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The Cheap Father’s Guide to Buying Birthday Presents for Other People’s Kids

Don't start dropping Benjamins on other people’s kids. It's just not necessary.

Your own kids are expensive enough, so you don’t need to start dropping Benjamins on other people’s kids just because they’re turning five. We found a slew of killer gifts all under $15, so you can make a kid happy at their birthday party — without breaking the bank.

Little Kids: 3-5

Crayon Rocks $10

Show me a kid who doesn’t like fresh Crayons and I’ll show you a kid my kid isn’t allowed to play with. These river stone sized Crayons are built for little people and last forever.

Buy Now $10

Moodsters Feelings Flashlight $10

Do kids have feelings other than “hungry” and “angry”? Apparently. This flashlight helps kids work through some of those feelings with different character projections. Also, flashlights are fun.

Mister Sketch Assorted Scented Markers ($9)

The best part of being a kid is hiding in the corner and huffing markers. Cut to the chase with these fruit-scented markers. Obviously, watermelon is the best “flavor.”

Space Phone $9

The plastic cones and stretched out coil spring create wild sounds when you speak through them. In theory, the kids will learn some scientific principle, but really, it’s just fun to make fart noises that get amplified.

Buy Now $9


Big Kid: 6-9

Waboba Moon Ball $8

Sounds crazy, but this incredibly bouncy ball is fun as hell, launching 100 feet in the air after a good throw. Pro tip: Don’t bounce it inside the house.

Buy Now $8

Zuru BunchO Balloons $9

The worst part of a water balloon fight is tediously filling up each balloon. With these bundles of balloons, you can fill 100 water bombs in a minute. Instant water balloon party.

Buy Now $9

Manic Panic Temporary Hair Color $11

It’s a styling gel and a temporary hair color, so kids can get freaky without risking any permanent damage. It’s also vegan and glows under a black light.

Buy Now $11

Headbanz $8

Your favorite drinking game from college has been reimagined as a family-friendly party game perfect for big kids. Strap the card to your forehead and guess what you are.

Buy Now $11

Tween: 10-13

Rubik’s Cube $7

Yeah, they want an iPhone, but the Rubik’s Cube is like the iPhone of the ‘80s, so it’s kind of the same thing. And if the kid solves the Rubik’s Cube, promise you’ll buy him a phone next year.

Buy Now $7

Star Wars Cookie Cutters $14

Kid old enough to bake now? Good. Put him to work with this set of four cookie cutters. Yoda tastes the best.

Buy Now $14

Harry Potter Postcard Coloring Book $7

Too cool to color anymore? Bullshit. Harry Potter transcends age. This adult coloring book gives you 20 postcards, so it’s like art therapy and correspondence in one.

Buy Now $14

Desktop Ping Pong $9

Turn any surface into an instant game of pong. Because, like, homework is so lame anyway.

Buy Now $9

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