Handmade for Christmas

Last week I shared my friend Melissa’s amazing lists of educational gifts for children, most of which can be purchased online.  Today I thought I’d share gifts that may inspire your own creativity as well as that of the children you share them with.  Perhaps one will help you cross that last gift off your list!

Steph at Modern Parents Messy Kids shares so many amazing DIY ideas!  I loved her recent collection of playtime mail centers (one of my boys’ favorite play themes), these fantastic DIY fort kits (pictured above from Saltwater Kids), and I’m personally planning on making the felt button activity (to drop into the stocking of one button-obsessed little boy I know) from her amazing Pinterest collection of busy bag activities she shares here.

I recently gathered a collection of felt food tutorials for Childhood 101 (here) that I think my kiddos would love.  Don’t you just love the bacon pictured above (from Fiskars)?  For those whose kids love to play with food (and who doesn’t?) I also thought this tossed salad from Frugal Family Fun Blog was pure genius (and simple to boot!).

Kara at Simple Kids shared a list of DIY gifts last year, guaranteed not to require any sewing or knitting.  So many brilliant ideas!  I love the simple blocks her older children made for their younger sister!

I especially enjoy DIY gifts that encourage the kids to do the actual creating.  Here’s an example of one, a Build-a-Fairy Box, I put together for a few birthday gifts.  Or fill a storage box with scented playdough/glitter playdough/or classic playdough and fun tools; a ready-made art kit with scissor, glue sticks, crayons, markers, and sheets of paper; or the pieces for classic science activities like these.  Children will enjoy these creative kits for hours at a time!

How about you?  Do you have any DIY gifts on your To-Do list this year?  What are your favorite creative gifts for children?

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9 Comments

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9 Responses to Handmade for Christmas

  1. Thanks for sharing these ideas!
    We have decided that one of the gifts we are going to give our boys this year is more art and craft supplies. We go through them like crazy with all three boys, even my one year old. So each boys is going to get a bag or box (still working on that) full of much needed craft supplies. That way they have the things they need to create.

    • notjustcute

      Kids can always use art supplies, right? I love the idea of putting art supplies in a caddy so they’re already organized and good to go anywhere. Mariah Bruehl shares some great examples in her book, Playful Learning (she has a blog with the same name) and she’s always putting great ideas on Pinterest as well. Enjoy your little artists!

  2. I love the “build a fairy box” idea — it reminds me of a blog I recently read about a box of princesses. http://www.lilblueboo.com/2011/11/a-box-o-princesses-a-tutorial-and-download.html You could do the same thing but with build a princess — or pirate — or whatever you like! :) Such a good idea for a gift!

    • notjustcute

      Thank you for sharing that link, Melissa! The princesses are darling and so is the Boy-ville box. My boys like to turn the clothespin dolls into all kinds of superheroes and ninjas. There’s really no limit!

  3. I love love love these ideas. I’ve been thinking of doing something like this for gifts. Great inspiration. Thanks.

  4. I typically made play dough for the children to take home each year. I decorate the container with a Christmas, Hanukkah or winter themed cookie cutter. So simple and quick and they love having their own play dough to take home.

  5. Tina

    I wanted to add DIY gifts this year but wasn’t sure what to do. Thanks for the great ideas! These are also great for birthday presents and are especially helpful to have a unique gift for December birthdays when there are so many presents.

    Last year my DIY gift for my kids was blocks. My daughter wanted big blocks like at preschool and the triple digit price for blocks from where preschool bought them was a bit much. So I used 2×4 lumber to create my own unit blocks. (Sqaures, rectangles, triangles, etc. ) They are not quite as big as the blocks at preschool but still bigger than any blocks I found at the store.

  6. Thanks a lot for the ideas. I am in the process of making a giant size cardboard castle for the kids for playing princess

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