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Christmas Toys Under Ten Dollars

Home > Sydney > Cheap | Christmas | Shopping
by Jade Jackson (subscribe)
Author of Drunk Love Sober Death and Compass. I'm also a podcaster. Find all my work here >>
Published November 4th 2019
Cheap toys that will last
Since last Christmas, my immediate family has quadrupled in size which got me thinking, how can I stretch the same Christmas budget further?

I'm a savvy shopper, but I can't stand wasting money on junk. When it comes to toys, many of the latest fads all revolve around tiny plastic collectables, designed to be lost.

I set out to find fun toys for kids that would last well beyond Christmas Day, under $10 each. Here's what I found:

Musical instruments
Xylophone, $10 - Big W
Most kids love music (or at least making noise) and you don't have to spend big money to introduce them to the basics. A classic xylophone is $10 or there's a Recorder for $6, Maracas for $10, a Tambourine, also $10, all at Big W. Kmart has a smaller xylophone for $5.00 and JB Hi-Fi has a Harmonica for $9.95.

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Gift a rainbow xylophone from Big W this Christmas, for $10. Image by Jade Jackson.

The Book That Never Ends, $10 - Big W
There's plenty of kids books for under $10 at Kmart and Big W. One standout is The Book That Never Ends. Similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure, it directs the reader to make decisions and then find objects throughout the book, however, the instructions keep the reader going around in circles. Frustrating but brilliant.

The Book That Never Ends, Big W, Children's books, image by Jade Jackson, Beck and Matt Stanton, Christmas books, cheap books for kids
The title says it all. Find it at Big W. Image by Jade Jackson.

That's Not My Elf Book, $6.00 - Kmart
Younger kids will adore the That's Not My... series with touch and feel textures to build vocabulary. Kmart sells these for $6.00.

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That's Not My... series of kids books offer tactile learning experiences. Image by Jade Jackson.

Alphaprint books, from $6 - Big W
Alphaprints books feature textured images created out of everyday objects. They work well as discussion starters, finding objects, counting and vocabulary builders. You'll find them at Kmart and Big W ranging from $6-$10.

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Alphaprints offer textured images, fun for kids. Image by Jade Jackson.

Art and Craft
Design Your Own Tote Bag, $3.00 - The Reject Shop
A little personally designed bag is the perfect accessory to carry all those tiny collectibles. For the Disney obsessed there's also a fancier Frozen version for $10.

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Cheap but useful Christmas gifts for kids at the Reject Shop. Image by Jade Jackson.

Sporting Activities
Frisbee, $1 - Target
Frisbees are underrated. Set up buckets for Frisbee golf or backyard targets. High bounce balls, $2 are another cheap find at Target.

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Frisbees make excellent stocking stuffers. Image by Jade Jackson.

Tennis Racquet, $8 - Kmart and 2 Pack of Tennis Balls, $2 - Target
Tennis is a great all-round sport and $10 is a great investment when your kid becomes the next Ash Barty. Kmart also sells a bag of tennis balls for $10.

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A tennis racquet and balls can be bought for $10. Image by Jade Jackson.

Dart Board, $6 - Big W
A classic game of skill that both teenagers (recommended for 14 years) and adults can play together. I remember my first dartboard kept me occupied for months as I'd rush home from school each day to play it.

Cricket Bat and Ball Set, $10 - Big W
Cricket on the beach is a summer staple. A mini wooden Cricket Bat and Ball from Big W is $10 or a plastic cricket set with stumps, is also $10.

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Small and mighty, perfect fun for a summer road trip to the beach. Find it at Big W for $10. Image by Jade Jackson.

Hula Hoop, $6 - The Reject Shop
It's tricky, it's exercise and it build's self-esteem when they master it. There's much to love about Hula-Hoops. I bought these for all the kids last year.

Spiderman, Minnie Mouse or Avengers Yo-Yo, $4.50, Big W
I loved getting my first Yo-Yo when I was 9 years old and spent months perfecting tricks.

Board Games and Card Games
Rummy-O, $10 - Target
There's a resurgence in board games being cool again. Rummy-O is my favourite game; similar to poker but with tiled numbers. I learnt to play as a young teen and still love it as an adult. It's easy to learn and kids have a chance at beating adults which they'll love.

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Rummy is a game playable by adults and kids together. Image by Jade Jackson.

Twister Card Game, $10 - Big W.
A new version of the original classic that can be played anywhere. This time you have to balance cards on various parts of your body. If you prefer the floor version, you can pick one up for $5 at Big W.

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Card versions of popular board games are easy gifts. Image by Jade Jackson.

Travel Games, $3.50 - The Reject Shop
Guess You, Toppling Tower, Balance Chairs and Tensation; all travel versions of popular board games, perfect for the summer holidays. When I was 11, travelling the world with my mum, I had something similar which was always a hit at Youth Hostels.

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There's a huge range of travel-sized board games at The Reject Shop. Image by Jade Jackson.

Whack-A-Mole, $10 - Big W
Smaller versions of fast-paced kids games Whack-a-mole, Rock-Em Sock-Em Robots and Bounce Off are all $10 at Big W.

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Smaller versions of popular games also mean they're cheaper. Image by Jade Jackson.

Wooden Toys
Longer lasting than plastic, these wooden toys are all $10 at Kmart; Train set, Outdoor Quoits Set, Fairy Castle Set, Activity Triangle (suitable for babies 12 months), however the wooden construction set is only $8.50.

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Wooden toys last longer and can still be bought for under $10. Image by Jade Jackson.

Build it
Lego Dune Buggy, $9.00 - Kmart
I've never met a child that didn't like LEGO and luckily you can still get a decent box for under $10. There's multiple options to suit various age groups (from 4 years) including Jewellery boxes, aircraft, construction vehicles, veterinarian and arctic explorer boxes (click on the $ to display the cheapest LEGO). There's even a Baby Animals DUPLO (2 years) box for $10.

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Lots of LEGO designs for under $10 can be found at Kmart. Image by Jade Jackson.

Meanwhile, older kids will relish a Meccano Starter kit, $7 found at The Reject Shop.

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Meccano Starter Kits can be found at the Reject Shop for $7. Image by Jade Jackson.

Build Your Own Piano, $10 - Kmart
There's other options, but for the scientifically minded musician, the Build Your Own Piano Kit offers hours of entertainment.

Tyrannosaurus rex, $8.50 - Kmart
Some children find figurines boring but you can't really go wrong with a large Tyrannosaurus rex. There's also a set of three, marine creatures for $7.00, perfect for the bath.

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Who wouldn't love a Tyrannosaurus rex toy? Get it at Kmart for $8.50. Image by Jade Jackson.

For younger kids there's Harry Potter,Toy Story 4, and My Little Pony, 48 piece jigsaw puzzles for $3. Perfect for a lazy Boxing Day, 500 piece puzzles can be found at Kmart for $5 and 1000 piece puzzles can be found for $10 at Big W.

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Licensed jigsaw puzzles are cheap Christmas presents still keeping up with the latest movies. Image by Jade Jackson.

For Babies
Let's Pretend Fun Toy Smartphone (6 months), $8 - Kmart
Apart from dangly toys, there are a few interesting toys for young babies. However there is (and I hesitated to include this) a Toy Smartphone (6 months) that emits different sounds when you push the app-like buttons, however (and this is why I did) it can also record your child's voice and play it back to them, which is invaluable for the future of podcasting.

There's a tablet version (12 months), $10 that teaches letters, sounds and vocabulary - both include batteries.

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A fun educational toy for babies from 6 months that records their voice. Image by Jade Jackson.

All toys were available at the time of writing and prices are based on regular retail prices (i.e not weekly specials). They can be bought in-store from standard retailers. Check individual sites for opening hours:

Christmas doesn't have to be expensive. For budget presents suitable for adults, check out my article featuring $5 Christmas Gifts.

Get the kids away from screens, playing indoors or out, without spending a fortune this Christmas.
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Why? Christmas doesn't have to be expensive
When: December every year
Phone: Check local listings
Where: Local department stores such as Target, Big W, Kmart and more.
Cost: Less than ten dollars
Your Comment
Glad you've taken inflation into account Jade, since 2018! Once again a very helpful article ...
by Elaine (score: 3|8188) 583 days ago
Wow Jade! This is an awesome article. Books, games, outdoor activities. Are you an educator? (If not, kudos to you.) Like you, I seriously hesitated at the toy phone, but I accept that podcasts are practical and intellectual uses for a phone, and the future is teaching safe and beneficial uses for technology. I'm off to read your adult gift suggestions now.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4203) 580 days ago
That's a nice selection of reasonably priced toys. A helpful reminder to parents that they don't need to spend a fortune to get something nice.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8098) 576 days ago
Great article with extensive ideas fir PoP.
Much appreciated
Grampy Boomer
by adam2 (score: 0|2) 580 days ago
Great article with extensive ideas fir PoP.
Much appreciated
Grampy Boomer
by adam2 (score: 0|2) 580 days ago
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