20 award-winning toys for $20 or less

Bonnie McCarthy

I don't think I know anyone who isn't on a budget this holiday (and those of you who aren't, feel free to keep that happy news to yourself). For the rest of us playing Santa on a shoestring, I bring tidings of great joy.

Yes, Virginia you can find great toys priced under $20 -- and I'm talking award-winning, hours of fun, thank-you note kind of toys for all ages.

After combing through 2009's lists of award winning toys from toy-testing aficionados including Family Fun Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Dr. Toy, The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Toy of the Year Awards, iParenting Media Awards, as well as the list of top ten "Toy of the Year Awards" from the American Toy Industry Association, I found far more than 20 toys priced under $20.

So, in the interest of time (which is another thing parents don't have enough of), I used my status as a veteran mother of two to highlight a cool list of toys representing a variety of age ranges, interests and prices (not the old, $19.99 trick every time).