Inexpensive and Meaningful Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Little Ones

Photo via Rawpixel

The holidays are a time of big spending. According to Investopedia, the average American is predicted to spend about $920 on holiday gifts this year! Thankfully, you don’t have to spend anywhere near this much to show your family how much they mean to you. Your children will be happy with any thoughtful, fun present you put under that tree, so there’s no reason to empty your wallet for an expensive gaming console or the latest tech device.

Smart shopping can help you save on nearly any gift purchase you make over the holiday season. You’ll find the best deals and discounts online, so be sure to look up your gifts before buying them in-store. Sites like Rakuten are great for finding the best deals on kids’ toys from the stores you already know and love. With a little luck, you may even get some cash back! When you’re ready to start shopping, check out the following budget-friendly gift ideas.

Active Gear

Physical activity is important for the overall health and well-being of your children. To support the healthy development of your little ones, consider buying them gifts that encourage exercise. A headlamp, compass, or pair of binoculars are great for kids who like camping and hiking. For older kids, a firestarter kit or a survival knife can make for a meaningful present that your children will really cherish. If your kid is interested in a particular sport, consider picking up the gear they need to try it out. You can save a lot of money on children’s sports gear by looking for secondhand equipment from consignment stores, thrift shops, and online marketplaces.

Hobby Supplies

Hobbies provide loads of benefits for young children. Working on a hobby teaches kids lifelong decision-making and critical thinking skills, and can even bolster their self-esteem! Gifting your child hobby supplies is a great way to help them develop an interest in fulfilling pastimes. For example, if your child has shown interest in cooking, consider getting them a cute apron, some fun measuring spoons, or a set of kid-friendly knives that will actually cut through veggies so they can help you with meal prep. If your kid is interested in a more expensive hobby, start them off with some small, budget-friendly items to get their feet wet. For example, a harmonica or recorder might be a great gift for a kid who wants to learn an instrument.


Books always make perfect gifts. They’re affordable, personal, and provide hours of entertainment. If you’re looking for an educational holiday gift for your children, consider how-to books and guides that teach about something fun and interesting. HuffPost also recommends several fiction books that teach kids empathy, many of which offer wonderful lessons about being kind to others and practicing acceptance. Books can even make great presents for toddlers, particularly those with bright illustrations and ridiculous storylines.

Homemade Gifts

One of the most affordable and meaningful gifts you can give is something that you make yourself. Bake up a batch of holiday treats and wrap them in a beautiful box or make a photo album of your family’s favorite moments together. If you can’t come up with any ideas, consider putting together a little coupon book of fun things you and your child can do together, like a movie night with buttered popcorn or a picnic in the park. Some other great coupon ideas include privileges that your kids might enjoy, like one chore-free day, an extra hour of TV time, or the power to choose what’s for dinner one night.

Whether you’re on a tight budget or you’re just looking to cut down on holiday spending this year, finding inexpensive gifts for your children is a great way to relieve some of that financial stress. After all, the holidays aren’t supposed to be about presents. Spend your holidays making memories with your family instead of dragging yourself through crowded shopping malls searching for the perfect gift.