Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a fairly stressful time — especially if you have kids.
Children often expect to be showered with gifts, and you might feel a bit anxious about the cost of them all. Particularly this year, when so many of us don’t have as much excess money to spend.
So we’d like to present you with 20 cheap Christmas presents for kids. You can easily find each of these gifts online, in a local department or toy store, or all of the above.
And don't forget you can buy them using our pre-paid cashback vouchers saving you up to 15%.
A colouring book
Colouring books are one of the most simple, yet entertaining, gifts you can buy. Most of us will remember spending countless hours as children filling in designs and pictures in colouring books with coloured pencils or markers. There’s something innately, timelessly engaging about the activity.
There are even hundreds of adult colouring books these days!
Kids love to ‘put their mark’ on things, because it gives them a sense of power they usually don’t get to experience. Stickers let them do that in a fun, harmless way.
They also like to feel ownership over things when they can, and stickers are easy for them to collect and call their own.
The great thing about second-hand toys is that they basically encompass all the toys out there, except they’re always cheaper. And by no means does second-hand mean second-rate. It might take a little online digging, but you can inevitably find second-hand toys that are essentially as good as new.
After all, as a parent, you know as well as anyone how quickly kids can tire of brand new toys before they put any wear on them at all!
True, most kids might not appreciate the artisanal nature of handmade socks, but they’ll appreciate the vast variety of colours and designs that handmade socks offer.
With a little hunting, you’re bound to find socks that specifically cater to your child’s specific tastes or interests.
Paint your own piggy bank
Kids love piggy banks because depositing and saving money makes them feel more agency, and more adult. Nowadays, piggy banks come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re not just pigs.
Giving your child a piggy bank that pays homage to something they love, and that they can paint however they like, makes for an especially personal, lasting gift.
Card games go back thousands of years, and they’re still around for a simple reason — human beings love them! Especially kids. They love the random chance and competition involved.
Of course, you can get your kids a nice set of regular playing cards, but there are hundreds of other card games on the market that they can have hours of fun playing.
Tie dye kit
Tie dye kits make great gifts because they give kids a chance to be creative and express themselves and to essentially design their own clothing. They’re also nice because you can join in the fun yourself.
And many kids will be proud to see their parents sporting some clothing they created!
Long flights, train, or car rides can be tough for kids to sit through. While it’s easy enough to let them zone out in front of a screen of some sort, many parents might want their kids to entertain themselves with something that stimulates their mind a little more.
Travel games are a perfect, low-cost solution.
Night lights have come a long way since when we were kids. No longer plain little bulbs you plug into a socket, they come in all sorts of shapes, colours, and designs, and you can have many of them personalised.
Some are even voice-controlled, and can sync up with virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri.
Not all kids love baths, but we have yet to meet the kid that doesn’t love toys. If your child isn’t crazy about washing up, there are hundreds of fun, low-cost toys you can bribe them with.
And if they already like taking baths, this gift will make the experience all the sweeter.
Magic 8 Ball
A timeless classic. Who can forget crowding around a magic 8 ball to find out if your crush liked you, if you were going to be rich when you grew up, or whether you were going to get the birthday present you craved?
Will your child enjoy this gift? Signs point to yes.
Another timeless classic that’s come a long way since the days of our youth. There are hundreds of cheap Lego sets with specific themes and characters to match your child’s particular interests.
Everything from Lamborghinis to construction sites, Pokemon, and dinosaurs.
Who doesn’t love the satisfaction of placing that last jigsaw piece to complete the puzzle?
This is another gift that has the added bonus of being fun for the whole family. Plop it down on the dining room table, or living room floor, start gathering the edge pieces, and watch a beautiful photo or design slowly take shape.
Children’s Book Box Set
Needless to say, not all great gifts are toys. Some kids prefer to engage their minds a bit more. (And let’s face it — there are some kids who you want to engage their minds a bit more.)
There are dozens of cheap children’s series box sets that your child can immerse themselves in for weeks or even months.
We were pretty astounded when we saw the wide variety of fun watches for children on the market these days.
For a very low price, your kid can sport everyone from Spiderman to Sonic the Hedgehog, Black Panther, and Baby Yoda on their wrist. And of course, there are plenty of non-themed, colourful watches to choose from as well.
Remote Control Car
As we’ve mentioned, kids love toys that give them a sense of agency, and adulthood. And of course, some kids just really like cars!
Remote control cars are a low-cost, highly entertaining toy that can occupy a child for hours on end.
Admittedly we’ve said this sort of thing a lot in this post, but rucksacks are another item that has come a long way since when we were kids.
They come in an endless array of designs and colours, and maybe best of all, you can have them personalised to make an extra special gift.
If your child likes to wear jewellery (and you approve), it might be challenging to find the right gift among thousands of options.
Birthstone necklaces are a can’t miss solution. Available in dozens of styles and shapes, they’re simple, elegant, and can be surprisingly cheap — even if you have them personalised.
Does your little one like looking at the stars, forests, or mountains, or playing detective? Binoculars will make an excellent gift for them.
You can get a great pair of kids’ binoculars for under 10 quid.
Our last suggestion might be the most interesting.
Terrariums let your child grow and nurture their own little slice of nature, in a self-contained, beautiful package. A feast for the mind and eyes, there are hundreds of reasonably priced options to choose from.
It’s tempting and easy to overspend on Christmas gifts, particularly when it comes to your kids. But the truth is, there are an almost limitless number of gifts for a family on a budget that your children will be thrilled to receive. You don’t need to break the bank this Christmas to fill those boxes under the tree.