Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fun Kids' Gifts for Under $50

(StatePoint) High food and gas prices aren't taking a break this holiday season, so how can parents and grandparents still give kids the toys and games that are sure to put smiles on young faces? Forget about the high-tech, expensive gizmos and go "back to basics."

This season, holiday shopping is being made easier thanks to some popular online stores where shoppers can find great classic toys, games and books under $50, that offer hours of enjoyment for kids.

"Now more than ever, parents and grandparents want to pass down the toys that they remember from their childhoods," said Ken Moe of Back to Basics Toys (www.BacktoBasicsToys.com). "Toys that have passed the test of time are generally easy to understand, provide great play value, and deliver a certain fun factor. Open-ended toys and toys that help foster life skills will always be popular."

Indeed, toys made from natural products have been gaining popularity, as have toys that require no batteries. Parents love them because these toys encourage open-ended, imaginative play.

For shoppers who want to give affordable classic toys, Back to Basics Toys recommends the following:

* The Slinky ($7.99)

* The Viewmaster ($13.99)

* Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots ($22.99)

* Creepy Crawlers Workshop ($29.99)

* Original Colorforms ($34.99)

* Jumbo Tinker Toys ($35.99)

And in these tough economic times, the retailer is offering shoppers the chance to win a $100 shopping spree by entering the Back to Basics "Toys of Our Lives" online sweepstakes, where you can share a photo of your favorite classic toy for a shot at the prize. For more information visit www.backtobasicstoys.com.

For affordable gifts that are both entertaining and educational, The Scholastic Store online (www.ScholasticStore.com) has an extensive selection of books and toys that are so much fun kids won't even notice they are learning.

From gifts for the child who's "going green," to the budding scientist or future artist, The Scholastic Store recommends a wide array of gifts for every age and interest:

* "The Planet Earth" book series ($5.99 each)

* The Dr. Suess Beginner Alphabet Cards ($10.99)

* "The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan" ($12.99)

* "Make Your Own Angel Ornaments" the "book plus" activity book from Klutz ($16.95)

* Create Your Own Pop-Up Books ($17.95)

* The Bill Nye the Science Guy Science Kits ($29.95)

"Holiday giving can include more than high-tech gadgets for kids," said Hope Van Winkle, of The Scholastic Store. "Toys and books that challenge kids to think top the list for the best holiday gifts - not only do kids have the most fun with them, parents and grandparents feel good about giving them."

For more great gift ideas for kids under $50, visit www.BacktoBasicsToys.com and www.ScholasticStore.com.

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