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Gift ideas for children on a low budget

(27 Posts)
JustSeven Thu 15-Oct-15 21:57:56

We're on a very tight budget for Christmas this year. I've normally practically done the present buying by now throughout the year, but things have been so tight this had I've not been able to, other than a few clothes I bought in January.

We have a boy, 7, and 3 girls who will be 4, 2.8 and 16 months. Any ideas for presents on a tight budget very much appreciated!

chanie44 Thu 15-Oct-15 22:26:01

2.8 and 16 month - you could get away with not getting them anything or a couple of small gifts eg - bubbles, homemade playdoh, a ball.

For the older two, home bargains and b and m have cheap toys, I bought transformer £5 and a my little pony doll for £2. They also have books for under £1.

Have a look at the Xmas bargains thread, as you can pick up some bargains. i ordered some stuff on Amazon which comes from China and takes a month to arrive - a lot of it is £1. Check out the finger lights. I found a drawstring bag on Amazon for £1.50 which is a nice cheap gift.

I think that the children may enjoy some activities and crafts over Christmas eg seeing the lights in town, baking biscuits.

Toffeelatteplease Thu 15-Oct-15 23:32:34

Depends on how tight whether you need super cheap or big impact on a budget. Also whether you mind second hand or not.

If you don't mind second hand trawl the charity shops and boot fairs for book and games. Also ask on freecycle for board games and puzzles, sometimes you can be really lucky get someone clearing out gringrin. Board games are great because they are big.

I'm not great at homemade presents but I have done a DIY spy kit (rear view glasses, spy newspaper (old newspaper mounted on card with eye holes), fingerprint kit (ink pad), fake moustaches (joke shop), magnifying glass etc (Google has loads of suggestions.) And an outdoor survival kit (first aid kit, paracord bracelet, solar powered torch etc). Both ideas came off mumsnet and went down really well. The spy kit I just put in a zip file with a list of contents.

Scooters have always been a good one for us. They have the same wow appeal as a bike but at a fraction of the cost.

Same with dolls prams and pushchairs. Especially those £5 ones. Try themeing presents. So example if you got a pushchair, pick up some cheap accessories (poundland always good) like a bottle doctors kit etc. Wrap each one separately but group them together either in a gift bag or as a pretty pile of presents with string. The smaller presents will mean more because they are all connected to the larger present. Eg frozen Disney Dvd (2 for1), else doll (check out Ali express), book(charity shop), game, themed bubble bath, themed chocolate, bubbles (whatever else you can raid from poundland).

Think how you present presents in general. Wrapping presents slow kids down and is great if you have a few big boxes to bulk stuff out. Also wrap things they might not normally get food and drink wise e.g. milkshake powder, ice cream sprinkles, poundsaver disney cookies (£1 in a gorgeous tin). Consider making them take it in turns unwrapping a present at a time. Increase the ritual, take time over the thank yous etc

Keep back clothes for Christmas. Not just socks and pants but stuff like tshirts and jumpers too. Winter coats can be good if you can keep an eye out in second hand shops, boot fairs and ebay.

Hope some of the ideas might be helpful.


LaughingHyena Fri 16-Oct-15 10:34:55

Seconding the home-made playdough. I used to add glitter to our Christmas batch.

If you have access to a printer there are loads of colouring pages and puzzles you can print out. A few pages rolled and tied with a ribbon fit nicely in a stocking.

Chippednailvarnish Fri 16-Oct-15 10:39:08

Have a look on their shopping section often has really good ideas.

chanie44 Fri 16-Oct-15 12:11:34

Hair bobbles for the girls can be picked up from primark.

I once made my nephew a sweetie hamper using small packs of sweets etc. whenever I was given sweets for the children, I put a couple away for the hamper, so half of it was free. Could be good for your eldest children.

DrasticAction Fri 16-Oct-15 12:44:59

op when my dc were that young ie 4 and younger I picked up loads of stuff from car boots, baby sales, and charity shops.

I RECKON YOU could take £20 to a baby sale and come out LADEN with stuff for the younger ones!! I know because I have done it, and dc knew non the would they!


put your area in and see if any sales near you.

then TK maxx or homesenese for older boy....pick up soe really nice things for much cheaper.

then pound shop for fillers....

DrasticAction Fri 16-Oct-15 12:47:10

BTW op I have also sold at the above sales, I needed to get rid of loads, I sold an ELC fairy boot with loads of faries for £10 shock its £50 new in ELC and I gave loads of fairys and stuff with it, I also sold a lady bird rocker for £3 shock and a huge box of train tracks and electric trains, HUGE HUGE HUGE for £15 !!!!

I have brought leap pad lap top, toy piano, fancy dress stuff, clothes, cd's, jigawss loads of gruffalo games and far ore...all for a few pounds....

DrasticAction Fri 16-Oct-15 12:50:38

one ore thing op I just got a brilliant huge tub if play dough and shapes called play doh zoo normally 30 - 15 in argos at the mo I bbrought it yesterday and I think its ipressive and big enough as main for little one but keep all young occupied.

horseygeorgie Fri 16-Oct-15 13:11:04

aldi and lidl can be good for toys. they do lovely wooden ones that I have bought in the past for my DD for christmas and have lasted brilliantly.

JustSeven Fri 16-Oct-15 21:59:24

Thanks, some great ideas here!

Avebury Sat 17-Oct-15 04:47:28

Cake mix - the ones in the supermarket with various characters always goes down well - and fuels belief in Santa because Mummy always says No to those.

I second the advice to get to a second hand sale too. It's the right time of year for NCT sales which can be amazing in teens of toy/clothes bargains.

Your children are so young they really don't need much and will be as excited with a tub of bubbles as they would some big over priced plastic toy. Make the most of this stage.

Lovelydiscusfish Sat 17-Oct-15 07:33:05

Wilkos are great for cheap toys - I got dd a home-brand Lego-style kit for a pound - I think it was in the sale, reduced from £2! They also do cheap baby dolls and accessories, as (I've noticed) do Morrisons.

Worth popping into Poundland a few times if you can, as I've noticed, as well as the usual own-brand toys they do (which children like), they occasionally carry branded stuff, which presumably is remaindered from somewhere - I got dd a Moshi Monsters set from the Poundland in Stratford which looks fairly impressive and as if it would have been much more expensive, which I've held back for Christmas. Actually wish I'd bought more now, for gifts when she's invited to parties! Also sometimes good books and DVDs to be found in Poundland - I've bought dd Thomas the Tank books from there before, for example.

Charity shops could be your friend for books, puzzles and board games.

Good luck!

GloGirl Sat 17-Oct-15 07:48:43

Local Facebook selling sites are also great. You have to check them often because the good things will go in 10 minutes

MooseyMoo Sat 17-Oct-15 07:55:27

Sainsburys toy sale is Wed 21 October. Lidl have a few kids toys this Thursday

GeneParmesan Sat 17-Oct-15 08:06:33

Boots normally do 3 for 2 on their toys before Xmas. Local Facebook selling pages are great for cheap stuff too.

MarmaladeTeepee Sat 17-Oct-15 08:59:04

I'm a huge fan of charity shops - last year I got the Happyland cottage, windmill and boot for just £2.50 each! Perfect condition, just needed a bit of a clean and DD wasn't at all bothered they weren't in boxes (in fact it saved me a job of wrestling them out of the packaging and getting them all set up for her!)

If you're inventive with the way you present the gifts too you can get away with giving smaller presents IME. Eg getting a large cardboard box from your local supermarket/corner shop, filling it with blown up balloons, stashing the presents inside and then wrapping the whole box, so the children get the fun of hunting for their presents, a huge box that they can then play with and a room full of balloons! Or if they're a bit older maybe Santa could leave a treasure hunt for them to find their presents?

123Jump Sat 17-Oct-15 10:17:00

Christ, I wish I'd seen this last week OP. Just did a mahoosive clear out for a charity shop, there were some unopened boxes of Lego etc. Would have been delighted to send them to you.
However, if I'm sending all these things to the charity shop before Christmas, then others are too, so deffo worth it to keep an eye on your local ones.
Tesco had loads of there 'Summer Toys' on offer this week. Bubble machines etc.
Memories are worth so much too. Some fun walks and then making a cake/cookies from a usually 'forbidden' packet would be brilliant!!

KittyCatPumpkin Wed 21-Oct-15 09:58:06

If you're on Facebook join the group Ashleighmoneysavingexpert. Got some real bargains just from her feed.

I tried out AliExpress this year too and must say I'm rather hooked. DS (7) obsession is Pokemon and has asked for pokemon plushes. Instead of the £10/15 + on amazon/ebay I'm getting them for about £3 with free delivery.First one has arrived and i must say I'm impressed with the quality too, You'd need to order around now though for anything as it can take a while for delivery

Ladymoods Wed 21-Oct-15 14:09:07

The Works also have some great books, gifts and craft sets and accessories for under a fiver. I spent £53 in there and had 14 items!

ThomasRichard Wed 21-Oct-15 14:25:47

My 5yo would love a box of cardboard boxes, tubes, random containers and a roll of selloptape. His eyes lit up when he went back to breakfast club in September and saw the pile of junk ready for modelling. Might do for your 4yo?

ThomasRichard Wed 21-Oct-15 14:26:17

Box of inflated balloons for your 16mo?

d270r0 Wed 21-Oct-15 16:56:32

Go to the sainsburys toy sale, loads of stuff half price, everything reduced. Started today

Forestdreams Wed 21-Oct-15 17:20:54

Can't beat car boot sales for bargains. Write a list of ideas, try boot sales first and then ebay.

Think every time about play value, not cost. One of my DS's favourite toys was a 2nd hand collection of plastic dinosaurs plus some odd bits of fabric. We used the fabric for him to build his own playmat. Big green square as the base, blue organza for river and sea, yellow for the desert, white for a snow capped mountain. A couple of shoe boxes could be a mountain or cave.

Games are also good play value. My 2 have had lots more fun out of a £10 Cluedo game than they would have done out of a lot of electronic character toys that cost £30-50.

Salene Wed 21-Oct-15 17:30:05

Tesco has a good selection of 1/2 price toys in store at the moment

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