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Simple Step Kids Gift Buying Guide

Updated on November 1, 2012

How to Buy Great Gifts for Step Kids

I'm step mom to two children that stay with us for summers, and visit every other holiday (one 15 year old boy and a 12 year old girl). Every time I see my step kids they look different, their sizes change and their interests are completely different. Sometimes it feels like we start over getting to know each other every time they visit. So getting gifts for my step children ahead of time takes more creativity and diligence than for my own children.

I want to give gifts that let my step kids know I care, I listen and I want to know them better.

Secret Coded Message Ring - Inpexpensive Gift You Can Personalize with a Secret Coded Message

Big or small, male or female this is a great gift for stepchildren. You can give them a nice looking ring and secret code a message to them (fun or sentimental).

To Send Home or Not to Send Home, that is the question...

I purchase clothes and memorable gifts to send back with the step kids

Large ticket toys generally stay here for summer entertainment

After the summer, if the kids are attached to the large ticket items we will discuss whether they want to bring them back to their mom's or not. I know they still go back to be lost or broken, but at least if the kids have a chance to enjoy them first, I feel like we got our money's worth. Plus, it gives me a chance to work with the kids on taking care of their own things, and talk to them about how to take care of these items when they get back to their moms. I know it doesn't always work, but it's the best I can do.

Best Thoughtful Gifts for Step Kids of All Ages - Gifts You CAN Send Back to Their Home-Away-From-YOUR-Home

These gifts aren't so expensive that you will wince sending them back to the step kids' home-away-from-your home and they are thoughtful gifts that express that you care about them and want to know them better.

Wreck This Box (Wreck This Journal / This Is Not a Book / Mess)
Wreck This Box (Wreck This Journal / This Is Not a Book / Mess)

This interactive journal set encourages readers to use it in new and interesting ways that they won't be used to (like taking the book in the shower with them). It's a fun gift set for kids and teens.


Board Games and Family Activities - Give Step Children Board Games to Encourage More Family Time

This is a harder sell for teens, but for younger children I love buying board games that encourage the family to spend MORE time together bonding while step children are visiting. Here are some favorites that we've bought in the last few years.

Make Your Own Opoly Board Game
Make Your Own Opoly Board Game

For Monopoly lovers, this board is customizable with your own property names and pictures! Have fun making the board together, and then playing too. Great keepsake to send home with the step kids as a memory of time well spent together.

LEGO Creationary Game (3844)
LEGO Creationary Game (3844)

It's like "Win, Lose or Draw" but for Lego building. Lots of fun.

Ravensburger Labyrinth
Ravensburger Labyrinth

This is an awesome board game that your kids probably haven't ever seen before. The maze changes each time someone plays because the pieces move. Great strategy game.

Ravensburger Enchanted Forest - Family Game
Ravensburger Enchanted Forest - Family Game

This is really a simple memory game, but it's so nicely put together. I was excited to see they were selling it again (they haven't in a long time - I had this game when I was a kid, though).


How to Personalize a Gift of Money - So Stepkids see You ARE Interested and Paying Attention

It can be difficult to find gifts I know my step kids will like, because they do change so drastically between their visits. I try to stay away from giving money and gift cards, because it seems (at least to me) to communicate that I haven't really tried to get to know my step kids very well. If I do give a gift of money, I like to personalize it.

Did you know you can customize e-mail giftcards with your own photos? All you have to do is click on "Upload Photo" to customize your gift card for no additional fee.

Add a photo of a fun family memory to a Visa or Mastercard that your step kids can spend anywhere.

Upload a Photo to Your Own Visa or Mastercard Gift Card

Gift Card Puzzles and Mind Benders

Make the opening experience memorable by encasing your gift of money in a puzzle, maze or mind teaser!

You don't have to ask the custodial parent for shoe and clothing sizes. Ask the kids.

Clothes Shopping for Step Children

Shop for Clothes Long Distance with Your Step Kid

I realize for the younger kids, you will probably still have to communicate with the custodial parent for shoe sizes and the likes, but once kids are in elementary school they should know their sizes (and if they don't you can teach them how to check tags over the phone as long as your patient).

Another way to shop for clothes when your kids live far away is to have your kids window shop online. Create a "wishlist" for your kids, and then have them go add to it! Then you can either make the purchases directly from the online store, or you can go shopping and you know what styles to look for.

Click here to read more about shopping for cloths for long distance step children.

Do you have step kids? - What kind of gift has been a hit with your steps?

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    • Wish List Gifts profile image

      Wish List Gifts 5 years ago

      I don't, but I know someone who does and I'm sending them this lens. Wonderful ideas!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      Great idea for Step Kids Gift