The Ultimate Kid’s Birthday Party Gift Resource Guide [Including DIY Options!]

It can be so hard to think of an ideal kid's birthday party gift. But it doesn't have to be! We've curated the ultimate collection of creative gift ideas that gids will love, including plenty of DIY options!

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A kids birthday party is typically a very exciting event for all children involved, whether they are guests or the actually birthday boy or girl.

But birthdays have a tendency to get stressful for parents.

As the parents of a guest, it can be particularly difficult to pick out the right gift, and your kids may not be a whole lot of help in doing so.

As a host in the midst of planning the perfect kid’s birthday party—figuring out the perfect party favors for a goody bag may just feel like too much to handle.

We totally get it—and thankfully, we have a solution that will save you time and money while ensuring the birthday party is a fun experience for both kids and parents!

This ultimate guide to kid’s birthday party gifts contains 10 easy gift ideas and 10 quick goody bag ideas for party planners. Some are DIY and some are not, so there’s something in here for everyone!

Let’s start giving!

Kid’s Birthday Party Gift Etiquette

Most parents have been here before:

When asking your kid what they think their friends would like for their birthday, you often get a less-than-solid response. “I don’t know” is probably at the top of the list, while you’ll be lucky to get something as detailed as “I think he likes cars.”

It’s time to take matters into your own hands.

But first, a couple notes on etiquette:

1. Gift giving is a must

Unless explicitly specified, you should always plan on sending your kid to a birthday party with a gift to give. It shows respect and is just the right thing to do

But with that said:

2. You don’t need to break the bank!

No-one should be ashamed of their budget. If you only have $10-20 to spend, that is more than ok! It’s the thought that counts, and most kids get excited just by the sheer quantity of presents they receive.

3. Have your kid help you pick out the present

It’s not necessarily a matter of good etiquette, but it’s a learning experience. It will involve your child in the act of gift-giving and teach them the joy of giving, while helping them feel more ownership over a process that they can’t fund themselves.

4. If you can’t attend, do you still need to buy a gift?

The short answer is no. It’s not like a wedding. The longer answer is that it never hurts to send a handwritten note saying your child won’t be in attendance. If nothing else, it will win you some points with the parents throwing the party!

For parents hosting birthday parties:

5. Don’t forget party favors or gift bags

At birthday parties these days, it’s usually expected that guests will be able to walk away with something for themselves.

This goodie bag or party favor can be small. Don’t worry, we’re about to give you some fool proof ideas.

6. Don’t gush over expensive gifts

It seems like every party these days features at least one extravagant gift. Whether a parent got carried away with a DIY project or a family member walks in with an expensive toy, it tends to happen more often than not.

The key, as a parent, is to remain respectful of other gift givers and not overreact to the gift. Instead, you can help explain to your child how special the gift is, without making any mention of the gift’s perceived cost.

7. Decide whether gifts will be opened before or after the party

You probably remember opening presents at your birthday party as a kid. Nowadays, it’s not a foregone conclusion that it needs to happen that way.

In fact, many parents choose to save the gift-opening for after the birthday party has ended. This stops gifts from getting mixed up and pieces of gifts from getting lost in the shuffle. There’s nothing like cracking open the fresh Lego set when you get home only to find that there are a few major pieces missing!

It also keeps the fun going:

Kids don’t have to patiently sit and watch while their friend unveils a never ending supply of new toys. In this sense, leaving the gifts until later can me more inclusive and considerate.

On the other hand, the party should be centered around the kid celebrating a birthday, and it can be nice for gift givers to see the smiles that go along with opening a special present.

The bottom line:

It’s up to you as a parent!

8. Make sure you know who each gift is from, and you have thank you cards queued up

As a parent, this is the most important tip to remember:

Bring a notebook to the party and write down each gift and who it’s from. You will need this information for thank you cards.

Speaking of thank you cards:

Make sure your kid is aware before the party that he or she will be tasked with writing thank you cards. It’s an important lesson, and it will ensure that they aren’t blindsided when you bring it up after the party.

10 Low-Cost, Creative Gift Ideas For Kid’s Birthday Parties

While there are countless creative options to ensure the birthday boy or girl is ecstatic about their birthday gift, we thought you would provide you with 10 of our favorite options.

Here’s a combination of 10 DIY and store-bought gifts that won’t break the bank but will certainly crack a smile!

1. A Sand or Snow Brick Maker to Build the Ultimate Sand Castle or Igloo

build an igloo

Kids love building forts. This takes fort-building to the next level.

Whether you live in a warm or cold weather climate, this igloo or sand castle building is one of the least expensive and most fun activities a kid can pursue.

An ice or sand brick-maker can cost as little as $5 and can lead to days of fun. If you feel that it’s too inexpensive to give as a complete gift, consider creating a hand-written step-by-step “how to build an igloo” guide. You can find the steps here.

2. Build a Set of DIY Lawn Dominoes

lawn dominoes

If you’re in the mood for a fun DIY project, this will fit the bill perfectly.

You won’t need much more than wooden planks, a circular saw and a drill press.

Follow this guide to create a beautiful set of giant lawn dominoes that are sure to be the most stunning gift at the party.

To save time, you can use a simple wood stain or paint instead of a torch to darken the surface of the boards.

3. Create a Giant Jenga Set

giant jenga

Here's another great DIY project involving wood. This one is even easier than building homemade lawn dominoes, and it makes for one of the most exciting games around.

Check out this guide for creating a giant Jenga set that doesn’t require a whole lot more than 2x4 boards and a saw.

If you don’t feel like building the wooden storage box, that’s no big deal! Just use a simple rubbermaid tub!

4. Craft Homemade Notebooks or Journals

homemade notebook

You can have your crafty kid help you out with this one!

Create a beautiful homemade notebook in minutes with this excellent step-by-step guide.

Feel free to make multiple notebooks and include a nice set of colored pencils or pens to go along with the package.

Parents will love this gift: It helps them take care of school supplies for the foreseeable future!

5. Adopt An Animal

symbolic animal adoption

Don’t worry, no-one is showing up to the party with a cage they’ve poked some holes in. Bringing a real pet as a gift may ruffle some feathers.

Instead, why not go for a symbolic animal adoption through the World Wildlife Foundation?

Choose from multiple animals to adopt. Each one comes with a plush toy, a certificate of adoption and a tote bag. Funds go towards a great cause: protecting wild animals and their habitats!

6. Adopt A Star

adopt a star

Does the birthday boy or girl have a passion for astronomy? Adopt a Star is the perfect STEM-related gift.

You will receive an Adopt a Star certificate along with glow in the dark star stickers and instructions on how to find the star in Google Sky.

Funds go towards the search for Earth-like planets and the characterization of stars.

7. Make A DIY Portable Lego Tray

lego tray

If you’re attending a kid’s birthday party, it’s very likely that kid plays with legos. If you’re getting a gift for a lego-obsessed kid, why not have it be lego-themed?

This quick and easy guide shows you how to create a portable lego tray from scratch. Parents will appreciate the gesture, as it will stop legos from being scattered across their floor.

If you want to supplement the gift, include a lego set or a small pack of legos with the tray!

8. Build a Set of DIY Wooden Snap Blocks

DIY snap blocks

This DIY project is on the slightly more complex side, but it will most certainly turn heads for its creativity.

Stimulate creativity by creating homemade wooden snap blocks of all shapes and sizes which can be snapped together to create any pattern.

The best part?

You may be able to do the whole thing for under $20! Check out the guide.

9. Consult Target’s “Bullseye’s Best Toys”

bullseye's best buys

 If you decide you just don’t have time for a DIY gift, that’s ok. We get it!

Fortunately there are some fantastic gifts out there that kids love. Why not take the guesswork out of identifying the perfect gift and check out a gift guide instead?

Target’s “Bullseye’s Best Toys” list is a collection of original and bestselling toys sold at Target stores.

Check it out!

10. Consult Good House Keeping’s “Hottest Toys in 2018” List

good housekeeping

Similar to Target, Good Housekeeping has put out an excellent list of their own.

Check out “The Hottest Toys of 2018” before heading to the store or ordering anything online.

10 Goody Bag or Party Favor Ideas For Kid’s Birthday Party Hosts

We’ve created a list of 10 creative party favor options for busy, party planning parents.

Whether you want to create something from scratch or provide a cute store-bought trinket, these 10 ideas will be the perfect resource.

1. Make Small Batches of Homemade, Kid-Safe Slime


It may seem inexplicable to adults, but kids absolutely love slime.

Here’s a great step-by-step guide for creating homemade kid-safe goo that will last over a week and lead to hours of fun.

2. Make Homemade Bath Crayons

DIY bath crayons

Bath crayons are fun, but most importantly, they’re not permanent! Kids will love playing around with the all-natural soap-based product and creating great art on the walls of the bathtub.

Here’s the ultimate guide for creating homemade bath crayons!

3. Create DIY Bath Bombs

DIY bath bombs

Kids will be mesmerized by the beauty of a fizzing bath bomb. We can’t think of a better way to combine play time with personal hygiene.

Here’s an easy way to make homemade bath bombs that make the ultimate party favor!

4. Buy Inexpensive Wayfarers for all Guests

All the kids at your party will feel like movie stars if you equip them with trendy wayfarer sunglasses.

If you’re ok with your party turning into selfie-central, this is the perfect gift.

You can get a 10 pack for about $22 on Amazon.

5. Give Yo-Yos as a Fun Retro Gift

This may seem a bit old school, but yo-yos are still cool!

It’s a pretty intuitive skill to develop and kids will have a great time coming up with tricks together and competing over who can keep the yo-yo going longest!

Plus, it’s another inexpensive gift you can find on Amazon for about $3!

6. Send All The Kids Home With a Book

books as a gift

Don’t look now, but you just officially became everyone’s favorite parent (among the adults, at least).

Who said a party favor had to be a toy or an edible treat?

A small book is the best possible educational gift, and the fact that it’s being received as a gift will incentivize kids to actually read it.

Check out Half Price Books, where you can pick up tons of inexpensive children’s books for a very low price.

7. Provide a Take Home Lego Kit

bulk legos for gift

It’s easy to find wholesale legos online or “pay by the pound” lego bins at toy stores. A little bag of legos is a great take-home gift for any kid to add to their collection.

8. Bake Homemade Cupcakes

homemade cupcake gift

There’s nothing quite like a sweet treat. And even though party guest will have had the chance to enjoy plenty of cake at the party, we’re sure they wouldn’t mind having a treat for when they get home as well.

Homemade cupcakes are a quick, easy, and inexpensive party favor idea.

Best of all: You can have your kid help you make them!

9. Give Everyone a Succulent Plant

Succulent plant gift

A plant? Seriously?

Yes, seriously.

Giving a kid a plant helps teach discipline and responsibility, as they will be responsible for taking care of something and keeping it alive.

You can find succulent plants, which are very easy to keep alive, at places like Trader Joe’s for about $5. The small plants look great and all come with little pots, so there’s no need for additional purchases.

If you want to be extra thorough, you can include a little note card with watering and sunlight instructions.

10. A Gift Card or Tickets

family entertainment center gift card

If all else fails, and you just don’t have time to create something homemade, there’s nothing wrong with giving every guest a gift card to a place they will love.

In fact, gift cards are a great way to teach delayed gratification to children while giving parents ideas for future outings with their child.

Here are some great gift card ideas for kids:

  • Gift Cards for an Indoor Amusement Park: Many family entertainment centers offer indoor fun for kids year-round. Parents will love taking their kids to a safe, enclosed location full of fun attractions.
  • Movie theater gift cards: What kid doesn’t love the movies?
  • Bookstore gift cards: If you don’t have time to buy a book, why not give kids money toward something educational?
  • Bakery gift cards: Kids will love cashing in on a special treat in the following days.
  • Tickets to the zoo: Zoo admission will be exciting for kids and will give parents an opportunity to take their children out.
  • Tickets to the Science Museum: Most major cities have a kid-friendly science or history museum. This is another way to earn points among the parents.

Keep Your Kid’s Birthday Party Fun and Stress-Free by Choosing Big Thrill Factory

Party favors… Check! Gifts… Check!

Whether you’re hosting, or just bringing a gift, that’s one fewer chore on your list.

Planning a birthday party for your child should be an easy, stress-free process. There’s no need to coordinate every single detail when you could just as easily leave that up to party planning experts.

If you’re looking for fun kid’s birthday party ideas in Minnesota, look no further:

The expert party planners at Big Thrill Factory will help you plan the perfect kid’s birthday party, and will take all of the stressful work off your plate.

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