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5 Homemade Gifts for Kids

Kids don’t need big-ticket items to be happy at the holidays. See how little it takes with the...

Homemade gifts for kids may not be your first thought for the holidays, but here’s why it should be: Most of the time, there’s no correlation between how much you spend on your kids’ holiday gifts and how thrilled they are to receive them. (Think about how happy toddlers are just to play with the wrapping!)

Kids love gifts that are surprising, fun and personal, which takes more imagination than money. So here are some creative homemade gifts for kids that offer a big payoff for a very small price.

1. A treasure hunt for kids.
What’s more fun than opening gifts? Playing a game to get them! Buy your kids’ favorite candy bar. Then write IOUs for special privileges, such as ice cream for dinner or an extra hour of TV on certain days. Wrap each candy bar with an IOU together in wrapping paper and hide the packages in the house -- somewhere that’s not too complicated to find. Hand your kids a piece of paper with clues and send them out to find their gifts. The thrill of this homemade adventure will be as fun as any store-bought gift.

2. Gifts of music.
Celebrate your kids’ individual tastes and personalities with a homemade CD just for them. Using music you already own, create a special playlist for each of your kids and burn it onto a CD. (You can also buy a song or two to add to the mix). Come up with a theme or keep it random, and when you’re done, decorate and personalize the CD itself with markers.

3. A homemade poster of memories.
Instead of buying celebrity posters for your kids, make your kids the stars of a homemade poster-sized collage that’s all about them. Print out personal photos and downloaded images of things they love and things you love about them. Add thoughts or quotes. Attach artifacts or mementos from places they’ve been or would like to go.

4. Giant baked creations.
Kids love anything oversized, so give them a homemade treat that’s bigger and better than anything they’ve seen. Make giant gingerbread people and decorate them differently for each kid. Wrap them inside old shoeboxes lined with tissue paper. (If you’re not into baking, you can also buy jumbo peppermint lollipops or candy canes and wrap them in holiday cellophane.)

5. A homemade production.
You don’t need to buy DVDs for your kids to enjoy their favorite TV shows or movies. Search online for scripts, print out a scene or two and highlight parts for each family member to read in different colored highlighters. Roll up the scripts and tie them with different colored ribbons or wrap them flat. Then set a time for a dramatic reading with the whole family -- and don’t forget the popcorn!

Homemade gifts are often the most valuable to kids, thanks to the extra love and thought that goes into creating them. And that’s what gift giving is all about.

Have any more ideas for homemade gifts for kids? Share them below.

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