Birthday season

August 18, 2009

In our family, the second half of the year heralds birthday season as all the cousins start celebrating  birthdays, a run that seems to go all the way up until Christmas.  So how to avoid constant visits to toy shops, or crafting burnout to make that special something for everyone?  Here is my little list of treasured ideas that I constantly add to and peruse for inspiration as the birthday season rolls around.  Packed in a nice thrifted basket or sewn drawstring bag, these ideas have been well received by various cousins over the years.  What would you have on your list?


circular tree stumps/offcuts and sandpaper/ beeswax polish (or sanded and/or polished depending on age)

plank of wood, ends rounded, sanded/ broom handles with rounded off ends /old clean sheets for cubby building

seeds and flowerpot

dustpan and brush/ straw broom

trowel, garden fork


bicycle bell/ basket/ pannier

cookie cutters

wooden rolling pin

apron/oven mitts

basket (lined/ribboned/decorated?)

dancing skirt/dressup

dressup shoes/hats/bags

jar of buttons

wooden bowls/eggcups

pottery jug/ teapot

cotton tablecloths/ picnic blanket

silk scarf

wooden pegs


hand  tools /hammer/screwdriver/sandpaper

pieces of soft wood and nails

handdrill and bits/tape measure/ saw and rasp





marbles in a bag / pebbles and dice in  a bag with printed rules for some games like tom thumb, knucklebones, mancala or thunderhole dice

balls of wool

gift ball of wool (wound with tiny tresures inside)

chalks/ sidewalk chalks

torch and batteries

candle holder/ snuffer


rope with ends spliced in

padlock and chain (and spare keys for mum/dad)



beeswax (for modelling)

chopping board

magnifying glass

photo album

drawing paper/ crayons/pencils

needle case with needles

coloured cottons/ felt pieces

blank recipe book with two or three favourites written in to start off

rope pulley


fruit trees/vege seedlings


beeswax sheets and wick for candlemaking

maps of the local area with walks etc.

binoculars/ compass

waterbottle and holder


If you leave your ideas in the comments, I’d love to add them to the list.


2 Responses to “Birthday season”

  1. these are beautiful ideas. I used to give that sort of gift to my cousins’ kids at Christmas, eg fleece fairies, but they never appreciated it so I gave in and handed over the cheap plastic and then they were happy again 😦

    • myartemismoon Says:

      Oh Sarah! 😦 At least they are happy with cheap plastic and not expensive plastic!
      It can be really hard when you create something (like your beautiful fleece fairies) as a gift, and it is thoughtlessly disregarded (or worse). I am really lucky that we have many like minded relations who do appreciate those things, and for the ones who prefer commercially branded plastic, I still persevere with the ideas like those above, and cross my fingers each time. So far we have been lucky, but none of the cousins is past tweenagerhood yet, I don’t know how we’ll cross that bridge when it comes…

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