6 Easy Holiday Gifts Kids Can Make

Posted under  EnviroKidz, Kids & Families on
If I let commercial holiday spirit get the best of our family, I'm pretty sure my children would think the holiday was only about receiving and making toy lists. Becoming a parent has really opened my eyes to how much the winter holidays is about consumption of products. Children are inundated with information about the latest toy. Youtube channels, commercials, and catalogs convince them which toys are must-haves. As parents, we naturally want the magic of the holidays to come alive for our kids. But the magic of the season is lost when there is only an emphasis on "what I want". And so, we have already begun talking to our children about families who have less than we do. We have gone through our toys and both of my kids have loaded bags full of stuff they think other kids might enjoy more than them. We've also gone over their lists and discussed why certain toys aren't good value. And they understand a wish list is not a get list. Despite these lessons, I still want them to understand the idea of reciprocity. We give and we get. As such, we have already started making gifts for our family and the kids' teachers. Already I'm seeing so much pride in both of them as they complete their work of art knowing it will be given to a loved one. I've compiled some of our favorite DIY holiday gifts kids can make. All of these gifts are simple and can be done with minimal parental input!

1. Crystallized Snowflake Ornaments

What You Need:
  • Pipe cleaners cut or folded evenly
  • Borax
  • Hot water
  • String
  • A jar to completely submerge the ornament
  • Stick, pencil or hanger to suspend the ornament
  1. Cut pipe cleaners to a length that will sit inside your jar without touching the glass anywhere. If the ornament touches the glass, the crystals won't form. If you don't have a jar big enough, cutting an empty milk, juice, or detergent jug works really well.
  2. Attach the pipe cleaners in a six-point formation.
  3. Add enough hot water to fill the jug or container. For every 1 cup of hot water you use, add 3 tsp. Borax. Mix until fully dissolved.
  4. Using string, attach the snowflake to a pen, stick, or hanger that will cross the width of the container.
  5. Fully submerge the snowflake in the water-Borax mixture. Again, ensuring it doesn't touch the walls of the container.
  6. Leave the snowflake for approximately 24 hours before removing it from the mixture.
  7. Let dry and then wrap up as a gift!

jars handmade lanterns

2. Mason Jar Lanterns

What You Need:
  • Mason jars or similar
  • Elmers glue
  • Food coloring
  • Paint brushes
  • Winter or holiday embellishments (we used winter confetti from the dollar store)
  1. Mix approximately 1 tbs. of glue with food coloring of your choice.
  2. Paint jar completely all over.
  3. You may want to add an extra coat before adding anything. Let dry. Then add a second coat.
  4. If using confetti, sequents, or similar, dust them on the wet glue mixture. If using one large embellishment or sticker, wait for the glue mixture to dry completely. Then use a little bit of Elmer's glue or the adhesive on the sticker to affix to the lantern.
  5. Wrap with a flameless tea light and enjoy!

3. Christmas Crayons

What You Need:
  • Broken crayons
  • Silicon holiday molds (dollar store). Molds that aren't too detailed (i.e. Christmas trees) make for the best crayons because they're easy to pop out.
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Peel broken crayons.
  3. Place in silicon molds in desired color combinations.
  4. Set molds on a cookie sheet. Without one it will be really difficult to remove
  5. Place in oven until crayons have completely melted. Approximately 5 mins.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool to the point the wax has completely solidified.
  7. Pop out of molds and wrap!

painted rocks

4. Painted Rock Paper Weights

What You Need:
  • Smooth rocks
  • Tempera paint
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Mod podge or similar (optional)
  1. Clean and dry rocks.
  2. Paint with tempera paint.
  3. Add glitter while paint is still wet (optional).
  4. Cover with mod podge or some other gloss (optional).
  5. Wrap and enjoy!

5. Fridge Magnets

What You Need:
  • Colored paper or a design your child has drawn
  • Pen or pencil for tracing
  • Scissors
  • Craft magnets
  • Clear glass marble vase filler, size large
  • Elmer's glue
  1. Have your child color designs on paper.
  2. Use a glass marble vase filler with the flat side down on the paper and trace the marble.
  3. Repeat as many times as you would like.
  4. Using Elmer's glue, cover the flat part of the marble.
  5. Affix the colored paper or picture cut out to the marble. The colored side should be the part touching the glue.
  6. Peel off the back of the magnet and attach it to the back of the colored side.

6. Sharpie Mugs

What You Need:
  • White ceramic mug
  • Oil-based permanent markers
  1. Fully clean mug. Using rubbing alcohol can ensure there aren't any marks or grease from fingerprints.
  2. Color on the mug.
  3. Let dry.
  4. Set inside cold oven. Then, set oven to 425°F (220°C).
  5. Let bake for 1 hour.
  6. Remove from oven. Let cool. Then wrap!
gift wrapping I hope you and yours enjoy these gifts kids can make. They're a great way to come together and talk about the true spirit of the season!

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About The Author

Alana is a mom of three young kids, originally from Vancouver, BC. She started blogging to share some of what she does with her kids and some of the things she learned along the way. 

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