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How Much Should You Spend on a Child’s Birthday Gift?

A child’s birthday party is typically a fun and exciting celebration. At the same time, being a party guest can carry unclear expectations that bring unnecessary stress. One of those expectations is gift-giving, and it’s a common concern. Today we will look at ways to determine how much you should spend on a child’s birthday gift and how to navigate the decision-making process.


It is important to remember that a child’s birthday gift is a symbol and doesn’t need to be expensive or big to show your affection. With this in mind, you should never cause yourself financial hardship to give the birthday honoree a gift. If all of your budget goes to necessities, it is appropriate to give a handmade card and well-wishes. However, if you have space in your budget for gift-giving, consider what you have spent in similar situations in the past. Feel free to be as generous as you feel comfortable being.


Another big determining factor when purchasing a child’s birthday gift is your relationship to the birthday child. If he or she is only an acquaintance or a classmate with your child (meaning there could be 20 or more similar invites this year), you may choose a more conservative gift. If the child is a relative or close family friend, it is likely more appropriate to spend more money on your gift. However, do your best to be equitable in your gift giving. For instance, if you have eight nieces and nephews, try to give gifts of similar value to each child.

Parental Preference

Often the best guidance on gift-giving expectations comes from the parents of the birthday child. Another popular trend is to ask for books in lieu of other gifts. If the birthday child’s parents have specified any preference in gifts, that makes your decision much easier.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

If you are still unsure of what gift to purchase, try asking the birthday child’s parents for ideas. No parent minds a quick text or call to find out what their child would like as a gift. This also gives the birthday parents an opportunity to clarify if gifts are not expected or if the family prefers gift alternatives. Many families are opting for gifted experiences rather than toys, meaning that passes to movies, museums, a trampoline park, or other fun attractions are preferred over physical gifts.

It may feel intimidating to choose a child’s birthday gift. By following these simple guidelines you’re sure to find a present that will please. And don’t forget that it truly is the thought that counts. If you are worried that your gift will flop, just include a gift receipt so mom and dad can take the child to get a better-suited item. Are you looking for that perfect no-fail gift that keeps on giving? Consider giving a pass to Hangar Trampoline Park, where kids can have fun every day in a way that never gets old.