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Planning holiday gifts from the kids

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Homemade holiday treasures

Homemade gifts from the kids are treasured at any time of the year, but especially for the holidays. Trying to cram in some gift-making during the month of December, however, can be a challenge -- with all the other demands, you and your kids might not be able to give gift making the attention it deserves. So why not start early? You and your kids will be able to give gifts that are thoughtful, creative and budget-friendly -- without running yourself ragged.

Homemade holiday treasures

Gifts by and from the kids are a great way for the kids to feel a part of the holiday spirit. Not only do you introduce the idea of giving, you communicate values about thought and care and meaning over cost and size. Planning now, especially if the gift you choose to take might take a little time, will make the weeks leading up to the holiday a little less stressful -- and your kids will have a wonderful homemade present to give family.

What do your kids like to do?

When considering handmade gifts from the kids, consider first what the kids like to do. They (and you) will do better with a project they truly enjoy rather than insisting they finish something they weren't into to begin with! If your kids like to paint, a holiday gift could be as simple as paintings for family members -- have or the paintings turned into other gifts such as bags, mugs or mousepads.

If your kids like to do woodworking with one parent, for example, then maybe it's time to get involved and create a family project for gifts. Small wooden boxes to hold treasures can be treasures themselves. If your child likes to write, creating stories for special family members will be cherished.

Brainstorm ideas for kids' gifts to make

If you and your kids don't quite know what you'd like to do for a homemade gift, leaf through fine arts catalogs and websites. These companies often have terrific ideas for creating fun gifts, such as decoupaged candleholders, snow globes or any number of other models for fun family gift-giving.

Look around you, too. There likely are all sorts of items in your home and community that could inspire some fun holiday gift-making. Plants grown from seed in decorated pots, mobiles, handmade books and the like are all wonderful gifts your kids could make and give -- with sufficient time -- and loved ones will treasure such homemade children's presents for years to come.

homemade gifts that last

No matter what you choose to do with your kids, consider how you can make sure the gifts are durable -- after all that effort and planning, it would be a shame for a homemade gift to fall apart after only a short time. Grandparents and aunts and uncles in particular likely will want to keep these gifts for the long term --make sure it'll still be in one piece beyond January!

Gifts from the kids are a great way to promote the spirit of the holidays. Start planning those handmade gifts now so your kids can give truly lasting treasures this holiday season.

Homemade Holiday gift idea

Make your own snow globe

This easy arts-and-crafts project is a perfect way to get your kids in the holiday spirit.

More holiday tips for parents

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