The holidays are here. What is little Joe going to give Mom, Dad, or Grandma and Grandpa this year? Every year kids make adorable homemade gifts for their parents and loved ones. But, let’s be honest, we don’t want a million cute trinkets collecting dust around our home. Let the children create an item that parents and grandparents will use in their home. Try one of these homemade gifts with your kids, or all of them to give to every family member. And of course top of the special creation with a homemade holiday card from the kids.
Hot Mats for the Cook of the Family
- Buy some fabric, pot holders at the dollar store and get permanent, fabric paint for the child’s handprints. You will want wipes or a wet paper towel nearby so that the child doesn’t stain their clothing with the paint on their hands afterwards. Let the children pick out what color they want their handprints and stamp them on the hot mats. Finish by writing with a fabric pen, “Little Helping Hands.” and the date.
Coasters for Family Movie Night
- You’ll need to buy4×4 wooden squares from the craft store or this wooden coaster set and have the kids paint them to start. Then cut out a picture of the child or family and glue it on top. To coat it and protect it from drink spills, use mod-podge. Let it dry for 24-48 hours before wrapping the homemade gifts.
Personalized Gym Bag or Work Tote
- Women can always use another bag; am I right? Make Mom a drawstring gym bag or a canvas tote for Grandma’s knitting needles. Use fabric paint to decorate; one idea could be to make a flower on the front of the bag. Paint a circle in the middle and have the kids use their handprints around it as the flower petals (reference picture). Then draw a green stem and leaves down from the bottom.
Shrinky Dink Key Chains
- Pick up some shrinky dink paper at a craft store or even The Dollar Tree. With permanent, acrylic paint have the kids stamp their hand or footprint down on the shrinky dink paper. Let it dry and then cut out the shape of their hand or as I did two feet to make a heart. Hole punch a corner, in away from the edge. Now, one at a time, on a tray, stick it in a preheated toaster or regular oven. Follow the package directions and watch as it shrinks. It may look like it is starting to fold and stick together, but wait a few more seconds and it will flatten out. As soon as it is to the size of your liking, take the tray out and with hot mitts press down if it’s not completely flat. It is now thick and durable; place a keyring on for completion!
Plant Markers for the Gardener in the Family
- Do the kids have a family member they garden with every Spring? If so, this is the perfect gift. All you need is acrylic paint, wooden spoons, and a permanent marker. Have the kids paint each wooden spoon with a different color. Make sure you tape the bottom half so it stays paint free since it will be in the soil. Once the spoons are dry, write and draw on different vegetables such as basil, tomatoes, and pepper. If you are working with older kids help them spell out the words and show them pictures of the plant so that they can try to draw it on.
Magnetic Fridge Frames
- With younger kids, glue four jumbo popsicles sticks together ahead of time in the shape of a square frame. This will fit the size of a 4×4 photo. Offer the kids paint, glue, buttons, gems, and more to decorate their frame. Print out a 4×6 photo and cut it to size. Put five jumbo popsicle sticks next to each other and glue the picture on them. Next glue the dry, decorated frame on top of your photo that you glued to the five jumbo popsicle sticks. Lastly, glue on two strong magnets to the back. Let it dry completely before trying to hang it on the fridge. Never let a small child handle magnets; they are very dangerous if ingested.
Love Hand Towel
- Buy a towel or two at the dollar store. You will also need permanent, fabric paint. Place newspaper or cardboard down for your work surface. Then paint on the letter L. Have one child put their handprint below that for the O (reference our picture). Next, put two footprints together at the heel to create the letter V. And finally, paint on the letter E. Let this dry completely before wrapping it up for a loved one. On a second towel you can put more handprints and write, “Little Helping Hands.” You can also print the child’s initials and the year with a fabric pen
Framed LOVE Sign
- Have a mini photoshoot with your little ones. This is a great gift for really young ones who aren’t artsy yet. All you need are four pieces of card stock with big letters spelling out L-O-V-E. Lay out a blanket on the grass (or inside) and snap away while the kids just look cute holding the letter signs. Pick your favorite and print them out on 4×6 photo paper; I prefer black and white. Matte them with white cardstock (4.5×6.5) behind, using double sided, acid free, tape. Venture to a craft store and choose a large, long frame and big, black paper, such as poster board, that you can cut down to fit. Place them in order and voila!
Which homemade gift will you and your child make together? Here at Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny, we hope your holiday season is magical and that these homemade gifts bring a smile to family members’ faces. For more holiday crafts, try these!
About The Author
Kelsey Dickson has over 15 years of experience working with children as a nanny, preschool teacher, and now a mother. She has her degree in Early Childhood Education and works for Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny as the eLearning Manager. Check out our online childcare classes, such as Baby Sign Language and Sleep Coaching 101! In her free time she enjoys gardening with her son, going for walks with her husband and dog, and discovering local wineries in New England.
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