10 Great Kid Gifts for Less Than $10

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Great Kid Gifts for Less Than $10

By Maryalene LaPonsie

Christmas is almost here. Are you ready yet?

If you're still looking for some extra stocking stuffers or cheap presents for the kids in your life, you'll definitely want to watch the video above. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has some great gift ideas that cost practically nothing. Then keep reading for more inspiration.

1. Legos. I know. Some of you are freaking out at this suggestion. Holy moley, those babies are expensive, right? Well, sure, if you're going to buy the Millennium Falcon. But you can get plenty of fun little sets such as a surfer rescue or a Duplo caterpillar at regular or sale prices below $10.

2. Pack of cards. You can pick up a cheap pack of cards from virtually any dollar store or toy department in the country. They may cost only a couple dollars, but they come with the potential for hours of fun. For the younger set, look for games such as Old Maid or Go Fish that feature big numbers and bright graphics. Tweens and teens might like to receive a regular pack of cards and learn some grown-up games once the dinner dishes are put away.

3. Craft supplies. You could spend $20-plus on a bundle of craft supplies or you could make your own set for less than half the price. Head to the dollar store and look for construction paper, markers, ribbon, glue, beads and other crafty items. Arrange them in an inexpensive bin or basket and wrap it up with some wrapping tissue or cellophane for a fun and creative gift.

4. Temporary tattoos. There's something about temporary tattoos that children love. It's like being given permission to write all over yourself. You can find some stencil kits that will let kids make their own body art or for the non-artists, check out Monster Hands to combine tattoo mania with hand puppet fun.

5. Coupon book. You can't beat free, and you don't have to spend a dime to give your favorite kids a homemade coupon book full of little splurges. Coupons could be for an extra hour of screen time on the weekend, a night off from chores or having dessert before dinner one night.

6. Give an experience. Similar to a coupon book, you could give an experience. Younger kids might not quite grasp the concept behind this gift, so it might be best for those who are a little older. Put in a box or card a certificate entitling the child to a date with you. It could be taking your niece to see a matinee or fishing with your grandson. Either pick something you know they'll love or let them make the call – as long as it is within reason.

7. Makeup bag. For this one, if you aren't buying for your own daughter, you'll want to check with the parents first. However, if you get the green light, most girls love the chance to play dress-up and that includes experimenting with makeup. Pick up an inexpensive toiletry bag and stuff it with sample-size makeup items. If the girl in your life isn't quite old enough for makeup, you could include lotions, soaps or other bath items instead.

8. A share of stock. Not all kids will appreciate this one when it comes out of the box, but if you make a wise choice, they'll thank you later. Buy a single share of stock and wrap up a certificate in a box or card. Then, show them how to follow the stock value and explain that eventually that $10 gift might be worth a whole lot more.

9. Books. Some hardcover books can be pricey, but there are plenty that fall in the $10-and-under range. And you know what? Almost every kid loves some type of book. Even if they aren't the reading type, you can find Mad Libs, puzzle books or comic books that fit just about every level of interest.

10. Candy bags. Finally, you simply can't go wrong with candy. Mom and Dad might not be thrilled, but if you show up at the Christmas party with bags of candy for every boy and girl, we'll bet you'll be in the running as the favorite relative for everyone under age 18.

Those are 10 great kid gifts under $10, but they certainly aren't your only options. If you've given a cheap gift that was a super hit, tell us about it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

9 PHOTOS
The 7 Hot Toys Your Kids Will Want for Christmas This Year
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10 Great Kid Gifts for Less Than $10
The Apple Watch doesn't come out until 2015, and it's going to cost you at least $350. The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch is out now and only costs $60. It's clear which smartwatch is going to wind up dominating the market.

Fun idea: When you give this to your kid, perform Christopher Walken's monologue from "Pulp Fiction."
When Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird wrote a comic book in the mid-'80 about giant mutated turtles who were also teenage ninjas, they probably didn't think they were launching a multimedia franchise that would still be selling movies and toys 30 years later. But here we are in 2014, and the turtles are coming off a blockbuster movie -- and they're once again expected to be a top-selling Christmas toy.

Toys R Us thinks your kids will want this "Stretch 'N' Shout Leonardo," which takes the Turtles' stoic, katana-wielding leader and gives him the ability to. .. stretch his arms and scream really loud? OK. Meanwhile, Kmart has the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lil' Dune Racer, which is basically just a powered kid's bike with some Ninja Turtle stickers slapped on. It costs $162 and has a top speed of 3.5 mph.

Really, these are some weak offerings on the Ninja Turtles front. When I was a kid, I had a little tank that launched pizza discs. Now that was a toy.
Here's another late-'80s/early-'90s toy franchise that's seeing a second life thanks to Michael Bay. The "Transformers" movie franchise is now in its fourth film, swapping out America's Sidekick Shia Laboeuf for America's Knucklehead Drinking Buddy Mark Wahlberg. But more importantly, the fourth film finally got around to introducing Grimlock ("me Grimlock!"), the Transformers' truculent dinosaur robot.

We've got two Tranformers: Grimlock! toys appearing on this year's lists. Toy R Us has the Stomp and Chomp Grimlock ($70), which transforms between dinosaur and robot and comes with a bonus Optimus Prime toy to ride Grimlock into battle. Kmart's Grimlock toy is only $20, but you get what you pay for: It's just Grimlock in robot form, with a button that lets it make some noises. What good is a Dinobot that can't transform into dinosaur form? If you get this for your son, he'll spend three minutes trying to get it to turn into a dinosaur and then throw it aside.
Doc McStuffins –- who, you may recall, provides medical care to stuffed animals –- appeared on the list last year, with a tricked-out check-up center. But this year the good doctor is really stepping up her game, making house calls with the Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile Cart, basically a pull-along ambulance ($50). It comes with a siren, an EKG machine, a gurney and even a little ladder (I guess to rescue stuffed animals trapped in tiny burning buildings).
Next time someone trots out that tired old "It's the future, where's my flying car?" line, show them this $55 flying Hot Wheels Street Hawk Remote Control Flying Car. Or better yet, buzz them with it like Maverick from "Top Gun" doing control tower fly-by while screaming "Is this futuristic enough for you?!"
The Zoomer Dino appears on all three retailers' lists, so it looks like it will be one of the season's most in-demand toys. It also sounds like it will be completely awesome:

"Boomer can detect when you're nearby and interacting with him. But watch out! Just like a real Dino he can get angry, spin around, chomp and roar! Using True Balance Technology, Boomer perfectly balances on two wheels as he roams freely, exploring your home. ... He might even let out dino-sized burps and farts!"

So imagine the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, only he's wearing roller skates, and also he's burping and farting all over the place. It's $100, and I just ordered it.
This is the one.

The only other toy to appear on all three lists, the Snow Glow Elsa Doll (from the hit Disney movie "Frozen") is already looking like this year's Tickle-Me Elmo. At Walmart, it sold out online while I was writing this article. Kmart says it won't have it in stock until Oct. 30. Toys R Us still has it in stock, but it's already set a limit of five per customer.

All this in September.

If someone winds up getting pepper-sprayed at a toy store this December, you can bet that it will be over this doll. It lights up and sings "Let It Go" -- and your kid probably wants it. You can hunt it down now and pay $35, or wait until December and pay $200 on eBay (EBAY).

Merry Christmas!
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