Here are some gift suggestions which may help you to save money this holiday season on educational gifts for children:

1.  Toddlers – Save that box your ‘fridge came in, or even if you splurge and buy something new, save the large box for your toddler.  A box big enough to climb into is a great toy to help stretch little imaginations.  The box can turn into a car, a space ship, a boat, a train, or even a clubhouse.  Older kids can get involved in painting and decorating.  Any parent that has experienced Christmas with a toddler will tell you that after all the gifts are opened and set aside, their toddler is still playing with the boxes the gifts came in.

2. Preschool - Books, books, and more books:  If you want to save big, hit up library and yard sales for gently used beautiful hard-covered books.  Your preschooler won’t know the difference.

3. Elementary School - The games, Apples to Apples or Bananagrams are both relatively cheap, and so fun that the kids won’t realize that they are playing educational games.  Tweens will enjoy these games too.

4. Middle School & High School:  A Kindle will encourage reading while feeding your teens love of electronics.  Although the costs have come down (about $100) since last year, they are still expensive.  However, you will save money in the long run by being able to download discounted and even free books.

5. High School – For a tremendously less expensive initial output than it would cost you for a Kindle, give some of the older (paperback and discounted) but still relevant self-actualization books that have been so well received over the years.  In my opinion, the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a “must read” for young adults.