I have a 5 year old step son and he is into the Hulk, Transformers, Mickey Mouse, cars, and just all this boy stuff, but he has all the toys in the world because his dad and real mom spoil him. I was just wondering what I should get him with a budget of $50 for him maybe only $25. Please help me.
By Nikkie09 from Corpus Christi TX
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I would go to the dollar store and get a big stocking and a few fun things like glow sticks, little games, etc. I would then find a nice book or two that will fit inside. With a note of promise to read them to/with him. Some cookies and candy would be fun, as well. The more little things (wrap each one!) the better. Then I would think about what he likes to do, and make a coupon book of things to do with him: maybe making cookies, renting a movie of his choice and popping corn to watch it together, building something together (if neither you or your husband is handy. Home Depot has parent/child projects on Saturday mornings); fishing time with dad, and so on.
Kids want our time as much or more than "stuff" (though in some kids it has been conditioned out, it seems). Show him that you and his dad are willing to give him that time. For some reason, kids also like filled stockings (!), and often their favorite gift is something silly, like glow sticks or silly string.
Oh, one other thing; you can always get him a little boy's wallet, and spend the rest of what you've budgeted for him on a gift card from a store such as Walmart. I do this for my nieces and nephews, since we live far apart and 1. I don't know what they have and 2. I don't know what they are "into" at any particular time.
At five, my one nephew opened the gift card, and declared that they needed to stop what they were doing (opening gifts Christmas morning) and go shopping NOW! They look forward to their g.c.s eacch year.
If he has "all the toys in the world", why not get him practical things with his favorite characters on them. Things like Hulk underwear, Transformer pjs, car themed storybooks, etc. Also, if you want to start teaching financial responsibility, you could buy him a share of stock in the company that makes his favorite toy.
Since most companies no longer issue real stock certificates, you could print up one with his name and a picture of the toy that the company produces. You could explain to him that he now "owns" a small part of the toy company. As he ages, you can teach him how to follow the stock market and watch the value of his stock (hopefully) grow. Believe me, he will appreciate the time you spend with him and financial education that you have provided long after the toys are outgrown.
If you and the boy's Dad are married why don't you give gifts together? The married couples that I know do that. If you are no longer together and you have maintained some kind of relationship with him, I would say a $5.00-$10.00 rememberance would be enough. You can get books, color books, some puzzles in that price range.
I would try ordering a personalized book with a character he loves. My daughters have a Disney Princess book with their names in it and they love reading a story that includes them. I know there is a Disney Cars version, and others if you search online.
Try www.identitydirect.com. (This website has Christmas delivery for orders placed by the 14th.)
I like books because you can read them together, especially still at age 5. Board games are a great choice, also, because they are still about spending time together which is what any kid really wants.
If the one who gave birth to him, spoils him with lots of toys, does she play with him and his toys?
Get down on the floor and play with him. He will remember that longer than anything. Read to him. Imagine with him. Make cookies, pick out garden seeds for next year,let him help you plant them. You can plant beans in a paper cup with wet paper towels, watch them grow! Listen to him talk. Ask questions. Have him tell you a story. love him. Some of the best gifts, are not things that can be bought in a store. Many good ideas here. Enjoy that little boy!
Expand his horizons, get something without a character on it! Craft stores sell easy building kits for children. Make a birdhouse or a race car together. What about paints, playdough, or other childhood favorites. Or what was your favorite book as a child? Get him his own copy and start reading it together.
I would find a place in your area that he would like to visit; children's museum, ball park, zoo, amusement park, and wrap him a package with a trip to this place announced and then plan a special day with him there. Even several movie nights would be special if he does not get to do that. Being with "you" would be the best gift for these times.
Why not do a little photo album of you, his dad and all the things you do together? Including other family members in the photos would be great too. It would be just his little album.
These are all great ideas, esp. the ones involving spending more time with him. My 5 year old son loves all the same stuff plus he enjoys when I let him snap the photo. There are kid-tough digital cameras now. I know you are thinking what? But it could give him some independence and teach him some great skills. Who couldn't use practice taking good photos? I've seen these cameras for $49 and under now. Good luck!
Since others have already said the very good things about time, I will mention bedsheets. it seems a weird thing to say, but twin bed sheets that come with a pillowcase come in some pretty fun patterns. I know I've seen a Hulk one and they're 15 to 20 bucks. I always likes the sheets that had my favorite characters on them.
Or maybe a bedspread of the same. Usually 20 to 30 dollars at places like Wal Mart. Hope this helps!
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I have received some great gift ideas off of here for adults. However, I need some ideas for cheap homemade gifts for children ages 6 months to 12 years. Last year I made tie blankets. Any other ideas? Thanks for the help.
Anne from Troy, OH
You could make everybody a Christmas stocking with their name on it. (10/13/2008)
If you sew; you are set. Last year I bought a cute little stuffed bear at the Dollar store for my 5 year old granddaughter then sewed her a bunch of cute little skirts, dresses and tops for it. I bought her a little "dresser" to put the clothes in. It was really one of those 3 drawer plastic tote-bins from Walmart. She is still playing with these doll-bear clothes to this day and re-dresses "Smiley" the pink bear in a new outfit every day. The dollar store (Dollar Tree) also has outfits that you can buy, so I also bought her some of these too. The nice thing about sewing Barbie and stuffed animal outfits is they cost you nothing, because you can use your sewing scraps. If you don't sew, but crochet or knit, you can make sweaters for dolls and bears.
Another thing I did was buy several T-shirts in colors at the dollar store and sewed ruffles on the sleeves and appliqued "cute" on the front. The fabric I used I also made a skirt with, so they both matched. By buying the T-shirt already made for only $1, you save all kinds of time. If you have scrap fabric, make a scrunchie to match.
If you are good with wood working, you can make girls doll swings. I bought a cute handmade doll swing at the thrift store several years back and painted it sage green with flower vines on it. The person who made it used chains like on real swings, but rope would also work. The swing I bought is about 14 inches high. My granddaughter can sit for hours pushing her dolls and animals in it.
Another of my favorite things I like to buy/make for my granddaughter is a craft basket. You can buy the supplies at the dollar store and each time I visit we make something with the supplies. Every once in a while I'll add to it, if I find a discounted craft item. Thankfully they have lots of craft supplies at dollar stores these days. She now knows how to sew on buttons and make roses out of scrap fabrics.
For boys aged 5 and over, if you can spend $10, you can put together 10 tools for the start of a real toolbox for them with real tools at the dollar store. I did this for my daughter and now she has the basic tools to fix things around the house. We did this for my son and by the time he moved out he had quite a collection of tools.
There are recipes for making playdough on ThriftyFun and online. This stuff is fun for all ages and you can buy some cookie cutters at the dollar store to use with this. Just make up a batch and split it into 3 or 4 different colors. The nice thing is homemade playdough cleans up fairly easily, whereas homemade silly-putty doesn't.
For the baby, I'd crochet sweaters. (10/13/2008)
We have 7 kids and 14 grandkids with # 15 on the way. I'm basically the Queen of inexpensive gifts. One of the gifts I like to give is a gift certificate for that child and I to go to the dollar movies for some special one on one. They enjoy your time and the movie. (10/17/2008)
One of the best cheap gifts I ever did was a new set of lots of markers from dollar store and a whole ream of cheap printer paper. 500 sheets of paper-all your own-to draw, scribble, make airplanes or whatever seems amazing to a 4-10 year old. Crayons or colored pencils could be substituted. (10/17/2008)
There are paper dolls and toys you can print out right from the PC. Make folders for the paper dolls and little girls would enjoy them. There are color pages you can print out and just a lot of cool stuff if you don't mind searching. (10/17/2008)
Look up how to make magic sand on You Tube. I bought some for my husband a couple years ago and my kids still want to play with it. It is hydrophobic sand, it stays dry in water using Scotchgard. Go to the 3M website, you can get a coupon for $1 off. It is so fun to play with. I just found out how to make it, and will be making some for my kids this Christmas. (10/22/2008)
Try making some stuffed/plush animals gather.com There's a listing of patterns.
Or maybe hand puppets. When I was little, one of my favorite toys for a few years was a Santa Claus hand puppet someone made for me. You can use old or mismatched socks, or scrap fabric for the puppets. Try things like Harry Potter or Pokemon characters or whatever the kids might like, for either the plush toys or the puppets. (11/07/2008)
By Hyena Cub
Thanks everyone for the great ideas. I found a pattern on sale to make the girls ponchos. And with my 40% Joann Fabrics ad I got the material cheap. For the boys I found on another web site to make play mats and draw familiar places on them. And I found some cars on sale for them. Thanks again for all of the great ideas.
Anne from Troy (11/18/2008)
Also there are many great gifts that you can purchase at the dollar store from dolls, to cars, and puzzles. Why not put together a collection of crayons, paper, and coloring books for young ones? How about the dress up clothes they feature? I start collecting stuff at Halloween, because they have lots of different outfits for both girls and boys.
Just decorate a cardboard box to store them in. How about the many different cards they sell like Old Maid and Go Fish? Buy the story book CD's for little ones. If you got teenagers no worries. You can buy candles and perfume for both boys and girls. I have found diaries, journals, and all kinds of pretty stationary and pens. Browse the dollar store first before buying elsewhere you may find it cheaper. (11/18/2008)