I highly recommend thrift store shopping with kids in tow. (It might help if their great-grandmother owned an antique mall and they're well trained in how to behave around old stuff.) My two youngest sons are great at finding vintage Nancy Drew books and know how to tell the shiny flashlight editions from the older ones. Teenage Son is getting good at finding old sewing machines and trying to convince me what a great deal they are. (He was absolutely right, but I don't need another machine right now and I didn't fall in love with it like I did the blue one.)
But sometimes they want me to buy them things. Like a life size plush purple cow head. Or a portable voting booth.
The whole thing folds up into that little suitcase and it was only (?) $14.99. I felt kind of bad for saying no, but what would he do with that thing?