I have a few requirements when buying gifts for my kids.

Actually just one.  It can’t have a million parts and pieces to it.   Do I want to see all of those pieces strewn all over my house, waiting for me to step on, creating more clutter and mess to stare at, let alone more things to then clean up?  No gracias.

Here are some gift ideas I have either already purchased for our family or as gifts for others.  So I can give it my thumbs up, for whatever that’s worth.  And the best part, they are all under $20 (before tax & shipping).  Now that’s worth way more especially when you have 6 of each item to buy around here.

#1 Simon Carabiner ~ $10  The big one is great too, but I like this one because it’s perfect fit in kid’s hands and great for little fingers.  It can be taken along wherever too since it’s not as big and bulky as the normal size Simon game.


#2 Battleship ~ $13   I’m totally violating my own rule here.  Typical.  But, atleast all the pieces are stored and contained in the box.  I loved this game when I was kid!


#3  NFL Helmets Poster ~ $7  Yes, my family cheers for the Seahawks, but my kids like to know about all the teams and know who is who.


#4 Pink Princess Cookbook~ $13  Barbara Berry has a bunch of girl’s cookbooks that are all under $20.  All of them are great!  Take it a step further, and pick out a recipe from inside it and buy the ingredients needed so that the young baker can get started right when she receives the present.


#5  Kinetic Sand- Sandbox and Molds ~ $20 (more colors to choose from)  This one can be a little messy, but no more than if the kids were playing with playdoh.  This stuff is way cooler than playdoh though, and it never dries out.  Our kids love the feel of it, and I love that it’s all one color so you don’t end up with an ugly brown mix at the end, like with playdoh’s many colors getting mixed together.


#6  LeapFrog My Own Laptop ~ $15  Atleast they are learning on the electronic device, right?


#7 Hello Kitty Hopper ~ $9  Depending on how big of a house you have, this could be used indoors and as a great “get some energy out” in bad weather toy.  Our kids even use it on the trampoline to get a double bounce effect because they obviously need more harsh impact to their necks and spines.



#8  Slushy Maker ~ $8 (4 different colors)  I read the reviews on this and all say that it works.  Our kids love slurpees from 7-11 so I’m thinking this will be a stocking hit.


#9 Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It! board game ~ $19  The board is, get this, 6 feet long!  How fun is that for a kid.  But even cooler, it incorporates team work between players (siblings!).


# 10  Nancy Tillman books (hardcover and Board books):


I’d Know You Anywhere My Love ~ $10


On the Night You Were Born ~ $14


Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You ~ $14


It’s time To Sleep My Love ~ $14

Whether for Christmas, Birthdays, a reward for sitting through having a cavity filled (or is that bribe?), whatever the event…happy gift giving!



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