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Great Homemade Presents to Make With Kids

It’s the thought that counts, and the love that goes into it.  No need to spend a fortune on gifts, your kids will love making them for grandparents, cousins and teachers – and the recipients will treasure them.  Fair warning: If the kids help, your gifts are bound to look less professional -- but that will just make them all the more valued by the giftee, so be brave. Take photos of your child making the present and Grandma will think it's priceless.


Remember that your goal is to have fun with your child and give a token of affection, not to exhaust yourself.   Why not just whip up big batches of something most folks will like (Fudge? Bath salts?) and finish all your presents in one weekend, while having fun with your kids? 


Here's a bakers dozen list of ideas to get your creativity fired up; more explicit directions are easily available online.


1. Anything from your kitchen:  Cookies, jams, fudge, quick breads, your famous spaghetti or barbecue sauce, your special trail mix.  Or a kit with the makings for something yummy, tied with a ribbon, like your perfect pancakes or scrumptious seven bean soup.

2. Booklet of favorite memories:
Have your child draw illustrations and write or type up his or her favorite memories of/with the recipient and put it into a binder to make a book.

3. Personalized cookbook: Your recipes, your child’s comments and drawings, in a binder.

4. Thank you cards.  Have your kids dictate thank you messages detailing their appreciation to everyone whose presence enriches their life all year long.

5. Handmade bath salts

Mix Epsom salts with essential oils, fragrance, and food coloring. Pour into recycled jars and print out a nice label.

6. Candles. Add crayon chips to plain paraffin wax and dip wicks in to make hand-dipped. Or just decorate storebought candles.

7. Picture frames.  Glitter, paint, glue-on shells.  And of course add a terrific photo of the artist.

8. Homemade calendars with photos of the kids

9. Tie-dyed teeshirts, sheets, etc.

10. Canvas bagsGive your kids indelible cloth markers (good to work on a cookie sheet to contain the markers) or use iron-on designs.


11. Art:  For grandparents, a framed picture drawn by a grandchild is the perfect present.

12. For friends and cousins: homemade clay, fingerpaints, bubbles, puppets, a kit of dress-up items, a kit of cool art supplies, a book of photos in a three ring binder with laminated pages that you and your kids create together. 

13.  Certificates for your services: A massage, babysitting, dog walking, painting a room, flying a kite together.

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