Preschooler Birthday Gift Ideas Under $25

February 19, 2014

Friend without Kids: Hey Man, going to the Tinder Box to smoke a cigar and then heading to brunch with the wives. You in?

Husband: I am at a birthday party. At the zoo.

Friend without Kids: I am dying laughing.

Husband: This is what your life will become too.

Yep. This is our new reality. Days of cigar shops and mid-morning mimosas are gone. Did we actually ever do that? I can’t even remember. We must have done that, right? If you are young and single or don’t have kids yet, you should totally do that. We don’t do that anymore. Instead, we spend our weekends at birthday parties:


But truthfully, I’m cool with that. An afternoon hangover does not mesh well with a house full of crazy kids. A birthday party is a morning or afternoon that I don’t have to plan…. and I’m always up for a nice big slice of birthday cake. Win-win.

The problem with birthday parties, for me, is the damn presents. More specifically, remembering to get a present. I may or may not have re-gifted a Christmas gift that my kids weren’t interested in when I realized at 9am that we had Johnny’s party at 10am. Try taking three kids to the toy store with you and walk out with just one toy that they have to give to someone else. Either I am a complete pushover or my kids are really good at convincing me that they neeeeeed another Lego guy. With a party every other weekend, I needed to start planning ahead or we would go completely broke on birthday gifts. I went on Amazon, ordered a bunch of the gifts below (most tested out and loved by my kids), and now I am set. Bring on the birthday parties!

Check out my stash:

birthday gifts for preschoolers

1.My boys love this Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Doorbell House. Each door has a unique key and 4 adorable dolls with working doorbells to boot. Price: $24.71

2. The Melissa & Doug Jumbo Coloring Pad and the Melissa & Doug Jumbo Watercolor Set are my go-to gift set. Consumable art supplies are something every kid needs. My boys use these on a daily basis. Need to clean up from lunch? “Ok, time to go color!” Need to make dinner? “Ok time to go color!” Need to check Instagram? “Ok, time to go color!” Price: $5.99 each (boy and girl varieties available)

3. The Micro Cubebot Brain Teaser Puzzle is a toy I’ve been seeing everywhere these days. Must be cool right? Price: $9.99

4. Let’s Go Fishing Game Poles. Magnets. Fish. Sharks. Fun stuff. Price: $20.34

5. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Latches Board Kids love latches. They just do. I don’t know why. But this is a good one.  Price: $20.86

6. Little Tikes Tot Sports T-Ball Set – Classic gift. Can’t go wrong with this winner. Price: $15.97

7. Mr. Sketch Scented Water Color Markers Not gonna lie. I sorta want these markers for my own. I love Crayola and everything, but these markers are thicker, easier to use, and smell…..(big sniff) wonderful! Price: $12.26

8. Happy Birthday to You! by Dr. Seuss. Need I say more? Price: $8.44

9. Your Birthday Book: A Keepsake Journal This would be an awesome gift for a 1 year old. It includes fun birthday activities to write about each year  (good luck in years 15,16 and 17…) then re-wrap to open on the child’s 18th birthday. Sentimentality at it’s finest. Price: $9.97

10. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Grub Scouts Sprinkler I know it’s hard to believe, but someday in the near-ish future we will be playing outside again. This is a great gift for spring/summer birthdays. Price: $13.99

11. MindWare Block Buddies This gift brings me back to indoor recess during my teaching days. Kids would fight over the geometric shape blocks and make crazy creative figurines. This is one of those gifts that should come with a warning –  Caution: This toy might make you smarter. Love this. Price: $17.31

12. Magnetibook Crazy Face is a great quiet-time gift that never gets old…. and it’s something that they probably don’t have already. Sold at Land of Nod, and also on Amazon. Price: $16.95

There you have it. No more wandering aimlessly through the toy store wondering what to get Johnny and Suzie, and Benny and Bethany, and Charles and Isabelle..…and err, umm, re-gifting old gifts. Who does that anyway?


*Prices on these gifts are subject to change
** Occasionally I use affiliate links to run this blog.

  • Heather
    February 19, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I am the queen of the Target or Toys R Us gift card…. 🙂 But you give lots of great ideas…I was wondering about that M & D house…

  • kim @ DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS
    February 20, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Oh I really love that Cubebot and Magnetic Crazy Face… need to keep those in mind for the next birthday party. And the markers bring me back to my childhood.. I was obsessed with those!

  • Krystal Bernier
    February 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Great idea purchasing in advance and great gift ideas. Thank you.

  • Natalie
    February 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    such great ideas!

  • claudia krusch
    February 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Love gift cards, it helps the children to go and get something they really want!

  • Lauryn
    February 21, 2014 at 6:25 am

    These are great gift ideas! We love Melissa and Doug so that is usually our go to, but some of these toys I have never seen before. Love them!

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