30 Day

parenting101


Parenting 101

A Beginner Course in Creative Parenting


Previous Entry Add to Memories Share Next Entry
Kids Making Gifts
3 years
couchtiger wrote in parenting101
What sorts of gifts have your younger kids (I'm thinking the 2-5 crowd) successfully made?  My family does name-in-a-hat style holiday giving, but we are always trying to encourage our 4 y/o to make something special or useful for his recipient.  He has no tolerance (or aptitude) for drawning or art related things, so I always try to find something else.  

 We did some paint-your-own pottery, with good success - no matter what a kid does, the cup or plate looks colorful and shiny when glazed.  But there is several weeks lead time so you need to plan for that, especially around the holidays.  

I also had him make some snack bags for family members who are on weight watchers - counting out 7 of this nut and 5 of that fruit and 2 chocolates and whatever and putting them in a little bag with a sweet label.  He enjoyed the activity and they were so well received we had to make refills the next year. 





What great projects have your kids made as holiday gifts?

Totally useless and random comment, but I HAVE to say it because it made me laugh out loud...

I thought that baggie said, "Papa's Nut and Chocolate Sack" when I first read it and I snorted.

Yeah, it definitely spawned more than one joke from my brother about "filling Papa's nutsacks". But I don't even care, because he loved baggies so much!

We tend to do more crafty stuff. We've done a hand out of model magic that I cut out after he put his imprint and I painted it like Santa. Gave those to the grandparents last year and they were a huge hit.

This year I plan to paint his hand white and have him hold a decoration and then use his finger prints after to make them into snowmen with a marker.

I figure an ornament for their tree that reminds them of my kid is nice, but I wouldn't do this for just anyone, just the grandparents. Other people don't love that kind of stuff so much.

Would he help you bake something?

He could do hot chocolate cones.

He does help bake sometimes, but for family gifts I'm always looking for something a little more enduring (since we really only buy/make for one person each). What are hot chocolate cones?

http://www.eksuccessbrands.com/perlerbeads/
We haven't made cool patterns yet, but colorful shapes were fun. If you get a really strong magnet and hot glue you can make magnets. Last year mine were too weak, so we made them into gift tags.

We painted pots and gave everyone a baby aloe from our yard with instructions on a stake.

Tree ornaments or fridge magnets are pretty easy and usually well received. Check out Michael's, Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore for ideas, like simple wooden shapes painted with a string for hanging or a magnet glued on the back. I do one myself each year for my nanny family's tree.

Make your own pottery is the one used to great success in my kids' preschools on multiple occasions.

My kids have made puppets on multiple occasions and I remember doing it as a kid. Not useful, but fun. I have zero aptitude for art and 30 years later, I still remember it as a successful project.

Edited at 2012-12-03 02:53 pm (UTC)

I enjoyed the make your own pottery, but dont want to do it every year, you know? And with grandparents, there are only so many non-dishwasher ceramic pieces that they need!

We just made some salt dough ornaments and my son painted those to give out. He chose a stegosaurus cookie cutter so that was fun. I've also taken him to the dollar store in the past and let him pick stuff out for people. It never makes sense but always gets a laugh. My FIL still has the plastic snake he picked for him sitting in the tv room.

Pinecones! Go collect a ton of fallen pine cones, which is great fun in itself...then go back home and cover them in glue and glitter and who knows what's it. We always loved doing it as kids! :) My tree is still covered in the ones I made as a kiddo. My brothers too. Haha.

Edited at 2012-12-03 03:27 pm (UTC)

My daughter has done a Christmas craft each year to give as gifts for the past three years. One year, we did salt dough ornaments and painted them. The following year, we used mod podge & glued red & green tissue paper squares to the outside of a small glass bowl and put a flameless candle inside. Last year, she put ribbon and pipe cleaners inside clear plastic ornaments; she also decorated pinecones to look like trees using green paint and fake snow (can't remember what it is called) and painted plastic bottle caps to glue on the bottoms for trunks. This year, we are going to make snowflakes from craft sticks, like these:
http://www.partyideasparade.com/wooden-christmas-crafts-snowflake-ornament-craft-kit.html

We also bake cookies, mostly for teacher gifts, and have professional pictures taken to give out. Although we do celebrate Christmas, I try to keep the crafts winter-themed because I know at least one of the teachers she has had does not celebrate Christmas. I don't know what someone would do with an ornament if they don't have a Christmas tree, but as long as it doesn't have Jesus or Santa on it, maybe at least they can find some way to enjoy it.

My 4 year old helped me make glitter fridge magnets last week. Just put glue on one side of a round magnet, then cover with glitter. Let dry. If you can find the ones with adhesive on one side, those work, too. We also painted and glittered some clothespins and put magnets on them.
Last year, I got her fabric markers and she went to town on shirts and blank totes. If I was to do that one again, though, I'd probably use the sandpaper transfer method or something similar. Drawing directly on the shirts was a pain.
She wanted to try knitting something using a round knitting loom, but her attention span isn't quite long enough for that.

Oh, tote bags would be an interesting idea. Thanks!

(Deleted comment)
That's true; I guess there are different types of success. I mentally define it here as a project the child can do that provides some utility to the recipient. I don't think it much matters if it looks good, but being useful is key. Through preschool and kids activities we have no shortage of interesting projects or artwork type things to display around the home, but finding something a kid can make that has some genuine utility to someone else is tougher.

We also do/did/are doing magnets. I bought some small canvases and the kids paint on it, and I slap an adhesive magnet on the back. There's also painted wood shapes that they've done.

one thing you can't really mess up and most people love getting is chocolate covered pretzels. there's probably ay number of ornaments that a 4 year old could manage.

We have my son "make" an ornament every year for his grandparents. He's two and a half now and this is the first year he's really been able to participate. They're very well-received.

Well-received by the dogs, you mean?

That's what dogs are for. Sophie ate a candle out of a decoration today.

Haha, no, I see how my comment could seem bitchy. But she's my friend and her dog ate her kid's ornament, therefore it was well-received. No meanness here!

We "built" snowmen out of Styrofoam balls, toothpicks, hot glue and felt.

You are viewing parenting101