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Gift Kits for Kids and Free Book Swaps

Money Saving Tip of the Month (featured column)
submitted by Angie Chavez

I love giving my children gifts that encourage a hobby, so I assemble a "kit" they can use to really dive in and learn a new hobby or interest. This is easy to do on a budget and really creates a unique gift.

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I start out by getting books about their hobby. To do this inexpensively, I trade books at a site like Paperbackswap.com. I get rid of books I don't want and get books I do want. All you pay is the price to mail your books to a person who wants them, then you get credit to choose any book you want, at no cost. You can search for books you want by keyword, genre, title, or author. You can even get audio books!

Once I've found some books on the chosen hobby, I add other hands-on items that will help them get started. I can often find these items in great condition at yard sales and thrift stores, so I keep my eye out for them all year.

Here's a few gift kit ideas:

You can find books for kids on ALL these topics!

Insect Kit - include books about insects, a magnifying glass and display cases to mount the insects in.

Jewelry Making Kit - books on making jewelry, beads, clasps and string or wire.

Gardening Kit - beginning gardening book, packets of seeds, pot and small bag of soil.

Cooking or Baking Kit - recipe books, packaged in a mixing bowl with a spatula or other utensil - you could also include the ingredients for a special recipe.

Drawing Kit - drawing books, drawing pencils, a drawing pad.

Christmas Kit - include Christmas books or craft project books, include some hot chocolate packages, paper & scissors for making snowflakes (look for audio books).

Paper Airplane Kit - include a book with instructions and cool paper for the planes.

Science Experiment Kit - experiment book, with household items needed to do the experiments.

My kids have really enjoyed these gift sets. They encourage reading too!

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Copyright © 2009 by Angie Chavez. All rights reserved.

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