Gifts for Kids Under $30 | Toys to Play for Hours

Thank you so so much for you sweet feedback on baby girl’s nursery!  It’s been a labor of love for sure and we’re thrilled with how it turned out!  I loved getting to finally share it with you!  And the best part is that it’s done and now we can just wait for the baby to arrive and concentrate on the holidays.  We’ll be spending Thanksgiving with our family in Houston and our son has the whole week off of school, so it will be so good to just have some slow days.  
James is super excited about having a baby sister, but it’s still kind of an abstract concept since she’s not here yet.  He has been in on as much of the process as possible so far from cutting the cake to reveal the gender to helping pick out stuffed animals for her and her room.  He has these fun black converse sneakers that are so cool, so we got baby sister a pair of tiny pink ones!  
Baby girl lavender nursery | Honey We're Home

Baby girl lavender nursery | Honey We're Home
Ah, the baby girls’ clothes! Seriously so adorable!  I’ve only bought a total of 5 things so far, but I know there’s plenty of time for that. And my sweet sis-n-law and girlfriends are throwing me a ‘sprinkle’ after the new year to celebrate. 
Baby girl lavender nursery | Honey We're Home
I’m not leaving James out though.  He’s huge into Star Wars right now and cannot wait for the new movie to come out.  A friend’s mom at school knows how much he loves everything Star Wars and she made him a hand-sewn Jedi robe!  You would have thought Christmas had already come at our house, he loves it so much.  He puts it on first thing after school and then has even slept in it.  
Naturally, I couldn’t pass up this Jedi tee! They have an adult version too for your ‘grown up’ Jedi;) I also love these Tucker + Tate knit waist jeans.  My son is on the small side, so the knit waist is really comfortable and fits him well.  These go from toddler to little boy sizes.  

These are the converse I mentioned earlier.  But, I should have listened to the Nordstrom shoe guy. They usually really know their stuff.  He said they run a full size big and he was right.  Now I have to go back and exchange for a smaller size.  James wears size 11 in his school shoes, but the 11 in these was way too big.  I’m going to get him a 10- he loves them and was so bummed they didn’t fit right away.  I actually like them for men too. 
Kids converse all star sneakers - so cool!
:: kids gifts under $30 ::
And I’m already getting a jumpstart on Christmas shopping for the kids.  In our family, we draw names at Thanksgiving for an adult gift-exchange, but all the kids are fair game.  Is that what you do? I’ve got several young nieces and nephews to buy for and of course my own son has a wish list a mile long already.
But first, tell me, are you doing the Elf on the Shelf this year?  We’ve done it in the past and it’s fun to create new ways to hide the Elf, but I can’t commit to doing it everyday.  Maybe it’s a #momfail, but if something is more stressful than fun, it has to go or be modified.  Nothing worse than it being 10pm at night and suddenly remembering you forgot to do something creative with your dang Elf!  Can you relate?? So, in our house, “Buddie” makes an appearance a few times a week and everyone is happy.  
I popped into Nordstrom after our nursery photographs and started picking out some things from their cute toy selection (and to check out the Fall Clearance Sale that ends Sunday).  
Given the Star Wars affliction I mentioned earlier, I’ll definitely be getting this Lego Darth Vadar alarm clock (but I didn’t see it at my store). I did pick up a Darth Vader watch and it comes in other Star Wars characters. It’s a digital watch, but my son is at the age where he’s learning to tell time, so this watch will be double appropriate. 
We’re big into puzzles and I think my son is already more geographically inclined than I am, so this World Map puzzle should be fun for him.  I didn’t see it online, but they have a similar Melissa & Doug USA sound puzzle with wooden state pieces and when you lift them, you hear the state name and capital.  I’m all for making learning fun! 
Do you remember Lite Brite?!  It was one of my favorite games as a kid, I wonder if James will have the same excitement over it. We’ll see since it will be wrapped under the tree come Christmas morning! 
For the girls in my family, I picked up two fun things:  washable hair chalk (not online yet) and Melissa & Doug temporary tattoos.  I almost grabbed this giant tub of washi tape (and still may go back for it), but I was wondering if it was only me who’s obsessed with washi.  It’s 88 rolls of tape for under $20!

After all the furious unwrapping of gifts on Christmas morning, I like the kids to have toys that they can play with and enjoy for hours.  The toys linked below fit that category and are all under $30.  
Holiday gifts under $30 that the kids will play with for hours
1 :: Frozen Ice Power Elsa – her magical powers come to life in a sparkling doll that lights up and launches snowflakes when you raise her arm. 
2 ::  Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Portable Light Box – perfect for that kid that loves to spend hours coloring and crafting. 
4 :: LEGO Friends Stephanie’s Pizzeria – these LEGO sets are so good for kids who can sit and read through and follow directions.  I know James takes great pride in completing them all by himself. 
5 ::  Ker Plunk game – James got this for his 5th birthday from a sweet friend and it’s an easy, fun game to play.  
7 :: Washi Tape – 88 colorful patterned rolls in a big bucket.  Sounds like a bucket of happiness to me! 
9 :: Star Wars The Force Awakens – Millennium Falcom Build & Play Model Kit.  It’s an easy-to-assemble model kit for ages 6+ that features a light-up hyper drive motivator, battle action sounds and a movable laser cannon, antenna and landing gear.  This comes with 19 pieces and includes batteries. 
10 :: Lightsaber – this one has sound effects and changes colors, also comes with the stand.
11 ::  Melissa & Doug Latches Activity Board  My son used to be fascinated with these!  

Have your kids mentioned anything they want for Christmas? What’s hot in your house?

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Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring today’s post and being my one-stop holiday shop!

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. We don't go big on christmas gifts for my boys. It gets too overwhelming. And we don't do elf on the shelf. Thanks for the roundup! The nursery is gorgeous!

  2. I love that elf on the shelf idea, maybe our elf can go on dad's work trip next month! It can get to be a bit much with everything else going on during the holidays.

  3. We just do a couple new things for each of our 7 kiddos. Between gifts from us and other family members it all amounts to waaaay to many toys fast. Our boys are into Legos and our girls dolls so it seems like a pretty easy shopping list!

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