It’s the most wonderful time of the year … that is, if you relish tracking every cent that’s being spent on holiday gifts for each person on your too-long list. But if you’re like most of us, finding gifts that won’t break the bank (or make you lose your mind) is a task that’s dreaded each and every holiday season.
That’s why we’ve taken some of the pain out of holiday gift-giving with our annual list. Here are gifts under $50 for kids, 5-7 years old.
All of them are guaranteed to produce smiles, for gift giver and receiver alike.
The perfect mix of learning and fun.
Carli, Megan, Alex, Abby. If those names mean anything to you, you were probably glued to the U.S. Womens win at the World Cup. Let those powerful women inspire the aspiring soccer star in your life with these figures, which come with a washable felt field, a strategy booklet and that iconic ball. Find this toy locally at Building Blocks Toy Store in Lakeview and Wicker Park. $24.99, 3+.
Kaskey Kids Soccer Girls
Thanks to Inside Out, emotions are pretty hot right now, and these adorable plush toys help kids get a little more in touch with how theyre feeling. They just write or draw their worriesbullies, tests, homesicknesszip them inside, and hopefully, sleep a little sounder. Find this toy locally at Building Blocks Toy Store in Lakeview and Wicker Park. $22.99, 3+.
It seems like every year, a new building product comes along that makes us say, Why didnt I think of that? In 2015, its these geometric building blocks that are magnetized to allow for the ultimate in open-ended play. You wont believe what theyll create. Find this toy locally at Becky & Me Toys in Evanston. $39.99, 5+.
The Kids Choice Awards might have cornered the market on the coolest slime, but thats just because this game hadnt been invented yet. Take target practice to the next level with these squishy green orbs, and watch them stick to, and slide down, an equally slimy target. Find this toy locally at *play in Logan Square. $14.99, 6+.
Slimeball Target Practice
Who says designing has to be all miniskirts and go-go boots? Style-savvy kids can put together superhero ensemblesfrom helmets to shields, lassos to jetpacksand create an action star all their own with this clever new take on the fashion plates of yesteryear. Find this toy locally at Building Blocks Toy Store in Lakeview and Wicker Park. $29.99, 6+.
Katniss might be taking on The Capitol with her bow and arrow, but your kids are responsible for defending the entire neighborhood. Fortunately, these archery sets are designed by some smart kids who know just what their fellow Tributes need. And the safe, foam-tipped arrows show theyre in tune with moms and dads, too. Find this toy locally at Building Blocks Toy Store in Lakeview and Wicker Park. $24.99, 6+.
Two Bros Bows
Taco Tuesday now doubles as Family Game Night! This game perfectly complements your tortillas and extra hot salsa and adds an extra element of old-fashioned fun. Players race each other to build a taco orderbut the La Cucaracha and Antacid cards threaten your turn. Find this toy locally at *play in Logan Square. $14.99, 6+.
We all know at least one kidmaybe all of them?who have ants in their pants. Channel that fidgety energy with this tricky spinning toy, which gives 52 ultra-tough challenges that just might make your head hurt. It can even double as a desk toy for parents who cant seem to sit still. Find this toy locally at Becky & Me Toys in Evanston. $14.95, 6+.
It may not be Goliath, Raging Bull or even the Little Dipper, but this roller coaster makes discovering loose change in the couch cushions a true thrill. Coins go on a twisty, loopy, wild ride before landing in a bankwhere they can be saved up for tickets to Great America come spring. Find this toy locally at Becky & Me Toys in Evanston. $30, 6+.
These are the only insects youll want anywhere near your stove! A sneaky HEXBUG nano is trying to make his way to the good stuffunless you correctly turn the knives, forks and spoons to direct him into the trap. Keep the roach spray nearby, just in case. Find this toy locally at Galt Toys + Galt Baby in downtown, Lincoln Park and Skokie. $29.99, 6+.
Bugs in the Kitchen
If your kids were inspired by Chris Pratts dinosaur wrangling this summer, they wont be able to resist this cool kit. Aspiring paleontologists excavate a dino brickusing provided chisel, brush and magnifying glassto discover a mini T. rex skeleton, and gain all kind of prehistoric knowledge along the way. Find this toy locally at Moore Toys & Gadgets in Wheaton. $14.95, 6+.
Ultimate Dino Dig
From butterflies to baseballs, chevron to splatter, super stylized digits are all the rage. But how do you keep your little fashionista from becoming a #Pinterestfail? This kit gives lots of helpful hints, plus the provided water-based paints peel right off when theres an epic mistake. Find this toy locally at Building Blocks Toy Store in Lakeview and Wicker Park. $21.99, 6+.
Klutz Nail Art