Mom to Mom

Classmates Birthday Parties *Poll *ETA update
April 22, 2013 at 4:20 PM

My dd has been invited to a couple parties lately of classmates but they are not friends. Each time the party is at the local roller skating rink so of course my dd want's to go, which I don't mind. But my question is what is an appropriate gift for a classmate? Everyone is 10-11 years old.

Thank you so much for everyone's opinions. Alot of you said "in my area", well here 78% of all students in the district get free or reduced lunch. So in my area these parties are rarely attended. The last one my dd went to, 30 classmates were invited and 7 went, my dd and the party boy included. I gave $5 for that boy since they were not friends. The next party is this Sunday and I'm giving a $5 gift card to Claires. It will cost those parents a couple dollars for my kid to skate because she is bringing her own roller blades. I also send my dd with cash so she can buy water, since the parents buy pitchers of pop which my dd doesn't drink. So skating and a cupcake for my dd is less than $5. (There is no indication that any food is going to be served beyond cupcakes.) Thanks again for all your input, very interesting! =) Maybe I should add it doesn't cost anything to have a party at this place. You only pay per skater and skate rental, it's Never more than $5 per person.

What should we give?
  • Only group members can vote in this poll.
  1. 9% - A card with $5 money or gift
  2. 37% - Card with $10 money or gift
  3. 41% - Card with $15 or more money or gift
  4. 0% - Card and no money/gift
  5. 11% - Other, please specify


  • nocalmegan
    April 25, 2013 at 12:33 AM
    Same here. I put that I would give at least 30$.

    Quoting Kris_PBG:

    Yes - $20 is definitely the "low end" for my area. The upper end us usually $30.

    Quoting undrcvrmom:

    This would also be the norm in my area.  I usually buy a gift between 20-30 or give a $25 gift card.  Close family friends may even get  more but I can ususally keep it between 20 and 30 bucks.  

    I figure the parent is throwing a party, feeding and entertaining my kid for a few hours.  I also love to give gifts and finding the perfect one even for a kid is exciting to

    Quoting Kris_PBG:

    Just sharing the norm for my area.

    Quoting goddess99:

    Oh there's no way in hell I'm giving $20 to a kid my dd isn't even friends with. But thanks for your opinion.

    Quoting Kris_PBG:


    Yikes - I wouldn't give less than $20 in cash or gift card.

  • elle7777
    April 25, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Those amounts seem low to me. $20 would probably be a standard amount. I may be able to squeek by with less if I'm buying an actual gift and find something on clearance. But personally $5/$10 would be too low for me to put in a card.

  • SadieJames
    April 25, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    I just try to find a good gift - I hate giving gift cards.  Find out from your kid what the other kids interest is and go from there.  As a kid I LOVED getting outdoors stuff (a football was the best gift ever for my 10th bday).  Usually a gift like that isn't expensive either.

  • LucyHarper
    April 25, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    Card with a smaller, but nice, gift. 

  • lucsch
    by lucsch
    April 25, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    We usually give our kids $10 towards a they have gotten into the teen years, they say their friends prefer cash. I think anything less than $10 is a bit cheap BUT it depends upon your circumstances.

    With my dd10, she appreciates any gift. One of her friends gave her two bottles of $1 nail polish and she was just as grateful to her friend for that as any other gift she got. I was so proud of her. She is not materialistic at all. She is all about being with her friends and enjoying their company. I think that is the point of the party anyhow.

  • Uhura
    by Uhura
    April 25, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Depends on how much you feel like spending, but I'd do the 5 dollar one. 

  • AJsMom81507
    April 25, 2013 at 5:26 AM

    clsssmates get a gift of $25 or more.

  • LilliesValley
    April 25, 2013 at 6:28 AM
    I usually spend $15-20 on gifts. But I limit dd being able to go. For example she got two invites this month and I told her that she needed to pick. We just can't afford so many parties and I'm not going to be cheap on a gift that's just not right to me. Honestly for dd birthday party no one spent under $15. A $5-10 range just seems really cheap.
  • STVUstudent
    April 25, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    We see this a lot, because our school requires that if you pass out invitations in the class, all classmates must be invited.  With twins in separate kindergarten classes and one in PreK 4, that means nearly fourty invitations a year... and they frequently invite all three of my kids, or at least the twins...

    As a general rule, I get a card from the dollar rack, and look to spend between $8 and $12 per gift... I look for something around $10.00.  I try to select items that I would not mind MY kids being given...  whenever possible, I ask the parent what the kid is into, or I ask MY kids what does Johnny or Suzie like.  If it is one of the kids that they REALLY like, or play with all the time, I spend more.

    Bottom line- spend what you like or feel you can afford, and don't be afraid to decline invitations for kids they don't like.  Now, if they go to the party, they SHOULD take a gift, but I disagree with those who think the gift should cost about what the party cost... just because you spent $20 so my kid could skate and eat pizza at YOUR kid's party, I am not spending $20 on a gift if that is not in my budget.

  • SassySue123
    April 25, 2013 at 6:58 AM
    Quoting MichelleMc:

    I say $5 if it isn't friend. $10 if friend. $15-$20 if very close or family. I think that people go WAY overboard for giving gifts & it is way too much! The only time I give what would look like more is if I get a clearance deal on what would look or be more normally. 

    I also ALWAYS made everyone sit before my son was allowed to open presents, NO helpers were allowed, and he was to never show the money. Just either say thanks for the money or just say thank you. Because if Joey gave $5, Sam gave $10 & Pete gave $15 no one or no one's parents should feel bad for what they gave. We were thankful for all or for nothing but the card. It is no ones business. I hate when I see kids show the money or even worse say the amount. 

    I agree, although I'd always ask for no gifts. Because people would only spend a few dollars and we'd end up with junk toys.
    Or play guns, Spider-Man stuff - things my son had no interest in.

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