Homemade holiday gifts not only save money, but they help our children think of the personal act of giving rather than an abstract payment of money for stuff. If you are still looking for gifts your children can make, these are a few ideas my children have tried over the years.
Holiday soap. Grate a bar of unscented soap (like Ivory), add enough water that you can mix it to the consistency of cookie dough (about 1/4 cup), and add essential oils or herbs. What you add depends what you like. Citrus zest will give the soap a nice, zingy smell, but some of the more traditional winter holiday scents like bayberry will fit the season. Press the mixture into a cookie cutter or mold and leave it to dry overnight.
Personalized photo frame. Grandparents love more photos of the grandchildren. Make those extra special by adding your child’s artwork to the gift. You can just glue bits and pieces to the frame, but consider how to construct the masterpiece so it won’t either fall apart or gather so much dust that it will have to be put away. What to glue? Maple leaves, pine cones, beach glass, beautiful pebbles, or anything else you
Fridge magnets. Divert a few bottle caps from the recycling and glue a small magnet to the back (outside) and a photo to the front (inside). Easy!
Placemat. You will need to help a bit more with this one. Have your child create a colorful drawing then scan it on your computer and print it out on printable fabric. Some office supply stores carry this, but you may need to order it from a specialty store. Either sew your own base placemat, if you are quite handy, or buy a simple cotton placemat. Sew the drawing to the base placemat around the edges, and you have a great personalized gift.
Knitted Scarf. Even young children can learn to knit a simple scarf. I mentioned that my daughter has been busily knitting scarves since July. My son is younger, and he is also knitting scarves. I started knitting when I was three years old, and I think this is not uncommon with younger children. I have several little-kid-made scarves that I wear proudly to show them off. They aren’t always even or fashionable, but they can be a great gift of love. Just raid the yarn closet (and, if you are a knitter, I know you have one), help your child cast on, and let them knit about four feet of woolly goodness.
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