4 Tips for Helping Your Child Choose Birthday Presents for Others

Often, as soon as little ones start preschool, they start getting invited to other kids' birthday parties. Birthday parties are a great opportunity for your little one to have fun and make friends but they also present a great opportunity for you to begin to teach them about putting others before themselves. While it can certainly be easier to go shopping for birthday presents for your child’s friend on your own, doing so with your preschooler can be a valuable experience. Check out the tips below for a successful shopping trip!

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Image via Flickr/ lyssies

1. Set expectations in advance of heading to the store

There’s nothing more likely to lead to a toy aisle meltdown than your little one going into the store thinking that they’re going to be choosing something for themselves. Set the expectation in advance that your child will only be choosing a toy for their friend and won’t be walking away with anything for themselves. Make a plan for what to do if your child gets distracted by their own wants such as adding it to a list of toys they might want for their birthday or saving up to buy it in the future.

2. Ask your child to think about what the other child likes 

To help your child practice thinking of others, ask them to consider their friend's likes and dislikes before heading into the store. Trucks? Butterflies? Art? Whatever your child’s buddy likes, there’s sure to be something to fit their interest. Help them brainstorm in advance to avoid spending too long in the store. 

{ MORE: Why I Skipped My Daughter's Birthday }

3. Let them choose

As long as a toy fits in your budget, let your child have the final say in the selection of the birthday presents. Even if it’s not what you would have chosen, giving your child ownership over the decision will help them feel proud and excited to give the gift rather than resentful they’re not getting something themselves.

4. Have them help wrap and create the card

To further boost your child’s ownership in the gift giving process, allow them to help you wrap whatever gift you select and suggest that they color the birthday child a card to wish them a happy day. Making gift-giving a joyful project will help set your little on up for a lifetime enjoyment of making others happy! 

{ MORE: 5 Funny Books That Will Make Your Preschooler Laugh Out Loud }

Do you have your child help choose birthday presents for others?

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4 Tips for Helping Your Child Choose Birthday Presents for Others

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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