The Gift Drawer: 20 Birthday Party Gift Ideas for Under $10


Your child comes bursting out of the school doors and runs to you. In her hand is a bright purple envelope and as she climbs into the car, all out of breath, she excitedly tells you that one of her classmates invited her to a birthday party!

It’s the 3rd one this month.

I know some parents’ mojo is to ignore the invitation altogether. Grace and peace to you.

But us? If we can get our kid there and they want to go, we try to make it happen.

Because, well, you know this already- I love birthdays. I love celebrating others. So the idea of a kid throwing a birthday party, only to find a bunch of his friends aren’t going to be there? Soul crushing. And while I can’t help what other families do, our kids will be there, rain or shine. For better or for worse. It’s what friends do.

Which leads me to the topic at hand- presents.

How do you buy a gift that is affordable to the budget (especially if you have 4 kids who each have lots of classmates who have birthdays), but also something that’s fun and thoughtful?

I’ve done some research, both on the internet and real life, and here are some of my favorite gift ideas that won’t cost an arm and leg:

1. A book your child loves. Nothing says personal and sweet like a book recommendation.

2. A fun journal and pens.

3. Sticker sets.

4. Doodle books.

5. Helium balloon attached to a pouch of nail polish and lip gloss.

6. Craft Sets with a little feminine twist.

7. Craft Sets with a bit more gender neutrality (to buy this $10 or less, grab a 50% off coupon from Joanns Fabrics and buy it there!)

8. Nail Art

9. Sushi Go! or Zeus on the Loose

10. A kid-sized apron with a favorite recipe and mini spatula tucked inside

11. a homemade science kit (make several of these at a time!)

12. a fun t-shirt

13. Silly socks and fun hair items

14. Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Spinner Gift Set 

15. Scratch Pad

16. Smelly markers and a pad of paper

17. Bath and Body works lotion + fuzzy socks

18. Small LEGO sets

19. Qixels

20. Goldibox Machines

21. Pokemon Cards

I also like to pick up these and other fun items when they’re on sale, and I stick them all into a birthday drawer in my closet. So when the kids come home with that purple invitation, they ask to take a peek into the drawer to find the perfect gift for their friend.

What do you like to give as gifts?


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