Shop at Dollar Store for Family Gifts from Kids and teach about spending

Teach about finances and spending with a trip to the Dollar Store as a Math lesson this Christmas

Want to do something fun  neat with the kiddos?

Okay, it might not be fun for you, but the kids will have a blast while learning valuable lessons about finances, sharing, anticipation, and 'you can't have everything you want'.

Christmas Shopping Teaches Spending and Math Lesson
I buy these every year and embellish with glitter and baubles.

Give them $10-20 to spend on gifts for Grandma, Grandpa, Cousins, Siblings, Etc.

Dollar Store Gifts.
1. Write a list with everyone who needs a gift.
2. Decide on the gift spending limit ($1-2) per person.
3. Let your kids shop and guide them with prompts.
4. Ornaments are a good option, you can personalize them later with the date and make it a tradition.

"Is that the best bang for your buck?"  
"What looks more valuable?"  
"Will this be a tie-on gift?"  
"How will we package this?" 
"Do we need to buy paper, a bag, or basket?"
"No, we aren't buying for ourselves today."

Remember, presentation is everything. Let the gift receivers know that this gift was bought for them by your child. It is so exciting for the kids. You can discuss budgeting money and time.  (Let's not stay in this store forever.)

Let the kids wrap the gifts.
It doesn't matter what it looks like, this is their gig, not yours.
Don't ruin the fun by being a perfectionist.

Oh what fun!  The gift exchange will be extra special, and your kids will learn the joy of giving.

  • The kids picked out two squishy skeleton heads in the Toy aisle. The eyes pop out when you squeeze them.  It will make a great stress ball for Daddy.
  • A Million Dollar Chocolate bar and a brownie candle for their teenage sister.
  • A bead and word jewelry kit for their cousin and a jingle toy for the cat.
  • We found science experiments for my classes: snow, grow a crystal tree, and fish eggs.

My kids had the best time wrapping the presents which made up for the stressful shopping experience.

Store clerks and customers were laughing at us and saying things like, "My kids are grown." or "Oh, Honey, I feel your pain."  Some just gave worried looks.

There was a lot of screaming and rivalry over who is buying what for whom.

And Mommy's quiet, whisper screaming, "Put that down." "I said, No!" "Get back here right now!"

And...  "You better hope Santa didn't see you do that."

Jake:  (Whimpering) "It's too late. I know he already did. Now I won't get what I want!"

Isn't Christmas fun? 
Lora Langston
Lora Langston

Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.


  1. How funny you posted this...given the fact I need to take my 2 kids there to replace a gift my youngest bought for me (a squishy spiney ball...he was excited he got to pick it out at school)that my oldest promptly broke (she squeezed a bubble in it and then promptly bit a hole in it and deflated the ball). My heart broke and I laughed all at the same time because my 5 yr old is crying and heart broken because he no longer has a gift for me but the tongue lashing he gave her (better job than I would have done)caused my 9 yr old to cry and feel horrible. So the only thing I said to her, was what her punishment was.....she is to escort her brother around the dollar store, help pick a gift and help him pay for it at the register, all while I wander around the store so I don't see what he bought. lol.

  2. Yikes! I couldn't take my eyes off mine but that is a neat idea. Your oldest is a little nicer and more responsible than mine.

  3. I've been putting our outing to the dollar store off.... I think it does have lots of lessons for kids to shop for others at Christmas time.... I am just trying so hard to not let any of us get sick for Christmas this year.... LOL. I guess we can't stay shut-ins for the next 2 weeks, but it's tempting!


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