Affordable Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

Affordable Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

(ARA)- There is nothing better than seeing a child's face light up while opening a gift during the holidays. But with the economy slowing and people reining in their spending, many are worried about saving enough to buy gifts for the little ones this holiday season. With a little creative shopping, however, it's possible to make the kids' holidays merry and bright, even on a budget.
The gift experts at Montgomery Ward offer the following affordable gift ideas for kids:
Stocking Stuffers
Unfortunately, small gifts don't always come with a small price tag. Aim to keep stocking stuffers under $20, with the idea that good things come in small packages. For younger kids, colorful or sparkly toothbrushes featuring their favorite cartoon characters are delightful and great for teeth. Toy cars, stickers and an inexpensive digital watch are great toys for boys, while flavored lip balm and a small bottle of nail polish make girls smile. For older (and tech savvy) kids, a USB flash drive to store music and photos is a unique and useful idea. And never overlook the novelty of a fun pair of socks inside a stocking.
Bigger Gifts
Those presents under the tree don't have to break the bank, but if you're really in a cash crunch, look at options like a credit plan with low monthly payments. Montgomery Ward offers a credit plan with payments starting as low as $20 per month. But if you think like a child and use your imagination, you can find great gifts that won't lighten your pocketbook too much.
* Personalized gifts are always a hit, particularly with kids ages three to eight. Have a child's name printed or embroidered on everything from piggy banks, sleeping bags and beach towels to pillow cases and T-shirts.
* Art supplies, like a big pad of blank paper and a case of colored pencils or markers, are an inexpensive way to encourage creativity and keep kids busy on cold, wet winter days.
* Gifts that occupy kids' time, like games and books, are great because you can purchase one and kids can play and read together.
* Get creative with a trunk full of dress-up costumes. Custom-made dress-up clothing for kids is expensive, but a trip to the secondhand store to fill up the trunk with hats, dresses, coats and accessories is an inexpensive way to spark the imagination.
* Classic toys like ant farms and magic kits aren't high-tech, but they are high-touch and interactive.
* Purchase a book of gift certificates for treats from a child's favorite restaurant and share an ice cream cone or hot dog. Gift certificates are also available for local movie theaters.
* Give an experience. Take kids on an outing to a holiday parade or to see the light displays and store windows.
Splurges
If you've got a bit more to spend, invest in something that kids can play with now and that will be treasured as a family heirloom for years to come. The Lionel Pedal Train ($350 at wards.com) is a fully interactive, ride-on train that looks just like the one you had (or wish you had) as a child. Made of metal and painted in bright, glossy colors, this little train will provide hours of fun. Kids will squeal with delight as they chug around the house. For years to come, it will look great next to the tree or piled with gifts after the kids have outgrown it.
* For the video game-crazy kid who seemingly has everything, check out the Boom Chair ($149 at wards.com). It provides the ultimate gaming and music experience with a sound system built into the seat so kids can feel every explosion, beat and sound. It's compatible with any gaming system that uses a standard RCA cable for audio and can also be used with any portable gaming or music device. You can even connect up to four chairs so everyone experiences the same sounds.
Visit Wards.com for more gift ideas and to shop online.