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Six Simple Gifts to Make with your Children

Kids love crafts, and they are full of creative ideas that should be encouraged to sharpen their senses. There are loads of home assignments that can turn into hours of joy and fun for children. It is a great way to keep these hyperactive bundles of joy occupied, especially during the holiday season. I still have fond memories of making gifts with my mom, to be given at Christmas or just for the fun of it.

I would like to share with you six simple gift ideas that are easy to make with your children and will help share terrific interactive sessions with them, memories of which will last with you forever.

1) Popsicle Stick Picture Frames
One great gift making idea that is simple and easy for your children to make would be ‘Popsicle Stick Picture Frames’. All you need is a few clean Popsicle sticks, cardboard, some glue, coloring, glitter and any other decorative material. You can select an old photograph of an aunty, uncle or grandparent, and turn it to a thoughtful Christmas gift from your child. They will love creating this special gift for their favorite relative.

It’s easy to put together, simple arrange the Popsicle sticks side by side to form a frame (you can use two sticks for each side), slide the photograph in the middle and glue them all onto a cardboard (you can use an old cereal box) cut to the appropriate size. Get your child to decorate the frame with paint, glitter and even colorful paper and other decorative material. It would make a wonderful gift that your child would love to give away for Christmas and make their loved ones feel special.

2) Bookmarks
One of my favorite gifts that can be easily made with children. Simple cut out rectangular cardboard pieces, cover them with colored paper or wrapping paper and get your children to draw colorful arts with paint or glitter, puncture a hole in one end and insert a cord. You can get them to make a collection of colorful bookmarks that can be given as a gift for a favourite aunt who loves to read. They will love to use this special bookmark that will remind them of their favourite niece/nephew when they read their books.

3) Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
You can teach your child to learn simple cooking skills along side this unique craft project. Children love working with cooking utensils such as cookie cutters and rolling pins. You mix flour, applesauce and cinnamon together to form a smooth dough, roll it and cut various shapes, make a hole (using a straw) to hand a thread and let them dry. These can be adorned with glitter to add sparkle or paint them with acrylic or fabric paint. You can hang these beautiful ornaments in windows, Christmas trees, closets and kitchen cupboards. They can also be sent by post to their favorite relatives living afar.

4) Potted Plants
Have your child decorate a plant pot with paint, crayons, stickers and other adornments. They would make lovely gift ideas for grand parents, uncles and aunts. The children will also learn how to pot a plant by putting a handful of small rocks in the bottom, fill the pot with soil, adding the plant in the hole as you fill and water from the top. Attach a cord to hang them or make them sit on a landing. You can even use old jugs, milk cartons, buckets and other disposable utensils instead of terra cotta clay pot.

5) Pencil Holder
A simple craft idea that can be created from discarding material such as empty toilet paper rolls, color/wrapping paper and Styrofoam packing. Cut out a rectangular piece of Styrofoam, cover it with colored paper, paste the empty toilet paper roll onto it (also adorned with colored paper, glitter, paint, etc.) and you have a handy pencil holder that your children can keep on their writing desk.

6) CD Puppet Sock
Cut out the edges of a paper plate in the shape of a flower, stick a used/discarded CD in the middle, stick a small Pom-pom over the hole in the center of the CD, glue on wiggle eyes, draw a mouth and you will get a smiley flower. Now add a generous amount of glue to the back of the flower, stick the foot part of the sock onto it and let it dry. You will get a cute little sock puppet your child can play with throughout the holidays. Get them to color the flower petals and make it bright and vivid. You can also try making animals designs such as bunnies, dogs and elephants too.

In the making of the above simple crafts, you not only create a lovely handmade gift, but also precious memories your child will cherish with delight.

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