28 Cool Gifts for Kids Under $50

updated Aug 11, 2023
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Price limits are hard when it comes to the holidays, especially when you have a mix of people to buy for. When shopping for kids, though, there are so many amazing, fun, entertaining, and worthwhile finds you can score for less than $50. You can even pair a couple of thematic playthings and still come out under budget (not always, but sometimes!).

So, where to start when the amount of toys, games, stuffed animals, and kid-tech etc. is just too overwhelming? Check in with curated shops and online marketplaces to see if you can browse with the giftee’s age and/or a particular price point as your filter. You can discover a number of similar and much-loved brands by doing so, too. Or! You can shop with us. We’ve come up with a list of 28 gifts every little is sure to love, from wooden push toys and dino name puzzles to next-level building blocks and party-mode puzzles — and everything is under $50. Hold on, we just heard it, the collective “ahh.”

Babies & Toddlers

1 / 7
Uncommon Goods

This plush guitar toy is about to take center stage in your baby's life: You've been warned. They'll love the sweet vibrations that come from plucking the colorful strings, and you'll love how mellow the sounds and sensations are. Once they've gotten good, it might be time to start looking for a School of Rock class.

2 / 7
West Elm

We'll go out on a limb and say that every child will have at least one giraffe to call their own in their early years (mine have dozens, but that's only because I have a cousin with a serious giraffe obsession!). So, why not make this one their first? Made from durable, locally sourced wood, this giraffe features cutouts perfectly-sized for little fingers. The simple and polished look (on account of that clean beeswax and flaxseed oil sealant) is a match for any room in the house — including the stairs, where every parent is bound to find it.

3 / 7

Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars are bound to be a favorite in the not-too-distant future, but for now, when your loveys are little, farm figurines on wheels provide just the right amount of wonder. The details are delightful, from the curly tail on the pig to the polka dot bandana on the doggie, but for baby, they just need the basics to start practicing naming: Sheep, Horse, Cow, Dog, Pig.

4 / 7
Fat Brain Toys

Garage band sounds are still light years away, moms and dads, relax 😉 As much as we adore analog, low-tech toys, there's definitely a time and a place for some interactive, battery-operated fun. And these bongos really light us up. Featuring two sides that your baby can toggle between for regular bongo beats and animal-sound stylings, music-making is easy and full of color. It's also the perfect size to fit between their squishy little legs, so pull up a spot on the carpet and get ready to rock.

5 / 7

As an adult, you're a hat person or you're not — it's that simple. But every kid has a face and head for hats, so you can't lose if you want to embrace that fact. With a charming smiley face on the cuff, a beanie like this will not only keep them warm, it'll keep them grinning from ear-to-ear through the entirety of winter.

6 / 7
was $69.80

This whimsical dino name puzzle epitomizes what's meant by "Fun, but make it fashion." Made from organic materials and non-toxic paint, the design is nursery, kids bedroom, and playroom-friendly, and a total joy to take apart and assemble again. Choose from a dozen color schemes and opt for pieces with or without pegs. We like them with pegs for the toddler set and without for bigger kids.

7 / 7
Barnes & Noble

Understanding cause and effect is one of the earliest indications that your little's motor skills are moving and grooving, and this adorable wooden cow will help them get there. The brightly colored cow comes with six wooden shapes for sorting. The head is spring-mounted for a little bounce when touched. This delightful gift is also a brilliant display piece for nurseries!

Little Kids

1 / 7
was $26.99

Pretend play is everything to toddlers and kindergartners alike. So, something like this pint-sized post office kit truly inspires ALL the dramatic and imaginative play. This collab from Melissa & Doug and Blues Clues features a wooden postcard and stamps, envelopes and invitations to mail, a double-sided puzzle, a 10-piece wooden memory game, a gift box, a shipping pouch, a reusable activity magazine, and reusable stickers for personalized fun. We happen to love how it blends make-believe with real life — really, you can give your littles baskets and bins to weave into their own worlds.

2 / 7

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Well, actually it can be both with this flexible play system inspired by the magic of origami, the ease of building blocks, and the power of magnets. The freeform-shaped pieces can be simply and satisfyingly clicked together, turning 2D shapes into endless 3D creations. And the best part? Clean up is a snap when your kiddos can quickly and easily stack all the pieces together. They're safe enough for the dishwasher (because they're destined to get dirty when they're played with day in and day out) and pain-free to step on. Enough said.

3 / 7

Does your child dream in yellow and orange or want to wear hard hats everywhere they go? They'll feel seen (or should we say, like a part of the crew?) in one of these babies! It's a toy, but it can be used to actually sift sand, move dirt, and shovel snow. Its two-handed controls make digging fun and easy, while its sturdy metal construction means the crane can handle it all. Seasons too! Bring it into the backyard, to the beach, or out in the snow during the winter season for some best-of-digging fun.

Just one thing! The weight limit caps at 110lbs., so parents, we'd suggest burying those "Should we try it, too?" ambitions.

4 / 7

Lately, my daughter has been obsessed with the book "Today I'll Be a Princess," and I can't say that I'm too mad about it. Long story short, the little girl starts the day wanting to ride in a horse-drawn carriage, dress up in the most resplendent of ensembles, and slip into the sparkliest shoes, but ends the day taking off her tiara and jumping in muddy puddles. Kids should dream, but kids should also be kids; this darling DIY crown and tiara kit celebrates that notion, without a doubt. It's mess-free, easy to craft, and oh-so-enchanting. Plus, with 300+ stickers included, the decorating possibilities are endless.

5 / 7
was $37.99

All gifts can be meaningful for minis, but gifts that make our children more passionate and protective of the planet we live in — well those are just the absolute best. These new wireless headphones allow kids the freedom to move without a wire, while making sure they do so safely (with a max 85db volume limit). Each of the products feature a character, like Pepper the Penguin, with a story about why they are endangered and practical tips on what children can do to help. Plus, a portion of the revenue from each product purchase goes to World Land Trust and the Marine Conservation Society.

6 / 7
Fat Brain Toys
was $39.95

This unique swing provides the perfect, coziest cocoon for reading, napping, or just hanging around, and since we sometimes forget that our tiny humans need some "me time," too, gifting them something like this lets them know we get it. Featuring reinforced stitching and a special design that makes it difficult for kids to fall out, it's not only a snug secret hideout – It's also wonderfully safe.

7 / 7
Fat Brain Toys

We'll always be here for memory games, but the ones available today are so much more exciting than the vintage brain games. Like this ladybug rendition, for example. With five double-sided game cards, a 2-piece wooden game board, and 20 adorable ladybug markers, your littles are poised for hours of fun. The puzzle cards feature imagery in varying levels of difficulty — from simple shapes and vibrant illustrations to numbers and color-specific patterns — so lucky siblings can play together to foster fine motor skills, confidence-building, and of course, some friendly competition.

Big Kids

1 / 8
was $26.95

Puzzles are an internationally known favorite family pastime, but who else has a playroom sprawling with an assortment of sets (all in varying degrees of completion) all over the floor? It'd be great to start one that everyone can participate in, right? BINGO (they have that, too, by the way)! This food festival puzzle has four differently sized pieces to match each family member's unique skill level. Big chunky pieces for the puzzle novices and smaller, more tedious ones for the masters. Maybe even consider planning your fam night sessions before you decide what to have for dinner, because once the dishes start coming together (pizza, tacos, dumplings, sushi, doughnuts, etc.) — literally — you'll all be licking your lips!

2 / 8

Who doesn't love monkeys and flying coconuts? This adorable and award-winning game of monkeys, cups, and laughter will have the whole family entertained. There are no confusing rules, either (which, in my house, always instigates my kids' early attention drop-off), it plays just like a popular carnival game. Use the spring-loaded monkey arms to fling the tropical fruit into the yellow and red cups, whoever collects six coconuts first wins!

3 / 8
Barnes & Noble

Tie dye is not for the faint of heart (and we mean that, tie dye explosions are far from subtle), but if you have the right resources in place, like the vibrant dyes, protective gloves, rubber bands, and a tie-dye tool, your kids could go pro! Let them add a burst of trendy, colorful flair to ordinary tees, totes, and more. We like the shibori styles best, but the stylish sunbursts and rainbow swirls are cool too. Whichever way you spin it, this studio will rock their socks off (Yes, as long as they're 100% cotton, socks can work too!).

4 / 8

Anyone who has ever seen the LEGO Movie has probably dreamed of their own creations coming to life — we're talking kids and parents 🙋‍♀️ — but with this innovative block-lighting power base, the reality isn't too far away from the imaginary. Simply let your builders do what they do best, build, and then use the versatile switch to add life to their final look (be it a skyscraper, robot, airplane, etc.).

Oh! And parents? The technology is compatible with standard LEGO blocks and other block systems of the same size. We know that was your biggest wonder!

5 / 8
was $69.99

If this doesn't inspire one of those "OMG, if only they had one of these when I was a kid!" moments, then we don't know what would. This digital video camera with a tabletop tripod/selfie stick, green screen, and special effects is a true dream for any budding filmmaker or videographer. They can use the included green screen and 20+ animated backgrounds to imagine themselves being chased by a T-Rex, traveling to outer space, or snapping their fingers and disappearing into thin air. And all of the on-camera editing and creative tools are at their disposal, so really, you could end up witnessing pure genius at play.

As a safeguard, video can only be uploaded to a computer via the included USB cable at their parent's discretion. A helpful tidbit, for sure, if you were feel a bit apprehensive.

6 / 8
was $34.95

Okay, so this isn't a road trip-savior, per se, but if you'll be stopping at a hotel overnight (without an on-site arcade or a pool for the kids to entertain themselves), a portable ping pong set would be pretty sweet. Pongo can be set up on any smooth surface (up to 72 inches wide), with an adjustable net, weighted posts, and balls that can hide discreetly inside them. No mounting is required, just unpack, stretch it out, start rallying, and voila — table tennis in a pinch!

7 / 8

As a parent to a voracious architecting preschooler, I got this ball and stick kit a few months ago and we honestly could not be happier with it. Not only can my 4.5-year-old handle the assembling, his just-turned-two little sister is starting to figure it out, as well. It takes a little bit of fine-tuning to twist the rod securely into the ball, but once you get the hang of it, it's a piece of cake to create rocketships, castles, igloos, tunnels, and more. Keep some oversized bed sheets on hand to throw on top, so that once they crawl inside, a whole other world awaits them.

8 / 8

The fanny pack has been fashionable for years now, but we haven't seen one so cute. Now that the Lorimer fanny is available for kids, parents might not be the "cool ones" anymore (as a note, this style has been out of stock for a while, so the demand is off the charts). We love how it allows kids to stay hands-free, it sits crossbody, and holds all their on-the-go things from sunglasses and hair scrunchies to school lunch money, masks, and sanitizing sprays. And the vibrant rainbow design just brings all the good vibes!

Tweens & Teens

1 / 6

If your tween or teen is just starting to get into accessories, getting them a statement bracelet like this can jumpstart their penchant for fashion. The mix-and-match colors create a beautiful, personalized stack that can add a subtle pop of color to their everyday look.

2 / 6

This high-school-level chemistry kit contains everything your spitfire teens need to try out seven fire experiments exploring the chemistry of combustion, oxidation, and capillary action. Way better than a blobby and boring 90s-style lava lamp, the colorful flame lamp ignites a passion for science and a great muse for a younger sibling's video camera practice, perhaps...

3 / 6
Uncommon Goods

Night stands have it hard, really—they're usually just the catch-all place for water glasses, watches, books, clothes, and phone charger cords. But that's the nice thing about a smartphone vase like this. It can keep your teen's phone charged (the cord gets safely nestled into the groove at the bottom of the stand), while also holding a bouquet of fresh or dried flowers. It's kind of like bedside sunshine or a breath of fresh air, and it gives them a reason to keep their tabletops tidy.

4 / 6

Have any DJs in the making at home, because these app-enabled music rings are about to light up their life. All they need to do is connect to the Specdrums MIX or Edu app and start tapping (and if they're on the Gram already, they should be no strangers to the double tap!). Anything from their clothes to drawings to the included playing pad can be activated and used to create and mix sounds, beats, and loops that all play through their cell phones.

Why parents will love it: Built with sleek technology including an accelerometer, light sensor, and Bluetooth Low energy connectivity, the rings provide an accessible, portable, and tactile way for your teens to discover music creation without having to spend crazy amounts of money on singular, one-and-done instruments.

5 / 6

Everyone, young and old, needs to embrace self-care, even superheroes. We're big fans of this brand-new Every Man Jack Marvel Body Wash Collection, featuring scents inspired by Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, and Captain America. The goods deep clean to remove dirt and grime without over-drying, and since they're confectioned from natural, plant-based ingredients whenever possible, you don't have to worry about any villainous toxins getting into your good guys (or girls!).

6 / 6
was $30.00

We haven't met a face mask we didn't like (as well as the staying-in-on-a-Saturday-night situation that prompted it), so, of course, we want to scoop these ice cream-inspired facial flavors up STAT. Family-masking moment? Yes, please! Hydrating, exfoliating, and nourishing, the birthday cake, berry, and green tea-scented masks can be applied and washed off within 10 minutes. So, even if they have plans, they can pamper up before peacing out!