Tuesday, January 08, 2013


Stocking up on birthday gifts

Having a kid in pre-school has been an eye-opener.  Actually, having a kid start school has been interesting - to say the least.  Aside from the usual - homework and school activities - one other pre-school thing we've learned to prepare for are birthday parties.   

Laz's pre-school is small.  There are 12 kids in his class, Laz included (and 3 teachers assigned in Laz's Cycle 1 class alone, so Pao and I are really happy about the student: teacher ratio).  He has school from 8:00 am to 10:30 am, Mondays to Fridays.  The youngest class in the school, the Play School, has a similar morning schedule, as do the first graders.   Anyhoo, so usually, when a kid has a birthday, he or she celebrates not just with his or her own class, but usually with the other class groups who basically share the same morning schedule.  The first graders don't usually join the little kids (i.e. Cycle 1 and Play School) but birthday party treats and giveaway bags usually include the Grade 1 kids in the headcount.

The first 2 birthdays, we hand-picked gifts the weekend or two weekends before the party.  Parties are always held in the school, and parents send home birthday party invites at least a week before the celebration (ideally!).   In Laz's class, birthday parties in Cycle 1 start at 9:00 am (their merienda time) and last for about 45 minutes to an hour.   (Sometimes more).   Anyway, after the 1st 2 birthdays, I learned my lesson and started buying the gifts in bulk.  A good thing too since there has been a steady stream of birthday celebrations since pre-school started last June.   

I started with cute pencil boxes and pencils for the little girls - all from Regalong Pambahay.  Then I added these cutesy eraser sets from this store in Robinson's (I forgot the name - it always has tons of Angry Birds stuff on the display window).   For the boys, it was easy: Hot Wheels, in twos.   Most of the toys given and received are pretty simple, never anything extravagant.   (We appreciate everything we received for Laz's birthday last November - thank you!).  Then I just got gift bags - babushka-printed ones for the little girl gifts, and car-printed ones for the boys.  It helped to keep everything straight, especially when we're rushing in the mornings (which is almost always!).

Now we've gone through our stash of birthday gifts.   So I am back to buying a gift whenever we receive an invitation.  We got Maia, who celebrated her birthday in school this morning, a Tinkerbell DVD, for instance, and I plan to get DVDs or books again for other celebrants for the rest of the year.  I already bought this last quarter's stock of gift bags as well, hehe.   I intend to pick out something gender-specific for the rest of the year's gifts, but come next school year, I fully intend to stock up on gender-neutral DVDs.  I'm sure fellow mommies out there buy everything in bulk too!  

Laz posing with Maia, who celebrated her birthday in school today.

In almost all the birthday parties, parents usually serve McDonalds or Jollibee.
The kids are so used to it and actually expect to be fed those combo meals.
One time one family served something else, I think, and the kids were looking for their burger/chicken!

*Last 2 pictures grabbed from Maia's mommy, Mary!  Thank you!


  1. I never realized this responsibility comes along with enrolling your kid in school haha! Good tip on buying in bulk!

  2. your welcome anna! thank you din! i stumbled upon your blog in while searching something on google. Ü