10 affordable gifts for daycare friends

My two-year-old daughter was recently invited to her daycare friend’s 2nd birthday party. I knew that we would go to birthday parties eventually, but I didn’t think the invites would start so young! This article is about affordable gifts for daycare friends.

Since my daughter turned two a few months ago, I wrote an article about birthday gift ideas for two-year-olds. As these were gift ideas for parents and close relatives, some of the items cost upwards of $200.

That begged the question, what is an appropriate amount to spend on a gift for a daycare friend? I think it really depends on the occasion. If you have to buy small gifts for your child’s daycare class for Christmas or Valentine’s Day, then I would say no more than $5 per child.

On the other hand, if your child is invited to a daycare friend’s birthday party, I would say you should spend no more than $20 to $30 and that’s being pretty generous. If you think about it, it’s a gift from a 2-year-old to another 2-year-old, so it’s okay for it to be small and affordable.

It turns out there’s not much research regarding how much parents spend for a child’s friend’s birthday party, but a survey said that most parents spend between $5 and $30. (Source)

So, here is my list of affordable gifts for daycare friends in the toddler age range.

gifts for daycare friends

1. Crayons and coloring book

This is the quintessential best gift for a toddler daycare friend. It’s simple, it’s inexpensive, yet offers a lot in the creativity and imagination department. Plus, you can easily score a coloring book and a box of crayons for less than $5.

Also, we know how quickly toddlers scribble their way through coloring books, so you don’t have to worry that a toddler might already have this item.

2. Toddler soccer ball

My daughter received a Little Tikes soccer ball for her birthday and this is what we gifted her daycare friend. It’s the perfect toy for the backyard, the park, camping, and playdates. Most of the toddler-sized soccer balls are less than $15.

3. Camelbak water bottle

We really enjoy this Camelbak water bottle for almost any occasion. It’s durable, easy to wash, has a very nifty straw, and doesn’t leak! It also comes in many cute designs for toddlers.

4. Fingerpaint kit

Daycares tend to do a lot of painting and finger painting, which makes it a perfect gift. My daughter is constantly asking to paint at home, so having a paint kit is essential.

5. Bubble machine

What toddler does not love bubbles? I never thought about getting my toddler a bubble machine, but she was ecstatic when she received one for her birthday.

6. Megablocks building blocks

gifts for daycare friends

This first builders building blocks set is a must-have for every toddler. Priced at under $15, the set comes with approximately 80 blocks and is available in a few different colors. It’s an affordable gift that a toddler will love.

7. Toy cars

Pull-back toy cars are an amazing gift for toddlers and very affordable. Most toddler car sets are less than $10. This is one of the best gifts for daycare friends.

8. Water coloring book

Water coloring books are so cool. I heard about them in passing but had no clue what they were all about. I mean, how do you color with water?! One day, we were browsing Walmart and I found a Melissa & Doug water coloring book for $4, so I purchased it for my toddler. It has been a hit ever since in our house.

9. Flashcards

Flashcards are one of the best educational gifts for daycare friends and they are very affordable. We’ve purchased a set of flashcards from Amazon for a few bucks, but another great place to find them is any dollar store. I recently found Sesame Street flashcards for a dollar!

10. Pop fidget toys

These pop fidget toys are all the rage in the toddler arena. I first found out about them from another mom who bought them for an airplane trip with her toddler. Then, I happened to see them floating around at my daughter’s daycare.

They are super popular and affordable sensory toys that would make a great gift.

Affordable gifts for daycare friends

gifts for daycare friends

In your search for affordable gifts for daycare friends, just remember that small gifts are completely fine. There are plenty of items on this list that are less than $10, which is a great option if your child is invited to multiple birthday parties throughout the year.

I hope this list gave you plenty of ideas in your search for affordable gifts for daycare friends. What are some other gift ideas that you have? Drop your ideas in the comments below!

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