As I’ve admitted before, I tend to be an “overgifter,” meaning I often give too many, and spend too much on, gifts.
But when it comes to first birthday party gifts, I’m trying to take a more frugal approach. The guest of honor isn’t going to remember what he or she received, and I’m learning firsthand how fast kids grow out of their toys.
In fact, etiquette experts say it’s totally acceptable to spend $10 on a gift to mark the 12-month milestone. As Lizzie Post of The Emily Post Institute told LearnVest, “spend what is in your budget. If that’s $10 per gift per child, work with that,” and just make it a thoughtful gift.
And here’s even more good news: It turns out that there’s no shortage of great first birthday gifts that barely break the $10 mark. Today’s hint is my list of seven such gifts.
1. A Melissa and Doug chunky puzzle. Melissa and Doug’s line of chunky wooden puzzles (here’s an example of one) are perfect for tiny toddler fingers, and at about $10, they’re ideal for guests’ wallets too. In fact, I’m not the only fan of them. Lauren Jimeson, who blogs at A Mommy in the City, includes them in her Babble.com post on 15 great gifts for baby’s first birthday.
2. A Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper. This $10 classic push toy is truly an oldie but goodie.
3. A cute rubber ball. One word in most toddlers’ limited vocabulary: “ball,” and little ones like nothing better than playing catch or roly poly. This is why a cute, inexpensive ball makes a great gift. Some balls to check out include Melissa & Doug’s $9 to $10 balls with starfish and fish designs.
4. Board books. For around $10, you can buy a few board books to give. Roger Priddy’s colorful books, like his “First 100 Words” for instance, run about $3 each on Amazon.com. Similarly, you can buy a set of Dr. Seuss board books for close to $10 too, a great gift Rachel Pitzel included in her very helpful ModernMom post on 25 gift ideas for a first birthday party.
What are your go-to first birthday party gifts and why?