Cheap Christmas Gifts For Kids That Will Keep Them Busy All Year Long

Despite what kids say they want, it’s our job to actually know better – especially, when it comes to our budgets! For example, a two-hundred-dollar Hot Wheels set is cool and all, but why spend so much money on ONE item, when you can break that down into several gifts that will keep your kids busy until next Christmas.

Christmas gift ideas for kids

I’ll never forget the year one of my closest family members bought all of the kids in the family a Hot Wheel set to share, and they literally were bored after ten minutes. She even jokingly laughed and told me she should have listened to my recommendation of Legos and art supplies.

After watching the same five cars zoom down the track (which was ginormous and looked as if it would promise hours of fun), the kids went their separate ways. One of the boys went to build with the Legos, my son and his cousin went to play a few games on my mobile device and my daughter practiced on her guitar – which seemed to keep them occupied for hours until bedtime.

These same ‘toys’ are still with them to this day and are very relevant in their daily play. They are never really bored and also learn a great deal from these same toys that they received two Christmas’s ago! So if you’re seeking some really exciting and engaging gifts for your kids, keep reading for my personal recommendations. These are also great for doing Christmas on a budget. 


I’m not here to bash anyone, or one ‘thing’. My kids have tracks and LOVE them! But it wasn’t my first choice for them for the first few years. I wanted to work my way up to getting them a track and as of recently, they’ve received the Adventure Force Dino Garage and the Adventure Force Crash Racers and absolutely love it – so do I! Plus, they were super affordable to other brands!

This list is for the super budgetnista! If you’re shopping for multiple kids and are sticking to a strict budget, here’s a few inexpensive Christmas ideas that will keep your kids busy for years to come – making that dollar stretch far beyond the holidays!


Building Legos has so many benefits! Kids can work together or alone, while they come up with the most creative inventions as they sit and let their imaginations unfold.

When shopping for Legos, it can get really easy to get swept into buying a higher costing kit, but if you stick with the basics first and just grab a box with a few hundred pieces, you’ll be squared away. Lego even does a great job of including a book of ideas with the kits and you and your kids can even browse more ideas on their website!

If your kid has been a fan for a while, consider visiting Legoland for a holiday getaway or their upcoming birthday. You can view this post here for a few tips on planning your trip! I am all for experiences over things around the holidays.


Ok, I have to admit. I live vicariously through my kids with this one! I used to love Play-Doh as a kid and didn’t realize until I became an adult, how inexpensive it is. For under ten dollars, your kids can have an array of colors and again, build whatever their imagination guides them to.

I also love that there are several, inexpensive sets that come with Play-Doh as well. From the cookie, cake and pizza building, to noodle making and even cement mixing, there are so many ways to be inventive with Play-Doh!


Along with building, painting is super beneficial and also therapeutic! Paint is a great, inexpensive gift idea that your kids will be sure to love and enjoy for some time to come. Paint is especially great for older kids.

Art & Craft Supplies

Take things a step further and gift them with a case of art and craft supplies! This is guaranteed to keep them busy. Even for your kids who aren’t necessarily into art, they can still have a creative outlet after school, or on the weekends.

Art Easel

Your kids can easily channel their inner artist with their very own easel that easily pairs with their new set of paint and art supplies! Easels can vary in price, but it’s well worth it being that they can grow with your child and look super cool as they double for home decor as well. Not to mention, having an easel can get your child excited around the concept of creating new art, over and over again! It’s well worth the money.

Jumbo Activity Books

From mazes, connecting the dots, word puzzles, word searches and stickers, a jumbo activity book made just for the kids is what one needs when boredom strikes and also doubles as a useful, inexpensive Christmas gift!

Robot Kits

This one may WOW you. Did you know robot kits really aren’t that expensive? Seriously, you can purchase a kit for well under thirty bucks and your child can build several different modules with one kit. I’m all for educational and stimulating gifts and a robot kit is definitely at the top of the list! Robot kits are a great alternative for your more tech-savvy kids.

My mind was blown when I really started looking into purchasing robot kits for my son. They were so inexpensive; I was almost upset with myself for not looking into them sooner! Plus, building robots is a great skill for the future and kids can spend so many hours building, you’d think they were in front of a video game.

Musical Instruments

You never know, you may have the next, biggest musical star on your hands. You won’t know, until you try! Musical instruments aren’t just toys, they’re investments into your child’s creative future. An instrument can grow with them and the more they practice, they better they become over the years.

You can even gift them online music lessons which would be a great past time for afterschool, during the weekends and over the summer.

Some instruments might be a huge investment, but you can accessorize them over the next few years.


My kids are still relatively small and still use training wheels, but they love their time outside riding their bikes! Again, this is yet another purchase that can grow with your child, saving you money in the long run! Plus, you can’t beat the added exercise and benefits that riding bikes comes with.

Science Experiment Kits

Kids can be guided as they discover engineering and math and days of science experiments in one kit! For under forty bucks or so, your kids can engage in fun and learning with science experiment kits and guess what – they’ll never get bored, and it will last them for months!

There you have it! Quick and easy gift ideas for your kids that are sure to last them for years to come. Not to mention, they are really inexpensive and if you have multiple kids, they can easily share these items through the next couple of months, with little to no problem. Or at least we would hope so! Happy Holidays!

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