If you're shopping on a budget this holiday season, you don't have to settle to score some great toys.
"Gemmies" is a 3-D crafting bead set sure to keep the kids busy and easy on your pockets. Play sets can range from $13 to $79, according to Laurie Schact, owner of the Toy Insider consumer magazine.
"It's going to keep them busy. It's going to inspire them," said Schact.
The toy, which costs $12.99, works by clipping little crystal beads to a piece of elastic. You can create an ice cream cone, a puppy, all kinds of fun creatures.
There's also the Lion Guard Training Lair playset. Pricewise, it falls in the middle range, costing $59.
"There's so much to do on this playset," said Schact. "We have a zipline, we have doors that open, and of course a playset wouldn't be complete without a projectile."
There are cheaper ways to make your kids' imaginations soar.
"When we're talking about role play toys, we can buy costumes, wings, wigs, for under $20," said Schact.
There's also Mario Kart 8 Quadcopter.
"This is for children eight and up, so eight and us," said Schact. "The MSRP on this is $99, and it's very cool. Mario Kart 8, and he is in antigravity mode."
We put it to the test, but it didn't take long to crash.
"If you crash him don't worry. He's nice and soft all around; it's a very light unit," said Schact.
If you're looking for a cheaper option, you can find some great radio controlled cars for about $20.
If you're really on a budget this holiday season, but want to make it memorable for your kids, here's some frugal tips you may want to consider:
- Try online consignment sites like Swap.com. You can make some money selling off old toys or find deals on lightly-used toys your kids might like.
- Swap with other parents. Trade toys your kids don't play with anymore for lightly used ones. That way a toy is enjoyed twice at no extra cost.
- Always be on the lookout for coupons and store promotions.