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Learning to Give – Homemade Gifts and Crafts

by Megan Bittner

A lot of children are very familiar with the joy of receiving gifts—especially around holiday time! But these handmade gifts are beautiful tools to help you show that the joy of giving can be equally or even more rewarding. This sweet assortment of DIY gifts offers a variety of ideas, from upcycled water bottle wind spinners, outdoor dominos, and tin can lanterns to memory jars, artwork candles, and recycled paper beads. Take the opportunity to blend your “homeschool” and “living” together by creating heartfelt gifts together while practicing and reinforcing various concepts from art, science, math, and more!

Gifts for the Outdoor Homeschooler

Flower drop garden ornaments from Happy Hooligans utilize bits of colorful objects you’ll likely find around your house–beads, ribbon scraps, glitter, buttons, make beautiful ornaments for a Christmas tree, window, or patio.

These water bottle wind spinners are a simple way to upcycle old plastic bottles, and the youngest children can still help with the creation by coloring the bottles.

Glass gem suncatchers from kidsactivities.com make fancy-looking patio and window decorations.

This wind spinner from How Wee Learn is made of easy-to-find household items and will look lovely hanging in a yard or garden.

These rainbow seed bombs from Twig and Toads Stool are a creative gardening gift that any recipient–even those with not-so-green thumbs–will be able to enjoy.

These twig star ornaments from Happy Hooligans are another easy ornament that can go from a Christmas tree to a window display to a patio for year-round enjoyment.

Birdseed ornaments like these from Saltwater Kids are simple to make and give your friends and family a delightful bird-watching experience when hung outside a window.

Gifts for Homeschool Game Players

Children of all ages can join in the fun of making these colorful personalized golf balls from Laughing Kids Learn.

Outdoor games can be simple to create and personalize, and make great family gifts.

These lawn dominos from Iron and Twine can be personalized with all kinds of colors and themes. Keep in mind that this project is fairly time and labor intensive, and it isn’t actually necessary to use the paint brand suggested in the article.

A ladder golf game offers older students a fun engineering challenge and can be made with inexpensive materials from a local hardware store.

This charming bumblebee and ladybug tic-tac-toe game is simple to make with items collected on a nature walk, and preschoolers and older students alike can help paint the pieces.

A family memory board game like the one described by Potholes and Pantyhose is a treasured keepsake game that the entire family will have fun creating, gifting, and playing.

Gifts for the Homemaker

Tin can lanterns like these from Kids Craft Room look cute on a mantle or as outdoor lighting, and can be used as holders for real or flameless candles.

Family tree button ornaments can be strung together by tiny fingers and are lovely keepsake ornaments.

These clay birds from Activity Village can be decorated in a multitude of different ways, and can be given as tree ornaments, shelf trinkets, or–with the addition of a drop or two of scented oil–as a scented air freshener to hang in a closet or tuck into a drawer.

Skip to My Lou describes decorating personalized tea towels, but the same method can be employed to decorate tote bags, hankies, T-shirts, Onesies®, and more.

This sweet collection of wall canvases from A Mom’s Take uses prints of the child’s hand, arm, and fingers to create a message for all seasons.

A patchwork-covered journal or planner makes a great gift and can be personalized with a color scheme or theme to delight anyone.

These coffee filter angels from Fun Family Crafts make such graceful and delicate-looking decorations that no one will guess how easy they were to make with items already in your home.

Gifts for the Sentimental 

Children can make a tiny origami wallet to hold custom coupons to give gifts of time and creativity instead of material gifts.

Grandparents would love to receive this sweet, kid-made memory jar from Life Over C’s. The jar will become a treasured keepsake to display year-round.

These fingerprint frames are a charming way to give holiday photos to friends and family.

For a fresh take on a picture frame gift, children of all ages can craft this simple photo wheel.

A creative use of recycled bottle and drink lids leaves you with a collection of photo magnets to stuff into stockings.

Gifts for the Over-Stressed

These bath bombs make a beautiful gift on their own, or as part of a “spa” gift basket.

Bath salts are not only fun to gift, but the making can also double as your science lesson for the day! Note: The author of the article misspelled the word epsom, which is only noted here because she suggests writing the word on the gift label.

These artwork candles from Come Together Kids can be made with artwork created by preschoolers and high schoolers alike.

Gifts for the Fashionista

This hand-shaped ring dish is a useful gift for anyone who needs a convenient place to collect jewelry, change, or other odds and ends; it also makes a cute keepsake.

These paper beads made from recycled magazine pages can be used to create stylish bracelets, necklaces, and other jewelry for anyone who would appreciate a little earth-friendly bling.

Toy cars are used as a creative painting tool to create this abstract painted scarf from Crafting Connections.

These eraser stamp tote bags can be decorated in an endless number of designs and colors and are simple enough for children of all ages to help with the stamping.

*Text HEAV to 88588 to get a text reminder when the Update is published on Wednesdays!

*Text HEAV to 88588 to get a text reminder when the Update is published on Wednesdays!

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