Small Gift Ideas for Children to Treasure

Toddler boy smiling

Is your child missing the message behind gift giving? Read some suggestions for simple and inexpensive gifts that your children will treasure.

"Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder: as if creation rose and bathed in light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing. The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us. When the world seems familiar, when we have gotten used to existence, one has become an adult." - Eugene Ionesco

Young children often find wonder in the world around them. In the hands of a child, a cardboard box becomes a space ship zooming off to faraway planets or a castle filled with princesses, kings, and dragons. As advertising and commercialism creeps into their world, unfortunately, most kids learn to value the store-bought toy over the natural; the contents of the package over the colorful, crinkly packaging. As parents, we can try to maintain some balance in gift giving by taking advantage of the young childs openness to the world as a wonder-filled place. Often, its the small and inexpensive gifts that become a childs favorite toy, one that they immediately treasure over others.

Ideas for Easy Small Gifts for Kids

  • Treasure boxes. Any small box, tin, velvety jewelry box, or glasses case can be made special by decorating it and using it to store those secret treasures.
  • Secret journals. Encourage children to write in a journal or notebook. Even younger children can scribble or draw to express their feelings.
  • Items to collect. Children are born to collect. They have a powerful implanted developmental disposition to acquire, sort, and order pieces of the world around them from stones, shells, leaves, and pine cones to match books, stamps, glass figurines, or foreign coins and currency. Almost anything small will do.
  • Stamps and inkpads. These are great to collect and use in conjunction with journals for older preschool and school-age children.
  • Ribbons. Preschoolers find ribbons almost as valuable as Band-Aids and can use them to decorate everything from bedposts to bears.
  • Store-bought and homemade stickers. Young children like stickers because they are a way to literally make an impression on their surroundings (and themselves). Giving children peel-off removable labels and markers, glue, glitter, ribbons, and so forth, allows them to create their own homemade stickers that wont ruin walls.

There are of course several other possibilities for inexpensive gifts you can give children for party favors, holidays, or special occasions. The more we observe our children and note what ends up in the pockets of these young growing scientists, artists, and collectors, the more we can surprise them with gifts to treasure.

More on This Topic

Written by: Bright Horizons Education Team

About The Bright Horizons Parenting Newsletter

Teacher reading to a toddler boy and girl

Whether you’re looking for parenting advice, or trying to figure out how to bring learning from the classroom to the family room, let Bright Horizons early education experts be your trusted, knowledgeable resource. Get our weekly newsletter for all things early child development—from the benefits of pretend play to at-home STEM activities, and teaching kindness—along with encouragement for every stage of your parenting journey.