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Managing the influx of toys at children’s birthday parties

by respaced on April 30, 2010

At a recent presentation I gave, a mom told me her brilliant idea for keeping the influx of toys to a minimum at her son’s birthday party. She said she organized a book swap, instructing the invitees to wrap up one of their favorite story books in lieu of bringing a store-bought gift. Her son was delighted to receive 10 new-to-him books from his friends and did not seem to miss the usual cheap-toy-from-Target gift.

At the end of the party, this mother handed out goodie bags containing books that the boy had selected from his own little library to give to his friends. The friends were equally delighted to receive new-to-them, full-size story books for party favors. Neither the boy nor his friends had to spend a dime on gifts or party favors.

Using this ingenious method, the mother was able to keep the number of books in his collection the same while simultaneously introducing several new books to keep the collection fresh. Give this woman a medal!

Image of what appears to be Aryan quadruplets at a party courtesy of Top Dog Limo Bus.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 30, 2010 at 9:18 pm

A great idea!!

My husband and I struggle not only with the thought of more stuff, but with how much the gift giving can "take over" a birthday party. We've been to parties where opening gifts last >1.5 hours, arg.

For our daughter's 1st and 2nd b-days we've asked people not to bring gifts or to donate in her name. We save the cards that explain the donations and we have no present-opening portion of the party. She is missing nothing, albeit she doesn't have much to compare to, but she blissfully enjoys her time playing with family and friends. That's what its all about.

As she becomes more aware of gift-giving, this tip will absolutely be employed.

Thanks for posting.


MaryJo May 3, 2010 at 2:09 am

One and half hours of gift-opening? Ugh! I think it's great that you're taking control of the situation now while your daughter is still young. How much harder it is to rein in the excess when the child is 9 or 10 and knows nothing but excess! Bravo to you.


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