Life comes into phases. There is the 21st phase, the wedding phase and then there is the baby-shower phase. If you haven’t been through it yet, it is almost certainly coming. Along with the divorce and funeral stages, but that is a more maudlin topic of conversation best left for another time. The point is, that there will come a time when the bulk of your friends are starting families and you are going to be invited to a lot of baby-showers and kiddies parties. It can become an expensive business if you are splashing out for each one. So be smart, budget accordingly and find ways to find gifts that fit a budget. If you know where to look you will discover that there are plenty of gifts that don’t cost too much but which bring a lot of joy or value to the lives of the people that receive them.
A great place to start is with something that is practical, and which is going to be needed. Diapers are always needed, and new parents will very quickly start to feel that they are spending an inordinate amount of money on these necessities. When you buy one packet of them however it won’t break the bank. Or look ahead to when teething is going to start and purchase a Sophie giraffe. This is a wildly popular chew-toy that is safe for baby to gnaw on when they need to soothe their aching gums. It is not expensive, and it will greatly improve the lives of both the baby using it and the parents who are struggling to comfort their little one in an awkward time.
Shakers, drums, triangles, and simple xylophones are all great gifts. Children love items that can make a noise and a rhythm, and these can be surprisingly cheap. They provide hours of entertainment and, if the child is naturally musical, they can spark a lifelong love for music. They also allow for quality time between child and adult as they collectively beat out a tune or a rhythm. It can be hours of fun.
So simple and so cheap but such a joy for little people. Obviously, they are a delight for kids who are big enough to blow them themselves, but even if the little ones are not up to blowing the bubbles, they will almost certainly take great delight in watching them form and break free, dancing in the wind before bursting and disappearing. There is something quite mesmerising about bubbles.
There is much benefit to be derived from playing with clay. It helps young brains to form neural pathways and it is soothing and calming at the same time. The feel of the clay on the hands is apparently liked by youngsters. It is also a chance for them to mould and make things. It might just be an abstract shape but that is okay. Don’t expect a baby to make anything fancy, rather just afford them the opportunity to get tactile experiences. A plasticine is also a good option if you cannot find clay.