Affordable Holiday Gift Ideas

I've never done a holiday gift guide. I never thought I was one of "those" bloggers. You know, those bloggers who know about cool toys and handmade sweaters and host giveaways of all their holiday favorites. So I still don't know about those things, and hosting more than one giveaway in a month is more than I can handle, but I do like shopping.

I obsessively curate my kids' Amazon wishlists, even though they never wind up with even close to all the stuff I have on there. Hell, I have a wishlist. And a separate book wishlist. Because books are special. I find the whole wishlist thing to be like retail therapy, except it doesn't require actual money.

It really suits our budget.

Thinking about our budget made me realize that I can't be the only parent out there who looks for AFFORDABLE (under $30) stuff their kids will ACTUALLY play with, so. . . .

Culled completely from my kids' Amazon wishlists. And if you click on the links from here, I might earn enough money to actually buy one of these things for my own kids. Not that they actually need any more toys. 

I know you're looking at that picture and thinking, "What the hell IS that?" That's exactly what I thought when my mom Santa got Bilibos for the older two kids a while back. Basically, the kids sit in them and spin, or tilt, or whatever. I have seen 3 year olds have fun in them and I have seen 10 year olds have fun in them. Hugmonkey, of course, wants his own this year.

Another one from Hugmonkey's list, these Dado squares are a fun open-ended toy that are great for traveling. We're big fans of building toys around here and though I'm pretty sure we could have an all Lego Christmas, I think it's important to change it up a little. Plus, these look easier to avoid stepping on than Legos.

Ironflower is still obsessed with American Girl dolls - and she'd better stay that way until she's 15 or so, with the money we've spent on them - though now she really covets their accessories. Which are just as ridiculously priced as the dolls. But these bunk beds fit American Girls just fine and cost less than half of what they'd cost if they actually came from American Girl. The brand is Badger Basket and they have a ton of stuff that works with American Girl.

Usually I hate board games. Rather, I hate board games that are appropriate for my children. Except for Apples to Apples. I looooooove this game and it's not just because I always win. We have this version, but there's also a Disney  version that kids will probably love.

This game is deceptively simple, portable and entertaining for preschoolers through adults. I like this one for letter recognition, but they've also got animal and holiday versions.

I put one of these on each kid's wishlist. Not because they asked for them, but because they go through art supplies like they're edible.

Hugmonkey actually got this for his birthday, but all of the kids have been playing with it. Even Ironflower, though she probably wouldn't want to broadcast that to some of her friends at school. I like Imaginext products a lot, they let my boys act out stories with figures without feeling like they're playing with dolls (Hot Guy and I would love for them to play with regular dolls, but school has already socialized them into thinking that boys don't do that). Some other fun and affordable Imaginext sets include the Castle Wizard Tower, Super Friends Gotham City Jail and the Monsters University Row.

Nancy B's Science Club Binoculars and Wildlife Activity Journal look like the perfect thing to supplement our hiking and geocaching activities. I got binoculars when I was a bit older the Ironflower and they entertained me for hours. (Note to self; do not let children spy on neighbors with binoculars, which I may have done way back when. Sorry, former neighbors.). Coming in at just over $30, Nancy B'S Science Club Microscope & Activity Journal also looks pretty awesome.

So. . . .there you have it, my first holiday gift guide. What awesome, affordable gifts did I leave out? And should I do a book gift guide?


Tracie Nall said...

Great list! I think you are better at this gift guide thing that you suspect.

You should absolutely do a book gift guide!

Caitlin MidAtlantic said...

Ooh, that spot it game looks perfect for my daughter, nieces, best friends kids... especially with the $10 price! Thank you!!

triplezmom said...

@Tracie - Thank you!

@Caitlin - Glad to help! My kids love Spot It so much.

Kirs said...

The Castle Wizard Tower is what I want to get my son for his birthday. I bought the huge dragon already but I feel like the Eagle Talon Castle is just too big for him and it won't get used.

When I save up enough Amazon GC to buy it I will try my best to remember this post so you get credit.

I haven't seen Spot It before but it looks like it would be great. Gonna put it on my to-get list.

StephLove said...

We are probably about to go down the American Girl road, with some trepidation...