One way to get kids involved in the spirit of Christmas is to encourage them to create their own gifts. It’s even more fun if you help them yourself instead of just sitting back and watching them. I know I’ve had a lot fun over the past couple of years when I helped my now eleven year old make presents for her cousins and friends. For her closest friends, however, she wanted to make the gifts herself, so I stood back and let her be creative without putting in any input. DIY gifts can be great learning opportunities.
Here are some creative and interesting DIY gift ideas for kids:
Christmas tree cards – Instead of spending money on cards this year, spend money on materials to MAKE the cards. Christmas tree cards are fun and easy to make. Get some green construction paper and have the kids trace an outline of a tree. For younger children you’ll obviously want to do the cutting yourself. Let them decorate the trees with stickers and markers.
Painted porcelain houses – You can buy plaster houses, trees, and churches from any dollar store or retail store like KMart. Make sure the kids have PLENTY of paint for the project because it can get messy! Let them add their own touches; the project doesn’t have to be straightforward. Additional elements they can add include glitter, feathers, stickers, etc.
Artwork – If your child has artistic talent, encourage that talent by letting them create artwork for friends and family. My daughter has a knack for drawing houses, so I let her draw pretty houses covered in snow with colored pencils. You might want to get some nice frames to place the artwork in before giving out the gifts. There is also digital art to consider. Let your older kids work on their Photoshop skills by having them to edit family photos or create their own digital art. Consider using some professional printing services and gorgeous picture frames for the displaying the photos or art.
Gumdrop decorations – This project is simple – sticking gumdrops onto toothpicks. You could also substitute the gumdrops with jelly beans or any other soft colorful candy. Gumdrops are available in an assortment of colors, sizes, and shapes. The toothpicks themselves can be cut in half or glued together to make geometric designs. What kind of patterns will your child come up with? Snowflakes? Stars? House? These crafts double as decorations AND gifts. Just remember to keep a close eye on smaller children with toothpicks.
Popsicle stick trees – Hopefully, you saved a bunch of popsicle sticks over the summer. If not, no problem – just get them at Walmart or any arts and crafts store. Additional supplies include glittery card stock, twine, brown card stock (1×1-inch square), hot glue gun, and scissors and/or craft knife. Simply paint the sticks green and glue them onto the brown card stock in the shape of a tree. Use the glittery cardstock to cut out the star. Glue anything from buttons to rhinestones onto the “tree” for ornaments. Use the twine to hang the popsicle tree onto the real tree! Like the gumdrop decorations, these also double as ornaments and gifts.
“There is nothing nicer”, Activity Village puts it, “than receiving a homemade gift from a special child.”Encouraging your kids to make presents for loved ones is one of the best things you can do during the holiday season.