Here are some of my favourite, regularly go-to small gifts for imaginative, crazy, energetic boys. Easy to tuck into stockings (or use as bribery, should the need arise), they don't cost a fortune and they're always a hit! Side note, the monkeys in our household are 4 & 6 - the recommended ages don't always coincide, but hey, whatever works.
1) Lego Surprise Minifigures, $3.49;
2) Crayola Color-Filz Activity Kit, $6.48
Whether you choose a brandname kit (like Crayola) or hit your local craft, department or dollar store, activity kits are a great little item to tuck inside the stocking for some quiet or easy-to-bring activities. Crayola offers colouring kits, craft kits, and more, while the dollar store has a variety of craft supplies and ready-to-go kits at a budget price. If you are gonna take a peek at Michael's, don't forget to take a coupon for significant savings - available to print on the Michael's website or to clip from the weekly flyer.
3) Arm & Hammer Kid's Character Spinbrush
4) Socks, Underwear, Hats, Mitts, & Graphic Tees
This is another one of those strange but just go with it ideas. My boys actually love getting new socks, new boxers, and new graphic tees. They also get excited about hats, mittens & the like. The cooler the design, the better - no boring tighty-whities here! We really like the selection available at Old Navy, GAP and even American Eagle Kids (online) - but we've found some decent (and less expensive) options at Walmart, Zellers & Joe as well. Maybe not a go for all families, but it works for us!
5) Hexbug Nanos, $9.95
So those are some of my suggestions if you need some help looking for any monkeys in your life. It's by no means an exhaustive list! If I still need some inexpensive options, I usually check out the dollar store - perfect for colouring or activity books, puzzle erasers, slime and grow-your-own toys, playdough, jigsaw puzzles, etc. - the stuff that doesn't fall apart with the first use. Another hint when it comes to the monkeys is to start looking for next years stuffers in January (post-boxing day clearance). I've found some inexpensive brand name small toys, silly bands, etc. for next to nothing by looking well in advance! Books, cheap DVDs, second hand video games and the like also make for inexpensive but appreciated stuffers.