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Time to Play: Birthday Party Season Has Begun

By Linda Grant, Founder/Editor, NYC Single Mom
You can also follow her on Twitter

Now that the Back to School chaos is over and we are finally settling into a routine, the next big challenge on the horizon: the return of birthday party season.

When my daughter was in pre-school, the fall was filled with an endless number of birthday parties. The bane of my existence was the last minute party invite, which left me in a tizzy trying to find time to run and get a gift. While it wasn’t that big a deal to buy the gift, the problem for me was that I would end up spending more than I had budgeted because I just did not have the time to comparison shop to find the best price. I was just happy to find a gift and go.

After several of these last minute invites sent my budget to the moon, I smartened up quickly and started searching for 2-for-1 board/toy game sales and shopping discount stores, so I could I have a stash of genderless toys ready for any birthday party invite.

That strategy worked extremely well in pre-school because the under five set are more interested in opening the gift and just not that picky.

Now that my daughter is in elementary school, the kids are much more discerning and aware of all the cool toys on the market. As any parent knows, toys and games for older kids can be expensive, but I have found that this is not always the case, if you are willing to be a little more creative in your gift giving.

Here are some suggestions that are guaranteed to delight and best of all, not break the bank.

Science Kits– There are bound to be science buffs amongst your child’s friends so this is a perfect option to add to your closest stash.

Craft Kits – All kids love crafts. Why not try giving a Flower Pressing Kit?

Chapter Books – This is the easiest gift to buy and requires little effort. I like to buy chapter books a grade up so as to avoid giving a book that may already be in the child’s library.

Non -Math Flash Cards – Flash cards seem to synonymous with math but there are flash cards available about the United States or major world landmarks. This is a fun alternative to reading a book plus they are great for trips as they are more lightweight and easier to pack.

Do you have a birthday party gift suggestion for children ages 5-10 that are reasonably priced?