Great!! I am glad to see an interest here.
Here are some of my ideas"
I am really into making books this year. I make a lot of kids books. I am making one for my
two year old friend. Each page has a simple sentence.
"This is Mary." "Mary is a Big Girl" "Mary loves her
Mama" "Mary goes camping" "Mary sleeps in a funny bed"
I put one sentence per page, and then write them on
blank 4 X 6 index cards. I draw little pictures( I am
no artist, but I do my best work) and then put them in
a 4 X 6 photo album. Michaels has them on sale this week for 50 cents each for hard backed, 100 page books. So, my total cost there was 50 cents, since I had gotten a bunch of plain white index cards free this summer when I bought on old filing box. I love this idea bc it is soo personal for each child. I am going to make my 6 year old a RObot Lego story, and my 8 yo a joke book. I will do stickers for their books instead of drawings.
I made up a cute little story for my niece too, who is
three. It was just a simple story about a kitten who
wanted to bark. I got some pictures online of a
kitten and a dog. I copied them onto heavy card
stock. I am going to laminate them(tip: for small
lamination, use packing tape) and glue felt on the
back. I am going to use stickers in the book for the
pictures. SO, she will have her own book and also the
felt peices to act it out. I am putting her book into
a 4 X 6 book also. My 3 yo liked the story so much that I am making the same one for him.
I make scrapbooks for kids. If there is an event that
happened that year, I will make a scrapbook about it.
It doesnt have to be long.
This is an idea I did a few years ago: For Grandma, I scrapped a page with the boys pictures,
and they all had a fun little saying by their picture,
kind of a "hi grandma" kind of thing. Then I
laminated it and sent it as a placemat.
For the older kids, I am making nonfiction books. For
my six yo nephew, I wrote a book about our journey
from New Mexico to Washington, and gave him some
interesting facts about each state. I drew funky
little pictures. That one in in a regular, pretty
spiral notbook, heavier duty than average notebok,
purchased at Big Lots.
Two years ago, when we were in New Mexico, I wrote him
a book about a traditional Mexican Christmas, the
pastorelas and posados. I figured since I knew so
little about it, he would too, since he lives in CT,
and I thought he would find it interesting.
For my 12 year old friend who lives in TX, I am
writing a book full of interesting facts anout
Washington: Bonneville Dam, Mount Saint Helens,
Olympic Rain Forest,etc. I went and got a bunch of
brochures, and will include pictures cut out of those,
and then write an interesting, user friendly fact page
for each thing.
These are ideas from Christmases past:
For my kids, I made puppets. I took cardboard juice
cans and panited them, added crazy yarn or fabric hair
and painted on faces. DId the same with toilet paper
tubes. I made those two years ago, and the still play
with them alot.
For my then 4 year old, I made a city. I painted all
kinds of different boxes: cracker boxe, cereal boxes,
etc. as buildings. Then, I cut roads and rivers out
of felt. Included was a big sheet to lie down on the
floor,and then the town would be built on top of it.
DH made them a wonderful workbench made out of scrap
He also made a tool box for my oldest, drilled
the holes, but left it apart. He drew up fancy
blueprints, and gave it to him as a kit. They had
quality time putting it together. This was all made
out of scrap wood and cost nothing. He made Derek a
step stool, painted it and painted his name on it. It
has been used daily for two years.
I made them felt gloves, scarves and hats.
Doing felt board stories is cool, easy and cheap!! You can get a square of felt for 20 cents, or cheaper by the yard. Cover a piece of heavy poster board(the kind the the foam in the middle) with a neutral color of felt(check the thrift shops for the felt, too, I have also found lots of goodies in the ends basket at the fabric shop at holiday time) staple on in the back and you have a felt board. Scrap plywood would do the trick, too. Then, you can cut out felt people, felt shapes, or what have you. There are books of templates at the library, you can trace out the story. or just make your own. ALso, they can be found online by searching for flannel story pieces. You can do stories, or do just shapes and what have you. At Halloween, I cut out orange circles, green rectangles(for the stems) and lots of different little shapes, then gave them to the kids and told them to decorate their jack o laterns. You can do the same idea with a kind of a Mr Potato Head of the felt board. Also, you can just print coloring pages onto cardstock, and then add sandpaper or felt to make them stick.