Maybe this isn’t the case in your house, but in ours, we seem to have an abundance of kid “stuff.” Toys, dolls, doll houses, games, musical instruments and more. And, truly and honestly, most of them aren’t from us and haven’t been purchased by us!
There is just too much! We’ve cleaned. We’ve decluttered. We’ve donated and it still feels like there is too much.
Part of our solution came to me earlier this year, when we suggested a small donation (like $1-$2) for the Make-A-Wish foundation in lieu of gifts for E’s first birthday. We were hoping that putting it as a suggestion wouldn’t make people feel obligated to bring anything, but if they wanted to bring something, a donation would be a fabulous way to celebrate her birthday and help somebody in need more.
So, this year, when it came to the older two girls’ birthdays, we decided to do the same thing. It seemed to be very well received by people attending the party and many people even said they thought it was a great alterative to the stuff people feel obligated to bring to a kid’s party.
I mentioned that the Make-A-Wish Foundation was our choice, in honor of our guardian angels, but since it was so well praised, I put together a list of some other ideas for alternative gifts for kids parties.
Alternative gift ideas for kid’s parties
- Suggest a donation to a charity for something you or your children support
- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- Ronald McDonald House
- March of Dimes
- Collect canned goods/non-perisabhles for a local food bank.
- Food banks are always in need of food and will gladly take non-perishable items. Canned goods, tuna, peanut butter, rice, beans and more.
- Collect donations for a pet shelter
- Monetary donations
- Pet food
- Donations to the local hospital
- Check with local hospitals or kids hospitals and check to see what they are in need of. It could be something simple like crayons and coloring books, small toys, stuffed animals or something like collecting money for a bigger purchase.
- Donations for Toys for Tots
- Collect toys for toys for Tots, or collect money to purchase toys if it’s not close to a Toys for Tots pick up.
- Collect stuffed animals
- Fire departments, police officers and even social workers often need them on hand to pass out to kids that are scared, alone or have been separated from them families.
We made sure to discuss this with the girls first, too. We also got them gifts from us and family members sent gifts, too. We aren’t saying that they shouldn’t receive anything. Just trying to cut down on the amount of excess received and in our home. We also had a really fun party with a bouncy castle, a pinata, and of course, their friends, which is what they wanted.
We also reminded them of just how blessed we are and how we really don’t need anything else. And, there are so many people that are either in need, or very sick and can use some help with their families. They didn’t even hesitate or get upset at all. They were very happy to be helping somebody in need instead of getting things themselves. They even apologized when one person accidentally forgot and brought them a gift.