Whether your child is in need of a gift for her BFF -- and the friend's twin sister -- or you are looking for ideas for special family members that happen to have birthdays that are close together, picking out presents for siblings shouldn't turn into a chore. Before you just buy two of the same toy, keep in mind that each sibling is her own person and may have her own individual interests.
Clothes provide a cute way to get siblings similar birthday presents that aren't exactly alike. Young kids in kindergarten may enjoy a T-shirt with a favorite character from a TV show or a movie. Instead of picking up two sizes of the same character shirt, go for different background colors and variations of the main picture. Older siblings may enjoy a more fashion forward type of clothing gift. For example, if you need to buy gifts for your fifth grader's friends -- who are twin sisters -- try a skirt for each, but in differently unique patterns.
Younger kids may expect a traditional toy present when it comes to birthdays. Before buying for siblings, ask the parents if both children will want to have the same gift. Some close-in-age sibs and twins may have trouble sharing one toy. If the parents regularly buy two of each toy, you might want to follow suit. On the other hand, if your aim is to distinguish between two separate personalities, you will want to choose different toy gifts. Tailor each toy to the child's tastes. For example, if 3-year-old Johnny loves anything with wheels, get him a toy truck or model car. If his 1-year older brother Joe is more of a builder, give him a set of blocks or interlocking play logs.
Technological gizmos and gadgets can quickly get expensive, and are best reserved for gifts to your own kids or close family members. While it's unlikely that you will hand out iPods to your child's friends, you may gift these tech-time items to your nieces and nephews or grandchildren. Although tablets, MP3 players and other assorted electronics aren't cheap, don't think that buying one for both siblings to share is an answer to your budget issues. Unless you are completely sure that both children are 100 percent on board with sharing, buy two to avoid fights and sibling squabbles. Try a kid-sized tablet or mini laptop as a gift for children in kindergarten. Older kids can handle a regular tablet or an iPod type of apparatus.
Gift cards may seem impersonal at first, but choosing one from a beloved store or favorite eatery can show how well you know the birthday child. Gifting siblings with these cards as birthday presents allows each child to pick out her own stash of stuff that is completely separate from her sibling's. Younger kids may appreciate a gift card to a local toy store, while older children and teens may enjoy cards for clothing retailers, accessories stores or restaurants. Another gift card option is to give the siblings an activity or entertainment card to a movie theater, bowling alley or local laser tag arena.