18 Gifts Kids Can Make - and People Won't Mind Getting

"Every man shall give as he is able,
according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you."

Before you know it, Christmas will be here. Will your kids be giving gifts, or just getting them? I resolved years ago that my children would work to give gifts whenever possible - not just things they pick out in a store and I pay for, and not just things they save money to pay for, but homemade gifts that require time, effort, and thought to create. Because I want giving to come as naturally to them as possible.

But the trick is, to keep it stress free and do-able, you have to start NOW. And you need to consider your child's age; it's not reasonable to expect a 5 year old to make something for your entire extended clan, for example. He could, however, make something for his sister - and maybe his parents.

Here are a few of the ideas I've gathered for my children to choose from.

* Woven pot holders. Several years ago, my daughter received a pot holder making loom as a gift. Ever since, she's used it to make gifts for others. She can do this almost completely by herself (she's eight), though she does need help finishing off the edges.

* Handprint scarf. This is another easy project that requires no real sewing skill.

* These fleece scarves are also easy, especially if you use fabric glue.

* Ladybug pin cushion. This takes very minimal sewing skills and is a great gift for someone who sews or does needlework.

* Bookmarks. Use felt (which can be purchased in rectangles singularly or in packs at craft stores or Wal-Mart) for an easy to sew project. (You could also use fabric glue.) Gather more ideas here, here, here, here, and here.

* If your child's sewing or embroidery is relatively neat, this cute Tic-Tac-Toe game is a great choice.

* Sachets are always a welcome gift for women. This one requires only minimal sewing skill. I'd probably pink the edges of the fabric with pinking shears. Again, you could substitute sewing for fabric glue.

* If your child can use a sewing machine - even if only minimally - this bandana quilt/tablecloth is a terrific and easy project.

* Or try this bandana tote bag.

* Christmas tree ornament. This simple felt and button design is so easy almost any child can do it. If you prefer, use fabric glue instead of stitches.

* Teach your child simple fingerknitting, and he or she could make a simple scarf for someone.

* Any drawing or painting is a great choice, too, especially if the child creates something just for the gift receiver - perhaps focusing on something that person loves. (You can dress it up a bit, if you like, by framing it with an inexpensive 8 x 10 or document frame.)

* Food gifts. If your child can measure, she can make gifts in a jar. Or if he can bake essentially on his own, baked goods wrapped nicely are a good gift.

* Soap balls.

* Swirly paint Christmas balls.

* Scrapbooks of a special event earlier in the year.

* Photo magnets.

* Felt key rings. Again, these can be as simple or complex as you like, and you may substitute fabric glue for stitching.

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