“Alternative” Gift Ideas for Any Occasion

By Mary Kay DeVore April 23, 2015
Your child is having a party but really doesn't need more stuff. Or perhaps your child is invited to a party and you have no idea what to buy (and don't want to break the bank doing so).

We've all been there, so we’ve come up with some solutions - a few “out of the box” party and gift ideas that will surely put a smile on any child's face and keep the unnecessary “stuff” out of the house!

Host a party for charity! Talk with your child before sending out the party invitations about a charity or cause that is special to them. Do they want to help sick kids, animals, homeless people, senior citizens, or the environment? Find the organization's "wish list" and request an item or small monetary donation be brought rather than a traditional birthday present to the honoree. Include that information on your invitation.

Gift an experience! Is there a class, camp or activity that the boy or girl really wants to participate in?  A gift card for this purpose could be the way to go.  An art class with a friend would be lots of fun!

Who wouldn’t want an elephant (or another really cool zoo animal!)? ”Adopt-an-Animal" gives the recipient a sense of pride and responsibility. Check out your local zoo or animal shelter for information on their animal adoption opportunities.

Let’s go to the movies! Give a Red Box or video store gift certificate with some popcorn and treats for family movie night or rainy day fun.

Inspire their inner Picasso! A box of art supplies - paper, markers, crayons, etc. - is simple, doesn’t take up much space and sparks creativity.

Books and gift certificates always fit! Use a book as the gift AND the card. Write a little note inside the cover then sign and date it! Gift certificates to movie theaters, drive-in theaters, mini-golf, bounce houses, kid's play places, ice cream or fro-yo parlors are also fun to give and receive.

These are only a few suggestions to get you started. The sky is really the limit when you start to look at unique gift options.

Share some of your own thoughts and ideas with us!