Best return gifts for birthday party [What to Get Your Kid’s Friends]

Throwing your child’s 1st birthday party can already feel like a strain on your time and resources. From return gifts for birthday party ideas to party supplies to party theme, it can be overwhelming! In addition, worrying about food, decorations, location, and even birthday return gifts for your child’s little friends can feel almost impossible.

What is a birthday return gift?

Simply put, it’s kind of like a party favor! Your kid will receive many a birthday gift, most of them will be from you, but many might be from the little attendees that come to your kiddo’s birthday party–or rather, their parents. Of course, at a 1st birthday party, these gifts won’t be too extravagant, but it’s still in good taste to plan a return gift for partygoers.

If you haven’t thought about what return gift you should get for the kids that come to your child’s birthday party up until now, fear not! We’ve done the homework for you and put together a handy guide to choosing birthday return gifts for your tiny party attendees, ensuring they don’t go home without a party favor.

Return Gift Ideas

Regardless of the age group your kids fall into, no child wants to leave a party empty-handed. Sure, silly games and cake are fun, but what about something they can play with at home later? Likewise, parents of the children will appreciate their riled-up little one having a toy or treat to occupy them once they go home!

So here are some return gift ideas for almost any budget. After all, throwing even a simple 1st birthday party can get expensive!

1. Hand or Footprint in Cement

This return gift may require the other parent’s involvement and can get quite messy. For a 1st birthday party with a lot of infants or toddlers, it could go one of two ways:

– Parents get an adorable keepsake of their children’s hands or feet; or
– There’s a big mess that takes hours to clean up, and no one has any fun.

You can have an easy-mix cement set into easy-to-use molds for this return gift. What’s more, children can be invited to paint their hand or foot prints after they’re dry, thus personalizing them further.

It is good practice to ask the mom and dad of partygoers beforehand if they would want to be involved in a return gift project like this one.

2. Lunch Box Kits

One of the more useful gifts on this list, you can take inspiration from things like bento boxes and the like to make a lunch box kit. This is something children can use again and again! A lunch box return gift is easily customizable and a great idea for any age group, from color themes to miniature utensils.

3. Stationary or Draw-ables

Even when planning around birthday party ideas, it’s good to keep the future in mind. Stationary or notebooks and washable, non-toxic markers or crayons are excellent return gifts that are gender-neutral and perfect for stimulating young minds.

4. Tiny Terrariums

A tiny terrarium with little plants or an aquarium with something like sea monkeys can be a great way to spice up your return gift ideas. If you love plants or know the parents of party attendees will enjoy such a unique novelty, a small terrarium is a great idea.

5. Stickers

Have you ever met a kid who didn’t love stickers? Yeah, me either! From matching the theme to your tyke’s birthday party to getting gendered options that any kiddo will love, stickers are one of the safest, cheapest return gifts on this list!

6. Temporary Tattoos

This will require some parent help, but getting little temporary tattoos for your party attendees is similar to stickers. It causes no harm, can be a lot of fun, and doesn’t make a huge mess!

7. Books

From your child’s 1st birthday to perhaps high school, books are one of the best return gifts for stimulating young minds. Whether it’s a pick-your-own variety of book choices or all the same book that you can read together at the party, books are great for kids and parent-approved.

Consider coloring books and crayons if readable books aren’t what you think they might like! Similar to stationary, it’ll let the little artist inside out and allow them plenty of fun.

8. Polaroid Photos

This one can get expensive if you don’t already own a polaroid camera, as they’re less popular in recent years. However, if you have the items or can find a good deal on polaroid cameras and film, this could be a cute way to commemorate your child’s birthday party and hand out little photos of each kid during the party. Paired with a baggy containing a treat or three, parents of partygoers can cherish these little memories forever.

9. Study Toys

Whether it’s a classic shape-in-the-hole block toy or something involving letters or numbers, a learning toy is always a safe bet, especially for parties involving a very young child whose friends are similarly aged. Infants and tots alike enjoy these stimulating toys for their bright colors and interactive features! (Parents will love them too–wink-wink!)

10. Magnets

Magnets are versatile and exciting, especially in shapes or letters! Children will be fascinated when their new toy sticks to their fridge or other magnetized objects, and they’ll be able to spell things with them in the case of letter-shaped magnets. What’s more, they can use them to pin up other items to the fridge.

11. Mugs, Sippy Cups, or Bottles

Mugs in unique shapes, sippy cups with no-leak tops, or bottles for the very young child in attendance are all great gifts that last for years!

13. Surprise Packs

A pouch, box, or jar stuffed with goodies is always an excellent choice when choosing return gifts for your kid’s partygoers. But, from little plastic trinkets to miniature treats, opening up a surprise is just part of the fun!

14. Mini Toys

Hotwheels, Legos, or Mini Brands may be too expensive or out of range for very young children, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! There are so many miniature toys out there today that kids love, from pop-its to squishies to stuffies; there are plenty of mini-things to choose from!

Making Things Fun for You & Partygoers (Their Parents, Too!)

Whether your party is going to have all girls, all boys, or a mix of both, many of these ideas are great for any gender or age group. However, it’s a good idea to evaluate each one and whether or not you’d be inclined to have your own kid play with them. If a gift seems too messy or you believe the parents of your little party attendees wouldn’t appreciate it, it’d be best not to get that return gift and save it for another time.

Kids love getting gifts, no matter how simple or complex. However, watching one child be the center of attention and getting all the presents may make them jealous or combative, so we hope that these return gift ideas help at your child’s next party!