With Christmas just over a month away, here are some ideas for simple and easy gifts kids can make. Most will require at least some participation from you, although older children may be able to make some of these items on their own.
Most kids love to make stuff and they love to give gifts – why not combine these two interests and let them make Christmas gifts? Think of the advantages of making Christmas gifts with your kids this year:
- It will probably take less time than a shopping trip to the crowded mall.
- It will save on your budget.
- It will give you fun bonding time with your children and good holiday memories.
- People love to receive items kids have made.
Here are some ideas for simple and easy gifts kids can make. Most will require at least some participation from you, although older children may be able to make some of these items on their own.
Know anyone who loves hot chocolate or mocha coffee? Chocolate spoons make a great, useful gift. All you do is melt chocolate and dip the spoons into the chocolate. When your chocolate-loving friends use the spoon to stir a hot drink, they get an extra dose of chocolate as a special treat.
This project works best with high-quality spoons. You can use different colored spoons and add special treats to the spoons such as mini marshmallows, crushed peppermints, or sprinkles – just sprinkle them on while the chocolate is still warm and wet.
To add to the gift, package the spoons with a “cocoa cone.” Just fill a cone-shaped bag (look in the cake decorating aisle of your hobby store for frosting bags) with hot chocolate mix, add a layer of mini-marshmallows or colored chocolate candies, and tie everything closed with a pretty ribbon.
Gifts in a Jar
Specialty stores sell pretty cookie, soup, and other mixes layered in glass jars for $10 and more. You and your children can easily make your own gift jars for far less. All you need is
- Large canning jars
- The ingredients for whatever recipe you choose
- A recipe card so the gift recipient knows how to prepare the item
- Ribbon or fabric to decorate the jars
The internet is full of recipes you can use to make your gift jars. Here is one I have made with children from church:
Sand Art Brownies
Add ingredients to a wide mouth quart jar in this order:
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 + 1/8 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup vanilla chips
1/2 cup nuts
On the recipe card, you include these instructions for making the brownies:
Combine contents of jar with:
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup vegetable oil
Pour into a greased 9×9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 27-32 minutes
Gifts for Children
Here are some simple, inexpensive ideas if your children want to make gifts for friends, siblings, cousins, or other children:
- Cut fun foam into various shapes and give as a bath toy to young children. The foam will stick to the tub walls when it is wet. You can also include a plastic colander to store the shapes in between baths.
- Glue or sew giant pom-poms together to make a pom-pom scarf.
- Glue old scrabble letter tiles to magnetic sheeting. You can cut out words or individual letters.
- Mix clear aloe vera gel and glitter to make body glitter.
With a bunch of pictures and a bottle of Modge Podge or other decoupage solution, your children can make any number of gifts. Here are some ideas:
- Decoupage pictures of superheroes to a magazine stand for a comic book lover to keep his reading material in.
- Decoupage pictures of cookies to a clear glass plate to make a unique cookie platter.
- Decoupage colorful candy wrappers to a clear glass bowl to make a candy bowl.
- Decoupage family photos around a picture or mirror frame to make a personalized wall hanging.
- Decoupage a pretty picture or dried flower onto a bar of soap to make a decorative but useful gift.
Fun with Fleece
Fleece is a great material for working with children because it is soft, comes in many designs, and doesn’t ravel. You can use fleece to make blankets, hats, scarves, pillows, and more. You don’t even need a sewing machine for many projects: you can cut the fleece into fringes and then knot them together. (photo from www.makingfriends.com)
Sources for More Gift Ideas
Need more ideas for gifts? The internet is full of great ideas for gifts kids can make. Some good websites for you to check include
Have fun and get crafty together!