Great Homemade Gifts for Kids

Snowman FamilyHome is where the heart is, so why not let more gifts come from your heart than your pocketbook? If you’re looking for some homespun inspiration and how-to’s, look no further.

Inspire (and supply) an art attack. An old fishing tackle box or even an ordinary shoe box can be quickly transformed into an art kit fit for any pint-sized Picasso. Consider including watercolor paints, washable markers, scissors, glue stick, crayons and paper. Make it extra special by including an artist’s smock (a.k.a. an old button down shirt). Really blow your child’s mind by gifting them some regular tempera paint, a paintbrush and permission to paint your sliding glass door or window. If you’re worried about the mess, don’t be. It cleans up quickly and easily with a bit of warm water and a sponge. (Just remember to protect the floor below!)

Brew up some fun with kitchen chemistry. Got a small scientist living under your roof? Encourage his or her scientific exploration without paying an arm and a leg for a store-bought chemistry set. Instead, create and give them their own kitchen chemistry set for a fraction of the cost. Make a volcano erupt, grow beautiful crystals or even create your own super, high-bounce ball.

Give an imagination station. Any budding fashionista would enjoy her very own dress-up kit replete with handbags and costume jewelry. A quick trip to a thrift store or even your own closet can quickly help you stock it. Raid your recycle bin for various supplies that can be transformed into another purpose. You may not know what, but throw them in a box with some glue, masking tape and string, present it your child and watch the magic, fun and invention begin!

Help them mark and publish their word. An aspiring author will appreciate a notebook and pencil for rough drafts as well as a hardbound composition notebook and a new set of markers for “publishing” their manuscript. Create a pretty book cover by carefully gluing wrapping paper or construction paper to the front of the composition book. Don’t forget to proudly display the book’s title and author on the front, though!

Brew up some fun for your budding baker. Visit a dollar store for culinary supplies such as a large mixing bowl, plastic measuring cups, spoons and a rolling pin. Package together with an inexpensive cake mix or even just a few containers of Play Doh (for baking “play” outside of the kitchen).

Make marble chute fun without the price or floor space. Skip the hefty price and forget about giving up floor space. If you’ve got toilet paper, paper towel or empty wrapping paper rolls, then you’ve got the makings for a great wall-mounted marble chute! Start collecting them now and later package them up with a package of removable adhesive putty and a few marbles. Kids can work to mount the rolls to the wall and, using gravity to their advantage, create a marble chute that can used and redesigned over and over again. Up the fun by encouraging them to decorate their chutes prior to putting them to use!

Photo credit: MrPessimist

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Author Info

This post was written by Shannon M. Medisky. Shannon is an educator turned parent turned writer and focuses on sharing new and innovative ways to not just survive, but thrive on empty. Visit to learn more. Her newest book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stretching Your Dollar is available in bookstores now.

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