Everything you need to know about gifting etiquette for kids’ birthdays

We’ve all been there: A birthday party is approaching, you don’t have a gift yet and you’re slightly panicking. You want to give something meaningful, but not over-the-top. Something heartfelt, but also something they actually want. 

The truth is there’s a lot to consider when it comes to gifting, and knowing the appropriate etiquette can help avoid that pre-party stress. 

Whether you’re hosting a kids’ bday party or your kiddo’s attending a friend’s birthday party, we’re answering your top questions about kids’ birthday gifting.

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How much should I spend on a kids’ birthday gift?

When deciding how much to spend on a kids' birthday gift, aim for a range that feels comfortable for you, typically between $15 to $30. This range is considered reasonable for a child’s friend, ensuring your gift is thoughtful without being extravagant. If your child is super close to the birthday kid or you have a special relationship with the family, you might opt for the higher end of the spectrum. Remember, it’s the thought that counts! Sometimes a heartfelt card holds more value than that cool new toy everyone’s talking about.

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Can I give a gift card as a birthday gift?

Absolutely! Gift cards can be a solid birthday gift, especially for older kids who may want more control over what they get. And luckily, you can easily send an eGift card with Evite! Select a card the birthday kid will love, then attach an eGift card to a top retailer like GameStop, Starbucks, Target and more! Learn more about sending eGift cards with Evite here.

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When do you open presents at a kids’ birthday party?

The timing of opening presents at a kids' birthday party can vary based on the preferences of the birthday child and their parents. Here are a few common practices:

  • During the party: Some families prefer to open presents in front of all the guests, often towards the end of the party. This can be exciting for everyone, as kids love seeing their gifts being unwrapped.
  • After the party: Other families might choose to open gifts after the guests have left. This can help avoid any potential awkwardness or disappointment if one child's gift isn't as exciting as another's.

Regardless of when you choose to open gifts, be sure to keep track of who gifted what so you can send personalized thank you cards promptly. When the time comes to write your cards, check out our guide to writing thank you notes here.

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Is it okay to not do gifts at a kids’ birthday party?

Yes, it’s perfectly okay to have a no-gift policy at a kids’ birthday party! In fact, according to our After Party report, gift-free parties are on the rise: 53% of surveyed parents said they attended a no-gift party last year. No-gift parties are a great way to minimize clutter, focus on experiences rather than material items and teach little ones about gratitude and giving. If you decide to go this route, make sure to clearly state it on the invitation to avoid any confusion.

Here are a few alternatives to typical gifting:

  • Crowdfunding: Add a crowdfunding directly to your Evite invitation to gather funds for a personal cause or savings fund. Learn more about crowdfunding with Evite here.
  • Charitable donations: Give guests the ability to donate to a charity of your choosing (or the birthday kiddo’s choosing!) without having to leave Evite. Learn more about Evite Donations here.
  • Book exchange: Ask guests to bring books instead of toys to give your little bookworm plenty to read.

And just like that, you’re ready to take on kids’ birthday gifting with confidence and tact! Planning your kiddo’s bday party? Browse kids’ birthday invitations here. Attending a bday party? Find the perfect kids’ birthday eCard here and browse plenty of awesome kids’ birthday gift ideas here.

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What makes Evite Signup Sheets different from Signup Genius?

Developed hand-in-hand with community organizers, PTA presidents, parents, and teachers, Evite's sign-up sheets are designed to make organizing volunteers a breeze. Here are a few ways Signup Sheets are different than Signup Genius:

  • 100% Free: Signup sheets are free to use
  • Ad-Free: No popup ads ever! Our sign-up sheets remain clutter-free, keeping your volunteers focused on signing up.
  • No Extra Login Required: Seamlessly use your Evite account to create and manage sign-up sheets, keeping all your events in one convenient location.
  • Automatic Reminders and Notifications: Stay on top of your event with automated reminders and notifications for you and your participants. Perfect for busy parents, teachers, and anyone juggling multiple commitments.
  • Customization Options: Tailor sign-up sheets to your specific event, whether it's a school fundraiser, potluck, volunteer opportunity, or team activity. Add custom tasks, time slots, and requirements for smooth coordination.
  • User-Friendly Experience: Our intuitive interface makes creating and sharing sign-up sheets simple for everyone, regardless of tech experience.
  • Real-Time Updates: Get instant notifications whenever someone signs up or makes a change, so you always know where things stand.

Choose Evite Signup Sheets for the easiest, most streamlined way to get volunteers and signups for your next event!

What is a signup sheet?

Signup sheets are the perfect way to streamline scheduling, volunteer recruitment, class parties, snack duty, potluck organization, parent-teacher conferences and more! You can think of them as your digital assistant for coordinating events and tasks and ensuring that your event is a success.

Evite SignUp Sheets offers parents, teachers and event planners customizable online forms that organizers and volunteers can access and update effortlessly. Volunteers can choose their preferred time slots, sign up for tasks or indicate what they'll bring to the event. It only takes organizers a few minutes to create a signup sheet and send it out with a shareable link, so they can get the word out via text, email or social media—whichever way they prefer! 

Long story short, signup sheets save everyone involved tons of time, avoid scheduling headaches and ensure everything runs smoothly before and during the event.

How do I create a signup sheet?

Creating a signup sheet has never been easier than with Evite! Here’s how to create a sheet that’s sure to make your event an absolute success:

  1. Go to Evite SignUp Sheets and choose the template that best fits your needs. Evite offers multiple signup sheet templates perfect for every occasion, including:some text
    • Signup sheets for standalone events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a class party, potluck or end-of-season party.
    • Signup sheets for recurring or multi-day events (without different time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing a meal train, post-game snack duty or during appreciation week.
    • Signup sheets for single or multiple day events (with time slots), perfect for when you’re organizing concession stand volunteers, fundraisers and parent-teacher conferences.
  1. After selecting your sheet template, create a title for your signup sheet and add the date, the location, the time (if applicable), who the organizer is, the organizer’s phone number or email and an optional note describing the event to your volunteers. You can also change your signup sheet background and title image if you wish!
  1. Next, create slots for your signup sheet. If you aren’t logged into your account, you will need to do so at this point, but luckily, you can use your existing Evite account (no need to create yet another login!). What you’ll include here will depend on what your event needs, but you can include a list of what’s needed (along with optional descriptions), how many volunteers are needed, and dates and times.
  1. After creating your slots, you can then add a wish list from any retailer or include supply suggestions from Evite’s retailer partners. These are to help your volunteers find and purchase supplies quickly and easily.
  1. Finally, review your sheet, copy your shareable link and send it out to everyone on your list! Every time a volunteer signs up for a slot on your signup sheet, Evite will email you. We will also send reminders to you and your volunteers before your event so no one will forget about it, and we’ll even let volunteers know if you remove their slot or cancel your event sheet so you don’t have to!

What information should be included on a signup sheet?

When it comes to signup sheet information, there are some essentials to include regardless of what you’re organizing:

  1. A title for your signup sheet. Tip: Aim to keep your signup sheet title concise but clear. You want volunteers to read it and have a general understanding of what your event is about, and also make it easy for them to look for later if they need to reference your sheet again. You have the option to include a more descriptive note in a different field about your event, so save the more in-depth details for that!
  1. When and where the event is taking place. 
  1. The organizer’s name and phone number.
  1. Slots for volunteers to choose from. Once you choose the SignUp Sheets template that fits the occasion, the slots you’ll need for your sheet will be right there and ready for you to add the relevant info, such as dates, times, items to bring and tasks to complete. 

When adding your slot information, clearly define what people are signing up for, especially for a what-to-bring list or role assignments. If you want someone to bring healthy snacks for kids to enjoy after a game, specify that. You want your volunteers to feel confident in what they’re bringing and to make it easy for them to know what’s expected of them. It will save them time and stress (and you, too!). That being said, if you make your ask too specific (for example, asking for a hard-to-source item or something expensive), you may not end up with a volunteer for it. So be clear about what you expect, but also be reasonable!

Aside from providing the basic signup information, you can also add optional descriptions to both your entire signup sheet and individual slots. While not required, they can help guide your volunteers further and provide more information. You can add information about allergies, preferences and general info about the event. You can also add a wish list to make it easier for your volunteers to bring exactly what you need!

What are the benefits of using a signup sheet template?

Signup sheet templates offer a ton of advantages for both organizers and volunteers and with Evite SignUp Sheets, you'll enjoy even more benefits than other digital and paper signup sheets! Some benefits our signup sheet templates offer include:

  • A 100% free experience (no subscriptions required!).
  • Shareable links for quick and easy sharing.
  • No need to create another login—you can use your existing Evite account.
  • The option to add a wish list to help your volunteers out.
  • Automatic reminders—we’ll remind everyone on your behalf.
  • An easy-to-use experience with eye-catching guided templates.
  • Clean, modern designs with no pop-up ads.

With Evite SignUp Sheets, you can enjoy organizing and coordinating all your events with ease. Signup sheets streamline the signup process for everyone involved, ensuring that everything will go to plan on the day of your event while saving you precious time in the process.

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