If you’re a mum who socialises with other mums then you’ve no doubt had to, at some point, buy gifts for their children. I love choosing gifts for my friends kids and for friends of my kids. But when you’re buying multiple gifts a year then the cost can quickly mount up.
So many birthdays to buy for!
My son has just started nursery which has exposed him to a whole new bunch of friends which is great! He’s a very sociable little boy and it wasn’t long before the first birthday party invite arrived.
Even before he started nursery he had a lot of friends. These friends all had birthdays (obviously!) which often involved a party, or at least a gift being given.
Like I said above, buying lots of presents can get expensive. Very expensive. If your child goes to 10 parties in a year and you spend £10 on each of those children, that’s a whopping £100!!!
Budget gifts don’t mean rubbish gifts!
So what do you do to lower those costs? First of all set a budget. I’ve mentioned before about my spending limit for the friends of my kids. My current budget is £5. That may sounds embarrassingly small but trust me, there is SO much you can get for that price. It’s also quite a fun challenge.
So how do you decide on your budget? Think about how many birthdays there will be throughout the year. Now think about how much you would like (or can realistically afford) to spend on gifts for the year. Then divide those numbers and hey presto, there’s your budget. You can always tweak this as you like, spending more on close friends and less on acquaintances.
You could also try setting a spending limit with your friends. If there’s a small group of you who are all likely to be buying gifts for each other, why not have a chat about how much you’d like to be spending. I did this with my antenatal mummy friends for our little ones first birthdays. This is where the original £5 spend came from and it made me realise that £5 was a sensible amount to be spending on a young child.
There are so many great budget options out there, there’s no need to spend a fortune.
You don't have to spend a fortune to get a great gift. Here's my top 6 budget gift ideas.… Click To Tweet
My top picks
Here are some of the gifts I have personally bought for my kids’ friends, or have been given by others. Most of these are around the £5 mark. Some are slightly more but all are great budget options.
This is, of course, not an exhaustive list but a good starting point. My aim for this post is to show you that it is possible to get a great gift for a toddler, on a budget.
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Orchard Toys games/puzzles
If you have kids I’m sure you’ll have heard of Orchard Toys. They make high quality, brightly coloured games and puzzles for various age ranges. There are simple matching games for younger children and more advanced games and puzzles for older children. Each box also lists the developmental areas that game targets such as memory, hand-eye coordination etc which I love.
There are of course cheaper options available when it comes to these kinds of puzzles and games but, in my opinion, they are not as high quality or have such fun designs. These make the perfect gift for any child. I like to keep an eye out for when they are in the sales and bulk buy for all the upcoming birthdays! Keep an eye out in Aldi as they sometimes make an appearance there at around half the RRP!
We own quite a few but my personal favourite is Dinosaur Dominoes, because my son loves dinosaurs so we also learn the names as we play.
Take apart toys
My son got some of these for his third birthday. I had never seen anything like them before and they were a huge hit! They’re basically toys with numerous screws, nuts and bolts that you can dismantle with the spanners and screwdrivers that come with them. I didn’t think I’d be able to introduce him to something like this until he was old enough for mechano but I’m so glad that they do a toddler version like this. There are lots to choose from including dinosaurs, cars and aeroplanes.
They are fantastic for devloping fine motor skills. And they are also great for general imaginative play. What child isn’t going to love completely dismantling their toy, then enjoy the satisfaction of building it again?
A word of warning: Be careful if you have younger children! The nuts, screws and bolts are pretty small and could easily disappear into an inquisitive baby’s mouth!
One of my more recent discoveries was this kids plastic jenga. I’d never seen a non-wooden version of this game and loved that the plastic was light enough not to cause any injuries to toddlers when they knocked it down.
It’s also a really fun design, with the blocks made to look like bugs with eyes on the edges.
Original Jenga is, of course, also a possibility as a gift but it’s more expensive and potentially more painful to play with!
Sticker story books
These are always a big hit with toddlers! And they’re a great mega budget option.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, these are essentially story books where the pictures have missing parts which are filled in by specific stickers for each page. It allows kids to get involved with the story and find the correct stickers to complete the pictures. You can also get some that include puzzles and activities as well as a story which would be perfect for an older child, with the basic sticker story being suitable for younger children.
They’re the perfect activity for long journeys, especially the ones that come with repositionable stickers!
Little Libraries are exactly that – a little library of little books for little people. These are currently my go-to gift for first birthdays. There are numerous choices including Peter Rabbit, The Hungry Caterpillar, Dear Zoo, Peppa Pig and The Gruffalo. Each ‘little library’ comes with 4 books which vary from collection to collection. As an example, the Peter Rabbit collection consists of – colours, shapes, numbers and words. Both my 1 year old and my 3 year old love ours so it’s not just a gift for tiny toddlers, the bigger ones will love them too! They’re the perfect addition to any bookcase.
This is a gift that will always appreciated by parents. The kids might not get as excited about it (although my kids definitely would since they LOVE their pjs!) but I class it up there with vests on the ‘I don’t want to have to spend money on this essential item’ scale. I always put pyjamas on the wish list for my kids each Christmas.
There are so many designs and choice to suit every budget and taste, you really can’t go wrong with a pair of pjs. Whether it’s Frozen, Peppa Pig, Spiderman, Cinderella, Harry Potter or dinosaurs, whatever the kid likes there will be a pair of pjs to suit.
Price £ – £££
6 top budget gift ideas for toddlers. Which one will you choose? #frugalliving Click To Tweet
There are tons of great budget gift ideas for kids! Work out what your budget is then go and find a gift to suit it. Use this list as a starting point for inspiration then go and add to it. I’d love to hear what other budget gift options you have to add to this list.