The Ultimate Birthday Gift Guide for Kids

I have always loved birthday parties: planning them, executing them, even cleaning up after them. None of it phases me. What shakes me when my children are invited to others’ birthday parties is the gift-buying. In my ideal world, my kids create handwritten notes with their homemade, sustainable gifts. However, in reality they hastily add a note on colored construction paper to a store-bought gift, and call it done. 

That being said, I love to shop for birthday presents. It is my excuse to take the kids to a toy store and dream about everything they could have, but don’t really need. On my many trips to said toy store, I have managed a running list of what would make an awesome birthday gift to other children. In an attempt to make the busy mom’s life easier, I share below what I think are most suitable gifts for children, ages 5-9. This list is not by any means comprehensive, and all the gifts listed are under $40, with most in the $20-25 range,  and most of these gifts can be found at specialty toy stores, major retail stores, or online.


Age 5

Age 6

  • Walkie-talkies  
  • Binoculars 
  • Beginners science kit 
  • Gardening tools
  • Snap Circuits

Age 7

  • Personalized anything: stationery, pencil cases, t-shirts, towels, etc.
  • Beach accessories
  • Stuffed animals
  • Chess board
  • Board games (some of our favorites are Monopoly, Stone Soup, and Sorry)

Age 8

  • Journals, especially the ones with a lock and a key
  • Scented or race car pens
  • Plus Plus building construction toy
  • Chapter books (some of our favorites are Magic Treehouse, Nancy Drew, Cupcake Diaries, and Henry and Ribsy)

Age 9

  • Legos
  • Gift cards (some of our favorites are to Powells, Barnes and Noble, and Target)
  • Slappie watch
  • Doodle your own: backpack, pillow case, place mat, etc.
  • More chapter books!

What are your favorite birthday gift ideas for kids? Please leave them in the comments.

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