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What's a great present under $30 for an elementary school aged child?

Please say if it's good for a boy or a girl or both. Feel free to provide a link if you have one.

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12  Answers

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A box filled with brand new art supplies is always fun. It's that cracking-open-a-fresh-box-of-crayons feeling times a dozen!

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I'd say a unique gift for an elementary child is the opportunity to give back, how 'bout that for outside of the box! We all know giving back through service and volunteerism fills us with feelings of joy and gratitude, so why not start young? Throw out $30 on making cookies or lemonade and let the proceeds of your child's sales go to helping a charity of some kind. Help them understand at a young age the joys of helping others, what a gift!

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I absolutely love this idea. No age is too young to start learning that giving to others can be even more rewarding than receiving. It's also a good way to teach your child at a young age to be thankful for what they have, and appreciate, instead of take things for granted. I know my son has more than he could ever want, and I jump at any chance to teach him to be thankful for what he has.

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Although I don't have a child of my own yet (we're adopting - so hopefully I will be soon!) I have had the amazing experience of being a nanny for four years. And, as a nanny, I got to see what toys actually got played with and were truly enjoyed by the kiddos! My advice - give them something engaging and incomplete. What I mean is, something that they have to make or put together. The best gift I ever bought for the little girl I nanny for cost me $19.99 at Target - and it was a "make your own story" kit. She worked on it for weeks after her birthday and then ordered the actual book she wrote, complete with illustrations! She loved it and still has it four years later. They also ordered it for her grandparents - it was a really great gift that lasted well beyond the first two minutes of excitement!

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Congrats on your upcoming adoption! Kelly

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Moody Bear Puzzles!! There is one set for girls --Emma and one set for boys --Ernest. As a therapist who works with children, this is a great gift on many different levels.

The wooden puzzles are fun for kids as they love playing with the bears, putting them together, and creating different outfits and feeling faces. It's also a great way to increase a child's emotional intelligence; the bears provide opportunity for a child to identify and talk about his or her feelings in a healthy manner.

And best of all, the puzzles are the right price...only $8 per puzzle on Amazon. This link will show you a picture of the wooden Moody Bear Puzzles...

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For any child (but more appealing to my son than to my daughter), a box of Legos is always a winning gift -- even the $10 size.

My son (and other people's daughters, I'm sure) will spend hours and hours and hours during the next year or two building and rebuilding, imagining and creating and designing and envisioning. Those verbs are exACTLY what I want a toy to prompt.

Of course, you may have to deal with the possibility that every parent dreads: stepping on a Lego in the dark. Ugh!

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For more on the Ugh, see

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I want to buy my children things that give to a greater cause. I want to shop with purpose for them.

I like these owl bags from China for my girls - Colorful and fun for all their little things they like to carry around. And, Jiayin Designs purchases items from seamstresses in poverty-stricken areas in China for fair prices. And, the company supports a handful of great causes in China to help orphans and families.

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A series of books.

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My sister bought my son a Dinosaur Dig Kit and he loved it. Its fun and keep them entertained for few hours. Its pretty cool. He loved it so much that I went ahead and bought him another one and its under $30.00 Its only $19.99 at Toysrus Here is the link.

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I don't know about you, but we have an OVER ABUNDANCE of crafts. We're never short on this stuff and we use it all the time of course! Why not give something they may not be expecting?

Option 1: A diary that LOCKS

Option 2: A barnes and noble gift card (yes, they love this!)

Option 3: An iTunes gift card (I'm tell you yes! if they have an iPod)

Option 4: Monster High Doll (dare I go there? Yes, I will...)

Option 5: Movie Passes


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A kite! Hopefully, with a promise of a trip to the beach/ park to fly it together soon. I think kids need more time outdoors enjoying simple pleasures and wonders of life, not more "stuff." I know time may feel more difficult than spending money, but it is such a valuable gift, so be sure to take the kid out to fly it! Good for either gender, of course.

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A tent! Children of all ages and both genders love to have a little space of their own. It should be small enough to be set up inside, but big enough for a couple kids to be able to set up their own little world inside.

The child who loves to read can bring along a flashlight and some pillows and have a quiet space to read. The child who loves make believe can pretend they are camping anywhere in the world. Every activity is more fun in a tent.

On an even tighter budget than $30, you can make one easily out of a large bed sheet. Simply sew a ribbon on each corner and use them to tie the sheet down over some chairs or furniture.

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For boys:
- Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Starter Set:
- Lego Ultimate Building Set

For girls:
- Model Magic Jewelry Maker:
- Wild Notes Journal:
- Knot a Quilt Kit:

For both:
- Multi-voice changer:
- Playskool Alphie:
- Crayola Glow Book:
- Shrinky Dinks Christmas Tree:


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