Everyone knows the excitement and satisfaction that comes from giving a gift you’ve had a part in creating yourself. It’s especially meaningful for children. Not only does it give them the opportunity to create and to find joy in giving, but creating it themselves feeds their self-esteem and self-efficacy as well. And as anyone who has been the recipient of a child’s gift can attest, the smile on a child’s face as he gives, is often as priceless as the gift itself.
Here are some ideas that might get you and your little ones going!
Cozy Winter Felt Wreath at Inspired Room. This is actually an adult project, but as I looked at it, I realized that threading felt squares onto dental floss would be a great small-motor activity, and a fun project for a child and adult to do together. Perfect gift for a teacher or grandparent.
Frame it. I love this idea using washers and nuts, but you could also let your children decorate frames simply but uniquely by gluing on buttons (you can buy packages of a variety of buttons in coordinating colors at fabric and craft stores). Use the creative frames to hold pictures of each child or to frame some fantastic art created by the child artist-in-residence.
Wrap it up! After too many frenzied wrapping parties with groups of preschoolers, I finally had an epiphany when I saw these great gift bags at Katherine Marie Photography. Such a simple yet beautiful way to wrap presents with the little ones! Let them choose a rectangle of festive scrapbook paper, fold it over the top and staple it down! I’m planning on using this one to package ziplocks of another kid-friendly gift, homemade hot cocoa mix. (And we are definitely trying the suggestion in the linked recipe’s comment section, and adding the pudding mix!) Leftover coordinating paper could be used for the kiddos to glue the mix instructions onto!
From Kid to Kid
These gifts may not work so well as gifts for teachers or parents, but if your child wants to make something for a friend, sibling, or cousin, one of these may fit the bill!
Easy No-Sew Superhero Capes! These capes may not look like much, but I have seen them get miles of fantastic use by so many children. Sometimes I think it is their simplicity that gives them so much versatility in play. And perhaps best of all, they’re so easy (and so cheap) even a child could make them! (If you’re looking for the fancier, adult-made capes try out this link.)
Top-Secret Code File. After seeing this post at Little Page Turners, I had to try the code with my kindergartener. As an Indiana Jones wanna-be, he loved it of course! (And it gets him to write and read without calling it “homework”!) We’ve since added the letter-number code (A=1, B=2…) and the mixed-up letter code (A=Z, B=Y…). All three codes are in a manilla folder labeled “Top Secret Codes”. Create your own file of top-secret codes with your kiddos and have them gift them to their friends along with a few secret messages to get them started. They can keep up their secret correspondence or use the codes for treasure hunt clues (a favorite activity around here).
Comfy Cozy. I like to have a service party with young children each year at Christmas time, and have found that the simple fleece scarves and blankets we make there are ideal for children to make as gifts for friends as well! If you have fleece and a pair of scissors you’re ready to go! Use these instructions to make a blanket, or skip steps 4 and 5 and make 6 inch strips into scarves. (The instructions suggest using a seam ripper to create the hole, but I simply fold the fleece and make a small snip.)
What gifts do your children enjoy making?
Child’s drawing by Fran Gambin.