My 3 Go-To Gifts for Kids and Classmates


My daughter getting constantly invited to birthday parties doesn’t sound like a bad thing on the surface, but when we realized how many birthday presents a year that means we have to pick up, it became a little bit of a lovely problem to have.

With invitations coming in from kids in her class, neighbors, and buddies in her extracurricular activities, it can get stressful finding gifts for friends we don’t know super well. Over the years I’ve come to rely on three go-to gifts for birthdays and holidays that all kids will love to getand they’re all around $20.

Wreck This Journal With Gel Pens

I’ve bought this combo so many times that Amazon keeps asking me if I want to make a Dash button for the order. It’s hard to go wrong with the creative fun of Wreck This Journal and a new set of colorful gel pens; kids can’t wait to express themselves and destroy the pages (in a good way), and parents will love to see them so excited to open a book on their birthday.

You can even choose just the right gel pens for the recipient and your budget, from neon to metallic to even scented.

Even better, you don’t have to worry if they already have a copy of the book—the writing and creative prompts in its pages can easily be filled out again by an enthusiastic little artist who won’t mind one bit.

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty Kit

The slime craze is still going strong, but you might have reached your breaking point on finding dried slime stuck on the floor and glitter that you still can’t get off the counter. If you don’t want to share that misery with fellow parents, but you know their kid is a slime fiend, Crazy Aaron can come to the rescue.

Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty is much thicker than typical slime, and doesn’t dry out. With Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, Mixed By Me Thinking Putty Kit, kids can still feel like they’re making their own slime, but with very little mess. There’s no need to buy glue or dump glitter in a bowl; it all comes in the kit and is easy to mix just by kneading the putty.

The small tins give kids the chance to flex their creativity, and parents won’t be cursing your name while cleaning up a huge mess.

Best Year Ever!

This planner and journal from Klutz is a fantastic way to put gratitude and a good attitude into a kid’s week. Best Year Ever! can be started at any time, not just the beginning of the year, and encourages kids to think about what makes them happy and how they can help others.

Each month and week comes with prompts like “this month, do something that brings happiness,” and challenge weeks where readers practice kindness or thoughtfulness. It even encourages kids to write down things that make them smile, a simple task that brings out the gratitude in anyone. And, of course, it’s packed with stickers, spots to doodle in, and planner pages to make the book uniquely theirs.

What are your go-to gifts for kids?

GeekMom received a promotional copy of Best Year Ever for review purposes.

All Images: Kelly Knox

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