Creative Gift Idea, Please! I Have No Idea What to Get!

Updated on December 01, 2012
L.L. asks from Austin, MN
20 answers

Thanks to generous extended family, my children have all they could want for toys, etc. For the past two years I have struggled with my meager budget to find them things I really thought they would enjoy, and I am now OUT of ideas.

Of course I'll get them each a few books and maybe a movie, but I would like to get them one or two toys each and I have NO idea what to get!

Both girls, almost 8 and 2.5, enjoy playing together, etc, so gifts that could be played with together would be a huge bonus. My 2.5 year old doesn't stick things in her mouth, so not concerned about age appropriateness of toys, necessarily.

Any brilliant ideas? :) I'm desparate!!

(And trying to be helpful, I'll just say that they really do have most of the standard, legos, farm, castle, dolls, etc.)

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So What Happened?

Thanks so far for being helpful...I just want to cry because this is why I am so frustrated!

We homeschool and by trade my husband and I are artists and musicians, so we do have every instrument and art/craft supply you could POSSIBLY think of in the house.

I don't want to come off as if I'm children are truly blessed to have what they do because of our parents, etc...I just want to get them a few special things from us (I think maybe that's selfish, but most of what they get comes from other people and I just want to find just a few special things from us.)

Sorry to be a downer...I really just don't have any ideas!

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

I just ordered a snow ball maker/snow fort block making kit and a Trailblazer headlamp from LL Bean. Pretty cool!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Toboggans or snow shoes. Otherwise I would go with theatre tickets or a family museum or zoo membership.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

How about re-decorating their room/rooms? It's always fun to get matching lamps, new comforter, bulletin boards, etc. Hobby Lobby has some great stuff!

We are American Girl Doll fans here, so those are wonderful gifts. I use the books in Homeschooling because they give a pretty good idea of life in the different time periods in a way that's interesting to my daughter. We have fun making crafts for the dolls with our zillions of craft supplies!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Do you have any amusement parks nearby? You could get tickets for the whole family, that would be a treat!
How about the ballet? Seeing the Nutcracker performed by a professional ballet company is truly a magical memory.
Other than that I would suggest family board games, and dress up clothes. My kids dressed up and built forts a LOT as young kids. You could put together a box filled with hats/crowns, shoes, capes, colorful scarves, costume jewelry, etc. and give them a really large clean cardboard box to turn into a house or castle. They can decorate it, you can cut out windows and a door and string some Christmas lights along the top :-)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Sewing kits?
Remember those latch-hook kit rugs/pillows?
They make "kid" sewing machines, too... Around $30 at JoAnn's or Michael's.

Crochet supplies and teach the older one to crochet?
Pot holder kits (most girls love those).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Gotta say, when I was eight, I absolutely LOVED rollerskating. nowadays, skates aren't too overly expensive.. while the 8 year old skates, the 2 1/2 can ride along side with maybe a big wheel or something?

What about kites? I know it's winter, but even so, there are windy days. that could be fun......

Also, used to love blowing bubbles.. they even have those over-sized rings that make huge ones.. that kept me busy for hours..

Balloons.. ah simple but so much fun..... you could buy some in all shapes and sizes... on a rainy day... let your 8 year help blow them up... those could be fun.. fill a room with em... kids love to toss them in the air, play catch... the list goes on..

what about beads... also when 8, I loved making necklaces and bracelets.. the little one can help string them...

lastly, I love that game scoop ball... where you get those two plastic scoops and you toss the plastic ball to each other.. those are fun and because they are light weight, most kids can handle them... On a rainy day, you hang a sheet like a divider (envision tennis) and have each girl stand on either side and toss the ball... it's really run.. and won't break the budget..

good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

What about a Kiwi Crate, something new every month they could do together. But I'm not sure about price...

my girls (6 and 2) like to play Hullabaloo DVD, but not sure if you oldest will find it boring....

We also have the game twister, it is funny to play together as a family, even though my little one doesn't get it she still plays along and has a blast.

You could buy a bunch of costumes on craigslist that will fit them, and create a 'dress up clothes' box, they can stage plays and concerts with them.

Put together a 'snowman building kit' .... go to the salvation army and buy some neat scarves, hats, gloves. then go to the craft store and buy some fake tree branches for arms, and some carrots/coal/buttons, ect.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

My daughter is almost 8 and is very much into crafting. My mom cleaned out her fabric supply as she is moving soon and gave me all the fabric and ribbons. I stuck it in a plastic tote with lid and it will be a sewing/dressmaking kit for Christmas. Total cost: $5 for the tote. Most of the fabric actually came from the thrift store.

If I think of anything else I will add on :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When our daughter was about 4 we bought a Casio keyboard. She will be 18 next year and everyone who comes over here still plays with it. It is the one you can make lots of different sounds with, drums, etc. We paid less that $200 and certainly got our $$ worth.

Another year, we gave her a guitar...

Do they use the Wii or a gaming system? We all enjoy the Wii sports games and competing with each other.

Does your 8 yr old like music... maybe an IPod shuffle or something like that.

My daughter loves crafty things as well so Hobby Lobby and Michaels are great stops for those!

We found an electronic map of the US one year and you could press a button and it would give you the state flower, bird, etc and she had a blast with that... especially the Hawaii one.


Mani Pedi stuff

Dress up

I used to love to play office and one year I received real office supplies.... tape dispenser, stapler, paper, etc and loved it.

Hope something hits you soon!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

A gift membership for all of you to a zoo or children's museum? A gift of a dance class or something similar?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

My son really likes looking at his baby pictures and I have several photo books for him. Maybe you can give them photo books or personalized photo gifts (such as an ornament with their baby pictures on it to put on the Christmas tree).

Another idea is to get a board game they can play together. The Ladybug Game maybe. Or hungry hippos.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

How about a camera for your 8 year old? You can get one used but still in great condition.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I haven't read the other responses yet but how about a beautiful treasure box filled with dress up/imaginative play clothes.

Or a toolbox with tools, scrap lumber (the 8 year old is definitely old enough for some construction).

Tickets or coupon books for family outings. Plays, play areas, special parks,.

Outdoor toys for the spring. Bikes, scooters, soccer goal and lots of balls

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Would they like art supplies or craft supplies? Crayons, paints, huge paper tablets, chalk, clay?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

Science kit? Experiment kits set up like craft kits?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

This costs more but, my kids really enjoy their tree hammock chair.
It is for both of them.
I got it from Amazon.

The ages of 8 and 2.5 years old is a wide age spread.
And the type of toys they find pertinent, and their abilities are different.

Since you have a lot of things in the house, why not something for outside the house or for the yard?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Do you have wii? Just Dance for kids is fun.....btw wii system is $89 at walmart.

The game trouble is easy and fun

Scrapbooking for the girls would be great and inexpensive. You could buy a scrapbook with tons of supplies for $8

Barnes & Noble has tons of great fun gifts for $8. I got my artistic daughter a "learn to draw" book. And my other daughter a paint with glitter pens book. Both boxes came with tons of supplies.

Cookie/cupcake decorating set for $12, comes with tons of things.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

The little one would probably like the LaLa Loopsie dolls. The older one maybe the Crayola fashion kit (not sure what it's called but it's sort of like the stencils that you use to create outfits (we called them fashion plates but not sure if that was the actual name or not).

Art supplies, play dough, board games.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What about giving them an experience, rather then a gift? A children's museum membership, for example. Or, a really special place you wouldn't normally go. Do they have their own purses? You could get them each a purse and wallet monogrammed with their name.

Sorry, I'm not more help. We struggle with this, also. We can't think of a single thing, and we only want to get something small for our son.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

When my daughter was 3 and my son 2 I made them treasure chests. I bought unfinished wood boxes at a craft store and painted them with their favorite colors, names, and things they like. They were a huge hit and one of the few things we have that my kids use almost every day. I also for my daughter's birthday one year bought an unfinished wooden castle and painted that.

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