Frugal Gifts for Kids

Art supplies make great frugal gifts for kids.

Whether you're looking for an inexpensive birthday present or hoping to get started on your Christmas shopping, having a list of frugal gifts for kids makes it easier stick to your household budget.

Buying Frugal Gifts for Kids

Although advertising often tries to convince kids that the bigger and more expensive toys are the most fun, this doesn't mean you need to go broke buying gifts for the children in your life. Think about the activities you enjoyed the most when you were a child and you'll find plenty of inspiration for great frugal gifts for kids.

Modern technology has made our lives easier in many ways, but it's important to remember that toys don't need a lot of fancy bells and whistles to provide hours of entertainment. Frugal gifts also tend to be very educational in nature, teaching children the importance of creative thinking, problem solving, and using their imaginations.

Art Supplies

Encourage a child's creativity by packaging art supplies into a colorful container. Many of the following items can be purchased cheaply during the back-to-school sales in August and September:

  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Watercolors
  • Finger paints
  • Play-Doh
  • Modeling clay
  • Stickers
  • Coloring books
  • Construction paper
  • Sketch pads

If you know a child is interested in trying a particular craft, such as jewelry making, an all-in-one project kit with instructions and supplies makes for a great gift. These types of kits are widely available in craft stores such as Hobby Lobby and Micheal's Crafts, as well as most larger toy stores.

Board Games

Even though most kids today have at least one electronic video game system, board games are still popular gifts. Classic games can be enjoyed by children of all ages, making for a wonderful way for family members to spend time together.

Good board games for children include:

  • Candy Land
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Yahtzee
  • Monopoly
  • Battleship
  • Scrabble
  • Trivial Pursuit

To learn more about the different kinds of board games available, or for additional shopping suggestions, visit LoveToKnow Board Games.


Books are great frugal gifts for kids. Promoting a lifelong love of reading is one of the most important things you can do for the children in your life.

When looking for books to give as a gift for a child, you have several different options:

  • Classic children's books, such as books that were your favorite as a child
  • Books featuring the child's favorite characters from a movie or TV show
  • Books that are part of a series, such as The Magic Tree House or Judy Moody
  • Non-fiction books about a topic of interest to the child, such as sports or history
  • Comic books or graphic novels to help coax a reluctant reader to improve his skills

Still not quite sure what to buy? LoveToKnow Children's Books has articles on selecting age-appropriate reading materials for all the children in your life.

Toys for Outdoor Play

Playing outside is a great way for kids to burn off excess energy and get the physical activity they need to stay healthy and strong. Ideas for inexpensive gifts to promote outdoor play include:

  • Jump rope
  • Hula hoop
  • Squirt guns
  • Sandbox accessories
  • Diving sticks or other toys for a swimming pool
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Soccer ball
  • Baseball and bat

Frugal Wrapping

For children, unwrapping a present is half the fun! Once you've selected the prefect frugal gifts, turn to your local dollar store for an assortment of inexpensive wrapping paper, colorful bows, and creative package trims. The LoveToKnow Christmas slideshow Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas has a number of suggestions for how to creatively wrap your presents, even if you're not too handy with the tape and scissors.

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Frugal Gifts for Kids