Kid Party Overload? Here’s How to Cope

February 26, 2013    |    By +
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Wouldn’t it be great to not panic every time another birthday party pops up for someone in your kiddo’s class? There is an answer that can save you tons of stress and time and may even make your life more enjoyable. Here at we call it a “gift closet”. I first heard the term when I was working at the Home Shopping Network a million years ago. And back then, I thought the concept was 100% crazy. But, now that I am married and living in the busiest city in America, my gift closet is my hero again and again. Here’s how to stock yours so that you can be rescued by your own forethought and never dread a kids’ party again (at least not because you need to get a gift)!

Start with universal favorites:

Kids love UNO. I have given this time and again to kids in elementary school and it is always a hit.

Inspiring or silly kids’ books can be a great gift, whether the ones that you loved as a child or other great finds on the sale racks. Just make sure that they are age appropriate.

In the warmer months, any outdoor water toy is a win from inflatable pool toys to spraying sprinklers to water blasters.

In the winter months, snow gear like molds for building a snow fort, inflatable snow forts, snowman kits, snow paint, etc. all guarantee hours of fun.

Music toys like mini marching band sets or electronic voice mutators make kids feel like little rock stars.

For girls:

Dress up sets never go out of style for little girls. This could be fairy wings or princess gear or anything else that isn’t tied to a specific movie or book.

Craft kits and art sets never go out of style so you can stock up on these and feel safe about giving them away all year.

For boys:

You can’t go wrong with LEGO creator sets, or any building kit for that matter. Just make sure that you don’t buy something licensed to accompany a movie that will date the gift before you give it.

Dinosaurs, whether plush, robotic, or inflatable are classic boy toys.


  • Keep an eye out for these on sale while you’re doing your regular shopping so that you don’t have to make any more special trips.
  • If you buy more than one, keep a running list attached to the stack in your closet to make sure that you don’t give something to the same kid twice.
  • Always make sure that the things you buy are age appropriate for the children in your social circle.
  • Keep a few rolls of paper in the closet with some ribbon, bows, a pair of scissors and tape. Or just a stash of gift bags that you know the gifts will fit into.

If you’re super organized, you can get a card file going as well. But, cards aren’t necessary at kids’ parties. Little note cards work perfectly and you can buy a box with universally kid friendly designs on them to boot.


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Posted in Gift Guides, Gifts for Kids    


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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.