10 Gifts for kids under $25

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

If you are like me, then you are not one of the lucky few who claim that they are already done with their holiday crafting and shopping. Yes, I”ve still got a few things to pick up for my nearest and dearest, with a careful eye on the family budget.

I”m not stressed though.  There is still plenty of time and this season of year is really best celebrated when a few thoughtful choices are carefully made rather than an over-abundance of gifts that will be turn into this Summer”s “junk” in a matter of months.   Quality over quantity.

While we”re making our lists, and checking them twice, here are a few great gift ideas for kids that are under $25.  These gifts are all under $25 but with a lot of value for your dollar.  You know I love toys that encourage creativity and the fewer batteries required, the better.  And I don”t think kids” toys should become obsolete, either.  The classics are always in style, as they say.

Quite a few of these items you can find by shopping online from home, in the comfort of your pajamas.  Now that”s a great holiday tradition!

10 Great Gifts for Kids under $25

1. Kiwi Crate Gift Crate

Kiwi Crate, one of my family”s favorite monthly subscription services, also offers one time gift crates.  You can purchase a holiday themed crafting crate or a gift crate with a super hero or a fairy fun theme.   Kiwi Crate also has some mini-crates and stocking stuffer ideas.  These are neat gifts for crafty kids ages 3 to 7.  You can read my reviews of Kiwi Crate here and here (please note the giveaway is now closed).

2. Artterro Eco Art Kits

If you are looking for some crafty fun for an older child, my eleven year old loves the eco friendly art kits from Artterro.  Their art journals, with the variety of materials to invite personal expression, are her very favorite.  This year we were given a wool felt kit to try and that earns two crafty thumbs up, too.

One of this award winning company”s  goals is to get kids and adults to experience art together. From art dolls to bubble-wands to wool felt wearables, there is a kit to appeal to just about every crafty interest in the Artterro shop.

Artterro has kindly provided a coupon code for Simple Kids readers:  SIMPLEART20 for 20% off any order through Dec. 17.

3. Games

I love to give family-friendly games.  A board game along with some cocoa and popcorn make a neat gift basket and a new or vintage game under the tree is always appreciated by my own family.  Family game nights bring us together and give the adults a chance to act like kids for an evening – a gift in and of itself.

Second-hand games have character, cool graphic illustrations, and are usually found for a song.  Just be sure that you”re picking up a game with all of its pieces and you”ve got a frugal, fun gift that will provide for many family nights of fun to come.

4. Rubik”s Cube

If you”ve got a tween or teen that you”re having trouble shopping for, I”d suggest a Rubik”s cube.  Yes, this puzzle game that probably challenged you, as it did me, as a kid is back and more popular than ever.  (Did anyone else ever get into trouble for cheating and peeling off the stickers?)

My oldest daughter loves the original Rubik”s Cube and this year she”s going to find Rubik”s the Void in her stocking.  Last year we got her an adorable mini Rubik”s cube necklace from etsy.

5. Paint Your Own Piggy Bank kit

We purchased one of these paint your own piggy bank kits as a gift for my four year old to make for the baby for Christmas this year and I was surprised a) by just how cute it turned out and b) by just how big of a hit it was with all of the kids, as the six year old and eleven year old have both put in requests to paint their own piggy banks, too.  I think we may have found a new go-to baby gift from the Flecks and something tells me that the the little penny savers in your family might love painting their own piggy banks, too.  It is under $10, so there”s room in a budget to make a little monetary donation to get the savings snowball rolling.

6. Music and Audio Books

I believe that music and audio books are a gift idea that holds appeal for all ages.  We listen to music and audio stories all of the time at our house.  They are fairly easy to transfer for listening to in the car and on the go as well.

A few weeks ago Tsh of Simple Mom mentioned that her Dad burned a collection of CDs for her daughter of all of his favorite songs.  Is that a seriously awesome gift for a kid, or what?  I think this year I”m going to make a mix for Jillian of all the music that I liked when I was eleven.  It should be good for quite a few laughs, plus serve as a gentle reminder that mommy was her age once, too.

Our current music and audio favorites:

  • Jillian, age eleven – she”s just discovered vinyl and so is getting a vintage record player (okay, not under $25) and a pile of thrifted albums to go with it.  Thanks to Soulemama for the inspiration!
  • Max, age six – Sparkle Stories.  Max is the perfect age for these and the Martin and Sylvia stories continue to be his very favorites.
  • Lucy, age four –  Lu loves Laurie Berkner and we”ve recently discovered the Christmas album.
  • Amelia, age 16 months – Elizabeth Mitchel”s You Are My Sunshine

Looking for more music  and audio suggestions?  Check out the Simple Kids archives as well as music reviewer Jennifer Brown”s brand new website Swing Whistle Zing.

7. Support Handmade

I love to give my children handmade gifts, even if they aren”t made by my own hand.  Etsy is my favorite resource for this and Etsy Kids has an abundance of great gift ideas, no matter your budget.

A few great Etsy Kids items that caught my eye:

8.Play Silks

Play silks are one of my favorite open ended toys for children.  They don’t have to be silk, they can be cotton or linen.  You can make own by purchasing silk blanks or using cotton fabric squares and dying them. You can also purchase them from companies like Sarah’s Silks or browse .

To stay under the $25 budget, I’d recommend either a set of smaller playsilks (the handkerchief size) or one large multicolored silk.  Both can be used in a variety of ways for play and are  a kid favorite at our house.

Source for silk blanks if you dye your own:

9. Books

I love to give books, the gift that keeps on giving in so many ways!  And, books are another category where giving second-hand has a vintage appeal that is also budget friendly.  Check out our Books & Music category some of our Simple Kids favorites.

10. Dolls

Boys and girls need something to cuddle and love.  I think dolls are great toys, and we have a few that have become like part of the family at our house.  If you have the time and the ability, a homemade doll is a lovely gift, destined to become a family heirloom.

If you’re looking to purchase a baby doll, I have found the dolls from Manhattan Toys to be very good for their price point – we have the Sweet Pea Snuggle Pod doll and a Baby Stella doll and both have held up well to snuggles and everyday play.

Looking for a big ticket item?  We LOVE our bean bag from Ahh Products!  Just add a basket or a bookshelf full of your literary favorites and you”ve given the gift of an instant reading nook.  Right now they have a special coupon code for Simple Living Media readers: Use the code SLM5 to get 5% all bean bags (even the ones on sale!)

What are some of your favorite budget-friendly gifts to give to kids?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. I love Haba clutching toys. I bought a bunch for my 6 month old son for Christmas. They are quality wooden toys that are SAFE and will last for multiple children. You can find them on amazon, but I bought mine through ecomom.com because they donate one meal for underpriviledged children for each item you buy from them-a great way to give back while you are filling your gift list!

  2. Robin from Frugal Family Times says:

    Such a great list, Kara! My kids only have eyes for Lego, so shopping is simple ans dull. (and yes, I totally got caught peeling the stickers off our Rubicks cube! Thanks for the laugh!)
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s latest post: Make Beer at Home. Part 4: Homebrew Kegging

  3. How did I not know Laurie Berkner had a Christmas album out? Buying NOW and it will be here in time for St. Nicholas Day!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s latest post: First Impressions: Stitch Fix, Round 2

  4. I also like giving (and getting!) art or craft boxes that can be tailored to the interests and age of the recipient. Paints, fun markers or crayons (handmade even), paper, yarns (a variety wrapped on a piece of cardboard), pipe cleaners, stickers, and google eyes (of course!) are always a fun collection.

    And I’m also a Rubik’s cube sticker mover.
    Lynda@Rhody Reader´s latest post: The Fortune Quilt by Lani Diane Rich

  5. Such a great list, Kara! I just shared a gift ideas list today, too, and Kiwi Crates and Arterro kits were at the top of the list. Great minds!

    Loving the suggestions – especially new music. I always forget about that!

  6. Some great ideas Kara! Thanks for the mention of my new site-I’ll be featuring Laurie’s new album in a couple of weeks–it’s a good one! Besides music, we like to give magazine subscriptions. Kids usually love getting mail & its a great gift that lasts a whole year.

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