Looking for Christmas gifts that will make the children on Santa's "nice" list smile, for $10 or less? The popular, flashy electronic toys and gadgets are fun for a short time, but a lot of these less-expensive toys and games will entertain children for years to come. All of the toys and games listed below can be found at www.Amazon.com, with a few noted exceptions.
Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids, Priced $5 or Less:
Hula hoop (available at www.thegreathardwarestore.com)
Balloons; "punch ball" balloons
Plastic army men
Lip gloss, nail polish
Little Golden Books
Crayons, Markers, Coloring pencils, Paints
Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
Stickers, sticker books
Costume jewelry--necklaces, rings, clip-on earrings, tiaras
Crazy drinking straws
Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids, Priced $10 or Less:
Classic games--Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Don't Break the Ice, Cootie, Memory, Uno, Yahtzee
Bead sets for making jewelry
Small Mega Bloks, LEGO, or Playmobil sets
Doll clothes and accessories (baby bottles, diapers, etc.)
Dollhouse accessories (furniture, people, pets, etc.)
Mr. Potato Head
Action figures--superheroes, animals, popular movie or TV show characters
My Little Pony figures
Littlest Pet Shop figures
Small "Little People" playsets
Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends "Take Along" engines and vehicles
Books--my favorite children's authors are Rosemary Wells, Eric Carle, Margaret Wise Brown, and Mercer Mayer
Diary with lock and key
Play food (www.toysrus.com has a nice selection of play food sets)
Soccer ball; basketball; baseball and bat
Bath toys--bath tub crayons, boats
Small stuffed animals--some Webkinz are priced under $10
Bucket of small toy dinosaurs, farm animals, wildlife, insects, sea creatures
For babies: Shape sorter (e.g. Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Baby's First Blocks) or rainbow stacker (e.g. Fisher-Price Rock-A-Stack)
Gift cards or Cash as Christmas Gifts for Kids?
My seven-year-old son is genuinely thrilled whenever he receives gift cards or cash for Christmas. Give young children ten one-dollar bills instead of one ten-dollar bill--it does make a difference! My son loves getting to spend his own money at Toys 'R' Us, Wal-Mart, Target, or a bookstore.
Give Children the Gift of Your Time this Christmas!
Is your niece's or grandchild's room already exploding with too many toys and games? Instead of wrapping up another Christmas present, plan an outing or a party at your house with the special kids in your life. Here are some ideas:
Take them out for ice cream, frozen custard, or McDonald's.
Go play laser-tag or miniature-golf.
Go 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 the library or a local museum.
Bake cookies or other holiday treats together.
Decorate a gingerbread house.
Teach them some simple card games.
Go see a movie, puppet show, or play (or rent a movie; put on your own 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!
No one likes a grinch, so get your Christmas shopping done early. Like right now (no pressure!). Merry Christmas!
This article was originally published at AssociatedContent.com.