You hit a certain age when every other month seems to bring a new wedding invitation. And then come the baby announcements. If you’re child free and intent on staying that way, these can come as a disappointment or a welcome notice that you’re going to be someone’s favourite auntie or uncle. But just because you don’t want your own kids doesn’t mean you have to remain clueless about gifts. Here is some advice on gift giving that will make you the awesome child-free friend.
For Children Ages 4 to 7 Find out from the parents what their child needs as well as what they (and the parents) don’t want or like. Sure, bottles of glitter glue might make you seem awesome to the kid, but less so to their parents.
A personalised gift, whether a journal, an activity book, or a set of name labels for their school things, lets them know that you are not just an adult who drinks beer with their parents. Children love that kind of recognition, not just the gift but that you know who they are and what they’re interested in. Did you know that you can buy personalised story books that star the your friends’ kid?
The clutter and – let’s be honest – junk that accumulate with kids is the bane of many parents’ existence. You could be a real hero by not contributing to it: Find out whether you could offer something else, like a trip to see a movie or other experience (if everyone is comfortable with you being with the kid on your own).
Gifts for Toddlers to Age 4
A special or especially useful item of clothing is always appreciated. If the child is in nursery school, a set of charming personalised name labels for clothing and belongings will definitely impress the parents. At these ages, everything is “Mine” until proven otherwise, but these little ones are also likely to walk away from a pile of presents and forget all about them. In fact, the trend is now “no gifts, please”. If gifts are welcome, however, make yours something the parents will be to sure to keep track of.
If that raincoat is too steep in price, keep the gift simple but useful, such as a book that parents will enjoy reading but that the child will want to eventually read on his or her own. Goodreads provides great book recommendations for different ages. Some titles you might remember from your own childhood, such as Where the Wild Things Are or The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but a more spirited child might appreciate a book like David Shannon’s No, David, which were the words the author heard most often as child.