Guest Gurus Lisa & Stefanie of

Easy and Inexpensive Summer Birthday and Gift Giving Tips

Summer is an easy time of year. Everything is more relaxed and low-key. The layers of clothing come off, the sunscreen goes on and everyone is ready for a good time. Whether you spend time in your backyard, in the park, at the beach or on a roof deck, the vibe is just wonderful.

Summer Birthday Parties

Summer is a popular time for entertaining. There are three holiday weekends and many other excuses for a party or impromptu get together. That notwithstanding, summer isn’t traditionally a time for kid’s birthday parties. Many children with summer birthdays have their parties in June or September or go without a party altogether. Stefanie was born in August and never had a real birthday party growing up (maybe some cupcakes at camp). She is an advocate for making sure those Cancers, Leos and even some Virgos aren’t forgotten.

Tips for a Hassle-Free, Cost Effective Birthday Party

If you are the parent of a child with a summer birthday, there are lots of fun, easy and inexpensive ways to celebrate. Even if you threw your child a party in June or are planning one for September, consider hosting a small celebration on his actual birthday. Personally, we look for any excuse for a party.

• Skip paper invitations and use email or a free online invitation website like You’ll save money on the invitations and postage and do something good for the environment.

• Throw an outdoor picnic-party in your backyard or at a local park.

• Bring some outdoor games for the kids to play with. Some of our favorites are Boochie , Copter Darts, Make Monstrous Bubbles, and the Slam Shot Rocket. These are so much fun, the grown-ups are guaranteed to get in on the action.

• Bake cupcakes instead of buying an expensive store cake. The kids can even decorate their own cupcakes at the party.

• For party favors, forgo a bag of junky toys and candy. One carefully selected inexpensive item such as a ball, a jump-rope or a yo-yo will delight any child.

Tips for Buying Birthday Gifts

The last thing anyone wants to do on a beautiful summer day is travel to a toy store to buy birthday gifts. We would rather be playing with our families and friends and making the most of every day. With a little advanced planning, gift giving can be simple and inexpensive.

• Plan ahead. You will spend more on gifts if you wait until the last minute and have to scramble to find a toy store.

• Shop online to get the best selection of gifts and use a site like GIFT HERO that recommends gifts by age, gender and price category. Buy several gifts at a time to qualify for free shipping offers.

• Have your child make and decorate a card

• Join with another family and give one present

• Focus on buying something the child will really love rather than look to spend a certain amount. Children will be just as delighted by an inexpensive give as by a costly one. Some recommendations that are fabulous and are $15 or less are Color Dominoes by Eeboo (for 3-4 year olds), Balloon Powered Vehicle by Toysmith (for 5-6 year olds) and Bananagrams (for 7 and up).

Toys as Inexpensive Hostess Gifts

Toys also make great housewarming gifts, especially for families with children. Wine, flowers, candles or fancy soaps are all fine but we like to be creative and bring something more fun! It’s a great idea all year round but works especially well in the summer. Board games are always a hit as are puzzles – anything the family can do together. Or, opt for an outdoor activity-based toy like the OgoSport Mini Super Sport Disks, Safari Adventure Mini Golf from Kid Galaxy (or any of the toys we suggested for outdoor party games) which gets everyone up off their feet and running around outside!

About Lisa Fielding & Stefanie Katz Rothman, Cofounders of

As the mothers of 3 young children, Lisa and Stefanie attended more birthday parties than they can count and spent way too much time staring at the overwhelming, yet unsatisfying, selection of toys in their local stores and at big online retailers trying to find that perfect gift. They felt there had to be a better, easier and more convenient way…so they started GIFT HERO.

“We started GIFT HERO to change the way parents buy gifts for birthday parties. We’ve found what we hope are the best toys for the age and gender of the child and the amount you want to spend. We have tested all of the toys we sell – and we don’t offer anything we wouldn’t be thrilled for our own children to receive. We created the Gift Finder to help you quickly find your gift. And we’ve designed a fun and easy gift bag to “warp” your gift and bring it to the party. We call it better gifting!”

To see their selection of gifts and start simplifying your gift giving, visit