Frugal Gifts for Kids

Between our own children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews and all those birthday parties kids seem to get invited to it's good to know a few frugal ideas for gift giving. Some of the toy ideas on the "Toys & Games" page will work and here are some others (many of these came from the nice people at misc.consumers.frugal-living).

Elementary age child (for girls): a t-shirt or acrylic frame, a couple of bottles of paint, some jewels (from the craft section at Walmart) and a hanger for the shirt. This ALWAYS goes over well.

Pre-school child : small fishing pole (about 6 bucks from walmart and a "fishing" hat.

For any age, those one-use cameras. get the store brand and stick in a coupon for cheap developing. this one runs right at 10 bucks or a little more but no one else ever thinks of it.

For the budding sculptor: some Sculpy (again at Walmart or a craft store). this is great stuff - the artist makes whatever they like then their adult helper bakes it in the oven and then it can be painted or markered, whichever is preferred.

Dominoes game - everybody should have one. this could also include checkers, Chinese checkers and Yahtzee. They're all pretty inexpensive and kids do play them.

For boys: any kind of camp or "army" equipment or accessory. Boys love anything camouflage - also flashlights, canteens, that sort of thing if you don't mind him playing army (I know some do). You can go to an army navy surplus store and get lots of stuff for not much money.

A piece of poster board and either some markers or a few paints and a paint brush or paint and some sponges or stencils. Making a BIG picture seems to be better than the same things with smaller art paper.

Some of the video rental stores will sell gift certificates for renting Nintendo games if the birthday child in question has one of those. This is cheaper than buying and gives the recipient the opportunity to try out a few different games.