View Full Version : Crafts for Kids -- Holiday Gifts

10-06-2005, 11:08 AM
Please, if you have a creative mind, or you are a teacher, parent, day care provider, or if you just know, please feel free to help me out here.

First, I want to mention a few things before I get to my questions. I just got assigned my 2'nd article today for a local magazine--she liked my first article, published it in this month's issue, and assigned me another :banana:. This could possibly lead to more assignments if I make a good second impression, and so I'm excited about it. So please, help me if you can (down on both knees begging). Now, the important thing I need to mention, this article does have a deadline of October 13'th ( :scared: ) so please try to respond by October 11'th.

On to the questions. Being a parent with young children I do have a few ideas of my own to contribute, but I don't have enough to make my article complete, and that is the reason I'm begging for help. Here's what I need:

1- Can you share any easy craft ideas for children -- crafts that can be made and given as gifts, and also crafts that make a good activity? These craft ideas should target pre-schoolers, grade school and middle
school children.

2- Can you please share the materials and instructions for the craft project(s)?

Edited: I forgot to mention, you can e-mail them to me at msks04 @ shawneelink.net (take out the spaces), or post them here.

10-06-2005, 02:01 PM

We are making paper mache boxes as gifts this year. I scavenged some smaller sized, sturdy cardboard boxes; covered them with papermache & then painted them. Cool magazine pictures & stamps get glued on top - then sealed with decopage goop. The insides will be lined with felt.

(Wish us luck - short time - low talent here....)

10-07-2005, 01:26 AM
Snowman: A nice table or window sill decoration, good enough to give to grandparents or teachers

2 cups powdered soap (like Dreft or Ivory flakes)
1/2 cup water

Mix the soap (not detergent) and water. Whip with an electric mixer until the substance resembles dough. Shape the damp soap dough into three balls. Gently push a toothpick halfway down the center of the bottom ball, then push the middle ball down on the toothpick until the two spheres touch. Repeat with the third ball. Add twig or pipecleaner arms, clove eyes, shirt buttons, and a bead smile. Note: the soap mixture will appear gray but will turn bright white as it dries.

We did these when our kids were very small. I added a little silver glitter to the mix.

Maryn, hoping this helps

10-09-2005, 02:30 AM
Luminarias are an easy, easy project for any age. Buy white paper sacks (the kind you would use for lunch bags). Have the kids decorate with glitter, stickers, coloring, hole punch, etc. Give the bags with small candles (the ones in the metal containers) or a small strand of white out-door lights. The recipient would line their walk or driveway with the bags. You use small stones or sand to weight the bags so they don't blow over.

Another easy project is to have the kids make either hot cocoa mix or spiced cider mix. Tailor their participation to their ages. Younger kids can help dump ingredients into a large mixing bowl, stir, etc. Older children can do the project from beginning to end. The mixes can be given in either baggies or jars; both using hand-made kid-made gift tags.


PS I have created my own hot cocoa mix recipe if anyone wants it, please let me know.

10-09-2005, 04:49 AM
1. White polystyrene meat trays cut into stars and strung together on tinsel or ribbon.

2. Make gift wrapping paper. Buy a roll of white paper thicker than newsprint or use good brown parcel wrapping paper. Need some good paint. Older children cut potatoes in half and make a star or leaf or bell design to stamp on all over the paper for gift wrap. Younger children dip holly leaves etc in paint and press onto paper. Youngest use a toothbrush and spatter paint or use a comb and comb paint on paper or make hand prints.

3. Use bought Xmas stencils to make cards or gift paper.

4. Make paper by recycling paper (check easy methods in Children's section of the library) and use it to cut into angel shapes for cards or gift tags.

5. Use any simple, plain, rich, roll out biscuit (Oh lord, you lot say cookie!) recipe. Roll out and cut into stars and other appropriate shapes. Make a hole to hang 'em by and bake. Then decorate with icing/frosting or gum drops.

6. Make Bath bombs -a bit tricky for the very little but great fun. PM me for the recipe which is a little long for here

7. Children can make rolls of freezer biscuits that you can give as gifts. Great fun and messy! HTere aer lots of simple cooking things you can do from small loaves of bread to tiny plum puddings.

8. Origami - paper folding - results in nice little gifts. Need a book though and coloured paper!

9. Scented Oranges - tie round a ribbon to make a hanging loop then stud with cloves. Used to hang in the wardrobe or hall cupboard.

10. Got a computer? Use the family photos printed off to make cards and calendars. There are actually several good cheap programmes you can buy on CDs that children can follow and will result in very attractive cards and calendars.

Hope some of this helps!

10-09-2005, 05:43 AM
One we used to make when I was little (how long ago was that?) about this time of the year was blowing up a balloon a little larger than our heads. Then we would glue paper machete to the balloon*, let it dry, cut eye slits and holes for the nose and mouth, then color it. You then cut it in half to make a Halloween mask. You can even make two masks and wear one in front and the other on the back of your head; maybe one smiling and one sad.

*We used strips of paper and some kind of watery glue; I don't know what kind.

And here's a tip if you ever slightly short on the column and need a filler: When you having a child swallow a pill, have them drink milk or some other thicker liquid rather than water. It makes the pill much easier to swallow. Sorry if every mother in the world knows this already and thinks I'm a oaf for even bothering to post it.


10-10-2005, 12:05 AM
I have one idea that is ideal for kids. I learned it from my cousin when he was in the 4th grade.

Christmas Reef

Needed: 1 wire coat hanger, several boxes of small sandwich bags (not the self sealing kind, colors are always fun), a pair of scissors.

Directions: DO NOT take apart or disturb the hook (youíll need that to hang to project later), simply mold the triangular area into a circle. Parents should probably do this in advance so that the younger children donít get any ideas that itís okay to bend all the hangers in the house or hurt themselves.

Cut each sandwich bag on the sides so that is turns into one long, wide strip (similar to a cheese slice after itís been opened). If you have younger kids that canít use scissors, they can also tear down the sides if theyíre careful. Tie each bag, into any kind of knot, onto the circular area of the hanger, be sure to pull the knot tight and have the ends on separate sides of the hanger. Make sure the baggies are kept close together; push them together to fill in gaps as needed. You will need a ton of baggies (close to 200), so the cheapest ones you can find are perfectly find and still look just as nice.

Once completed, you have a very cute, homemade gift of a cellophane Christmas reef thatís ready to hang on any nail or doorknob. It lasts for years, I still have mine from 10+ years ago. This can also be done with saran wrap, but it requires a lot more cutting.

Hope you can use it,

10-10-2005, 09:22 PM
Kids can use polymer clay to make ornaments or statues. Polymer clay comes in many different colors, can be sculpted/carved/rolled into sheets/you name it, someone's tried it. The clay stays workable until it's baked. It's certified non-toxic, but will require an adult to do the baking. I'd recommend the Sculpey brand. Check out www.sculpey.com (http://www.sculpey.com) for lots of ideas and simple projects. For more advanced information, take a look at www.glassattic.com (http://www.glassattic.com) for an encyclopedia of tips and techniques.

10-10-2005, 09:45 PM
*We used strips of paper and some kind of watery glue; I don't know what kind.

When I was a kid lo those many, many, many years ago, we'd do the same only we would use yarn (usually the scraps left over from my mother's crocheting projects). We soaked them in fabric softener and then wrapped them around the balloons. When the yarn was completely dry and stiff, it would allow us to make lampshades or other items of that shape.


10-11-2005, 10:18 AM
in my girl scouts, we took these outdoors type clothes pins, paperclips, different types of felt/construction paper, oogly eyes {what are those things called?}, markers and yarn, and we would make little skater people out of them, the eyes going on the top of the clothes pins for the face, draw the rest of the face on, use the construction paper/felt for clothing and whatnot, the yarn for hair, and last the paperclips on the edges of those parts that hold the clothes onto the line for little skates.
Hope that helps, good luck!

10-15-2005, 09:28 AM
I always like to thank those who help me, and so I've come back to say thank you to all of you for your ideas. I was able to use many. These, my own, and others from family and friends gave me an article over 2000 words.

You help and ideas were very much appreciated. The article has been sent on to the editor--crossing fingers.