Last December I was PUMPED to give my oldest nephew Simon (age 3) his Christmas gift. I had bought him a sleeping bag and filled it with candy and a card inviting him to a sleepover with his Auntie Lou (me). I promised a day full of candy, adventures and games. When Simon opened his present, he looked up with a pout on his lips and stated, “This isn’t what I wanted.” Honestly, I was disappointed because I thought he would be just as excited as I was. A few weeks later when we actually did have our sleepover, we both had a blast! In retrospect, I should’ve realized that a future activity with dreams of treats and surprises was probably hard for Simon to grasp. To help you avoid this auntie fauz pas, I’ve put together seven gift ideas for nieces and nephews that will delight both the kids and their parents. While many of the gifts apply to only children age 3 and younger, I think all aunts can glean some inspiration from this post.
P.S. Be sure to read all the way down to the bottom to see how you can win an amazing gift package for your niece or nephew!
7 Gift Ideas for Nieces and Nephews
- #1: Books! Books! Books! One of my favorite things to buy for my niece and nephews is books. Help instill a love of reading early on! I’ve learned through the years that it’s important to buy hard-backed books where even the pages are cardboard. Most paper-backed books end up getting ripped. A few of my current favorites include the following:
- #2: Cute and impractical clothes. After all, you are the auntie! While a majority of parents will feel the weight of increased expenses, you can buy that adorable (and expensive) pair of booties or that swimsuit that the baby may only wear once. Unlike the mom or dad, you won’t feel guilty about spending extra $$ on cute clothes vs. diapers and wipes. If you’re lucky, you can find cute AND practical clothes. See Aurie modeling an adorable bandanna bib below from The Paisley Pandas.
- #3: Memberships to local attractions and family-fun activities. Think the zoo, their city’s children museum or perhaps their neighborhood pool. This will be the gift that keeps on giving time and time again. It will allow the family to bond and hopefully you can join them too!
- #4: Sleepovers at your house! Like I mentioned in my last post, “10 Lessons You Learn When You Become An Aunt“, it’s important to spend one-on-one time with each of your nieces and nephews. Equally as important, you should offer to be a free a baby-sitter, regularly (if possible). This accomplishes both of those goals in one fell swoop!
- #5: Toys that don’t require batteries. I get it…most of the toys that require batteries are cool! You want to be “the cool aunt”, right? But man oh man, if you have to hear a honking truck for hours on end, you’ll understand why parents typically don’t like these noisy toys. If you must buy them, be sure to also include lots of batteries to avoid tears!
- #6: Artwork or cards filled with inspiring and thoughtful messages. Kids need to know and hear that they are loved and smart and important. Be sure to tell them often through your actions and words. See my beautiful niece, Aurellia, below with a print from The Lemon Tree House.
- #7: Small gifts that they can open throughout their entire special day. It’s no surprise to anyone that kids LOVE to open and receive presents. Typically (at least when they are young) it’s more fun for them to open multiple small presents vs. one large present. For example, Simon (age 3) loves cars, play-dough, bugs, stickers and gummies. I am already thinking about this for his upcoming summer birthday :)! (As a side note, be careful about buying gifts with small parts, especially if they have younger siblings.)
Giving gifts to your nieces and nephews will give you (and them) great joy. I hope that these seven gift ideas will help you avoid an auntie faux pas in the future!
Question for you: What’s the best gift you’ve ever given to your niece or nephew?
GIVEAWAY with The Lemon Tree House & The Paisley Pandas (valued at $75+)!
- Two 8 x 10 Prints from The Lemon Tree House (valued at $16)
- Baby Sitter Notepad from The Lemon Tree House (valued at $15)
- Perpetual Planner from The Lemon Tree House (valued at $25)
- Three Bandanna Bibs from The Paisley Pandas (valued at $20)
How to Enter
- Like my Instagram post & tell me in the comments section your favorite thing about being an auntie.
- Follow me (@ByTravelandError ), @thelemontreehouse & @thepaisleypandas.
- OPTIONAL EXTRA ENTRIES: Spread the word! Tag friends who are also aunties for extra entries. There’s no limit, so tag away! (Separate comment for each tag please.)
You have until Sunday, April 30th at midnight EST to enter! The winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!