Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Gifts on a Budget: Under $10 for Kids

For today's post on Christmas on a budget, I want to concentrate on children's gifts. More importantly vintage or handmade, which can be done inexpensively and will also save alotta Mother Earth's resources.

I am a HUGE fan of vintage gifts for the kids. They toys of yesteryear were made better, last longer and do not need 8000 batteries to work.

When I saw a friend had given her daughter her old collection of Care Bear figurines, it inspired me. The little girl brings the collection to dance class and the 3 year olds clamor to play with them while the older girls are dancing.

You can get large lots of figurines on Etsy vintage or Ebay for next to nothing. Everything from Star Wars figures to Cabbage Patch.

Have fun with an advanced search on Etsy for vintage toys from $0-$10. You will be thrilled with the things you can find. (Of course these toys also do not fall under today's more stringent safety guideline, so please be aware of that when you are shopping vintage.)

Another fun toy that travels well are finger puppets. You can buy these or very easily make them from felt of old gloves for cheap cheap.

These are great to have in a car to keep kids amused for even a few minutes. Personally, I splurged on the 2 bucks a piece for this lady's creations because she is way craftier with felt than I will ever be. (and seriously, after reading her tutorial on how she makes them, I am entirely unsure how she can charge only $2 per puppet.)

And my 3 year old is going to love the adorable assortment of animals I chose. I will whip together  a quick bag for her to carry them in and, voila, an adorable $10 gift!

You will find a large selection of amazing wood artisans on Etsy. I am a big proponent of wooden toys.  They are durable, quiet, and tend to foster a child imagination. And there are a many fantastic, inexpensive hand made choices.

Play food is always a great option. Either wood or felt are way nicer than their plastic counterparts. You can always make felt food for pennies... but take it from someone who spent 5 hours making 1 strawberry, 2 eggs and an orange slice.... but you can get a whole plate of food on the cheap!

If your house is anything like mine... you have 30 naked Barbies hanging around. This year, I will be outfitting them handmade. I have found that Barbie clothes on Etsy only run $3-$7 and you can get the most gorgeous outfits (and not all trampy belly shirts like you tend to get from big retailers)

I spent $20 on a plethora of Barbie clothes for Annika. She loves her Barbies and I like gifts that add to collections rather than add new clutter that will not be used.

Last, is actually a toy that I have featured before on a post about traveling with kids. But they are such great toys, they deserve another mention. It is the I Spy bags. They have been popular from the 3 to 11 year olds and it is something they can actually all play together.

These are also created by little girls... so they have the whole heart strings thing going for them... but it is absolutely still a great $8 investment.


  1. I was searching today on Etsy for stuff for the kids. I never thought to do the advanced search though! I will check it out. I was just talking to Liz today too about how I am going to get Nate a couple of those I spy things!

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