Gift for 5 year old, but not toys or clothes?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by perplexed, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

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    My cousin is having a 5th birthday party for his son, and my family is invited. I am probably going to go, but I really don't want to spend too much money. First, I think it was rude for him to say what gifts he wants for his son in the invitation. He said in the Facebook Event that his son already has enough toys and clothes, so he is asking for gift cards so that he and his son can do things together (he's divorced). The examples he included were gift certificates to the zoo, baseball game, money, and some other attractions around here. I understand having too many toys since it's a problem at my house, but I don't like being told what I should buy, unless I personally ask. They are the type of people who have parties for gifts. Second, for our family secret Santa for the last two years, somehow my cousin got my name for two years in a row, and each year he some how "forgot" the present. Even though I gave my gift to someone, I didn't get mine. Well, I did get a gift in June finally, when I made funny comment like a month earlier about it. Then the gift was worth like $8.00 and not the $30 we were supposed to spend....Anyway....I don't want to spend much--like no more than $10. Normally I can hit up the clearance section at Target and find a toy that looks more than it was worth and it looks good to open. Now, I want to give something, but now I can't make it look more than it's worth if I have to give a gift certificate/gift card. Any one have any ideas where I can avoid this gift certificate thing, but still give him a gift where he could do something with his son. I think as he put it in his FB message, that he wanted "gifts of experience". Ideas?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    How about a book that he can read to his son at bedtime? Inexpensive for you, quality time for dad. Win-win.
     
  4. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

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    Oh wait...it said no books too. I did think of that, but then remembered it said no books, toys, clothes.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Then I think you should send a nice card. Gift-buying shouldn't be this complicated.
     
  6. MsG

    MsG Companion

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    I'd say you can give him the experience of you celebrating his birthday with him...

    But really, I'd really just bring whatever you want to bring. You are the gift giver. Give what you want to give!
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I saw Crayola has some cute canvases that had a place you could record a message - basically the kid telling what the picture was of. They were around $20 I think, but you can buy canvasses super cheap at craft stores maybe $5 for 2 8x10) and the paints are around .50-1.00.
     
  8. perplexed

    perplexed Comrade

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    Oh, I like the canvas idea! I may even have some that I haven't used yet! Tasha, you also made me realize I could get something at a craft store...like something they could make together. Maybe they have build your own bird houses. Plus I probably have 40% off at Joanns or Michaels, so I'm set! I think I can do this cheaply, lol....I was thinking a Starfall account would be cool if I wanted to spend $35.00. I don't want to though, but I just thought of that too.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I definitely think you can find a craft kit for cheap.

    P.S. I also don't think there is anything wrong with getting a toy anyway.
     
  10. BettyRubble

    BettyRubble Rookie

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    Wow it is SUPER tacky to dictate gift-giving. Maybe you should purchase the child some etiquette lessons because it doesn't seem he'll learn what's appropriate from his parent?

    I was going to suggest Dr. Seuss' My Book About Me because the child can fill it in with Dad's help but if that goes against the "no books" rule then it won't work.
     
  11. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    I agree some kind of craft kit that they could do together.
     
  12. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Agree with others about the craft idea! Sounds super cute and thoughtful!

    Also agree about the tackiness of demanding a type of gift!
     
  13. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    a flashlight
     
  14. RainStorm

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    I'd be so offended by the "demands" that I would give the child a box of crayons and a coloring book. They could color together.

    Good thing it isn't me.
     
  15. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Like the craft...they have little cement stepping stone kits you can get at Hobby Lobby... It could be a milestone gift.

    I can understand about the Hey no more toys or toys, but to have different restrictions... Maybe they should've asked for donation gifts to donate to a children's hospital....
     
  16. janney

    janney Cohort

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    Too many books?! :eek: I would get a new release book (one he probably won't already have) and write a nice inscription, "Dear Nephew, I hope you enjoy reading this book. Remember, you can never have too many great books! Love Aunt." That way it can't be returned. :whistle: Or even a gift card to the book store.

    I can understand not asking for toys but no books or clothes? That's just seems greedy to me.
     
  17. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    My kids got some savings bonds when they were little. It is nice to use them as a math lesson, and a money lesson. Not sure they were nuts for them, but I thought they were nice. $20 savings bond costs $10. Beware you'll need your nephew's SSN to assign it to him.
     
  18. bison

    bison Habitué

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    It sounds like you're pretty unhappy about the whole party and your cousin. Why not skip it and take the kid out for a fun activity with you on another day? "So sorry I can't attend, but I'd love to make it up to Little Bobby by taking him to ____..."
     
  19. Jayneorama

    Jayneorama Rookie

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    I would find some type of science kit or treat-mking set (think iced machine, cotton candy machine, etc.). I would make sure it was very, very messy and complicated, so that the experience they have together, as they use it, would be memorable. But maybe that's just me...
     
  20. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Or something really noisy. :haha: I have been invited to weddings where they listed on the invitation that they wanted only cash or gift cards. That's when I bring a blender. And no gift receipt. :lol:

    I like the craft tote idea.
     
  21. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    This. My extended family only ever gave savings bonds. I didn't "get" it when I was a kid, but oh, did they come in handy for college!

    I can see saying, "Please, no toys," but dictating what to get is flat-out rude.
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    For a 3 year old's birthday I once got an inviation that included a gift registry. Needless to say I didn't get anything on the registry. Geesh!
     
  23. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    How about getting one of those coin banks that adds up the amount for you. You can include a few rolls of coins to get him started. I have seen them for various prices but I got one for my hubby for less than 10 bucks one Christmas. This would teach him to save money! I'm sure his parents would like that :lol:

    Does he like movies? How about movie passes?
     
  24. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I would also agree that this dad is dictating the presents in an overbearing way. I would also be annoyed!
    However, looking at it objectively, it is possible that the dad is rallying against the mom's family (or his own) and spoiling. It also seems like he wants to spend his limited time with his child making special memories and has found out how expensive it is to make some of those memories. I'm guessing money is a problem if he isn't participating in the family gift exchanges. It seems like there may have been a more genuine way to make that kind of request though.
     
  25. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Your cousin is really something alright! I think telling people to TRY not to get toys or clothes is as far as he should have gone, but come on now. The kid's only 5! What's your cousin going to do when he's 16, ask everyone to chip in for a car! A kid can never have too many books.

    Since he seems to get what he wants to get for you during other gift-giving occasions, which is mostly forget, you should repay the favor, without actually "forgetting" since a kid's involved here, although I have a feeling that he's the type of person who'll try to return anything he doesn't want his kid to have to try to get the money or at least store credit out of it.

    The only actual outing that I can think of that's cheap is the movies (& even that not so much anymore). You can get 2 tickets to the movies for about $15 if you belong to Costco.
     
  26. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    As I read through this I thought to myself "Why get tickets for the two of them? It is only the child's birthday.". So, if you want to abide by the rules and get the child something get just the child a ticket to the movie or theme park or musuem or whatever. Wouldn't that be funny if everyone did that? Wonder if it would teach the Dad a lesson?

    Seriously, though I hate on any occasion (birthday, wedding, baby shower) when I am told what to buy (through an invitation or a registry). Gift giving in my book means giving something from the heart what you feel the recipient could use and would want. For me, any gift I get means something to me, because I know a.) I didn't ask for it and b.) the person thought of me when they bought it.
     
  27. Superteacher81

    Superteacher81 Comrade

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    I think it's incredibly rude to mention gifts at all on the invitation! Makes everyone feel obligated to buy one and no one should feel that way. They should be grateful for ANY gift the child receives. I would buy the child whatever I thought he would like, nevermind the dad.
     
  28. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I'm wondering are games or puzzles considered toys!!! That could be a gift a couple of puzzles or a card game like Uno or something...
     
  29. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I think the dictating of the gifts is tacky, but the idea of gifts for spending time together is a nice idea here.

    Could you put together some kind of basket with something to do in it? What about a movie night basket? There are lots of good DVDs in the $5 section at target. Try to find a good father/son movie. Put in some popcorn, a couple sodas or juices, one of those boxes of candy.
     
  30. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    My mom still finds them for me every once in awhile. I probably thought it was lame then but I sure appreciate it now!
     
  31. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oh I was definitely thinking that when I posted what I said above...even though I didn't say it at the time. That would definitely serve him right! He probably wouldn't even go to the place at all if there was just one ticket, knowing he'd have to pay for the other person. You should do that with thee kind of attitude he has!
     
  32. TeacherShelly

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    I know, I would have been nonplussed as a kid to get this "money" that I couldn't spend for 10 years. Now as a teacher, I especially appreciate it when my kids get these. They can go to this site: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/BC/SBCPrice and build your portfolio so you can watch your money grow.
     
  33. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Am I the only one that thinks a child's birthday is not the time to be taking revenge? It seems really petty and inappropriate. I still vote just to skip the party and take the child out somewhere for a fun activity yourself another day. Maybe a small local zoo or museum or something?
     
  34. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Toys R Us sells a great line of toys produced under the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation television show label. There are quite a few options for all age levels. I'd get one of those and write a note about how fun it will be for his dad to help him "investigate" around the house. :D
     
  35. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    My sons are into Shrinky Dinks right now. We get them at Michael's for $6. They also like the new backpack bags.

    UNO
    Sequence with dice
    flashlight
    alarm clock
    stop watch
     

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