Gifts Kids Can Make

As holidays and birthdays approach, are your kids scrounging to buy gifts they can hardly afford? Offer them these fun ideas for gifts from the heart. It gives them an activity to keep busy and create, plus a memory for the receiver to cherish.

Service coupons. Offer a free evening of babysitting, a week of taking out the trash, making your sister’s bed, pet sitting, lawn mowing, weed pulling, ironing, or another task you can do.

Handprint ring dish. Purchase air dry clay. Roll out clay and place hand on top. Cut clay to outline of hand. Smooth edges of clay with a little water. Place handprint curled over on a small ball, let sit ‘til firm. Paint as you wish.

Shaped bird feeders. Prepare 2 gelatin packets per instructions, mix with birdseed until firm enough to form. Pack mixture into a candy mold or cookie cutter with a string to hang placed in middle of the mold. Refrigerate until firm.

Decorative shape soaps. Grate bars of inexpensive white soap. Then mix approximately ½ cup of warm water with a cup of shredded soap. Add food coloring to the water to create colored soap. Knead the mixture and add additional warm water as necessary until it forms like dough. Next, fill cookie cutters with the mixture, or flatten it on a sheet of waxed paper, and trim into shapes. Let the soap dry slightly, then press with small leaves or other designs. Allow the decorative soaps to dry for 24 hours, flipping them occasionally.

Make a placemat. Choose a subject of interest to your gift recipients, such as model cars or Barbie dolls. Clip pictures from magazines and catalogs, and glue them to an 11” x 17” sheet of paper. Overlap the pictures to create a collage or spread them apart and share details about each. When you’re done, laminate the design with self-adhesive laminating sheets, or have it laminated at an office supply store.

Give magnetic photos. Cut a piece of cardboard from a cereal box to match the size of your photo, and then glue it to the back of your photo for support. Last, glue a small magnet to the cardboard, and now you have a photo magnet.

Fashion a holiday pin. Buy a package of large safety pins and a small package of multi-colored beads. Open one safety pin and dangle several safety pins onto it through the eye at the bottom of those pins. Close the open pin and then thread colored beads onto the dangling safety pins. You can design a Christmas tree, heart, flag, or whatever your imagination desires.

Compose a memory book. Buy a composition book from the office supply store, cover it with construction paper, then design and decorate the cover. Inside, write your memories of special times you’ve had with the person to whom you’ll present it. Memories might include a trip to the zoo, a favorite holiday celebration, a special gift, something funny, and lots of other experiences you’ve had together.

Produce glittery pens. Buy a package of pens and different colors of glitter. Pour glue onto a sheet of waxed paper. Roll one side of the pen lightly in the glue leaving one inch from the tip without glue. Coat the pen with glitter, and then let it dry. When the glue dries, repeat these steps on the other side of the pen.