Inexpensive, Classic Christmas Gift Ideas for Children: $10 or Less, No Batteries Required

These classic Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers will make the children on Santa’s “nice” list smile, and won’t break your holiday budget. Trendy electronic toys and gadgets are fun for a short time, but a lot of these less-expensive toys, games, and art supplies will delight and entertain children for years to come.  


Classic Christmas Gift Ideas for Children, Priced $5 or Less:

Jump rope

Bouncy balls

Spinning top

Plastic army men

Lip gloss, nail polish

Hair accessories

Jigsaw puzzles

Little Golden Books

Crayons, markers, coloring pencils, paintbrush and paints

Colorful beads, felt, and pipe cleaners for craft projects

Doodle pads, construction paper, notebooks

Coloring/activity books

Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars

LEGO minifigures

Stickers, sticker books

Costume jewelry—necklaces, rings, clip-on earrings, tiaras


Card games



Classic Christmas Gift Ideas for Children, Priced $10 or Less:

Classic games (Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Don’t Break the Ice, Cootie, Memory, Uno, Yahtzee)

Trading cards

Small craft sets (make-your-own jewelry kits, weaving loom, origami paper, etc.)

Stamps and ink pads  

Small Mega Bloks, LEGO, or Playmobil sets

Doll clothes and accessories (baby bottles, diapers, etc.)

Dollhouse accessories (furniture, people, pets, etc.)

Mr. Potato Head

Basic Barbie dolls (the ones wearing swimsuits are often less than $10)

Action figures—superheroes, animals, popular movie or TV show characters

Play purse



Play food    

Play money

Piggy bank

Soccer ball, basketball, baseball and bat

Hula hoop


Bath toys—bath tub crayons, boats

Small stuffed animals

Bucket of small toy dinosaurs, farm animals, wildlife

For babies: shape sorter or rainbow stacker


Or, instead of buying another toy, plan an inexpensive outing or party with the special kids in your life this holiday season. Here are some ideas:

Take them out for ice cream or frozen custard.  

Go play laser tag or miniature golf.  

Go bowling or to the local arcade (it won’t take them long to spend $5 or $10 worth of tokens, but they will enjoy every second of it, not to mention the “prize” they’ll get to purchase with their hard-earned tickets).  

Go on a hunt for the best Christmas lights display in town.

Go ice-skating or sledding.  

Take them to see Santa Claus.  

Go to a local library or museum.  

Bake cookies or other holiday treats together.  

Construct and decorate a gingerbread house.  

Teach them some simple card games.

Go see a movie, puppet show, or play (or put on your own play or puppet show).  

Do a puzzle or build something together.  

Read The Night Before Christmas or other holiday favorites together.  

Time spent together is the most special gift of all.


Happy holidays!

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