We’ve all been there. We make the holiday shopping list — and check it twice — and find out it’s way over budget.
The littlest people to shop for can be the biggest source of gift-giving stress. You want to impress the kiddos with the coolest toys of the season, but spending over $100 on one gift for one child can have you up to your eyeballs in debt you’ll be paying off through the Fourth of July.
Don’t worry though. There’s still opportunity to land an awesome gift without overspending. Each year, major retailers Walmart and Target release lists of the hottest kids gifts of the year. We’ve scanned through those lists to highlight what you can buy for under $25 — and if you catch them on sale, you’ll spend even less.
Note: The prices listed are the regular retail prices sourced online on Nov. 13, 2020.
1. Tic Tac Tony
This toy designed for preschoolers takes a new spin on the classic tic-tac-toe game. Players flip colorful discs and rely on luck as they attempt to line up three of their colored discs in a row. Find it at Walmart for $9.97.
2. Bop It! Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Baby Yoda fans will love this version of Bop It inspired by Star Wars: The Mandalorian. You can play solo or put the game in pass it mode to enjoy with multiple people. This toy is suitable for kids 8 and up. Find it at Walmart for $14.88.
3. Treasure X — Sharks Treasure
This unboxing toy unveils mini treasures. You just might find one dipped in gold! Dissect your toy shark and use the tiny tools and weapons you find to transform it into a battle shark. This toy is suitable for kids 5 and up. Find at Walmart for $16.82.
4. Kinetic Sand Sandwhirlz
Build, mold, squish and shape to your imagination’s delight. This set comes with two pounds of Kinetic Sand and more than 10 tools for hours of manipulative play. This gift is suitable for children 3 and up. Find it at Walmart for $19.82.
5. Spark Puppy Piano
This kiddie piano is designed for toddler and preschool-aged children. Sing along to nursery rhymes, jam out on the keyboard, record a song or listen to different beats. Find it at Walmart for $19.82.
6. Sensory FX ASMR Mega Bar
Budding sound engineers will enjoy creating and recording their own beats using sensory bars and tap pads. This type of play is said to potentially trigger an ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) experience, which can be soothing to kids. This toy is designed for little ones 4 and up. Find it at Walmart for $19.88.
7. Grouch Couch
This game for kids 5 and up features a moving couch that eats treats and spits out lost goodies. The player with the most goodies at the end of the game wins. Find it at Target for $19.99.
8. Rainbow Jellies Surprise Creation Kit
Create four squishy, colorful, glittery characters of your own design. This kit, suitable for kids 6 and up, comes with 25 different surprises that you’ll use to form your Rainbow Jellies characters. Find it at Target for $19.99.
9. Blue’s Clues and You: Peek-a-Blue
This 10-inch Blue’s Clues plush toy plays peek-a-boo, barks and raises its ears. This toy is for kids 3 and up. Find it at Walmart for $24.84.
10. A Game of Cat and Mouth
This two-player, catapult-style game has elements of pinball and air hockey, but you’re playing with cat paws and a rainbow-decorated board. Purrfect for the little cat lovers on your holiday shopping list. Find it at Target for $24.99.
11. Cool Maker Go Glam Nail Salon Mani-Pedi Set
Stamp butterflies, stars and leopard print on your nails with this kid-friendly mani-pedi set. This gift gives you all you need to customize 125 nails, including a built-in dryer. This set is suitable for kids 8 and up. Find it at Target for $24.99.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.