© Alena Ozerova | Dreamstime.com
When it comes to technology, many people understand that not every youngster is plugged into an iPad. Still, tech gifts are among the most popular gifts, especially for children. You can’t always control exactly what your child receives as a gift, but the following ideas can help make choosing a gift easy on party guests and help you be a gracious host.
Try a themed party. Consider having a themed party to give those invited some gift-giving guidance. For instance, an invitation to a “Build Caden’s Bookshelf Party” invites guests to share a favorite new or used book. Or throw a clearly non-tech party that includes creative play, art activities and/or the outdoor fun, and chances are the gifts will follow suit. “Join us for a toddler-style BYOB (Bring Your Own Bubbles). We’ll spend the afternoon playing outside and blowing bubbles to celebrate Miya’s birthday!”
Be honest up front. If someone asks you for a gift suggestion, be ready with ideas that focus on nontech interests: building blocks, puzzles, or balls are all good suggestions. Let anyone inquiring know that you’re trying to encourage traditional creative tech-free play. “Sarah loves stuffed animals and ponies. Lately, she’s really gotten into sticker books and painting with watercolors.”
Consider nixing gifts altogether. Playing games with friends and celebrating with special foods is a special gift all its own. While grandparents and close family may insist on a gift, inviting friends to spend a special afternoon together without the pressure of needing to bring a present is a gift you can give your guests, too. You can add a note to the bottom of the invitation. ”The best birthday gift Andrew could receive is your attendance. Please bring the gift of yourself. No other gifts are necessary.”
If you get something techie… and you know for sure the gift won’t work, simply make an exchange or return for something that is a better fit. Make sure to thank the gift-giver for the thought and if asked whether your child is enjoying the gift, if may be best to answer graciously, but honestly. “We really liked the cute iPad holder, but we’re going to wait a little longer before introducing Ryan to technology.”