Free and Frugal Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

freefrugal gift ideas

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is watching my kids’ faces light up as they find a much-coveted item under the Christmas tree. No, the season is not all about the gifts, but the excitement and joy on their faces is something that makes the holiday brighter. Some years, though, finances may be tight and we might not have the budget for an expensive, elaborate holiday. Or maybe the purchase of a single big ticket item has blown the budget and there is less under the tree to open. Finding free gift ideas for kids can be a challenge!

Great holiday gifts don’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, sometimes they don’t cost anything at all. Here are a few simple and fun ideas that you can put under your tree that won’t break the bank and will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Handmade coupon books – Many of us made these in childhood for our parents and siblings when we wanted to give someone a nice surprise but had no money to spend. Create a coupon book filled with simple, inexpensive ideas, such as choosing dinner one night, date day with mom or dad, an extra family game night, or a pass to get out of a dreaded chore.

Favorite holiday treats – Chances are you’re already doing a bunch of holiday baking. Put together a tin of favorite cookies and candies for each of your children and wrap them up with their name on it. It’s a fun gift, tailored to their own favorites and it’ll help you avoid the cries of “Mo-om! Someone ate all my favorite cookies and I didn’t get ANY!!”

Vacation plans – While this is not a “free” gift, the holidays are a great time to announce an upcoming family vacation. Even if they won’t be able to enjoy until the summer months, opening up a package to find information about a fun, family getaway is sure to be a fun addition to Christmas morning.

Dollar store goodies – While there is a lot of junk to be found in the dollar store, there are some great finds, as well. Create a custom package of activity books, crafting items, hair accessories, bath products, or other odds and ends, then assemble in a fun storage container. A simple but fun gift that can be assembled for just a few dollars!

Special experiences – Have your kids been nagging you to visit a new park in the area or dying for a day at the beach? Create a certificate that entitles them to an outing that they’ve been pining for. Schedule a date and make sure to follow through!

Complete an outstanding project or request – Have an old stuffed animal that is still loved but has a tear? Give it a little makeover and place it under the tree. Have your kids been asking to redecorate their room? Wrap up some inexpensive décor items and help them reinvent their space over break. There are always little things that we put off that completing that would make a great gift!

There are loads of ways to give your kids a wonderful holiday without breaking the bank! What are some of your favorite free and frugal gifts for kids?



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  • Jessi Housel

    These are great ideas for Valentines day too coming up!