You don’t have to spend $20 every time a birthday party rolls around (and you don’t need to go to Target to get a deal). We did the local rounds on foot to find perfect presents for half that.
Acorn, 323 Atlantic Avenue (between Smith and Hoyt), 718-522-3760
Crocheted Baby Rattle ($10): These sweet, one-of-a-kind baby rattles seem more expensive than they are. How can something handmade be so cheap? Not to worry—proceeds go to promote fair trade.
Area Kids, 196 Court Street (at Wyckoff Street), 718-222-0869
Melissa & Doug Stamp set with colored Pencils ($9.99): The best present is one that elicits hours (ok, at least one) of quiet play. Try this set of 16 stamps (assorted farm animals, house, tree, butterfly), 7 colored pencils and a two-color washable ink stamp-pad. Just add paper.
Green Onion, 274 Smith Street (between Sackett and Degraw), 718-246-2804
Two’s Zoo Storage box by Two’s Company ($7 to $9): Ideal for the child of a frequent-flier family, these kid-size suitcases are the ultimate carrier for airline-friendly toys—an easy-to-grip handle and closing clasps make it feel like just like mom and dad’s.
Half Pint, 55 Washington St.,718-875-4007 (at Front Street)
Mudpuppy-Mini Cube Puzzle ($9.99): When in doubt, reach for the classics. These 36-piece puzzles—call ahead, a new shipment is expected this week—feature a vibrant page from such mainstay books as Where the Wild Things Are and Goodnight Moon. All Half Pint purchases include a Paul Frank growth chart for the wall.
Ikea Brooklyn,1 Beard St, 718-422-1226
Koja Tent ($9.99 ) The ultimate urban pop-up tent. What’s more fun than an indoor fort? This one folds flat and can be stored under the bed or couch.