that RSVPs the day before. We’ve all had to deal with that person and it’s not enjoyable, so be considerate. RSVP as soon as you know your plans. If plans change or are up in the air, be honest and keep the party hosts updated as much as possible. You’ll be sure to get invited back next time.

Now, if you don’t want to be invited back, you know what to do.

How to Wrap the Birthday Gift

If you want to make opening the gift just as fun as playing with it, get creative with the wrapping process. And don’t forget to take the party favor that was meant for you. Taking a gift is just as important as giving one.

Whatever gift you choose and whatever price point you’re comfortable with, one thing remains the same—gifts should come from the heart. As long as you put some thought and some love into it, you’ll be just fine.

Looking for great gift ideas? Check out our Kids Birthday Party Gift Guides!

"How to Buy the Right Kids Birthday Party Gift" was last updated October 22nd, 2019 by

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