Keep The Holidays Happy and Affordable With These 16 Kids’ Toys Under $30

Kids play a game
Kids test out Tic Tac Tongue at Dell Holmes Park in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Monday, November 12, 2018. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Nothing beats the look on your kids’ faces as they rip the wrapping off a gift and discover it’s exactly what they wanted.

But sometimes those most sought-after toys cost top dollar. A $149 Paw Patrol fire truck or a $179 Barbie DreamHouse won’t make it onto cost-conscious parents’ holiday shopping lists.

A National Retail Federation consumer study says shoppers will spend an average of $637.67 on gifts this year, but you can spend less — much less — without resorting to off-brand, outdated or uncool toys.

We dug through lists for the hottest toys of the year as designated by three big-box retailers — Walmart, Target and Kmart — and found 16 gifts that cost less than $30.

Using those retailers’ lists and our $30 price threshold, we came up with our own list of affordable — but desirable — kids’ holiday gifts. Below we disclose the cost of each toy (before any sales promotions) and tell you which store (or stores, in some cases) selected the gift as a top toy for 2018.

Shop from the list below and you’ll be able to please the kiddos without compromising your budget.

Note: The prices of these toys were as of Oct. 30, 2018.

1. Treasure X Adventure Pack

Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Your little treasure hunters will need to peel layers, dig through sand and add water to uncover all the surprises in this adventure pack. Find it at Walmart for $8.92.

2. Pikmi Pops Surprise! Pikmi Flips

This furry plush friend is reversible and sweet-scented. Find it at Walmart for $9.88.

3. Lost Kitties Blind Box Multipack

It may look like a milk carton, but inside this multipack are five Lost Kitties figurines, five meme stickers and 10 tiny accessories — all hidden inside globs of dough your kids can reshape into their own creations. Find it at Walmart for $14.88.

4. Little Live Pets Wrapples

This furry creature giggles, purrs and wraps around kids’ wrists like a slap band. Choose from four characters. Find it at Walmart starting at $14.97.

5. Hairdorables Doll

This miniature doll is great for kids who like to experiment with different hairstyles. Each comes with 11 surprise accessories to unwrap. Find it at Kmart for $15.99.

6. Tic Tac Tongue Game

A boy smiles while playing a game
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

This game uses masks to transform players into lizards, with the objective of knocking down insect cards with their tongues. This game is exclusive to Target and costs $17.99.

7. Baby Alive Sweet Spoonfuls Doll

Your child can pretend to be Mom or Dad with this doll who eats, drinks and requires diaper changes. Find it at Target starting at $19.99.

8. Monopoly Cheaters Edition

In this version of the classic board game, Monopoly players can get handcuffed if they’re caught cheating. Find it at Kmart for $21.99.

9. Drone Force Terra-Sect

A boy plays with a remote control vehicle
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

This remote-controlled, all-terrain toy rolls, flips and crawls in any direction. Find it at Walmart for $24.88.

10. Harry Potter Interactive Wizard Training Wand

Your kid can be a wizard in training, learning spells and casting magic with a wand that lights up and makes sounds. There are four varieties of this toy for your child to pretend to be: Harry Potter, Hermione, Dumbledore or Lord Voldemort. Find it at Walmart for $24.88.

11. Sunny Day Sunny Styling Head

Budding stylists can try out different hairdos on this life-size Sunny Day head. Find it at Kmart for $26.99.

12. Zoom Tubes Car Trax

This racing set comes with over 12 feet of tubular tracks and a remote-controlled car that lights up. Find it at Walmart for $28.88

13. Fingerlings HUGS

A girl plays with a pink doll
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

If your kids fell into the Fingerlings craze last year, they’ll probably love this version — a huggable plush toy that talks and makes sounds. Find it at Walmart for for $29.84 or at Target for $29.99.

14. Incredibles 2 Jack-Jack Attacks Action Doll

The youngest member of the Incredibles shows off his super powers as an action doll that lights up, makes sounds and comes with a raccoon toy to fight off. Find it at Walmart for $29.84.

15. Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker

Your child can make up to 10 multicolored friendship bracelets with this set. Find it at Walmart for $29.97 or at Target for $29.99.

16. Lupita Doll and Book Box Set

A girl reads a book in the park
Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

This plush Lupita doll comes with a 35-page bilingual book (written in English and Spanish) that encourages children to be kind throughout the holiday season. This item is exclusive to Target and costs $29.99.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.