Easter is coming up. If you have kids, that means hunting for Easter eggs in the park, painting colorful eggs in the parlor, and eating way, way too much chocolate. It also means Easter gift baskets for kids. How much you spend on them is up to you, of course, but something on this list of Easter gifts for kids under $50 is bound to appeal to your little ones, who will no doubt give profuse thanks to the ever-so-generous Easter Bunny. Which means you’ll have to do it again next year.
Hot Wheels Track Builder Kit
Here’s a fun game: Give the kid a Hot Wheels race car and … that’s it. When the kid utterly fails to keep disappointment from registering on their face, nonchalantly produce a few sections of orange track, loops, and launchers, as if you just had them lying around. Smile as disappointment is replaced with sheer elation, then try to reconcile the fact that die-cast cars will be flying around the living room for the foreseeable future.
DIY Synth Kit
Every activity kit from Technology Will Save Us teaches skills like electronics, programming, and design and reminds kids that technology doesn’t exist for its own sake — it’ a tool for making useful stuff. The Synth Kit just happens to do that while saving cookware from little DIY beatmakers. Your kids will thank you later in life for starting their STEM education early, as insurance against a future living in your basement. If they don’t, point it out to them and ask for a beer.
The new Barbie Fashionista line made waves recently for being Barbies while resembling actual humans. The audacity! The traditional, tall, petite, and curvy body shapes come in 7 skin tones, 22 eye colors, 30 hair colors, 24 hair styles, and 14 face sculpts, so every kid can find a Barbie to which they can physically relate. Doll collection makeovers are so this season — whatever the season is.
The Indie Rock Coloring Book
Your kid is well on their way to kindergarten hipster status with their insider-approved Kindie music playlist and SXSW ticket stubs. Complete the transformation with this coloring book featuring challenges like finding hidden birds in Devendra Banhart’s beard or drawing whatever the cool new haircut is on the members of Rilo Kiley. They’ll be an insufferable blogger the minute they learn to write! At least the publisher will donate the royalties to charity.
Minecraft Mini Figures
You might not be ready to decorate your desk with Minecraft mini-figures just yet, a la this dad, but like him, you could use Minecraft to bond with your kid. These new mini-figs, whose identity stays a surprise until you open each one-pack, are a tangible way to interact and play with the virtual world of your kid’s favorite game, which you still aren’t any closer to understanding.
Sago Mini Friends
Sago’s open-play apps essentially exist solely to, well, exist. Kids play without specific objectives, as in Sago Mini Friends, which mostly entails roaming the neighborhood, ringing doorbells if you want to go inside and eat pizza. That experience is now available in plush doll form; just check with the neighbors before letting your kid go door to door with their new toys, asking for pizza.
DC Super Hero Girls
Girls can be superheroes, too — and anything else, if you ask these 500 kids. This new line features a new generation of super girls inspired by classic DC heroes who are honing their powers at a special school. Give some little Wonder Woman one of these and she’ll be on her way to a standout college application with accomplishments like, “Successfully defended universe from forces of unspeakable evil.”
You could follow award-winning illustrator Oliver Jeffers’ advice to turn your kid into an artist — or could just read them his books and let them figure it out themselves. If you choose Imaginary Fred, they’ll learn about the power and confidence they have inside. You’ll learn it’s just fine for Junior to make those long-distance phone calls their best friend Gary, who may or may not exist.
Wooden Toys Collection
You’re a parent, so coffee is good for you. Coffee made by your kid, if your kid happens to be this specific kid, is really good for you. Coffee made by your kid with a beech wood role-playing activity set is … well, imaginary, but damn it’s adorable. As is the rest of the Wooden Toys Collection, which promotes development in sorting, counting, stacking, music-making, and identifying a delightful a pastel color palette.