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Everyday Cheapskate: Fun (Cheap) Birthday Gift Ideas for Kids

Mary Hunt on


Personalize a bucket or container with the birthday child's name, and fill with age-appropriate art and craft supplies like paper, crayons, pencils, glitter, paste, scissors, ruler, tape and a pencil sharpener. A dollar store is a great place to fill a birthday bucket because it's quantity that counts!


Create a book filled with coupons for play dates with your child and the birthday boy or girl. Include trips to the park, your home, sleepovers, treats, games, crafts and activities.


This gift is a fun one for elementary-aged kids -- and very budget-friendly. Purchase a colorful jump rope, and add the free printable jump rope rhymes you can easily find online with a simple search for "jump rope rhymes."



Coloring is popular right now for kids and adults. Putting together a coloring kit makes for an inexpensive gift. Items for the kit might include colored pencils, markers, crayons and one or two coloring books. Purchase them during the fall, when school supplies are on sale for ridiculously awesome prices.


Mary invites you to visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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