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what to give to a no-gift party

As a parent, you will probably run into a no-gift party at some point and wonder "should I bring gifts or not?" On one hand, you want to show that you care for the child, but you also don't want to embarrass other parents who come empty-handed or make the host feel uncomfortable.

Here are 10 things to do when your child is invited to a no-gift party:

1. Consider experience gifts

One of the reasons that "no gift" parties become a trend is that there's not enough space for more toys. In that case, talk with the host and ask if it's okay to give a theme park pass or a museum ticket, which doesn't take up any room while giving the child an experience to remember.

2. Bring homemade desserts

Proud of your baking skills? You can offer to bake some desserts for the birthday party, which also takes some pressure off the host who's preparing everything. If you're afraid that you're not an amazing chef, fruit and veggie trays would work too.

3. Offer a gift card

Though some may think that giving a gift card shows a lack of thoughtfulness, it's probably what the host needs at that moment, especially new parents. If you want to make sure this doesn't go to another toy that takes space, you can buy the birthday child a gift card to a local restaurant or dessert place.

4. Be a helper

Another way to show your respect to the hosts is to help them set up the party or clean up the venue. Ask which one they prefer and be helpful. Throwing a party can be stressful for everyone, so it'd be great if somebody else is willing to share some of the responsibilities.

5. Donate to a charity

This is also a popular option for the host, who can send out email invitations that allow the guests to donate money to a charity. If you are not given this choice, you can donate to a charity in the birthday child's name.

6. Create a wishing tree

To create a wishing tree, you need to get a bunch of tags and write down a favorite memory or a wish for the birthday child on each of them. Then use a string to connect them and coil the whole thing around a twig. You can put the twig in a vase if you want to. Bring the wishing tree to the birthday party and see how they react to this surprise. It will surely make the birthday child feel loved.

7. Bring a card or write a letter

Bring a cool birthday card or write a letter to the birthday child can be a heartwarming surprise. There are many creative birthday cards on Amazon, such as this one that pops up like a bicycle. Other popular options include cards with the Chinese dragon, rose or cake pop-up. If your little one is close to the birthday child, let them write a letter about their friendship.

8. Do a book exchange

When two bookworms are friends, they'd love to share their favorite books. Ask your child to pick out what they would like the birthday child to read and bring it to the party. Since it's a book exchange, let the birthday child reciprocate. That way, both of them go home with something new and exciting.

9. Suggest a fiver party

Throwing a fiver party means that the host asks all the guests to buy a special gift for the birthday child together instead of giving separate gifts. If you are close enough to the hosts, you can talk to them about doing a fiver party.

10. Make crafts

DIY a craft for the birthday child would be something that the host appreciates. It can be a bracelet, an ornament for them to decorate their bedroom or a face mask. You can even use pictures of the two friends together to create something unique with your little ones.

This article was originally published on Partify and it has been republished with permission from the author.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

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Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

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Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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