Need Ideas for kids Christmas presents under $10 for 10 kids

BakingmamaDecember 14, 2012

Wanting to see if anyone has any ideas for cheap homemade or new gift ideas for our children? We're pretty much strapped this Christmas and can afford only about $10 for each child (there are 10 total). They range from 17 down to 3 years old. We are not getting any outside assistance and I'm stumped on what I could make/buy. I certainly don't want to buy cheap $1 toys though. I don't sew or crochet. Thanks so much for any ideas.

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Kmart has some nice toys priced at $10. Bought a toy cash register for my 4 year old grand.
Also bought a stuffed horse, $10 at Target, then made it some fabric saddles, granddaughter likes to change clothes on dolls/animals, she is 3 years old.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 7:34AM
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Well, the obvious answer is books--if you shop the book outlets or clearance sections of book stores, you should be able to get each a couple of nice books. They come in all interests, all age levels, something for everyone. And frankly, nothing is more valuable.

There's always the $5 movie bin at Walmart, too.

Or how about giving each a card with a message inside that they will each get a special day with Grandma in January--you can do something special with each. Maybe spend the day making cookies, or doing crafts, or out for ice cream.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:28AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Goodwill and Thrift Stores! They have many new, or 'like new' items. Many even have the tags on them. I always see lots of soft plush stuffed toys, often with tags, for $1 or $2. New books can also be found.

Vests? Scarves? for the older ones?

I'd bet that if you took any one of the 10 children shopping in a thrift store that they could find several things they liked. Maybe try it and see?


    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:46AM
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Books and jigsaw puzzles that are age appropriate come to mind. The older children may appreciate new school supplies. Do you have any events in your neighbourhood that you could give them a pass for? I remember having a lot of fun with a just a deck of cards. Not only did we play games with them, we built houses out of the cards etc. Many hours got spent with them.

Do you have any woodworking tools? I remember my father making jigsaw puzzles by gluing a picture onto thin plywood and with a scroll saw cutting out the pieces.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Do you have a Kohl's nearby? Nice stuffed animals and books ( near the check out registers) for $ 5.00 each. All the net profits go to Children's charities.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohl's Cares

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:55AM
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If you can find any garage sales, you can find some good deals there. I stopped at one a couple of weeks ago. Kids books were $.25 and nice sweaters $1.

Something we did when I was growing up was to celebrate "Little Christmas" or the "Epiphany" on January 6th. That is when the wise men reached Baby Jesus. We bought gifts when they were on sale after Christmas and exchanged them then. Santa could bring one tiny gift on Christmas and then you could do a little bit bigger gift at a later date.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 9:20AM
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woodsy_1 Zone 5b Illinois

When a family faces adversity (been there), a "we're in this together" attitude goes a long way. Have a serious talk with the older ones about the stress you're feeling. Be honest about your financial situation. Enlist their help in providing gifts for Santa to bring to the younger siblings, whether it be actual items or ideas.

I don't know your children, but the older ones may be willing to wait a month or two for a gift. Heck, they may be willing to forgo one all together!

Good luck and Merry Christmas to your family!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 9:42AM
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I remember shopping on Amazon last year and finding games for around $10 each. I think you can do a search by price. Since they have free shipping if you spend $25+, it worked out well. Also, places like Goodwill and Tuesday Morning have toys that are usually very reasonably priced.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 10:26AM
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The stuffed animal and book idea from Kohls is great. I've given that before.

You can find a ton of games for $10 or less at Walmart, Ollie's, The Dollar Store.

How about card games for the older kids. Uno, Phase Ten, etc. Even just a regular set of cards with maybe a book about all different games that can be played.

You could get them all a $10 gift card from McD's or 2 $5 gift cards each. Or gift cards from other places to eat. You could get them tickets to the movies. They can pick which movie they want to see. If you buy matinee tickets they are even cheaper. The kids could use them while off over Christmas break.

Scarves, gloves, hats, a fleece throw, team sweatshirt, NFL or other sports themed stuff for the older ones. The little green or pink plastic sleds for the younger ones. Flashlights, car stuff for older kids who might drive. iTunes gift cards.

Let us know what you decide. I think it would kind of be a fun challenge to find gifts for $10. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 10:41AM
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I like all of 'katlan's' ideas~~~I may steal some;)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 10:48AM
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If you open a credit card with Kohl's they give you coupons and a usually a 20% off day on the day you open the account. Plus they run frequent promotions - for every $50 you spend, you get $10 "kohls cash" to use in the store. What I do is shop the sales. Last week they had hot wheels for 50% off. I picked up a $26.00 set plus 2 men's dress shirts for my husband. The shirts were originally $40.00 on clearance for $10 and $15. I already had $10.00 or $15.00 (black friday was more) kohl's cash from a previous visit and I had a 20% off coupon. All in all, for the shirts and toy, I paid a little over $20.00. You can find kid's clothes on sale/clearance and they have younger kid's toys as well. I buy everything I need and just pay the card off when I get home.

Gift cards can come in handy for the older ones.

Target has sales sometimes. Mainly on stuffed animals, though. Or so it seems to me. LOL

If you don't mind buying used, Craigslist sometimes has some good stuff, just be careful of who posts it. I've seen American Girl dolls for $15.00 in pretty good condition. Not often, but it happens.

I think you have more options than you might think you have. Good luck!!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Gift cards for fast food or ice cream stores have always been a favorite of my kids. They get to decide when to use them and never hear "I don't have money for that right now" from me. I make my life easier by buying gift cards to their favorite places and giving them as gifts for many occasions, since we will go there anyway. I find that they order more carefully when using their "money".

For elementary age kids look for coloring books, stickers, colored pencils and a treat or two from Dollar Tree. If you buy 8 items and a nice gift bag/basket and tissue, you've spent $10 on a lot, and the quality of coloring books and stickers there is better than you'd expect of a dollar store.

Middle grades/teens like iTunes gift cards for music downloads. I can buy them at my grocery store. I know I've seen $15 cards, but can't remember if they come in $10 amounts.

Gift cards to Walmart or Target can be combined with any cash they might receive from others to buy a gift they didn't receive.

If finances are tight stay away from signing up for store credit cards to get a "deal". They charge 24% and can get you in a worse bind if you can't pay it off due to a surprise expense or bad habits.

Or, just get some crisp new $10 bills at the bank and put them inside a dollar store card. Kids of all ages love to receive money.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Many of my ideas were hit by frugalwallflower and katlan. Personally, I don't like giving books unless the person is an avid reader who reads books many times over or are a book collector and you know what they want. Except of course something like coloring books or if they like the crossword puzzle books, word search* or something. Otherwise, books are the poster child for one-use clutter if they get used once. Why teach kids that?

Cash is still a great gift. Gift cards are a distant second or third since so many gift cards just don't get used.

Do you bake? With your handle, I assume you do. That age group loves cookies, bars, Krispie bars, brownies and much more. Nothing to be ashamed of giving a gift of food. Or mix it in with some of the other ideas. The real young with a coloring book, crayons or colored pencils and a plateful of goodies? Few wouldn't be in hog heaven.

Younger would probably like Old Maid cards, and I don't know what classic board games go for these days but there might be an option too.

The youngest ones should be very easy to stay under the $10 mark, even under $5 if you want to go the purchased present way. Older ones? Well, keep in mind they might be approaching driving age. Something for the car if they have one. A key fob, first aid kit or even tools. If they have a car, floor mats are usually needed. It's late to start now but if you're near Menards or Ace Hardware you can buy a lot of stuff free after rebate or super cheap after rebate. Examples, 25' tape measure, wrench sets, screwdriver sets, hats, t-shirts, etc. Flashlights are a great gift too. The little LED ones that go on a keyring are handy and useful. A decent flashlight is usable by most anyone. Other ideas for the older, near driving age, is an ice scraper for northern climate or sunshade for southern. Both can be had for a couple dollars.

I'd say fire up the stove and oven. And look for some things they might need or find useful. I might sound like a broken record at times but I really believe in avoiding the trash presents, meaning the ones that are a waste of money since they won't be used, or won't be used more than once and will just wind up in the dumpster. Food and cash, most always get used and are still appreciated far more than the stores and "shopping addicted" want people to believe.

*One year as part of the gift I made up some word search puzzles and gave to the kids and had a little contest. I made the younger ones easier puzzles than the older ones. WordPerfect had a feature in it that let you set up the puzzle and it would fill in random letters in the blank spaces so it was easy. I had a 1st, 2nd & 3rd place prize of $3, $2 an $1. (there were 3 kids so each got a token cash prize and I planned a small gift for each so each actually got the intended prize, but it was down as a prize for winning. They loved it.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 3:07PM
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Frugal - you do have a good point in regards to the store cards. I've had mine for about 4 years. I plan what I'm going to buy and set aside the cash. I use the card to get the discounts and promotions and when I get home I pay off what I charged. This way I never pay interest or finance charges but still have the benefit of the discount. I suggested it for the discount factor only...I would never suggest getting one just to make payments. This defeats the whole purpose. Lol

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Thank you for all the ideas. I will certainly use a lot of your ideas. McD gift cards are awesome as these are definately treats and playing cards and puzzles. :)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 4:59PM
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Pet Smart has nice, good-sized stuffed animals only at Christime time for $5.00. Always in a bin in the front of store, in front of registers.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 5:30PM
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You can get $10 ITune gift cards but it come in a pack of 3 - $30 but if you need 3 it would be a great deal.

My DD and her DH and 3 kids are doing a $10 Christmas gift challenge. No, it's not 10 for each person per gift. It's a total of $50 for all 5 of them to do gift for each other. Check it out on her blog.

Also check pinterest for ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: $10 Christmas Challenge

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 9:36PM
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You have 10 kids under 18?!?! WOW, you must have your hands full! :)

For the older kids, check freecycle or the free sections of may be able to find them electronics or things that fit their interests which would leave a little more money available for the little ones.

Is it too late to sign up for a program to help with gifts (if you're low income)? Could you ask your friends, relatives, church?

Honestly, you guys can have great Christmas, because it's not about the presents. It's about being together. I would talk to the kids about how you don't have much for Christmas this year and then do something with the money that will make this year's Christmas memorable. Do something out of the norm that you all will remember. Have a camp out, go on an adventure, make a Christmas scavenger hunt, make a untraditional meal together. Hang out together and laugh and enjoy each other's company. They will remember it more than any other Christmas they'll ever have, no matter how many gifts they get or don't get.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 10:27PM
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I would do a mug with hot chocolate mix, a bag of microwave popcorn, and a note with you pick what we watch tonight. Kids love the power of the tv! They would have to share the popcorn and hot chocolate though!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 11:32PM
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Bakingmama, I hope it's o.k. to ask, what did you decide on for all your kiddies? It is absolutely o.k. if you would rather not say....just curious.

Merry Christmas!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:29PM
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