Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a holiday shopper more than the dreaded children’s toy store. If your shopping list includes children, you can avoid electronics and cartoon inspired toys with a few gift ideas for budget-friendly children’s gifts.
Contribute to a group gift. If a ski trip tops Junior’s list-but, it’s too much for one gift giver to manage, make it a group effort. Older children understand money and are usually willing to accept the value of one large “dream” present.
Accessorize other gifts. Communicate with other gift givers-and offer to buy a “required” accessory or two for one of the larger gifts not in your budget. After all, every doll seems to have an array of must have accessories-as do most electronic toys.
Share your hobbies. Offer an interesting talent and provide personal lessons to a child as your holiday gift. Combine a private lesson “gift package” with some basic starter supplies-your own hand-me-downs work well-such as yarn and knitting needles for an aspiring knitter or a simple model car kit to share one of your favorite hobbies and talents with a child.
Get crafty. Children often seem to enjoy arts and crafts. Pick up a mismatched selection of random supplies, art paper, crayons, and markers from a discount store or the bargain bins at a craft shop-or build a gift from your own unused craft closet stash.
Encourage a child’s off-season activities. Do you know a young soccer pro in training or perhaps a tennis star? What gear is on their wish lists? You may be in luck if a certain expensive soccer bag, in just the right color, is discounted during the winter off-season!
Bring back a childhood favorite toy-and a memory. Classic toys never seem to disappear from toy store shelves-and are usually much cheaper than the season’s hot items. Offer one of your own favorite childhood toys, or even hand down the original, and dig out an old photo of you with your toy as well.
Handmade items share a bit of you. Whether you sew, or create pottery, or simply create crafty things in your spare time, a handmade gift is an expensive way to give a child a gift and a long lasting memory.
Build a unique gift basket with a theme. If a child has a favorite cartoon character or a favorite sports team, pick up related items during sales throughout the year to build one large themed gift for the holidays.
Give a future field trip. Create a printed, personalized certificate for lunch and a movie-or perhaps a hockey game or a trip to the mall. It may not seem “ultra cool” when it’s opened, but it’s a great
Creative play toys encourage imagination. Break away from the commercialized list and look to lower cost alternatives in items such as dress up clothes, pretend food, and play garage tools.