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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Five Thrift Store Christmas Present Ideas for Preschoolers

Yep, this is a post about buying thrift store Christmas presents . . . posted at the beginning of October. If you want to have an affordable Christmas, you absolutely cannot wait until December to start buying gifts! There are lots of really nice new and nearly new items to be had for young children at thrift stores. You'll save a lot of money while still being able to get your child/children lovely items they will be thrilled to have.

Five Thrift Store Christmas Present Ideas for Preschoolers

1. Create a dress up box.        
My little guy in all his glory as Spiderman!
(Notice that he is standing in front of the markdown
shelf at our favorite grocery store, which is my first
stop on every shopping trip)

Recently I was in a thrift store looking for a Halloween costume for myself to wear on Halloween, when I noticed most of the little kid costumes were priced at $2.99 each! Bells went off in this gal's head  and I started snapping up costumes for my little guy. I am making him a costume box for Christmas. I purchased a Buzz Lightyear costume (splurged $7.99 on this one), an Iron Man costume, a Transformers costume, and a Captain America costume, each of which cost $2.99. I am going to spend $10.00 more to add an Iron Man mask, and hopefully a Transformers mask to round out the costumes. I wouldn't be able to create this super hero dress up box as inexpensively at any other time of the year, so this is why I am sharing this gem of an idea now. You can easily create any type of themed dress up box during the Halloween season sales.

2. Make a Lego, Duplo, or other building block set

In just about every thrift store I visit, I notice small bags of building blocks- Lego, Duplo, etc. Start now to pull together a nice set of building blocks for your preschooler. Many thrift stores have sales on certain items or certain color tagged items and these sales often change daily. Check your favorite store's Facebook page or website for info on what is on special. If toys are half price, you better plan on going to that thrift store that day! In the past, I have made a Marbleworks set, an oversized "Lego" set for a toddler, and other building sets, simply by knowing what my kids really liked and going to the various thrift stores frequently. I also purchase a large plastic tub to use as the container for the thrifted building sets, again, at the thrift store if at all possible!

3. Give books

I paid $3.00 for this set of eight board books! 
Books are usually plentiful at thrift stores and many are in new or excellent condition. If your child likes a certain character (Spiderman, Barbie, Harry Potter), it is relatively easy to gather a good sized bunch of books in great condition from your favorite thrift store. One of my daughters liked the Babysitter Club books and one son liked the Animorphs. I buy books when they are on sale at half price and can give my kids a huge collection of their desired series of books.

4. Give puzzles and games

Every thrift store I visit has puzzles and games. I watch for sales on these items and stock up on high quality wooden puzzles, floor puzzles, and games of all kinds. I focus on wooden puzzles and floor puzzles because these two types are a bit more special than a simple cardboard tray puzzle and at retail price these are also quite expensive. Little kids love games but can lose interest in them quickly, so I would much rather buy them as inexpensively as possible. If the games or puzzles have beat up boxes, simply purchase a plastic box from the dollar store and print a photo of the game or puzzle to decorate the box.

5.  Give art supplies
You can't go wrong with these popular children's character
coloring books priced at only 25 cents each! 

Thrift stores often have construction paper, stickers, coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, paint sets, sidewalk chalk, stencils, etc. When I can purchase coloring books for 25 cents each or 12 cents during a half price book sale at my favorite thrift store, this is a fantastic gift item to be able to give. I look for new or nearly new coloring books and carefully remove used pages to create a pristine book.

These coloring books were new and unused throughout!
I encourage you to think thrift store when doing your
Christmas shopping for young kids this year. Your  money will go so much farther and you won't be paying for Christmas gifts long after the holiday season has passed.

I would love to hear how your shopping goes and what you found! Please share in the comments section!

1 comment:

  1. All great suggestions. Nicole's mother-in-law loves garage sales and brings the kids something every time she sees them.