Help! Meeting the boyfriend's young sisters tomorrow - what gifts/toys can I bring?

Well, I’ve started seeing a new guy - we’re both at the same university (undergrads).

He has two younger sisters - one is 6, the other 10. I’m meeting them tomorrow afternoon at the school carnival we’re taking them too. I’d like to bring them small gifts/toys, not only to win them over, but also as a nice gesture (I’m bringing something for his mother as well).

I was thinking silly string like this so we could horse around in the backyard afterwards.

It should be something inexpensive - under $10US for each of them.

A few summers ago I was a swim coach for kids their age, but I never spent time with them outside of the pool, so I’m unsure what’s cool (and inexpensive).

I want them to like me, and I don’t want to show up empty handed.


I’d skip the silly string, just because it might get used inside the house, which would not endear you to your boyfriend’s mother.

Find out from bf if they’re into Hannah Montana. My 8 & 6 year olds love HM, and there’s a ton of branded crap to fit any price range.

ETA: Camp Rock & High School Musical are also popular with the girls. If you want them to like you, make sure you engage them in conversation as well. Ask them about school, sports, etc. Talk to them like one of your friends (though watch your language) - they’ll easily be able to determine if you’re talking down to them.

P.S. - from your link - the military uses Silly String to detect trip wires? That’s awesome.

What’s tricky is you have to get them both the same thing (I’ve got two girls, I know better than to allow any chance of jealousy), so it has to be something that both a 6yr old and a 10yr old would like.
What about flavored lip balms (BonneBell Smackers) in a little case/purse? (I’m assuming they’re girly girls like my similarly aged cousins)

A board game that you could all play would be very cool.

Am I the only one who thinks the lindsaybluth should skip the gifts altogether? I think muldoonthief’s suggestion is awesome. Engage them in conversation, and come prepared to talk about something kids that age like to talk about. They’ll think it’s pretty cool that an ‘old’ person knows about their stuff.

If you are going to a carnival, I would pass on the gift, but maybe get them something there.

Art supplies, stickers, magazines, books, and play make-up have always been big hits when I need to bribe the younger girls.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m only interested in bribing them - I like and am good with kids. At the same time I was coaching the swim team, I was an intern at the Children’s Museum, but it gets tricky with the fact it’d probably have to be the same if not very similar gift (as Solfy mentioned) and it has to be small.

Books/Board games would also be along my lines of expertise (as I have a 13 y.o brother who isn’t far removed from their age) but their mother…is an English phd, so they’re no doubt up to their ears in both books and stimulating board games.

Thanks everyone, and please keep up the suggestions, I’m starting to devise places to shop this evening.

I do art projects with my son’s keeblers. I have as much fun as they do, and it also lends itself to conversation.

Enright - “Am I the only one who thinks the lindsaybluth should skip the gifts altogether?”

No. This was my gut reaction as well. Kids know when they are being “bought”.
Just care about what they say and think and you’re a winner. Gifts seem more appropriate after you have established a relationship with them.

This is the most useful advice that’s been written so far. If you get the 10 year old something more advanced than the 6 year old, the 6 year old will hate you deeply and passionately, as only a 6 year old can. Get them both the same thing.

I also would skip on the gifts. Help them win something at the carnival, or buy them something there that they like. Maybe you could buy them ride tickets/arcade tickets.

Think I’ll go with the carnival idea - tried to ask the boy what they’d like, and he didn’t give a straight answer (not even when prompting with HSM, barbie outfits, craft supplies, etc). Also, the things I found for the girls were different - some more “advanced”, as muldoonthief mentioned, so that was out as well.

Here’s to hoping the carnival goes well! It’s a given I’ll try to engage them in conversation about soccer (their sport) and other things. Thanks again everyone – I’ll post afterwards to say how it went.

Let each one choose either one ride or one game to play/ride with you separately. That way you can spend a little one on one time with each and get to know them a little better. And to keep it really fair you could trade off : The older gets to choose first, the younger one gets to ride/play first.

If you’re good with kids and you are able to talk to them directly, and not down to them, they’ll be able to pick up on that quickly enough.

From what you say, I don’t think you’ve known the family long enough to give everyone presents.
I appreciate you’re trying to be very pleasant, but you don’t want to be seen as bribing anyone.

If you’re spending time with them all at a carnival, that is friendly of you.

I suggest you bring a gift for his mother the first time you are invited to the house by her.

I think it is a lovely idea. No idea what to buy though.

At the carnival, indulge the girls with an extra try or two at games they really like.

Bring the mother unit flowers.

Don’t do anything involving Silly String until you know people really, really well.

Definitely no silly string until I’m invited for a holiday meal - got it.

Thanks again everyone - Salem that’s a great idea, with who chooses first and such; it’s something I never would have thought of but will be meaningful.

Off I go! :smiley:

It went well - the older girl even won a cake! I think next time I visit, we’ll play some Wii Sports. But I really think in hindsight that a gift would have been strange - their demeanor wasn’t that of hyper or excited kids who demand attention. They were patient, thoughtful, and appreciative of the time I spent with them.

Any ideas for next time - preferably something outdoors before PA weather turns sour.

Thanks again for everyone’s input - it was much appreciated! :slight_smile:

What about a basic origami book? My daughter is now 11, still loves origami, and has done since she was 4 or so. Or a book on making friendship bracelets? Or quilling? M’daughter is keen on all of these.

The quilling has the advantage that kids can use the stuff to make cards (birthday, Xmas etc).

Klutz have books with basic equipment on these and other kid-do-able crafts like
origami and quilling, though you would need an extra quilling wand for both to be able to use the stuff at the same time, plus glue and toothpicks to make cards.

Pricewise they would fit as a joint gift. If the kids really enjoy any of the crafts, Klutz sell refills, or you can get them (more cheaply, probably) at any craft store.