Thanks for so many good ideas. I stopped by the store tonight because I'll be busy the next 2 weekends (wedding, then last weekend before finals/final projects) then it is party time.
Ended up getting:
Nifty things that I hope bring some amusement:
A newton's cradle (every desk needs one)
smart mass (color changing silly putty, how cool)
a chinese finger trap (conveniently on the same website as the newton's cradle, otherwise not worth the shipping)
a splat egg ball (same as above)
a slinky (good call)
tiny terrarium with a mimosa pudica seed (loving the dollar store)
astronaut ice cream balls
Things that I got just for a laugh
tiny santa hat hair clips (who knew I could find these at the dollar store?)
3D glasses front the dollar store (see the world in 3D!)
I'm still looking, but I figure I have enough stuff if I don't find anything else. Everything else will probably be stocking stuffed or cheap stuff. The newton's cradle was the money thing and everything else was mostly filler.
I figure I'll throw it haphazardly into a box and wrap it and be done. YAY!