There are so many different toys and gifts out on the market today. Many of them costing well over a $100. I remember growing up and a Furby was under $20. Even Monopoly was affordable. And who says gifts have to be non-challenging?
A few years ago, I challenged myself to research educational gifts for under $100, many of them with unique twists to them that would make them appealing to children. Now, I challenged myself to find educational gifts for under $20. Check out some of these neat gift ideas just in time for Christmas:
This book is cleverly written on how to construct 16 crazy devices. These devices range from a potato cannon to a paper match rocket. Many of these projects use everyday inexpensive household or hardware items. Written by William Gurstelle, pick up one of these books on Amazon, ebay, or Fat Brain toys for about $15.
Remember having to build marble and mouse mazes for school? Keva Contraptions – 50 Plank Set is similar. Find it at Fat Brain Toys on sale for $18.95 (normally $20). Build a Shooting Gallery and more without using glue or connectors. For ages 7 and up.
Discovery T-Rexcavator Game
I don’t know why, but I just love toys involving dinosaurs! With this game shaped like a T-Rex, your child can pretend they’re a paleontologist. Sort of like Operation, collect the most bones without touching the sides. Includes 36 dinosaur trivia cards. For ages 5 and up and needs 2 AA batteries. $19.95
Mythbusters Science Kit
There are several of these kits out there: Power of Air Pressure, Forces of Flight, and many others. They range in price from $14.95 to $24.95. You can find them on Amazon, ebay, and at the Discovery Store. Test your child’s knowledge and see which myths are real -just like the popular show!
Trade Bead Mancala Set
How about a game from centuries ago and that doesn’t require batteries? Try a Mancala set! National Geographic is selling one right now at the sale price of $7.99 (normally $29.95). With the popular price, it is sometimes out of stock. The solid wooden board has intricate decorations of petroglyphs of the Niger Tenere Desert. The game is simple: move more beads into your goal before your opponent does. Can you do it?
Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart Collector’s Edition
I like this computer game – it gives a unique storyline while challenging the gamer. An undead pirate has kidnapped your daughter, and it’s up to you to save her! Play dozens of hidden object games, Mahjongg, solve riddles and cryptic puzzles while searching for clues. Can be played on Windows XP, Vista, and 7 and uses just 1GB of memory. Find it on Amazon for about $12.99.
The original Rubik’s Cube has frustrated and challenged millions of people. Try the 360 – a ball you rotate to move the beads through a maze to their designated areas. Find it on Amazon for about $8.99. Not challenging enough for the person you’re buying for? You can also find other Rubik’s versions, including a light-up speed challenge version.