Ah, the quest for the perfect gifts. The ones that encourage imaginative play and really engage children. The gifts they will keep coming back to – and are budget-friendly. If you are still looking for gift ideas, consider these Christmas gifts that are under $10.
12 Christmas Gifts under $10 for Imaginative Play
These fabulous finds are all under $10 to help stretch your shopping dollars. And don’t forget to shop through Ebates for additional savings.
Playdoh can provide hours of creative building. Include a tool set from household objects (plastic utenstils, straws, a rolling pin) to create patterns and shapes, and a link to many playdoh activities.
2. Noise Makers
Wrap a few noise makers for your child to create their own marching band. Include a tambourine and a slide whistle for around $5 each. Offer to help them make their own instruments later to complete their collection. And make time for living room concerts for your new virtuoso to show their talent.
3. Card Games
A card game may not be an obvious choice to stimulate the imagination, but games like Spot It allows multiple ways to play. It is one of our family favourites, and my kids often make up their own games with these cards. The Frozen version is also sure to be a hit for little ones learning their alphabet.
A simple flashlight inspires fort making, adventure-seeking fun. This one is perfect for little hands. Find a dark area of the house and go exploring together. Make a blanket fort and read by flashlight together. Don’t forget the batteries!
5. Hot Wheels
Toys like Hot Wheels can be lined up, sorted, raced, pushed…and that’s just within the first five minutes of being unwrapped. Include a coupon for an hour of ramp building time with you.
6. Art Supplies
Restock art supplies to freshly inspire little minds. Glue sticks, patterned paper, foam stickers, yarn and googly eyes can all be found at the dollar store.
7. Get Crafty Yourself
I made this gift for under $5. Pizza Hut gave me a few personal pan pizza boxes, and I created pizza shells and toppings out of felt from the dollar store. I know the cheese looks like grated carrots, but my little ones don’t complain!
8. Sock Puppets
Bundle a few “lonely” socks, buttons for eyes, fabric pieces and yarn.Tuck in a note that you will build a sock puppet together. ..and include a link like this for inspiration.
9. Finger Puppets
10. Dress Up Accessories
Accessories such as glasses, masks, hats, jewelry, scarves or binoculars can be wrapped together. Do a photo shoot of your child trying on their dress up clothes and see what they come up with! Thrift stores and dollar stores have many hidden treasures for cheap!
Love this fort from Ikea! Imaginative play will thrive with a tent fort with peek-out windows.
12. Straws and Connectors
You’ll have to find this one at a garage sale to get it under $10, but at $18 it is still one of my favourite building toys. My boys have built SO many creations with these straws and connectors. The sky really is the limit.
Our toy cupboard has two shelves filled with toys that were under $10 and encourage imaginative play. Labelled bins store like items together, and allow me to add garage sale finds in an organized way.
Favourites include Playdoh, Duplo, play food, Kid K’nex, puppets, trucks and instruments.
This Christmas be sure to tuck a few toys under the tree to spark your child’s imagination. Open-ended play keeps children’s attention longer than toys that serve only one purpose. And Christmas gifts for under $10 are sure to make Santa smile too.
What are your favourite toys to inspire imaginative play?