Gifting a second-hand item at a child’s party. Would you do it?

Posted in Birthday.

There is something about throwing a child’s birthday party that seems to always result in large amounts of plastic and waste – just think of the plastic plates, the balloons, and all the extra packaging and paper that inevitably comes along with the gift. 

But surely there is a better, more sustainable way to do a birthday party? 

While there are solutions for most of these, there is a pull for parents to abide by social norms and expectations in these situations – because it’s not just about them. It’s about their child and their child’s friendships.

Approaching with caution

That’s why, when one mum recently broached the topic of re-gifting old toys at children’s birthdays on the Inner West Mums Facebook Group, she did so with caution.

She titled her post, “reducing waste (kids birthday parties)” – making it clear from the get-go that the enclosed opinion had nothing to do with being cheap (though a nice bonus), and everything to do with waste.

The post reads:

In my little quest to reduce waste I am planning on asking friends to choose an existing toy/book/kid thing in their home that they no-longer use to gift it to my child, instead of buying something new.

I also feel like a lot of the present buying has lost it’s heart in our busy lives, as we frantically try and get to the shops before the party…. Giving isn’t supposed to be under pressure. I think the act of looking for a once loved item with your children to pass onto a friend would be a lovely moment to teaching the art of giving. Plus, I think most of us would agree that our kids really don’t need any more new “stuff!”

I am interested to hear how other mothers would feel if someone was to gift a second hand item at a party? What is the general attitude to this and do you think your child would be equally as delighted with his/her “new” thing?

I am hoping to take this approach to parties we have been invited to… Thoughts?


I think most of us can relate to the idea that our kids have too much ‘stuff’. Perhaps it’s a board game that never gets played with, a pristine stuffed toy that doesn’t get much attention, or a collection of blocks or books that are simply gathering dust. 

Perhaps this idea could be a nice way to purge your own home, while also thinking about things that could get more love in a new home? It could also go a long way in teaching kids about up-cycling and household waste.

The biggest barrier …

Most parents we know think this re-gifting idea is a great one, however they did flag one crucial thing: while they love the idea, they weren’t sure their kid would respond so graciously.

Do you think a second-hand gift would fly with your child? Maybe it’s a simple matter of managing their expectations prior to the party? Let us know your thoughts in the Facebook comments!

Need more Birthday Party inspiration?

Check out Kinderling’s new Birthday Party themed playlists – the perfect soundtracks to your next kid’s party! And it comes completely waste-free!

This post was originally published at Kinderling Kids Radio


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