Top 5 Year Old Birthday Presents and Charity! (seriously)

Editor’s note: I was going to call this blog post: “How your kid’s next birthday party can make the world a better place – and a few 5 year old birthday gift ideas!)” but it was just too long.  Hope the shortened title did enough to get you here!

Little One’s birthday is coming up in few weeks, and I thought I would share some words of Mom-wisdom. In our short time as parents my husband and I have agreed on a number of things, but nothing as important as teaching our children about charity. As a family we have given our time, money, and things to those who are less fortunate than us. I am writing this not to toot my own horn but rather to share with you the brilliant website

ECHOage is a charity-driven, eco-friendly, online birthday party service where children learn the value of giving and receiving while celebrating.  The site helps you to choose from a predesigned invitation, select a charity (with your child’s help of course), and collect money. When you close out the party half of the money in your “bank” goes to the charity you selected, and the other half goes to your child.

My child was so excited to be involved in the process of picking the invitation and the charity for his upcoming birthday. I am THRILLED that as a family we can use birthdays to teach our kids another way to give to charity and I don’t have to deal with a mass amount of quickly forgotten about gifts. Not to mention how easy it is for guests; they don’t have to try to guess what to buy for my child – they donate for him!

But…of course…Little One is a 4-tunring-5-year-old boy – and once we got ECHOage set-up it was on to thinking about presents!  From the minute the invitations went out, he’s been scouring TV, flyers and his friends’ houses for exactly what presents he would like. So, with a little help from my soon to be five year old and his friends we will soon have the following toys in our collection. Playdates welcome….

Nintendo DS: This is a portable gaming system that Little One has been after ever since his sister got one in the Fall. I have been holding off (trying to avoid the total brain freeze which comes with portable gaming systems), but I’m also secretly looking forward to future long drives with both of my kids totally involved in their games. He also definitely wants any and all available Super Mario games (he doesn’t know yet that my husband is also mildly obsessed with the game).  Star Wars games are also high on his list.  I foresee a visit to the local video game store to learn about the other Nintendo DS age appropriate games in my very near future!

Play-Doh:  No matter how hard I try to make it, I have to agree with Little One here – the home made stuff just isn’t as good as the store bought. My colors don’t come out as vibrant, and there is always a little salt residue left on our hands. I know he’ll have a great time picking out new colors and one or two their cool creativity sets.

Monster Truck:  On his list he also has a monster truck. The problem is, he already has a monster truck.  I am considering re-wrapping the Monster Truck he has…He is pretty smart and probably will not fall for my tricks – but hey, it might remind him to start playing with some of the toys he already has!  In the event that I have to actually buy a new one, I am thinking he would be pretty pumped if we upgraded to remote control.

Any 5 year old birthday present tips or ideas let me know.  And definitely keep me posted if you decide to ECHOage your next party!