When the payload under the Christmas tree yields plenty of expensive toys from Mom and Dad, how do other relatives compete? Especially when you have half a dozen, maybe a dozen or more, nieces and nephews and assorted children for whom to buy gifts?
Maybe it’s time to go old-school. Get a little funky and try something different. Here are 10 cool gifts you can buy kids for $10 or less. Remember, we did our shopping early in the month and most of these items weren’t on sale – so they could be even cheaper when you buy them. Also remember that prices can vary by store in different parts of the country. But we’re in the ballpark.
Here’s what we found.
Shimmer Glitter Tattoos are just the thing for the pre-teen who wants to look cool but isn’t ready for the real deal. They paint on with a stencil, are bright and sparkly, and wash or wear off in about 10 days. For ages 8 and older only. There are plenty in the $10 range on Amazon.
Walkie-talkies are so retro, and kids just love them. We found Nerf brand Walky Talkies for $12.95 and a bunch more of all different styles and price ranges. Recommended for ages 7 and older.
How about some board games? Tell the kids they are 3-D – you get to actually touch and move the pieces yourself! We found Operation, Yahtzee, Chutes and Ladders, checkers, chess and more, all for less than $10 at Target and Walmart.
And don’t forget card games. You can buy a pack of cards for less than $5 just about anywhere – including the corner convenience store. Teach kids to play some simple games, like “go fish” or simple solitaire, and they won’t be pestering mom the next time it’s a snow day or the power goes out. If the kids already have playing cards, check out some of the specialized card games, like UNO and Monopoly Deal.
Hula hoops are back – and they’re sparkly and glow in the dark and what-not. We found them for as low as $6.99 on Amazon. Got a crowd of cousins? Get a 12-pack of hula hoops for only $41.37 and watch them compete in hula hoop contests. Or show them how it’s done!
Snow toys are great if you live somewhere that gets snow. A quick look through the snow toys on Amazon yielded sleds, snowball makers (hands are free though!) Sno-Art kit, Sno-Stompers and much more.
Got a budding artist (or would like to have one) in the family? Check out the art supplies at discount stores for great prices on such retro media as fingerpaints and a giant tablet of paper ($4.99 each at Target, possibly cheaper elsewhere). We’re not talking high-tech here, and they may be totally thrilled by getting their hands dirty.
Kids love wildlife. How about a simple bird feeder to hang in the back yard so they can watch the birds, and maybe start a list of what they see? Get a basic feeder for less than $10 at places like Walmart or Kmart, but make it a creative endeavor and give them one that they can build or paint themselves. They can identify birds online. Just click here.
Give a kid a magnifying glass, and she’ll spend hours examining everything from her own fingernails to the ants in the backyard. You can get a Backyard Safari Magnifying Glass on Amazon, which is marked down from $18 to $5.85 right now. Perfect for the budding scientist in the family. Or any curious kid.
Look for kids’ gifts in unexpected places – Home Depot or Ace Hardware, for example. They’ll get plenty of the hard plastic stuff – Barbies and Legos and such, from everyone else. But they’ll use and remember your gift.