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Mar 062014
 March 6, 2014  Posted by  Features, Hot Deals, Kids, Shopping

When you have a kid, the cost of birthday party gifts can quickly add up. There’s no reason, however, that you have to spend a lot of money on birthday presents. Remember that old adage about how “it’s the thought that counts?”

This is especially true for first birthday party presents, as the guest of honor isn’t even going to remember what he or she received. Spending $10 to $15 is totally acceptable. As Lizzie Post of The Emily Post Institute told, “Spend what is in your budget. If that’s $10 per gift per child, work with that,” and just make it a thoughtful gift.

Meanwhile, when you don’t have kids, figuring out what to bring to a first birthday party can be challenging, to say the least. So, to help all partygoers on a budget, here are seven ideas for first birthday party gifts that don’t break the bank.

IMG_34871. Kidoozie Peek N Peep Eggs. At just above $10, these eggs are a bargain. They tend to be a hit with babies, toddlers and preschoolers alike, as there are numerous activities kids can do with them. Little ones can match the faces on the eggs to the faces on the shells, as well as match the shapes on the bottom of the eggs to the shapes in the egg carton. The colorful eggs also provide opportunities for learning about colors, and the carton can even work as play food.

2. 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. And here’s an added bonus: They don’t have to be played with only as puzzles. The pieces can generally serve as stand-alone toys.

3. A Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Corn Popper. This $10 classic push toy is truly an oldie but goodie. As a walking toddler pushes the toy, the colorful balls create a popping sound that resembles popcorn popping.

4. A Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack. Another under $10 classic toy.

5. A cute rubber ball. One word in most toddlers’ limited vocabulary: “ball,” and little ones like nothing better than playing catch or ball rolling. This is why a cute – and cheap – rubber ball makes a great gift. Some balls to check out include Melissa & Doug’s $9 to $10 balls with starfish and fish designs.

6. 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 Similarly, you can buy a set of Dr. Seuss board books for $11. And to make this gift extra thoughtful, buy a few of your child’s favorite board books, and note that they’re household favorites in the card.  

7. Something homemade. Finally, you could consider making something to give. For instance, if you know the guest of honor is into playing pretend, you could easily and cheaply make some play food to bring following this how-to. Or if you’re crafty, the sky’s the limit on what you could make.

To be sure, it’s possible to find other more expensive toys on sale. So, if you have a particular expensive toy in mind that you want to bring as a gift, be sure to search for coupon codes online and for deals in clearance and sale sections. 

You can find more gift and birthday party advice over at Hint Mama, including affordable activity ideas for first birthday partieswhat to bring to no-gift birthday parties, and details on inexpensive toys that may work as gifts.

What’s your first birthday party gift advice? Share it below.

Jennifer Saranow Schultz

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