Quick Ideas for Birthday Gifts


Sometimes life gets busy and important dates and events are forgotten until the last moment, but quick gift ideas are easy to find for any age group. Consider the interests of the recipient and make a quick trip to the store for an item or gift card that reflects his personality and pursuits. Some gift items can even be purchased online and shipped using overnight delivery for a speedy arrival.

Babies & Young Children

  • For very young children, a stuffed animal can serve as a quick birthday present. Gift givers can purchase one or choose one from a venue that puts the animal together on-site for a slightly more customized gift. Another option is a bucket or bag of building blocks. Even if the child already has blocks, the additional blocks can let her build grander things from her imagination. Consider a quick trip to the bookstore for a last minute gift, since most babies and young children enjoy listening to stories.

Older Children & Preteens

  • Gift givers can often make a quick trip to the craft store or the craft section of a department store for a last-minute gift for children and preteens. Consider purchasing coloring books and crayons or an artist drawing set for children who enjoy coloring or a modeling clay activity set for children who prefer to build. Other options include jewelry making sets, T-shirt decorating, stuffed-animal making, scrapbooking and even science experiments, such as volcano making. For a child who already has a wide variety of craft items, consider a token gift, such as a set of pencil crayons, along with a gift card to the craft store for the child to choose his next project.

Teens & Young Adults

  • Teenagers often become more difficult to buy for than they were in previous years. Gift givers should try to incorporate the teen's personal interests into the gift, and when all else fails, purchase a gift card to the local mall for the teen to choose his own gift. For a technology-loving teenager, consider gift items, such as mp3 players and video games. Other options include experience-based gifts, such as movie theater or amusement park tickets, arcade tokens or game rental cards.


  • Most adults have outgrown the need for piles of expensive birthday gifts every year and many would appreciate a personalized gift, such as a monogrammed towel set or bathrobe, photo mugs or key chains, or personalized name plaques. For a gift recipient who seems to have everything, give them the gift of an experience, such as a gift card for an afternoon at the spa, a dinner for two, sports event tickets or a Nascar racing experience.

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