I've been madly pinning about this very idea today, Christmas is a time to give and receive! I want my kids to learn about the joy of giving, without me having to go and buy something for them to give. My kids are crafty little people, so this year we will be working on gifts that my kids can make.
When I was a little girl, all of my Christmas presents to parents, grandparents and friends were homemade. I don't know if my mom was the one who told me what to make or if I came up with it on my own... I just remember making gifts.
If you want to see all of the AMAZING ideas I found while Googling and Pinteresting around the internet you can visit my Things my Kids can Make Pinterest board... (check out my other boards and follow as well. I don't Pin every day... but I do Pin good stuff...)
Here are a small handful of things I remember making as a kid (and links to websites that have tutorials, because I am tired, and don't want to recreate the wheel)
1. Pom Pom Ball Animal Magnets: As a kid I made dozens of them for Christmas gifts one year. I made this exact same bear right here. Aren't they cute?! The Pom Pom balls (and all the materials) can be found in the kid craft section at Walmart or Target or any craft store, and they are so inexpensive and easy to make. This website has a few ideas. Google is your friend here.
2. Canning Lid Magnets or Ornaments: I have a distinct memory of making some of these when I was a kid. I also remember my cousin making them when she was 4 or 5, decorated them up with stickers. So easy, and inexpensive. I found this article with some ideas and directions.
You can find the lids in a small box with the canning supplies in your local grocery or home improvement store. The best part of this craft is that you can do anything: Mod Podge pictures and include a poem on the back, paint a picture, make a snowman or Santa face... really the sky's the limit!
3. Sachets - Most people will accept one and stick it in their sock drawer or in their linen closet, but how often do we receive these? The Christmas I learned how to sew a straight line with my mom's sewing machine, I made a whole bunch of these for every Grandparent (and parent) I had.
I even made some of these for my Brother-in-law a few years ago (with camo material) to keep away sand fleas when he was deployed to Iraq. No idea what I am talking about? A Sachet is a fabric, (lace, mesh, etc.) pouch that has yummy smelling potpourri sewn in. Check out this tutorial on some super cute ones you can help your littles make.
4. Rice Buddies or Rice Socks - This is a great gift that kids can make, if you get those super long striped socks that you can buy from Target right now, you can help your kids tie the ends... or you can sew them closed. These can have scent added to them by adding fresh lavender or opening a few tea bags and pouring the contents in with the rice.
I made a few of these one year and I still used mine until a couple of years ago. If you have never heard of a rice sock, it's a fabulous little bit of a spa right at home. You fill the sock with white rice and any scent you might like, tie off the end and put the sock in the microwave for 90 seconds. When it comes out, you will have a hot neck wrap that will stay warm for more than 30 minutes, and is great for sore necks and stiff shoulders. (I used to use mine to heat up the foot of my bed during the cold winter months) Here is a tutorial for how to make them. The image is from an Etsy store that sells cute ones!
5. Personalize Ornaments - Every year I still make a personalized ornament with my kids for my in-laws and parents. I attempt to have my kids make something that shows their age and/ or size. For the first few years we made hand-print ornaments... now they make ornaments with a picture of them in it.
I went to Familyfun.org and discovered that they had moved... and OH MY GOODNESS! What a fabulous collection of 40 ideas for handmade ornaments I found at their new spot Spoonful.com... I am SO inspired!
Now go and visit my Pinterest page for a hundred more ideas (speaking of 100 ideas... check out this article from familycrafts.about.com!)