I don't know about you, but as a parent I'm constantly trying to find that sweet spot between bringing up thoughtful, gratitude-filled children and spoiling them rotten. It's not an easy task during these instant gratification-fueled times. In our house though, I've found that it helps to teach the kids how much richer the gift of giving can be, when what they're giving has been made by their hands and infused with their creativity. By allowing them to truly focus on the creation and purpose of a gift, they in turn seem to appreciate more what they are given. It's funny how things work out.
This season, encourage your children to (literally) be hands-on during the gifting process especially, when it comes to what they're giving to their own friends. With just a little time and even less money, there are tons of things that kids can craft-up; then wrap up. Here are a few, simple gift ideas that they can make and give to each other!
There's so much waste during the holiday season, I try to teach my boys how to recycle and reuse whenever possible. One of my favorite ways to do that is by re-purposing something old into a completely different item.
Over-sized sweaters (in abundance at thrift stores) can be turned into a multitude of things. This beanie is a cool way for kids to venture into refashioning, without needing to know how to work a sewing machine. To make it, cut the sleeve off a Men's XL sweater. Roll the bottom edge so unraveled edge is covered, and whip stitch
into place using a needle and embroidery floss. Cinch the top off, by wrapping and knotting a piece of yarn around the sleeve, about 8" above the rolled brim. Let the excess sleeve hang off for a stocking cap look, or snip shorter for a beanie.You can get 2-4 beanies (depending on the actual size of sweater and age of hat recipients), and still have the body fabric leftover for a future project!
Slide multiple colors of seed beads onto small, safety pins. They can
be worn on shoes (we used to stack as many as possible on our
shoelaces, when I was a kid), or collected on string to be made into a
necklace or bracelet. Trade them with friends or even, make them for
your whole class! The look super sweet, wrapped in cellophane with a
bow, sealed in tiny envelopes or nestled in jewelry boxes.
Bottle Cap Magnets
Recycle those soda caps into shimmery
magnets perfect for posting holiday artwork on the fridge. Cover the
inside with a coat of craft paint, sprinkle with glitter while wet,
glue in a snowflake sequin, and stick a magnet to the back. Little
elves can give bunches of these to their buddies --they look especially
cute, stuck to the bottom of a small, holiday tin!
For under 25 cents per pair, the kids can make these adorably festive Pom-Pom Earrings. Packages of both poms and earring posts (or clip-ons, for non-pierced ears) can be found at most craft stores. Use regular or hot glue (recommended) to adhere a pom to post per earring. They're so quick to whip up, your little fashionista can whip them up in every color for all of her B/F/Fs! (Psst...parents! Bookmark this idea for your gal's next birthday party. Provide supplies for each guest to make their own and take with them as their favor!)What ways are you teaching your children the spirit of giving? From parent to Craft Apparent, share your ideas here!
Until next time, Happy (Handmade) Holidays!
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and upload photos of you're awesome Craft Apparent crafts!