20 Fun & Unique White Elephant Gifts for Kids

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Looking for white elephant gift ideas for kids? Check out this list of 20 gift ideas for a kid’s white elephant.

When I went looking for white elephant gift ideas online, I didn’t find ones specifically for kids. We did white elephant every year in elementary school so kids definitely can appreciate the fun of white elephant.

Plus, many families do white elephants so having family-friendly white elephant gift ideas are a must to get kids excited about the family tradition.

Below I’ve rounded up easy white elephant gifts for kids. I also focused on gifts that adults would be happy to receive too at a family white elephant (I mean, what millennial adult wouldn’t love a throwback Tamagotchi?)

These are also favorite items and experiences of my own young children so they are ideas that work for any aged kid.

Let’s check them out!

this is a square image with a green background with text that says white elephant gifts for kids, with a white elephant graphic underneath

What is white elephant?

White elephant is a gift exchange where everyone at a party brings a wrapped gift. The gifts are put in the center and that party-goers draw a number to determine what order gifts will be picked. People can pick a gift from the center or steal a gift from someone else.

Often, white elephant exchanges have a theme such a funny gifts, random items around your house, or a low dollar limit which adds to the fun.

White Elephant Gifts for Kids

this is a collage image that shows thumbnails of kid-friendly white elephant gifts including a venus fly trap, car wash and ice cream. the text says funny & unique white elephant gifts for kids

1. Car wash passes

Kids love going through a car wash and many car wash places now sell unlimited monthly passes. Pick up a month of car washes and wrap up a month of childhood delight.

2. Temporary tattoos

I’m an adult and I still have fun with temporary tattoos. We brought them on our last family vacation with friends and everyone loved them. Get a big pack to share.

3. Potions kit

You can get materials for a potion kit on the cheap at a dollar store (potion kits also many my list of dollar store Christmas gift ideas)

4. “Fashion” bandaids

Kids love a bandaid. I regularly have to tell my kids’ preschool that they do not in fact have five injuries, but are instead wearing “fashion bandaids” for fun.

5. Venus fly trap

I was given a venus fly trap as a kid and it clearly made a lasting memory on me. The idea of a plant eating a bug is wild.

6. Bubble wrap

Go for the original pop it toy and give a big roll of bubble wrap for hours of fun.

7. Big refrigerator box

Everyone knows the box is often a kid’s favorite part of a present anyway. And what’s better than the rare really-big-box?

8. Funny stickers

a pack of circus themed stickers

Stickers are always a great kid gift, especially since they are a non-clutter gift. Step it up for a kids’ white elephant with funny stickers like these or these.

9. Kid-safe knives

Kid-safe knives have that edgy thrill of something forbidden while also helping kids learn a practical life skill. I’m constantly amazed at how many different ways our 2-year-old manages to get her hands on a knife so this gift would delight her.

10. Old Halloween costume

bee costume skirt and antenna with their packaging

Pick one up on the cheap or free in the days after Halloween. This year we got amazing unicorn costumes at Target for $2.5 a couple days after Halloween.

11. Disposable camera

You can still get disposable cameras (even underwater ones!). There’s something special about kids getting to take a photo and having a tangible picture they can hold in their hands. Plus, it’s fully nostalgic.

Don’t forget to break open the camera at the end to get the battery out before you take the film in to get developed!

12. Tamagotchi

Keeping with the nostalgic theme, never forget Tamagotchis. You can still buy ones that are identical to the ones sold in the 90’s. So really, this is a gift for a kid and their parents because they need that throwback.

13. Scratch off lotto tickets

Technically kids can’t gamble, but even my toddlers love doing a scratch off. Of course they do, everyone loves a scratch off every once in awhile.

14. Face & body crayons

My kids are constantly drawing on themselves so I bought them a face paint kit on sale after Halloween. Little did I know that oil-based paint actually means impossible to get off.

Next time, I’m going to opt for a kid-friendly body crayons like these from Crayola instead of face paint.

15. Ice cream shop gift cards

Part of the fun of white elephant is that some of the gifts are awesome. A gift card to buy their own ice cream can be that winning gift at your kid’s white elephant.

16. Funny books

Pick some books that kids will find particularly ridiculous or funny, like the Book with No Pictures or Dragons Love Farts.

17. Pizza

Pick up a take out pizza and wrap the box up. The box will look intriguing and kids will think its funny to open up a ready-to-eat-pizza

18. Rope

Just regular old rope. I am constantly impressed by all the ways our 4-year-old plays with rope even though he’s still young. Imagine the possibilities for an elementary aged kid.

19. Glow sticks

a pack of glowsticks

Glow sticks are fun for night activities, at bed time or even thrown in the bath tub.

20. Gift an experience

There are lots of experience gifts that are reasonably priced, like a certificate to a local bowling alley. I have a whole list of experience gifts to help inspire you.

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Read more:

Need more small gift ideas? Don’t miss these 30 stocking stuffer ideas at the dollar store.

About the Author

Elizabeth Jon is a Ph.D. researcher whose work focuses on pregnancy and education. At Shoestring Baby, she uses her skills to research baby name trends, in-depth baby gear reviews & money savings ideas for parents.

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