5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
This is the time of year when parents’ eyes begin to glaze over from stress. We want children to love their gifts, but don’t want those gifts to cost the moon. Fortunately, that doesn’t need to happen. Here are five Christmas gift ideas for kids that allow some financial breathing room while providing plenty of fun factor.
These come in varieties to suit all age levels, from the jumbo coloring and connect the dots books you can find for a buck (paired with some inexpensive crayons), to word search and other puzzle books. Tuck a few in the stocking or wrap them up for something to open before a long drive to Grandma’s. The kids will be entertained, and you’ll have some sanity for your road trip.
These can range from modeling clay, finger paints, and tempera to more sophisticated items such as pastels and sketching supplies. Many craft stores have easel kits on special this time of year that come with paints, brushes, and a canvas or two for less than $50. Art supplies are a great way to skip the holiday hype and support the artistic development of the kids in your life.
A child’s science hobby is a great thing to support during the holidays. Chemistry supplies, a microscope, or even some basic lab equipment can all make memories. Homemade gifts for children are great too. It’s possible to make a telescope for less than $50. Paired with a book on lunar geography, even the younger tots can get excited about space. If your youngster is more astro-capable, however, you might check this Wise Bread resource on picking the perfect telescope.
There are many iconic gifts that are affordable for the average family on a budget. Legos and Lincoln Logs come to mind, as do Tinker Toys. Board games are also part of the classic hits collection, and many of them are available for a song this time of year. If you feel like splurging a bit for that one “big gift,” consider something that will build some serious memories after the holiday as well. Examples include a train set, bike and helmet, traditional red wagon, or a slammin’ classic sled. If those are out of your budget, consider a good old "crazy carpet" sled. They are dirt cheap in northern climes and make for a fun afternoon on a snowy hillside in the country.
Skipping the holiday hype and overwhelming piles of toys can sometimes carve out enough cash to actually travel for the holidays, particularly if you are a family that usually goes overboard. I’m not saying you have to break the bank and go on a cruise, but if you want to get out of the city to make some traditional "white Christmas" memories, going lighter on the gift selection and shopping more consciously can certainly provide the funds for an affordable mountain cabin rental. Pack up inexpensive gifts and supplies to make your own meals, and enjoy the holidays unplugged for a change. You might find you want to make it an annual tradition. For a little inspiration, here are twenty-five gift ideas for five dollars or less.
Related Reading: We have several related articles available on Wise Bread. They include classy gift ideas for any time of year, six strategies for green gifting, holiday gift giving ideas for the truly broke, and thirty-six ideas for green gift wrapping.
What are your favorite Christmas gift ideas for kids? Do you have any super-secret strategies for keeping them fun and affordable?