Can you recommend a great toy that costs less than $10? Please share a link to a photo.
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I love paper and cardboard toys. They are eco friendly, boost creativity, you can make them yourself, or buy them from creative designers, like this one http://www.bagofpretty.blogspot.com/2012/06/pappet-creative-paper-toys-interview.html
I would also recommend Mr Printables (http://www.mrprintables.com/) fro beautifully designed free printables for kids.
I love those mini magna-doodles you can take in the car with you or wherever! I usually buy them from the dollar store (they're usually $1.00 - $2.00) but I found one from Toys R Us for $9 that seems to hold together a lot longer, so that one is still holding strong! The best part? My 2 year old can draw his little heart out without drawing all over my walls or inside my car! Nothing beats stuff that saves you from cleaning!
You can read about the mini-magna sketch and other inexpensive toys on my blog, Crawl The Line, at http://crawl-the-line.blogspot.ca
I have two little boys, ages 4 and 2, so saying that they are rough on toys is an understatement! That's why my go-to toys are always wooden. They are more expensive than plastic, but I've found they are definitely worth the investment because they actually last!
At 2nd and Strand I wrote about finding a super cute colorful wooden train. A wooden toy for $10? I know, its almost unheard of! This toy caught my eye because its wooden, adorable (it would look cute when it's not played with and just displayed on a shelf!), low price, unisex, and because its also a puzzle!
Check out the image here: http://www.2ndandstrand.com/1/post/2012/06/pretty-wooden-toys.html
Maggie (13 months) just loves anything musical, she will happily spend her day clapping and dancing.
I found these two musical instruments at the Melbourne Queen Victoria Markets. I got them both for under $10 and they are her absolute favourites. I also love that they were made for little people in mind, lead free paint and completely child/baby safe.
Chalk can be used in so many outdoors games, learning activiites, and artwork. A small box of chalk is less than $3 and can fill hours with fun.
Since my blog is all about getting families outside, I'll have to go with - Go Outside! Climb trees, jump in puddles, build a sandcastle, explore a natural area nearby - all are great ways of enjoying the outdoors. Please visit my post for a lot ideas as well links to many other outdoor blogs.
Ten Ways to Get Outside! - http://thebigpicturecalgary.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/ten-ways-to-get-outside/
I have great memories as a child playing with my Barrel of Monkeys! It is a toy that has stood the test of time. It is cheap, easy and for such a simple concept it is fun! You can pick one up for about $5.00.
LEGOS! There are so many types of LEGOS as your child grows even with popular characters and colors for every child.
Our family favorite toy for less than $10 is the big bubble wand you can pick up at the Dollar Tree for a buck! We buy several of these every summer! We make our own bubbles with Dawn Dish detergent ( usually we get for FREE after coupons)! It makes the BEST bubbles! My girls have hours of fun with this $1 toy!!
I define a great "toy" (the only kind worth giving) as anything that engages a child's imagination, heart, mind and spirit. That said, the best toy you can give your child is a library card! With it, your daughter/son will travel on countless adventures of discovery. It is the key to their future and it's FREE! (What a deal!)
Since Island Girl took my first thought, I'll add dirt. Let your kids play outside in the dirt. I had so many adventures building, 'excavating', and discovering when I was a kid in my own front yard! Played with cars in the dirt (I'm a girl, BTW) and made many mud pies! Considering I'm not even 30 yet, I suppose they can't be that old fashioned! Of course, then again my kid makes me feel old. We have sand in our back yard and the kids like to bury seashells (we live in AR, you gotta bring your own shells!) and see who can find them. Even I am finding them after a while! They forget where they bury them, but man they have so much fun and it doesn't cost a penny! Of course, you could always bury them for the kids and let them find them! A pirate treasure hunt perhaps??? Good times!
Bubbles! Kids of all ages love bubbles, even the bigger kids. With the new automatic bubble blowers that are out there, they love to be showered in bubbles. Bubbles also encourage moms and kids to get outside and get moving!
Pots and Pans! No need to spend any money for hours and hours of FUN!! For toddlers, get out the pots, pans, wooden spoons, pastry roller (this is great fun) and don't forget the colander! Get the camera and watch them have fun. If the kiddos are older...COOK, teach them to cook simple, healthy but fun recipes! Make ice lollies! You will teach them something that affects their health and wonderful appropriate independence! Enjoy!
Musical Instruments! Homemade and/or store bought, my twin boys love banging, shaking, tapping, or ringing to the beat! Here they are having a little Jam Session to the Toddler Tunes channel on our cable network.
I am a big fan of getting our kids to unplug from all the electronics we are surrounded with, and do some things with their hands. We are always ready to get our craft on! One of the best presents we ever received was a huge under-the-bed tub filled to the brim with arts & craft supplies. Think pom poms, felt, crayons, markers, beads, string, playdough, glitter, stickers, paper plates - you name it, it was in there. My kids spent hours & hours creating things, and using their imaginations. I try to encourage families to do arts & craft project together on my blog. You'll find lots of great ideas by clicking the Craft Tab at BrendaWritesABlog.com
Most of our favorite toys are less than 10$. We often make shakers out of used paper towel rolls with some dry rice or beans, masking tape and construction paper. We love crayons and sidewalk chalk. There are bubble wands and dollar store balls that get used more than the fancy toy sets my son has.
The greatest toy is one that brings out your child's imagination! One of my favorite childhood memories is building my barbies bedrooms out of my mom's empty shoeboxes. It was great fun. :)
BUBBLES. It's summer take advantage of that!!! All three of my girls (5,3,20months) go mad for bubbles.
I love this toy called Gazillion Streamin' Bubbles
I'm also one to say - outdoors play!
Kids love to get mucky, and outdoors play is free. It can just be drawing in some dirt with a stick, jumping in puddles, collecting leaves and flowers to dry, playing the peg game (see blog post link - great for counting & learning colours, and helping you while you hang out the clothes), or you can spend under $10 on a mini watering can and a pack of seeds and help your kids start their first garden, teaching them patience, respect for nature and maybe even learning where food comes from and how good fresh fruit & veggies taste. A mini garden is a great idea for those families living in an apartment or townhouse too...
LEGOS are my number one go to toy for my children and gifts to other children. Hero Factory sets are the number one request by my boys at the moment. Imagination takes off when one simple set turns into so many different toys and creations!
Why buy a cheap toy when you can custom-make your own. I recently made a dollhouse from a cardboard box, it was free (besides for the cost of glue), took very little time to make and turned out great.
If your kids are a bit older, you can even involve them in the creating, adding more value to the toy.
You can check out my instructions and pictures here: http://mygoinggreenblog.blogspot.co.il/2012/05/how-to-make-dollhouse-from-cardboard.html
I wish I had written this marvellous post - the "Five Best Toys of All Time" is written by GeekDad. All five are free. I so wholeheartedly agree with him that I want to share it with you:
And I'd say Annie has a great addition with the library card: also completely free!
The best "toy" that you can find under $10 is PLAYDOUGH!!! Children use their imaginations when they play with it and it can keep them entertained for hours!! We have a big box with different colors of playdough and rolling pins, plastic knives, cookie cutters, etc. All kids love playdough and you can buy it cheaply or make your own!!
A GREAT Toy that costs less than $10... I would HAVE to recommend LEGO. My daughters' enjoyed building with their LEGO Duplo table when they were younger. Now, they have "LEGO Friends"... better knows as GIRL LEGOS! My niece is 10 years old and LOVES LEGO Friends! I also have a 5 year old son whose room is pretty much FLOODED with LEGOS! His imagination SOARS as we all dig through the mounds of LEGOS to find pieces to create what our imagination tell sue to create!
LEGOS are a GREAT TOY that is $10 or under. You can find many sets that are $10 and under, but there are TONS that ARE more than $10.
There really is NO LIMIT to a child's imagination when they are creating with LEGOS! And with the introduction of LEGO Friends, girls can get more involved!
Home Made " Slime" Cost about $1 to Make !!
This is a great fun project for parents and kids to do on a budget - Summer time fun does not have to cost a fortune
The magna doodle- hands down my favorite toy. My 4 year old and I do letters and shapes with it, my 6 year old and I play hangman. My older kids love practicing long math problems with it. We use it all the time! It may be in the $20 range, but to keep it under $10, there are mini ones. A paper and pen work great too :)
As I'm typing this I have three girls at my house contentedly playing with Littlest Pet Shop figurines and sets. The girls range in age from 12 to 7 so they are definitely toys that girls of a wide age range will enjoy playing with and the "pets" themselves are all less than $10. I'm also a huge fan of encouraging outdoor play in the summer and you can't go wrong with an old school Slip n' Slide! Toys R Us has them starting at $9.99. http://blondemomblog.com/2010/06/14/just-add-water
Our family truly favors puzzles, games, blocks and any simple toys that are not that simple on the brain power. Some of my all-time favorites are stacking blocks. Especially, when they have more to them just stacking. Check this one by Melissa & Doug that has textures and ABC on them. There are so many ways to count, learn, and kinetically explore these blocks. And I found one for under $10!
For literally up to a half hour of entertainment and laughter for free with my kids I do something I like to call the one man show. My first two fingers become little legs and they dance around, climb my kids' faces, stand on their noses and make the little guy say "I'm on a mountain", and lots of other silly things. My kids love it, it's free and they can make their own two legged little man with their fingers too. They come up with lots of funny things for their one man show to do and say.
Imagination can provide so much more interest than any toy you can buy.
This is one of the best "under $10" toys I've ever seen...it inspires creativity, is great to take along on trips and will keep your child entertained for HOURS! Can't beat that, right?
The Crayola 3D Sidewalk paint is a fun way for kids to express their creativity. The kids can paint on the sidewalk or driveway and it easily washes away with water. Since kids love to draw and we want them to play outside this is really a great way to do both! Makes a great idea for things kids can do at birthday parties also!
The SKY BALL is a simple looking ball, but when thrown hard enough on the ground, it can soar up to 75 ft. in the air! My kids and I have had a lot of fun seeing who can send it highest in the air. For only $8.99, it's a great "ball" of fun.
My son LOVED the Toysmith 4M Dig a Dino Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton Excavation Kit. It's currently $9.65 through Amazon. My little paleontologist is crazy for these kits, and now wants the Mammoth kit! After we excavate them, we get more use out of the "fossils" by hiding them in the dirt in the backyard, and finding the skeletons again and again and again.
Last summer we reconnected with the simple fun of a Wiffle Bat and Ball. Pick up wiffle ball games popped up throughout the day, and anyone at any level could join in. Great fun for about $5 a set. (Unfortunately I could only find a link for a bulk purchase.)