Idea Exchange: Gifts to Make For Kids - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 12-03-2010, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought it would be great to get a thread going with in which we can share ideas about gifts to make for kids.  I'll start.  Last year our dd was 3 and our ds was 4. 

 

  • We had an old wooden bedframe that was broken.  We took it apart and made it into simple wooden balance beams for the kids (two challenge levels) and a rope ladder.  That rope ladder hangs in our home in a doorway and still is a *huge* hit, by the way.
  • Using some paper I had stashed away from years earlier, I made each of my kid's a stationary set with their names up at the top.  Using index cards from that same stash, and two small notebooks that I purchased on sale at Staples, I made each of the kids a writing practice notebook (dot-to-dot letters).
  • I also used photos of families and friends and these little flip-book photo albums from the dollar store and made the kids their own "phonebooks" with the phone numbers of relatives and close family friends.
  • For each other, my dd made ds cookies and a bracelet.  My ds made dd a clay religious symbol.

 

I hope one of you can give me some good ideas for this year for my now 4 year old dd and my 5 year old ds.  I know lots of you knit, crochet, sew, etc., but I have no craft skills whatsoever.

 

This year I have an idea of making my dd, who has been having a really hard time lately, a "calming kit." I am going to use an old flannel shirt and make her an eye pillow (that's probably the extent to which I am able to sew, and even that will be a challenge), but I am not sure what else I am going to put in yet.  She reads, so maybe I will write a "calming" story for her.  I don't know, and ideas welcome!

 

I am sort of at a loss otherwise, especially because we are moving to a dinky space and won't have a lot of room for stuff.  That said, I do take joy in giving the kids a few gifts during the winter holidays that speak to their new level of development.

 

What are some great gifts that you have made for your kids?


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#2 of 11 Old 12-04-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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as far as the calming kit, what about a worry doll?  You don't have to make it, but maybe you could swap for it or find a nice cloth doll secondhand.  A blank notebook to vent her worries in?  Maybe a joke book since a good laugh is always a stress reliever, and/or a letter of encouragement from dar old mom.

 

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#3 of 11 Old 12-07-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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If they have old broken crayons you can melt them down and make 'rainbow' crayons.  There are lots of tutorials on the web for that.  Homemade playdough, again look on the web.

Since you are moving to a smaller place how about experiences, either passes or memberships to the zoo, kids museum, stuff like that?  Even coupons for 'day with mom', 'day at the park'  'picnic in the living room' etc. to be used during the coming winter months.  YES the park can be fun in the snow (if you live in the cold area).

 

Any thoughts on what they like to do, any thing they really 'want'.  new books? do they have thier own library cards? my son loved to get his own card.  You could make that part of the coupon packet.


Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

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#4 of 11 Old 12-08-2010, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally didn't mean this to be a thread of suggestions just for me.  I'd love to get a thread going with folks just sharing the best gifts they've ever made their kids.  I thought it would be fun!

 

Sorry that wasn't clear.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhats View Post

as far as the calming kit, what about a worry doll?  You don't have to make it, but maybe you could swap for it or find a nice cloth doll secondhand.  A blank notebook to vent her worries in?  Maybe a joke book since a good laugh is always a stress reliever, and/or a letter of encouragement from dar old mom.

 


Good ideas!  Thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

If they have old broken crayons you can melt them down and make 'rainbow' crayons.  There are lots of tutorials on the web for that.  Homemade playdough, again look on the web.

Since you are moving to a smaller place how about experiences, either passes or memberships to the zoo, kids museum, stuff like that?  Even coupons for 'day with mom', 'day at the park'  'picnic in the living room' etc. to be used during the coming winter months.  YES the park can be fun in the snow (if you live in the cold area).

 

Any thoughts on what they like to do, any thing they really 'want'.  new books? do they have thier own library cards? my son loved to get his own card.  You could make that part of the coupon packet.


Thanks for the ideas.  We've been doing crayon-making and playdough as a family lately...actually inspired by a Christmas gift someone gave the kids a year or two ago.  It's fun!  I think I might end up doing some coupons, but I really do want to give them a couple things that are, well, instantly fun.   

 

I actually don't think they have a lot of specific ideas of things they want this year.  They both love to read and they have their own library cards...not sure we can get them ones for our new state until we move there.  But that's a really good idea!


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#5 of 11 Old 12-09-2010, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just thought of another idea that I think will be good: paper dolls.


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#6 of 11 Old 12-10-2010, 08:24 AM
 
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When I finish my semester's work, I am planning to make Christmas ornaments for my two kids.  I was going to buy them, but they are crazy expensive and I do like to  give a nice ornament every year.  My dd is going to get a stack of fabric pancakes (little round, pancake colored "quilts" in a short stack with "butter" and "maple syrup" appliqued on the top.  My son is going to get a slice of pizza (same deal as pancakes but with pizza shaped with "cheese" appliqued to the top.  Too bad he doesn't like toppings or I could applique some fun stuff on there....).  I am a former quilter (hopefully some day I will be a quilter again...) so I have lots of fun fabric on hand.  When they were little I made fun play food from fabric, a loaf of bread, a bag of flour, broccoli, a head of garlic, potatoes, a whole fabric pizza (the local pizza store gave me one of the personal pizza size boxes), ice cream cones, all kinds of crazy stuff.  Most of them were just free form stuffed and needed sculpted or made out of small fabric and batting sandwiches.   It was some of the most fun crafting I ever did.  If I can find my camera, I will load up a picture one of these days. 

 

But now I really need to finish writing a paper!

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#7 of 11 Old 12-14-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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This year my kids are getting
Foam sheet cut to shapes and objects for bath time
Felt boards same idea
Superhero capes and masks
Possibly also
Wire and pantyhose fairy wings
Felt fishing game with magnets
Beanbags

Dh and ds are getting matching jammies Christmas eve-I cut up dh flannel jammie shirt to make matching pants for ds and I am going to try to applique a tie from the scape on to shirts they already have....ds loves matching with dad!!!
If I have time I will do the same for dd and i

mom to ds '07 first day of a new year, dd '09 in the caul, and  ds '11 at home Oct 24th

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#8 of 11 Old 12-14-2010, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, those are good ideas EmsMom and Saoirse2007! 


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#9 of 11 Old 12-15-2010, 09:48 AM
 
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We will be making some string balls this weekend. Not as gifts for kids, but a few for the tree and others to put on gifts for relatives. We have never done it, but it looks like fun - I see hemp balls in home sections of stores like Peir 1, Pottery Barn, Target etc and I was excited to stumble across the the how to make them ... scroll down to #1.

 

http://simplemom.net/handmade-christmas-decor/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+simplemom+%28Simple+Mom%29


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#10 of 11 Old 12-20-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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I made a pillowcase for my little son out of an old nightshirt of mine.  He loved that nightshirt when I was wearing it.  I don't wear it any more, though.  It only took me about 20 minutes to sew it.

 

My kids are older now and don't care too much about toys, or I'd make some.  Last year I made a clock for them.


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#11 of 11 Old 12-22-2010, 03:19 AM
 
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I love making things for my girls! Things Ive done this year:

fairy wings/skirt- made from a recycled bed skirt that was really full

bean bags

travel art set (made for DD1- she saw it when I was done and asked if I could make her one, can't wait to see her face on Christmas morning when she realizes it was for her!)

tons of clothing

sock monkey (http://www.craftbits.com/project/sock-monkey)

puppet theatre and puppets (this is for when we move)

stuffed cat (this place has a ton of stuffed animals you can make: http://allcrafts.net/sewing/stuffedanimalssewing.htm)

ribbon blankets and regular blankets (both for the baby, other people's babies and my girls)

tons of clothing, practical and they love choosing their own outfits. Skirts are easy to make without patterns.

doll sling for my oldest to carry around her doggies/Minnie mouse

aprons

hair ties/hair clips

 

Im in the process of making:

a knotty doll for the baby (http://sewingchick.blogspot.com/2010/07/waldorf-knotty-doll-tutorial.html)

Felt kitchen top

crayon/coloring book "wallets" to keep in my purse for when we are out shopping and they are bored

picture memory game

felt memory game (my girls LOVE memory games, I wanted a few "self-contained" ones for when we move)

felt travel board with felt characters

travel doll house (http://uklassinus.blogspot.com/2008/08/fabric-dollhouse-tutorial.html)

waldrof dolls and clothing/blankets for them

a "mattress" for their doll cradle (I got a handmade doll cradle for 5.00 from someone who decided it took up to much room in their house, its beautiful but "too hard for the dollies" according to my daughters)

this site (http://www.onecraftyplace.com/category/felt/) has a TON of stuff you can do with felt to make presents for younger children and even some older ones

a hair ribbon organizer for my oldest

bags to travel with for both of them

memory books of where we live since we are moving

Heres another site that has a bunch of ideas for toddlers (http://codenamemama.com/2010/10/06/make-your-own-gifts/)

 

 

Id have more (nope, not kidding, I like to save tutorials for when I need a quick thing to make for someone) but my computer crashed and Im just now building back up the sites I use to visit.


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