Great Gifts Under $20

Filed under: Holidays, Gear Guides: Babies, Gear Guides: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Gear Guides: Big Kids, Gear Guides: Tweens, Gear Guides: Teens

Have you made your list and checked it twice? Have you added it all up and realized it is going to cost you a fortune?

With the economy swirling in the drain, most of us can't afford to spend $60 to $100 per kid for a gift that is likely to get broken, lost or discarded by New Year's Day. Here are some gift ideas that won't break the bank and might even keep the kids entertained for a while.

Holiday 2008 Gift Guide: Under $20

    Magic Bean
    Even the youngest child can appreciate the thrill of seeing something grow from a mere seed. What makes this seed so special is the secret message it reveals as it grows. Just add water and in about two weeks, the words "I Love You" or "Good Luck" appears. $11.95 at Wrapables .
    Ages 5+

    Wrapables.com

    Bananagrams
    A gift the whole family can enjoy, Banagrams is a word game that can be played simultaneously by spellers of all levels. 144 letters in a bright yellow pouch provide take-along fun while helping to build vocabulary and improve spelling skills. So much fun, the kids might not even notice they are learning. $15.00 at Creative Kids Stuff
    Ages 7+

    CreativeKidsStuff.com

    Paint Your Own Tea Set
    Playing tea party is fun, but playing with a tea set you made yourself is even better. This one comes complete with 17 pieces of white porcelain just waiting to be adorned with the brightly colored non-toxic paint. Let it set for a few days or bake it in the oven and the art becomes permanent. $12.95 at Amazon.com
    Ages 8+

    Amazon.com

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Full Frame, Deluxe Edition)
    One sure way to ensure your kids (and you) will never get too cynical or cool -- for less than $14 -- is settle down for a viewing of Dr. Suess's heartwarming tale.
    Ages 3+.

    Warner Home Video

    3-D Drawing Pad
    Stereographic background paper lets little doodlers create their own 3-D images. Simply draw on the pad, don the groovy glasses and you have instant 3 dimensional awesomeness. At just $7.99 for a pad of 50 sheets, you can buy two and keep one for yourself at Perpetual Kid.
    Ages 3+

    PerpetualKid.com

    Antworks
    This is not your father's ant farm. Sand has been replaced with gel and the results are groovy 3-D ant tunnels. Even better? The ants get their food and water from the gel, so they are practically care-free. The habitat kit comes with instructions and a magnifying glass for up-close viewing. Ants not included. $19.49 at Discover This.
    Ages 6+

    DiscoverThis.com

    Bubble Gum Factory
    What kid doesn't like bubble gum? Make them work for it with this Bubble Gum Factory kit. Kit includes everything needed to make flavored, color-changing and even gooey center-filled gum. From the Discovery Channel Store at Amazon.com for $16.96.
    Ages 8+

    Amazon.com

    Cadaco's Spectacular Magic Show Set
    Now you see it, now you don't! Clever kids can amaze their friends and family by making playing cards vanish, pouring paint from an empty can and more. Includes everything needed to perform 100 different magic tricks, including an instructional DVD. $19.99 at Target.
    Ages 7+

    MagicTrickZone.com

    Pizza Party Play Food
    Get little chefs cooking with a pizza party. This all-wood set comes complete with six slices of pizza on a tray, a cutter, a spatula and over 50 toppings to mix and match. Packaged in a wooden box with a see-through lid, it sells for $15.96 at Gummy Lump.
    Ages 3+

    GummyLump.com

    Zoob Construction Set
    Most building sets allow kids to build stuff and that's about it. With Zoob, they can actually play with their creations. The pieces snap together to form joints that rotate, extend, spin and more. Get their creative juices flowing with 55-piece collection of Zoob pieces for only $11.99 at Stuff Kids Like.
    Ages 6+

    StuffKidsLike.com

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.