20 Gifts $20 and Under – Tot Gift Guide
Searching for high-quality presents for babies and kids that don’t cost a fortune? You’ve come to the right place! In this guide we’re sharing 20 affordable gift ideas and our favorite product picks!
You’ve made your list, you’ve checked it twice… and you’ve realized that it’s loooooong!
To help you still rock a kid’s world without breaking the bank (or doing harm to their health), our guide we’ll go over:
- Chemicals to avoid in toys
- Affordable gift ideas & products picks for babies and kids
Scroll down to learn more!
Chemicals to avoid in toys
At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed The Tot Test. This means we’ve looked deep into third-party testing, examined ingredients lists and asked in-depth questions about a product’s composition to ensure it doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that we avoid.
For toys, this is extra important because of the type of contact a baby and/or child has with them. (Let’s be honest – they usually end up in a mouth!) When shopping for toys, it’s wise to steer clear of the following chemicals:
Many phthalates are known endocrine disruptors associated with asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues.
Bisphenols (BPA + BPS)
Bisphenols mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, female infertility, and obesity. BPA is an especially dangerous endocrine disruptor since even small amounts of this chemical have been shown to cause serious reproductive damage, especially when the exposure occurs in utero.
PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl, is an incredibly toxic chemical that is harmful to our bodies and to the environment right from the production phase through to disposal. It contains additives like phthalates, lead, cadmium, organotin that are quite toxic and have been linked to asthma, allergies, reproductive problems and cancer.
Lead & Other Heavy Metals
Exposure to heavy metals can cause nerve damage, learning and behavioral problems, reproductive damage and irreversible brain damage.
Affordable gift ideas & products picks for babies and kids
As advocates of play based learning, we love nothing more than gifting a toy that does double time facilitating both fun and learning!
Below are twenty affordable gift ideas and product picks that will help hone fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, encourage problem-solving and of course – spark creativity and imaginative play!
- Silicone teether
- Crochet rattle
- Stacking cups
- Shape sorter
- Fine motor nuts & bolts toy
- Color changing cards
- Fire truck
- Chunky wooden puzzle
- Stuffed animal
- Wooden percussion set
- Magnetic game boards
- Non-toxic play dough
- Magnetic play scenes
- Crayon coloring set
- Non-toxic sidewalk chalk
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Bell shaker
- Crayons or markers
- Decoder puzzle
- What am I? brain teaser game
Scroll down to see our product picks for each!
The Loulou Lollipop Llama Silicone Teether is great because it helps soothe sore gums, enables babies to gain control of their ability to grasp, shake and bring a toy to their mouth and is also fun to play with!
Easy for little hands to hold, the Cheengoo Christmas Tree & Snowman Rattles are the perfect stocking stuffer! Sure to be a family heirloom, they can even sit pretty on a mantel as decor.
The best part about the Mushie Stacking Cups is that they are also fun in sand, play dough and water! Designed with unique cut outs, kids can sift, strain and press for hours on end!
Made from recycled milk jugs, the classic Green Toys Shape Sorter is another indoor-outdoor hit! Fantastic for teaching shapes, colors and hand-eye coordination, it’s a must-have for every home!
Fine motor skill play just got extra fun thanks to the Miniland Eco Nuts & Bolt Set. Designed to strengthen the muscles needed to develop correct pencil grip, do up a button and tie shoe laces, it offers fun and functionality!
For lovers of construction sites and sensory play, the Magic Water Color-In Cards book will be a huge hit.
Putting out fires will be a breeze with Luke’s Toy Factory Fire Truck! Made in the USA, it’s durable, waterproof and manufactured with the environment in mind.
Puzzle play is a wonderful way for tots to work on their problem solving skills, while having loads of fun. This chunky wood puzzle from Petit Collage is a total winner for animal lovers!
Simple and sweet, the Maileg Ballerina Mouse can be a snuggly friend and stellar make-believe performer!
Made of child-safe wood and non-toxic paints, the Petit Collage Wooden Musical Percussion Set is a fun way to help your tot develop rhythm while learning the names of animals and colors.
4 classic games in one easy to travel with tin? Yes, please! Available in a mermaid and dinosaur theme, the Flosee & Rock Magnetic Fun & Games tins include boards for: tic tac toe, shoots and ladders, word search and a magnetic DIY scene!
Eco-Kids Eco-Dough is the non-toxic play dough you’ve been searching for! Both a calming and sensory experience, play dough can help sooth anxiety while facilitating creative play.
Magnetic fun can happen at home or on-the-go thanks to the Floss & Rock Fairy Magnetic Play Scenes!
The Rubeez Art Box is where coloring meets origami! Consisting of unique crayon shaped rocks (that are easy for hands to hold), this art box also has textured sheets of card stock to take your tot’s work to the next level!
A plain stick of chalk is all you need to make a solid driveway coloring session happen, BUT when a kid is armed with a funky pizza shaped piece of sidewalk chalk, then imaginations can run even wilder!
Puzzle play is so important for critical thinking, problem-solving and of course, hand-eye coordination! These 40 piece puzzles from Floss & Rock are the perfect size for little learners!
The BabyNoise Bar Bell Shaker is made of natural wood and designed with jingly bells that let kids shake and make music wherever they may go!
Crayons are cool, but you know what’s cooler? Crayons that can draw on glass! Kitpas crayons are made with paraffin, which means they can draw on paper, glass windows and whiteboards, making craft time or party decorating extra fun.
We also love the washable double sided markers from Kid Made Modern because kids can get really detailed with their creations!
Take your puzzle game up a notch with Petit Collage’s Decoder Puzzle. Once pieced together, kids can put on a special mask to reveal objects hiding in the busy scene!
The Petit Collage What am I? game is fun for the whole family and is particularly helpful with developing language skills!