Shopping for kids is tough, especially when half of them would rather play with the box the gift came in. And as any parent knows, those odds seem to go up the more you spend. Here, 25 budget-friendly gifts under $25 that, honestly, any kid would love—and use.
1. Old Navy Double Pom-Pom Critter Beanie
Old Navy’s critter beanie is our pick for growing noggins—stretchy, soft and downright adorable.
A family game night favorite that doubles as a solo activity for kids of all ages. After all, it’s just a bucket of building blocks that happen to be perfectly sized for small hands.
3. Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Pets
Plush pets that can be colored on again and again (and again). A trip to the fully functioning mini tub washes away the artwork and reveals a clean coat for another round of fun.
4. ‘Screen Free Fun: 400 Activities for the Whole Family’ by Shannon Philpott-Sanders
This book is brimming with ideas for indoor activities. Kids (and parents) will be happy to have a little extra inspiration over the winter months.
5. B. Toys by Battat Pop Snap Bead Jewelry
Fine motor skills get a workout with this toy that encourages creative play. The reusable colorful beads can be snapped together to make hundreds of different wearable designs.
6. Pictionary Air
This party game just got a high-tech twist: The illustrator can draw designs in the air while teammates watch the images appear on a smartphone screen. Let the guesswork begin!
7. National Geographic Mega Gemstone Dig Kit
Aspiring archaeologists can have some hands-on fun with this treasure-hunt activity, which involves using a chisel and brush to excavate real gemstones from a big ole brick.
8. Old Navy Kids Graphic Cozy Socks
Irresistibly fun and festive, these plush and snuggly socks will help the kid in your life fill out those snow boots.
9. CRAYOLA WASHABLE WINDOW CRAYONS
All winter long, the window seems to scream “Press your nose up against me and pout!”—unless you have window crayons, in which case it’s an easy-to-clean canvas for kids.
10. Faber-Castell Mix & Make Watercolor Set
Young artists can blend new shades and try fresh techniques with this kit that includes 75 fizzy watercolor paints and a whole host of other tools.
11. Play Visions Floof
This modeling substance looks a lot like snow and, magically, it is mess-free! Indoor snowball fight, anyone?
12. Battat Musical Light Show MIcrophone
A microphone that functions well, boasts a goofy voice-changing feature and comes programmed with five catchy songs? Karaoke night just got cuter.
13. Bits & Bytes Coding Game for Kids
Minds will be blown by this critically-acclaimed, award-winning STEM toy that teaches kids (and possibly parents?) the basics of computer science.
14. ‘The Book With No Pictures’ by B.J. Novak
Story time gets silly with this New York Times best-selling children’s book. No pictures, as promised, but the words will have everyone in stitches.
15. Moulin Roty Les Petites Merveilles Nighttime Shadows
A charmingly simple shadow puppet set constructed from black cardstock. Don’t be fooled by the lack of frills, though. Kids of all ages will have fun performing their favorite fairy-tale scenes.
16. Green Toys Car Carrier Vehicle Set
One toy (made from recycled plastic), four vehicles to vroom! The automobile obsessed will love loading up this sturdy carrier with colorful mini cars and taking it for a spin.
17. Old Navy Magic Gloves
A wintertime staple, these gloves come in an array of playful colors and are just the right fit for keeping big-kid hands cozy.
18. Dreambuilder Toy Wooden Magnetic Block Set
These colorful magnetic tiles are great for developing STEM skills. Best of all, they don’t have the bulkiness of other blocks, so they are a perfect bring-anywhere building toy.
19. Lava Lamp
Lava lamps (and beaded curtains) are basically a preteen rite of passage. Gift this groovy night light to a young person you know—you can’t go wrong.
20. Paw Patrol Ultimate Rescue Fire Engine
Pretty much every preschooler loves Paw Patrol and will be thrilled to re-create rescue missions with this fire truck and action-figure combo.
21. Skoolzy Peg Board Set
This Montessori toy teaches color recognition and fine motor skills to toddlers, and preschoolers can use the peg board to practice counting and simple arithmetic.
22. CROCODILE CREEK “UNDER THE SEA” FLOOR PUZZLE
The 36 jumbo pieces in this jigsaw provide just enough of a challenge. The finished product, a sprawling oceanscape, will make any preschooler swell with pride.
23. 4M Make A Wind Chime Kit
A fun rainy-day activity with all the materials needed to assemble and decorate a one-of-a-kind wind chime. Scoop up two (still under $25!) and you have a perfect playdate project.
24. Crayola Model Magic
This spongy, lightweight modeling clay is less mess than Play-Doh and dries overnight, making it possible to preserve a kid’s more sophisticated creations.
25. ToyVelt Kids Magic Pad Light-Up Drawing Board
Children can see their art spring to life when they trace patterns on this three-dimensional LED canvas.