It’s birthday party season for Lady Elle at the E&G household and I’m spending entirely too much of my time wandering the aisles of Target two hours before a birthday party searching for the gift. While I’m not a procrastinator on many levels, purchasing birthday gifts for Lady Elle’s friends is an area where I need improvement.
Let’s be honest, their parents or grandparents are getting them the perfect gift which probably involves some type of princess or warrior so does it really matter what I, I mean, Lady Elle gets them? To the people-pleaser part of me it does matter—even if it’s just a four-year old I’m trying to please.
As you’ll soon realize I’m not good with pop-culture —sorry I’m not into Minions and I couldn’t tell you what Shopkins are—so I went on a quest to find memorable and fun gender-neutral gifts that are fun, educational and cool.
Here are a few that are as fun for adults as they are for Lady Elle’s friends.
1. Books. Choose an annual book to give.
A friend of mine does this and I think it’s brilliant. She orders in bulk (thank you Amazon!) at the beginning of each year and when it’s party time she grabs from her stash, wraps and goes. So easy! A few favorites for the pre-kindergarten set are Whose butt is it? (Since Lady Elle cannot yet read, I switch it to Whose bottom is it?). Where the wild things are.
2. Art supplies.
Create a budding Picasso. These spark creativity and also present an opportunity for kids to learn to write their letters, numbers and more. A few of Lady Elle’s favorites are Rose Arts glitter markers, washable markers and color-on bags.
3. Games & Puzzles.
Lady Elle has loved jigsaw puzzles since the age of two and has recently shifted to memory games. These are great for building spatial reasoning skills and memory muscles and they are fun for Mr. E&G and I to play as well. Triple win! Memory games come in all types and themes and I’ve been able to find them in most major stores and or via a quick online search.
4. Boogie Board.
The first time my daughter talked about wanting a boogie board, I pointed out we already had one for the beach. Remember when I said I wasn’t up with the trends…well, this is a write and erase board with a “magic” button that erases everything when it’s time to start over. These are great for car rides, restaurants and anything that requires waiting in a long line. Tip: tie a piece of string between the stylus and board so they don’t separate from one another.
5. Science-based toys.
Remember the homemade exploding volcano? Now there is no excuse to do these even if you are not crafty like Mr. E&G and I. There are lots of science-based toys available where the behind-the-scenes work is done. A great resource is Geekwraped.com