Gifting for Wee Ones

Another sibling gift idea we enjoyed, before we started the making tradition, was to take each of the kids shopping and let them pick out small, sort of silly, sort of practical gifts for each other. Ralph might pick out a box of band aids for each sibling (the special kind with Spiderman or the CareBears). Maude might pick out a new toothbrush for each brother or sister. The gifts would be carefully wrapped and placed under the tree with great excitement.

We still do this when the kids are too little for making. I think it’s a good first exercise in considering someone else. The 2 year old will be in the aisle at Target, carefully considering which bandaids a particular sister would want the most. And since the concept of giving is tricky at that age, we let them pick a box out for themselves as well.

Last year was June’s first Christmas and she enjoyed playing with the wrapping. This year I think she’ll get a kick out of being the unwrapper. And next year, she’ll be two, and she’ll get her turn to pick out little gifts. I think she’ll love it!

At what age do you introduce gift giving at your house? Any ideas that have worked well for your littlest ones?

21 thoughts on “Gifting for Wee Ones”

  1. Like you Gabby, I enjoy making things with my little girl (soon to be 3). I know we will do this with her as she makes things for all of her cousins. My nieces always give us homemade gifts (16 and 18) which include a family calendar that we treasure and use every year!
    It is almost 11 11 11 here and we are remembering today. We had the most moving ceremony at school, I am curious, do they do that and wear poppies in France?

  2. I think at age 2 my son and his friend got the biggest kick out of wrapping up their own toys in hankerchiefs and giving them to each other while playing ‘santa claus’ – It was a fun lesson in sharing and gifting!

  3. oh thanks! this is great. even though I want to do the crafting thing (we did it last year) it was kinda tricky to get kids to make useful items ;) and a little stressful. This sounds much easier.

    The bandaid and cereal ideas are perfect! what other little quirky items could my kids buy for eachother???

  4. I remember very fondly a Christmas a few years ago that my then two year old removed all the tags from all the presents under the tree the day before Christmas! It was so much fun Christmas morning trying to decide who was to get what from Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents etc. At least the Santa gifts were clearly marked!

  5. I pinned this because it’s such a great idea. As my children were counting their money today I reminded them they should set aside a few dollars for a gift for each other (ages 7 and almost 5….we wont’ include our 2 year old, unless they want to buy her something very small like a small stuffed toy or something of that nature and perhaps we’ll fund her gifts to the others). But I LOVE the practical yet fun idea. Very nice! This will be the 2nd year that we have them switch. We started when our oldest was in Kindergarten and they had a student store where they could bring a few dollars to buy cheap toys. I like this idea MUCH better.

  6. Ive always loved your approach to nibbling gift giving. My baby is my first, so probably he won’t HAVE any siblings to buy for until he is old enough to make something, but it could be nice in a year or two to take him to pick out a gift for dad just from him.

  7. One thing that worked great for us when the kids were younger was to have them shop for presents at the dollar store. It eliminated the cost issue. They could buy one thing for everyone. My oldest ones have turned into wonderfully thoughtful and creative gift givers.

  8. LOVE this post!

    We just had our 2nd little bundle of joy 4 weeks ago!
    Hence the reason I am just reading your wonderful posts now ;-)

    I already told my 2 year old that we will be going together to buy his Petite Soeur a present that he will buy special for her (and visa versa).

    When we got her doudou (French equivalent to security blanket) we had him choose it for her.

    Also as a peace making geasture…we had our new baby “buy” him a gift when she came home for the first time. He still says that Baby C bought him a book ;-) It’s all very cute.

    I think this is a tradition we will def keep doing for the holidays and birthdays!


  9. Oh I am so nostalgic reading this post, and then realizing the date it was written. You see, my son was born on 11/09/11, and we came home from the hospital on this very day, 11/11/11 — which also happened to be my birthday! I am downright giddy this year, my son’s second Christmas, so excited to see how he begins to light up — knowing that every year hereafter is just going to get more and more exciting. I’m excited to begin traditions — giving, crafting, and otherwise festive-ing!
    Had to share…

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