Inexpensive Gifts for Children
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Ask Miserly Moms: Save Money on Birthday Parties and Gifts
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Cheap Gifts for Kids: Needs Gift Help
I have so many neices and nephews, and at $20 for each birthday and then Christmas, I am wondering if you have any helpful hints for cutting that back. I would love any homemade gift ideas for children. Any help would be appreciated!
Cheap Gifts for Kids: "Group" Presents
I come from a family where both of my parents have seven brotheres/sisters who all have at least four children. At holidays, we receive "group" presents. Examples include a puzzle (make sure no children are small enough to swallow pieces) that would require all of us to put it together and a chemistry set with projects for all of us. These are great because it would bring all of us closer together as siblings and were relatively inexpensive. Used puzzles (just as good as new puzzles) could be bought for a quarter at Goodwill stores. Just make sure it's something kids wouldn't mind sharing.
Cheap Gifts for Kids: Start Early
I, too, have many nieces and nephews. Homemade is great and I try to do at least one homemade present per kid, but most of my gifts come from early planning. I have been known to buy Christmas gifts in February if the price is right.
Also, I do a lot of refunding, which helps me receive stuffed animals, key rings, even bike helmets for almost free. Set up a "Christmas box" in a closet. Every time you find a good deal, buy it and put it in the box. In my box, I currently have three pairs of Barbie clothes that were 'Buy 2 Get 1 Free', Marvin the Martian boxers for my niece from the Warners Bros. store that were origionally $20 but I got them for $5, and lots more. I usually spend between 15 and 20 dollars and my nieces and nephews usually have 5 or 6 gifts to open from us depending on what I got. Hope this helps.
Cheap Gifts for Kids: Premiums
I solve gift giving problems by taking advantage of all the wonderful premiums offered by manufacturers. Look for mail in certificate and information for various promotions in your local newspaper or store aisles. There are also many nice freebies for visiting sites on the internet.
There are tons of offers for coolers, jackets, CDs, beach towels, pasta bowls, and sports equipment. It's a great way to save money and get some often quite unique gifts.
Cheap Gifts for Kids: Give "Time"
First off, try to remember that TIME is an incredible gift. If you're in close geographic proximity, a gift of time is easy and inexpensive.
For young kids, a special trip to the zoo with just you is a great gift. It makes them feel very special, is educational and fun, and (depending on where you live) need not be expensive at all.
For kids of any age, teaching them something can be a great gift. Because kids like to have a tangible thing to open, give them the basic tools, and then teach them how to use them. For example, I knit, and I noticed that my niece was interested in learning. So, for Christmas, I gave the gift of knitting lessons. I bought a ball of nice yarn and a pair of knitting needles, and gave them to her with a note promising knitting lessons. She loved it! And we spent lots of productive fun time together while she learned.
For parents of young kids, babysitting is a great gift! As a parent of young children, I'd be ecstatic to receive a gift of babysitting so that my husband and I could go out for dinner, a movie, or even just a walk by ourselves. Movies are expensive enough, but when you add the price of a baby sitter to the picture, they're not affordable at all.
There are a myriad of other things that you can do for people insteady of buying things. Clean the house, rake or mow the yard, wash windows, cook dinner, wash the dishes, run errands, wash the car, etc.
Helen in Elmhurst
Cheap Gifts for Kids: Keep It Simple
I could relate to your question regarding children's gifts. My husband has seven siblings that all have kids, and I have three siblings that all have kids, not to mention our three kids and all of their friends. It can cost a small fortune to buy presents! Here's a few of my ideas..
- Buy a small wooden jewelry-type box at your local craft store. Decorate the box with the child's name and fill the box with unique coins, polished colored stones, or anything the child might like to collect. It can be their special "keepsake" box, and kids love it. It can be done for under five dollars!
- McDonald's gift certificates are good for kids who live out of town. It saves the cost of mailing a boxed gift.
- If the child is a girl, decorate a cardboard box and fill it with "dress-up" clothes that you purchase at a thrift store.
I have tried all of these things with great success. They are unique gifts that go along way on a few bucks!
Cheap Gifts for Kids: Fill It Up!
I have younger brothers and sisters that still live at home as well as children of my own. What I do is go to Pic & Save and get one of those nice rectangular plastic storage boxes that are about the size of a shoe box (between 1 and 2 dollars) and fill it with things like soaps, shampoos, children's bubble baths, and brushes. You can even fill them with school supplies. Depending on who you are buying for, you can really pesonalize the box. I have so much fun doing this. One year, I did it for all my brothers and sisters and they loved it. I find that the gift ends up costing me between 8 to 10 dollars and it's all things they can use and have fun with.
Cheap Gifts for Kids: Pick One
Here are some suggestions:
Girls with long hair:
Make scrunchies with inexpensive fabric. All you need is about 1/4 of a yard for 2 scrunchies and 1/2 elastic about 8 inches or so long. Or make baretts and head bands.
Boys and Girls:
Don't know about all kids, but most kids that I know are very much into beanie babies and keyrings. You can make babies with patterns from Simplicity, McCalls, and others. Joanne's Fabrics (a fabric & craft store that's nation wide) often has their patterns on sale. When they do, I stock up on patterns for crafts and clothing.
As for keyrings, the kids where I'm from like to get all kinds of keyrings and hang them on their backpacks for school. I guess it's the "in" thing for now. A lot of craft stores like Joanne's, Michales, Art Co, etc. sell kits and patterns to make various animals and bugs out of pony beads. If you get the patterns, beads, and other supplies yourself, it usually costs less than buying several different kits.
I'm sure there are a ton of other ideas. I also do sweatshirt and t'shirt painting for my kids with designs that they like. Just a few ideas.
Cheap Gifts for Kids: A Special Verse
I am a poet by nature and I LOVE to write poems about many different subjects. One Christmas, I took a few of my favorites and typed them out on my computer with my name and the date. (You can even use a library's computer if you don't own one.) I printed them out in a font that I thought was pretty. Then I took some acrylic paint out, an old sponge, some water and a "palette" of cardboard. I used a piece of regular typewriting paper to cut out a square that would fit over the print and sponged a border around the poem. After sponging one color, I took another compatible color and sponged it, in splotches, over the original color, mixing it to my liking. After it dried, I laminated it with some "easy to do" lamination that I purchased at Target. The packages were sold in ten, 8x10 lamination sheets, for about $6. Then I bought some different sized frames to put the poems in. Because I used these different sized frames, those lamination sheets did quite a bit! I gave them away for gifts and got so many positive responses. You can make refrigerator magnets too! My friends and family loved these personal gifts. I still see them haning on walls or sitting on tables. What a blessing it has been to me too!
Cheap Gifts for Kids: Knitted Gifts
Let me share what my children are working on. Many of you may remember using a knitting spool (a.k.a. corker or knitting knobby) which is a spool with pegs around the top that knits a long, skinny tube. You can buy them at most craft or yarn shops--or look at one, then make one from a paper towel tube or other cylindrical object and some nails. The long tubes can be coiled around and sewn (like a braided rug) to make coasters, potholders, placemats, and such. We are making larger spools out of various sizes of tin cans. These will make larger tubes for items such as finger puppets, tube socks, and leg warmers. You can get leftover yarn from thrift shops or friends. A library book or friendly yarn shop clerk should be able to tell you how to knit on a spool. Kids learn quickly and enjoy working in the car, while watching TV, etc.
Cheap Gifts for Kids: Craft Kits
A great gift for children is to purchase burlap tote bags (at the local dollar store or such) and items like felt, pipe cleaners, construction paper, etc. Give the kids their own craft kits and let their imaginations run wild. (You didn't mention their ages, but older kids will use these, too.)
updated: December, 2013
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