How to Give Your Child a Birthday Gift They Want (And That Won’t Drive You Mad)

Whatever age your child is, knowing what to give them on their birthday can be a minefield. If they are the super-organised type and gave you a list two months before the big day, the chances are that by the time they’re blowing out their candles they’ve lost interest in the item you spent hours trying to track down online. Here’s how to give your child the present they want without driving yourself crazy in the process.

Under 5s

If your child is a pre-schooler or younger, they probably like the idea of everything they see. Adverts for toys are colourful and attractive and it can be easy to spend large sums on toys that will be played with once. Consider classic choices such as playdough for crafty little ones or outdoor toys like scooters and bikes to burn off the excess energy this age group are known for. If you do opt for the flavour-of-the-month TV show, keep the boxes – when your child outgrows them, you can sell them via online selling sites.


Once your child starts school, the influence of their peers begins. They might show an interest in films they had no awareness of before or that they haven’t even seen! Often children of this age want whatever their friends have, which can be frustrating if you know that they are only doing it to fit in. 

If your child has hobbies away from school, these can be worth investing in – if they enjoy being around animals, could their present be joining a pony club? Or if they spend all their time skateboarding, are they due an upgrade? It is far less galling for parents when you know your hard-earned money is going on something that will be used.


Your high school child is probably interested in fashion and labels, whether it’s designer clothes or specific sportswear brands. Don’t be tempted to buy cheaper alternatives that look the same – it’s all about the label for this age group. A gift card is often the best option so they can choose their own clothes as even if you buy the right brand, it might not be to their very specific teenage taste. 

The same goes for hygiene products such as aftershaves and shower gels – many will already have their favourites and will be loyal to certain brands. If you know they have one that they use regularly, this can be a good choice, otherwise it is best to ask rather than spend on an aftershave that’ll be left languishing in the back of the bathroom cupboard. 

For a practical gift that will help them, Lenovo School PCs are a great choice – not only will they be able to complete their schoolwork but you’ll be popular for giving them the tools for online gaming and streaming. A win-win gift!

Talk to your child about what they would like for their birthday and be realistic about managing their expectations. And remember, sometimes a day trip can be a better alternative than an unwanted gift.

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