I run into this dilemma every birthday and holiday season for our good friends; what do I buy their kids when they have everything?  They aren’t necessarily spoiled the problem is that there are four of them ranging in age from ten to two, boys and girls.  Literally every Barbie and Thomas the train item has been bought, train tables and doll house too.  I am at a loss every year. I hate having to ask their mom and dad what the “it” thing is to have for the year I find myself struggling for ideas.

I would love to give each of them something they would remember forever.  Not something they will play with, toss aside and forget who it was from.   That is my mission for this coming year.  The mission will begin in May with a little guy turning eleven and end at Christmas.  This year I am going to work at getting it right, a unique, personalized gift for each of them.

My focus needs to begin with Ben.  Eleven is a tricky age but lots of fun.  His new adventures have been in playing hockey.  I think perhaps a gift is not the best option.  No matter what personalized kid toy I would purchase he is likely to look at it, toss it aside and never think about it again.  So an experience it is.  With his new found skill in hockey his balance has become amazing so I am thinking it might be fun to try out a skate park.  I am looking into a private lesson for him and my son and a day at the skate park practicing their new skills.  This option gets him moving, is something different and a day out with a friend.

Next comes the birthday of the two littlest girls.  The oldest will be turning five and the youngest will be turning three.  For them I can easily see two different scenarios; painting or baking/decorating.  There are a few local places that we can take the girls where they would be able to pick out a piece of pottery and design and decorate it however they please.  It is something they would personalize themselves and could have forever.  If we did the baking/decorating idea I was thinking I would let them choose a cake, cake pops or cookies to make.  Then we would spend the day making them and buying different items to decorate them with.  I even thought we could add in decorating little kid aprons or ordering them personalized aprons in their favorite colors with their nicknames on them. Fun!

Next is the hardest of the four, the soon to be eight year old.  She is a bit harder to please.  I thought last Christmas I did a super job when I picked out all types of items for her pretend class room. See she loves to play pretend school just like my daughter did.  One thing we were always missing was the fun things like tracing paper, dry erase boards and markers, new crayons, pretend detention slips and all that fun stuff.  I could tell when she opened it the gift was not a hit at all.  Back to the drawing board I went in my thinking of great gifts.  I think this year with her we would both enjoy a day out doing a manicure and/or pedicure for her.  Maybe a day spent at the mall getting her makeup done.  She recently had her ears pierced so I think it would be ultra fun for her to get to pick out a fancy pair of earring as well.

Getting through their birthdays is my first personal mission in getting personalized kids toys or experiences this year.  Next we will move on to the Christmas season.  I think at that point I will need to dig deep down, maybe tickets to a hand on museum or zoo for the entire lot of them.  Something fun, memorable and able to be enjoyed by everyone involved.  That is what every gift giver aspires for – right?