Christmas is my favourite season: the warmth and coziness of being inside a colourfully lit home while snowy storms rage outside. As with many things, the anticipation of this holiday is probably the best part, and I like to draw it out by starting early, making handmade gifts. I have lost a bit of the excitement in receiving gifts, as I've grown older, but being able to plan and make presents for others makes me feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas again.
Like I mentioned in my post about the giveaway
(now closed) on Dot to Dot Connections
, I strongly believe in the value of child-made gifts and what they teach: generosity, resourcefulness, thoughtfulness, etc. Here are some beautiful ideas for kids to create for friends and family. Most of them are possible for pre-schoolers to make with a little help.
1. PAPER MACHE PENS
Yummy made a bunch of these pens these summer to give as gifts and they turned out beautifully (you can see the one she made for Mr. Man here
)! They require some adult help for a four-year old, in making the paper smooth and shapely around the pen, but the painting (and glittering) can all be done by the child. They make a fun and practical gift. Paper Crafts for Children
shows you how to make these step-by-step.
2. PERSONALIZED NOTEBOOK
Making a notebook from scratch (like Yummy's Father's Day gift
) or having a child personalize a plain notebook is an easy and useful gift. It goes very nicely with a paper mache as well!
3. SALT DOUGH HEARTS
These colourful hearts
from Homegrown Friends
can each be painted specifically for special friends, using colours your child chooses. A sweet little token of love and friendship.
4. BUSINESS CARD MAGNETS
This is a gift that even the littlest crafter can make (as long as they aren't into eating glue-sticks, I suppose). Thaleia from Something 2 Offer
shows how to make a simple business card into a pretty fridge magnet
for kids to give as gifts.
5. TREASURE BOWLS
These beautiful bowls
are quite easy to do and involved some sensory fun as well! Dipped in plaster of paris and draped over a bowl, they make a lovely place for storing natural treasures, keys, coins, etc.
6. PRINT YOUR OWN FABRIC BAGS
Jen from The Mad House
shared this lovely project: plain bags printed with apples
! I have always wanted to try apple printing and perhaps this is the nudge I need. I also love bags and could always use more -who couldn't?
7. Painted Fabric Bag
8. REINDEER THUMBPRINT MUGS
Also from The Mad House
are these very cute reindeer thumbprint mugs
. Yummy wouldn't be able to do a whole lot of the little details just yet, but she would love making the prints and adding the eyes! She also shows how she did the same with Christmas ornaments.
9. DISCOVERY BOTTLES
These are a wonderful gift for children to make for younger siblings or friends. We have a few new babies in our circle of family and friends, so Yummy has been enjoying helping me put all sorts of beautiful and interesting materials inside bottles for the babies to shake, view, and play with. Yummy created the Nature Discovery Bottle
in this photo for her little brother's half-birthday and it was a hit!
Anna from The Imagination Tree
shows some lovely examples of discovery bottles
10. REGGIO INSPIRED SELF-PORTRAIT SHADOW BOXES
from Meri Cherry
show a child's unique personality with a photograph, as well as expressive painting and line drawing -a wonderful gift for grandparents!
11. PLAY-DOUGH Kits
We love play-dough at our house and when you combine it with interesting accessories, it makes a fun gift for little friends and cousins. Here are two sweet gift packs from Play Dr. Mom
that kids can help put together for their young play-dough-loving friends: Snowman Play-dough
and Gingerbread Play-dough
12. STICK PUPPETS
Another gift that kids can make for each other! Yummy can spend hours making up stories with homemade stick puppets, and they are very easy to make. You can cut pictures from magazines, laminate them and glue them to popsicle sticks, or cut felt shapes and add googly eyes, if you like. I made these horse puppets out of photos I printed off, for a future quiet bin for Yummy.
14. KEYCHAIN OR JEWELRY FROM A CHILD'S DRAWING
takes your child's drawing and makes it into a titanium keychain or jewelery piece. This is a pricey gift, but SO precious! Yummy's early drawings are hilarious, and I know they would make super cute keychains to give away.
15. Clay Bead Necklaces
Yummy has already created a few of these necklaces
to give to her cousins and friends. She loves the heart one she made for herself, and Dooter struts around the house thinking he looks pretty awesome with his necklace on. *Caution: they do look good enough to eat. Dooter took a bite from Yummy's heart so we will now have to repair that with extra glitter and mod podge.
16. Wooden Memory Game
Melissa from Green Owl Art
published a post on homemade gifts
last year with lots of wonderful ideas, many that young children can help or take the lead with. My favourite is this Wooden Memory Game
-stamped on natural wooden rounds, they are both beautiful and easy to make.
17. Scented Beeswax Crayons
18. Word Cloud
If you are short on time, this 5-minute gift idea is the one for you! Using your child's description of someone (Daddy, Grandma, an aunt, etc), Jane at Mama Pea Pod
shows you how to create a word cloud
that you can print and frame as a sweet and simple gift.
19. CHILD'S ART BOOK
An adult has to take the time to put this together, but the result is a wonderful collection of a child's artwork. I made one up for myself using Picaboo
(we create so much art around here that it only makes sense to take photos for keeping instead of every original), and it was the subject of conversation at our last family gathering. Apparently Yummy's relatives will be needing a gifted copy!
Sign up below to receive my posts by email, so you don't miss a post!
This post is linked to these link parties;
Click through for more great posts!