Creative gifts you can make for kids

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Are you a parent who missed out on Black Friday deals this year?  Or perhaps you would just rather take a more sentimental approach to budget-friendly gift giving this holiday season? Here are some ideas to entertain:

Family Movie Night in a Popcorn Bowl: Create a Movie Basket/Bowl containing your child’s favorite theater treats and a classic holiday movie on a DVD. Pop in the disc and curl up on the couch for a family movie night, and make it a fun holiday tradition for years to come. For some popular Christmas-themed movies, check out this list: Holiday Movies for the Family.

Family Recipe Album: Do you like to spend time in the kitchen preparing meals or baking with your kids? This holiday season, give the gift of tradition. Create a notebook of favorite family recipes, and maybe garnish it with photos of relatives creating their trademark dish. Click on the links below to get start on some inspiration.

From Cottage Arts: DIY Recipe Book Idea 1

From Martha Stewart: DIY Recipe Book Idea 2

What I Love About You: Transform an ordinary deck of playing cards into something extraordinary that highlights the reasons you love someone. This fun project creates a mini-booklet that can make a cute gift for your kids. Whether you appreciate how much they help around the house or want to showcase your favorite quirks about them, flatter them with this personalized gift that they can keep forever: 52 Things I Love About You.

Create Your Own Family Coloring Book: Anyone can go to the store and stock up on commercial coloring books. But wouldn’t it be fun to give your child one that includes images of family members?  This website and this one show you how to turn your favorite memories into full-page black and white image outlines, using your computer and picture-editing software. Come prepared with 10 or more photos of your children, grandparents, family vacations, first day of school, their favorite toys, anything!  Your kids will love coloring Grandma’s hair pink or Dad’s beard blue!

Snowman Hot Chocolate Kit:  Surprise your youngsters with this creative way to package a hot chocolate kit. This website tells you how to do it. First, fill the head of the snowman (top jar) with marshmallows, the middle jar with your kids’ favorite cocoa mix, and the bottom jar with mints, cinnamon or other favorite toppings they enjoy. To finish your snowman creation with a “scarf,” tie a strip of red-checkered cloth fabric around the middle. A super cheap, easy, and fun way to remind your kids of the long way they came from eating baby food, and it can provide a way to have fun with them making a fresh cup of hot chocolate.

Homemade Ornaments: Spend some quality crafting time with your kids and create some homemade tree ornaments together. Fill or paint your decorations with memories and other keepsakes that they can hang up and reuse every year.

Event Tickets: Has your child ever mentioned a show or another event they’ve wanted to attend? Present them with tickets to a performance that will also allow for some quality family time together.

Tutorials or Classes: Encourage your child’s desire to learn, take up a new hobby, or celebrate their passion by giving them a series of classes.  Whether it be culinary classes, horseback riding, music, sports or art, your child may love this experiential gift that can keep on giving long after the wrapping paper has been thrown away.

Homemade Coupon Books:  Your kids will love this book of I.O.U.’s that they can cash in all year round.  Provide one coupon per month that kids can use, such as one that lets them choose dinner for one night, or lets them pick the puzzles or games to play on a Family Night, or a movie to watch night with mom, dad or both.

Personalized Calendars: Create a calendar with a special theme, whether your child’s favorite animals or characters from their favorite book, movie or TV show. Calendars that can be marked up can be a great gift for kids starting to develop a sense of time and anticipating special events, such as the first day of summer vacation, birthdays, holidays and even routine play dates. This website shows how to make one that can be reused month after month, year after year.