For single parents, the holidays can often be stressful. While kids naturally want the latest and coolest gifts, a single parent’s budget often simply cannot accommodate those kinds of wish lists. Below, we offer some gift ideas that are cool as well as cheap.
Kids love to get things in the mail. Getting your child a subscription to a magazine covering a topic he or she is interested in is a great way to encourage reading while also giving your child something to look forward to.
Tickets to a concert, play, sports, event, or movie are not necessarily that expensive but will be something your child would love to receive, especially if attending events is not something you get to do very frequently.
Outings to the skating rink, bowling alley, or miniature golf course can be a tremendous amount of fun, especially when you go together. If you usually find it difficult to fit outings into your monthly budget, splurging on an outing together is sure to be something that your child will love and will provide the opportunity to build memories that both of you will cherish for many years to come.
Recipe and the Ingredients to Make it
Kids of practically all ages love to cook with their parents. Write down or print out a recipe you think your children would like and give it to them along with the ingredients to make it and set a date. Cooking dinner or baking something special is a wonderful way to spend time together while also teaching your children important life skills.
Do you have a child that loves to make things? For many single parents, it can be difficult to set aside time to do fun things like making crafts. Why not put together a craft kit and set a date for making something special? Whether it’s scrapbooking, making a simple quilt or throw, or whipping up an easy scarf, this time together will be something your child is sure to treasure.
Kids often love to gift their parents with coupons, so consider turning the tables and giving your children an envelope of coupons they can choose to spend at any time they like. Possible options include your taking over one of their chores, a game of one-on-one basketball, a card game, movie and popcorn night, staying up a half hour past bedtime, sitting down and reading a book with them, or anything else you might think of that would interest your children.
This is a gift that doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive but could be a welcome treat for your children, especially if you are not often able to afford dining out. Consider options such as a gift card to their favorite restaurant, ice cream shop, or, for older kids and teens, maybe even their favorite coffee shop. Make it extra special by allowing them the option to invite whomever they wish to go along with them.
Encourage imaginative play by giving your child some dress-up outfits. Pack it into a fun box for easy storage. You might be surprised to find just how many hours of fun play your child can get from a few simple outfits. While many stores sell dress-up chests, there’s no need to spend a lot of money. Head out to your favorite consignment shop to find great options while still sticking to your budget.
Do you have a reader in the family? For many single parents, encouraging a child’s love of reading often means relying on the library, but if there are some books your child loves that the library doesn’t have or would like to read again and again, investing in books is a relatively inexpensive gift that your child will be sure to love.
Outdoor Gear and Equipment
Does your child enjoy spending time outdoors? If so, giving your child something fun to do outside could be a good way to encourage him or her. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. Just get creative. Possible options include gardening supplies and seeds or even fishing tackle. Give some thought to what your child might be interested in and then let your imagination run wild.
Classes or Lessons
Kids often like to try out new activities. Consider gifting your children with a class or two in an activity they have wanted to try out, such as karate or dance lessons. This can be a great way to encourage them to try something new. To avoid spending a lot of money, pay for just one lesson or class. This will give your children a chance to try it out and determine whether it’s actually a good fit for their abilities and interest level before you spend a lot of money on future lessons.
Subscription to Netflix or HuluPlus
If you have an older kid or teen who is addicted to certain TV shows, but you don’t have cable, this could a gift he or she will truly appreciate.
iTunes Gift Card or Subscription to Apple Music
If your kid is passionate about music and is always begging you to purchase new songs, you can be sure this is a gift he or she will love. ITunes gift cards can be purchased in a variety of different denominations, which can make it easy to satisfy your child’s passion while still staying well within your budget this holiday season.
The First Issue of a Comic Book or Novel Series
Does your child like to read? Indulge his or her interest by picking up a new issue of a comic series or novel series you know your child has wanted to read.
Waterproof Phone Case
Is your child addicted to his or her phone? Give your child and yourself some peace of mind with a waterproof phone case that will keep the device safe.
As you can see, with some creativity, you can come up with some cool gifts that your kid will be certain to love this holiday season without spending a lot of money.