As my children grow and make new friends, so do our weekend calendar plans. It feels like our weekends are jam-packed these days with birthday parties. As much as my kids look forward to all of the birthday parties, they tend to be a lot! All of the driving, coordinating, and gift-buying can feel overwhelming. I have learned that birthday party gift-giving doesn’t have to be exhausting or costly. Lucky for you, I have gathered my favorite birthday gift ideas for kids; under $15.
You will want to save this list to stock up on all the best toddler, preschool, and big kid birthday gift ideas. Stash away your favorite gifts at home so you always have an awesome gift to grab and wrap before leaving for the next birthday party!
RELATED: Kid activities and simple toys are our jam. You’ve come to the right corner of the web if you have a toddler, preschooler, or big kid.
Genius quick tip for gift-giving
Nothing is worse than it being the day of a birthday party and still having no gift. Ugh, take three kids to Target on the way? No, thank you. Instead, I like to keep a few items in a large basket. When it is birthday party time, I grab what I need from there! We are golden having some of our favorites on hand.
What are the best birthday gift ideas for kids?
Regarding gift buying for kids, there can be so many options. Just walking down the toy aisle at Target alone can feel like you’re on stimulation overload. And if you’re like me, being indecisive does not make birthday party gift-buying a quick walk in the park (or down that Target toy aisle)!
As both a former teacher and having three boys of my own, I have finally realized that the best gifts are those that keep giving. I try to avoid themed gifts specific to characters, as children can quickly grow out of these phases. Hands-on and open-ended gifts help build independent play and are an excellent source for nourishing self-confidence.
The best types of gifts are usually:
What if there is a no-gift policy?
We must note that some birthday party invitations request a “no-gift” policy. If this is the case, etiquette experts recommend you follow these no-gift requests to avoid making anyone uncomfortable. However, it is still typically welcomed and appropriate to bring a card. Homemade is the best kind of card for both the budget and the heart!
RELATED: Check out our 100+ Best Toys for Kids list to stock up on lots more ideas!
How much should you spend on a kid’s birthday party gift?
Let’s cut to the chase: birthday parties are expensive. And if you have multiple kids of your own, with multiple birthday parties each weekend, you could spend your weekend’s grocery list money just being an attendee to multiple parties in one weekend.
So how do I find the best birthday gift ideas for kids within my budget?
Stick to a budget. Determining what you feel comfortable with is up to you. Depending on who the birthday child is may be a factor. Is it a cousin? A best friend? Or a classmate?
In our family, a general rule of $10 – $20 for a birthday party gift is reasonable. This is why $15 feels most comfortable for the average birthday party gift.
When shopping for birthday party gift ideas, finding meaningful and useful gifts that can be used repeatedly is most important. These will surely be the best use of your money and promise to give the best kind of play and fun for the birthday child!
Kid birthday gift ideas for under $15
Spending less than $15 on a birthday gift is possible! Check out this list of our favorite birthday gift ideas for kids:
- Sensory supplies
- Fine motor tools (Read: why we introduce fine motor toys early)
- Triangular crayons
- Shape sorting cube
- Mr. Potato Head
- Colored tape
- Magic painting book
- Seek and Find sticker pad
- All better book
- Paint by stickers
- Pizza Party Dice Game
- Colored pencils
- Lego creative monsters
- Digital coin bank (or hey, make a DIY coin sorter)
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5 toddler birthday gift ideas under $15
Use this list of toddler gifts to introduce friends and family to open-ended play. If you are new here, you must also check out my DIY birthday gift idea from the dollar store. And if you are planning a birthday for YOUR toddler, check out our SIMPLE space-themed party for two-year-olds.
Helping Hands Sensory Scoops
Ages 3+ will enjoy sifting, pouring, scooping, and using a funnel with this colorful set.
Helping Hands Fine Motor Tools
Other winners that we used a lot in our early years are the scoopers and droppers. I keep this in my birthday basket for toddlers.
Little hands can easily grasp and color with these triangular crayons. Bonus: They won’t roll off the table!
Shape Sorting Cube
A classic all-in-one gift that introduces young children to different shapes and puzzle sorting.
Mr. Potato Head
Another quintessential toy that brings awareness to facial features and creativity.
5 preschool birthday gift ideas under $15
These preschool birthday gifts are open-ended and allow children to spend time playing independently and using thier imagination.
Gift the outdoor explorer with their own set of binoculars that are the perfect size for preschoolers.
We LOVE colored tape over here. The boys create forts in their rooms, make art on cardboard, and find ways to use this tape that would never have crossed my mind. This is a simple gift that will go a long way!
Magic Painting Book
Preschoolers love this magical book that requires no paint, and essentially no mess, as they reveal beautiful pictures using only water.
Seek and Find Sticker Pad
This sticker pad is also a blast! Play seek and find for your next Breakfast Invitation or take on the go to a restaurant. We love seeing the images and matching them with stickers.
All Better Book
A favorite interactive and hands-on book that comes with real sticker band-aids that teaches all about taking care of boo-boos and managing feelings.
5 big kid birthday gift ideas under $15
Big kids (kindergarten-second grade) like simple gifts too! These easy ideas are great to keep on hand to take to your next birthday party celebration.
Paint by Stickers
A fun sticker book that lets big kids create amazing sticker art using number matching and develops fine motor skills.
Pizza Party Dice Game
A favorite in our household – this fast-paced matching game is based around (almost) everyone’s favorite food: PIZZA!
Arteza Kids Colored Pencils
Gift 100 colors with this collection of 50 double-sided pencil crayons. We love everything, Arteza kids! Excellent quality.
LEGO Classic Creative Monsters
Awesome little LEGO set for a big kid who loves building and creating.
Digital Coin Bank
Have a child that enjoys collecting coins? This digital coin-counting bank is a game changer. Include a small bag of coins and have your child slide each coin into the container as the counter adds it.
Alternative gift idea:
Rather have the child pick something out themselves? There is no shame in passing along a Target gift card. This allows the birthday child to find something that feels right for them and practice spending money earned or received.
$20 Target Gift Card
Kid birthday gift ideas don’t have to be stressful anymore.
Stop overspending on last-minute birthday party gifts! Buying gifts does not have to be expensive or stressful. Investing (only $15!) in a few favorite hands-on gifts that will keep toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids engaged and excited to open up on their birthdays is quite simple.
Save this Under $15 Birthday Gift List and stock up on all your favorites!
Although unnecessary, it is common courtesy to bring a gift to a kid’s birthday party (unless a “no-gift” policy is requested). But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. Keep your birthday gift-giving ideas simple and easy by stocking up on a few of your favorite things to grab and wrap before running out the door.
Open-ended toys and gifts are the best kinds to give (rather than themed character toys that kids grow out of). Puzzles, books, and hands-on toys that develop independent play are great choices for birthday gift ideas.
Deciding what you feel comfortable with is most important. As a general rule of thumb, $10 – $20 is reasonable, so we typically suggest $15.