Sunday, May 10, 2009

Frugal Birthday Planning-Gifts for Bella

When it comes to gifts, I've really tried to keep toys to a minimum over the last year. They already have so many wonderful toys that adding many more would feel like overkill. My solution has been to focus on gifts that support the things they like to do as opposed to the things they'd like to own. This can be anything from lessons, to equipment, to memberships at local museums.

This year when Zach and I sat down to discuss Bella's interests two things came immediately to mind, the outdoors and arts and crafts.

Bella's the kind of kid who can play happily for hours with nothing but sticks and rocks, so we decided that her gifts should support her love of nature. We decided to put together a little Nature Lover's package for her with the following items.

-A drawstring backpack made by me
-A compass for our letterboxing adventures and a small compass bag, again sewed by me
-A headlamp. She loves her Dad's headlamp and having one of her own would allow for (supervised) after-dark adventures and outdoor exploration
-A stainless steel water bottle
-Her very own stamp for letterboxing. I'm thinking of this one from Etsy.
-A fishing pole. Daddy has taken Cheyenne fishing and I think this year Bella is old enough to join them.

To combine her love of arts and crafts with her love of the outdoors I want to make her this sketchbook and pencil holder from One Red Robin using some Joel Dewberry Sparrows fabric I have laying around.

Photos courtesy of One Red Robin

The cost of all of these gifts will be around $60 total and I think she will get a lot of use out of them.


  1. Adorable! I'm sure Bella will love them!

    We don't do toys as gifts for our nieces, either. For Christmas they get a zoo pass and for birthdays they get things like dress up clothes or art kits. I love matching the gift to the child, too. So much more fun than buying a piece of plastic from Walmart.

  2. Zoo passes are great gifts! Dad gets Bella a Children's Museum membership for her birthday every year and we get so much use out of it!

  3. I love that you have one total princess and one outdoor adventurer!!! I wonder what Baby James will be into!!!

  4. I'm curious to see how James turns out too. he'll probably be completely different from his sisters. That's the way it seems to go in my family. We're kind of a random bunch.