Christmas is a magical time of year. As in, all your money seems to magically disappear — especially if you’ve got children to shop for.
The National Retail Federation predicts shoppers will spend an average of $659 on gifts for family and friends this year. Prices like $200 for a Barbie DreamHouse and $300 for a Nintendo Switch aren’t helping anybody.
We know you want to get the kiddos presents they’ll love — but you shouldn’t have to blow your budget in the process.
We combed through the lists of this season’s top toys from mega retailers Walmart and Target to find affordable options for families on a budget. Here are 15 cool toys under $20 that won’t give you buyer’s remorse.
Note: The costs listed are the regular retail prices sourced online on Nov. 13, 2019. The price you pay may vary.
9 Toys Under $20 From Walmart
Walmart’s list of the top toys of the season include unboxing surprises, a little superhero cosplay and gifts that add a bit of glam. There are several options to choose from that won’t have you spending over 20 bucks.
1. What’s In My Purse Mystery Thoughts Pack
This pack may contain lip gloss rings, markers, erasers or charm bracelets. What your kid gets is a mystery until unboxing.
2. Tic Tac Toy XOXO Friends Multi Pack Surprise
Your child must unbox this toy to uncover the hidden surprises. Each pack comes with two XOXO friends, three swappable wings, one accessory, one putty pack and one putty cutter.
3. Blume Doll
With just a little water, this doll comes out of its flower pot into full bloom. This toy includes hidden surprises like stickers and accessories.
4. Pikmi Pops Cheeki Puffs
These collectible plush toys come scented. This gift also contains two surprises — items like nail stickers, hair ties or temporary tattoos.
5. Treasure X Alien Hunters Single Pack
Your little treasure hunt must follow 12 steps to unveil the prizes hidden within this surprise pack. Watch out for the slimy ooze.
6. Banana Blast
This family game requires a little hand-eye coordination as players grab bananas from a tree and scramble to catch the monkey jumping from the top. Between two and five players can join in on this game, which is suitable for children ages 4 to 9.
7. What’s In My Purse Surprise Pinkie Swear Doll Purse w/ Surprises
This little doll-shaped purse includes a lip gloss and two erasers. Play with the doll alone or snap on the attachable metal chain to carry as a purse.
8. Blinger Diamond Collection Hair and Fashion Styling Tool
This styling tool allows kids to add a little bling to their hair, clothes and accessories. This gift comes with 75 gems in a variety of colors.
9. Marvel Spider-Man Super Web Slinger
Kiddos can transform into the famous arachnid superhero with this toy, which allows them to actually shoot strings of “web” from their wrist.
6 Toys Under $20 from Target
Target is beefing up its toy inventory with more new and exclusive gifts this holiday season. Target’s list of top toys under $20 includes a “Frozen 2” board game, a twist on a family classic and several options for toddlers.
1. Fisher Price Linkimals Musical Moose
This interactive toy for babies 9 months and up has a light-up belly and soft antlers. It uses music and phrases to teach colors, counting and more.
2. Fisher Price Linkimals Lights and Colors Llama
This reimagined version of the classic ring-stacking toy uses lights and music to introduce your baby to colors. This gift is suitable to babies 9 months and older.
3. Fisher Price Linkimals A to Z Otter
This light-up, musical toy introduces little ones to the alphabet. It is designed for those 9 months and older and earned recognition as a Toy of the Year finalist.
4. Disney Frozen Frantic Forest Game
“Frozen” fans can enjoy this board game, which incorporates counting, color matching and strategy. This game is recommended for two to four players, ages 5 and up.
5. Pictionary Air Game
A twist on the classic drawing game, this Pictionary version uses an app and a special pen designed to capture air-drawn doodles on your phone, tablet or smart TV. This game requires two to five players and is geared to ages 8 and up.
6. #Snapstar Pop Royalty: Echo’s Debut on the Pink Carpet
This toy incorporates technology and imaginative play as kids use the included green screen and an app to create different scenes for the doll.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at Codetic.