The festive season is fast-approaching and, from the switching on of the Christmas lights and visits to Santa’s Grotto to nativity plays and carol concerts, there is much to keep everyone busy in the run-up to Christmas. There is also the small matter of presents, and ensuring all your friends and family are catered for; it is the season of goodwill after all! For those with large families, this is not only a daunting task but also quite expensive, not to mention the added inconvenience of long queues and crowded high streets. One way you can minimise the number of presents you need to buy is by encouraging your children to make homemade gifts for friends and family.
In a consumerist society where everyone has all that they need and more, homemade presents are the perfect way to show your nearest and dearest you care. Presents from children are more thoughtful, unique and a keepsake they can hold onto forever; a meaningful way of spreading Christmas cheer to all. In addition to this, it also encourages children to get creative, experiment with their artistic flair, and is a great way to keep them busy over the holidays!
Below, we’ve looked at a few of the best homemade gifts that children can create for your family and friends this Christmas.
Cookie Mix Jar
Christmas is all about the food, and one of the quirkiest ways of spreading the joy this season is via a cookie mix jar. Find a medium to a large-sized jar, and decorate appropriately, with ribbons and a hand-written note from your child with the baking instructions. If they’re too young to write it for themselves, be sure to involve them in the process, reading it aloud as you go. Fill the jar with layers of all the dry ingredients from your chosen cookie recipe. This is perfect for other families with young children, as they can bake together.
Driftwood Frames and Mirrors
We are lucky enough to be located close to the coast, so why not make the most of our beautiful beaches and give someone a taste of the seaside this Christmas? Wrap up warm and head for a wintery walk with the whole family to collect driftwood. Once home, a responsible adult should shape the wood into usable sections, before handing them over to the children to glue as they wish.
Ink Blot Prints
An ideal activity for children of any age, giving them the opportunity to create a masterpiece of art that they can be proud of. Fold medium-weight art paper in half and drizzle or dab paint onto one side of the paper fold. Next, fold the other side of the paper onto the painted side and press down. Open, and let the design lay flat as it dries to create a symmetrical piece of artwork that can then be framed or given as special Christmas cards!
Coffee Cup Jackets
Did you know that old socks make the perfect material for hot drink jackets? We recommend giving them a wash or two first but simply cut four inches from the leg of the sock to create a cup cosy. Provide your children with ribbons, buttons, felt and glue and let their imaginations run wild as they personalise each one for various family members! A cute way of brightening up someone’s commute in 2018!
Invest in some blank calendars and give your child a free rein with the felt tip, paints and crayons. Children of all ages can decorate a calendar, whether it be a mixture of finger, thumb, hand and feet prints, or slightly older children can decorate each month with what they think it represents. Not only is this a sweet way a family member or friend can keep track of their appointments but it will allow you an insight into your child’s imagination, and how they see the world.
Encourage your children to pick their own colour schemes and learn an array of bracelet-making styles. There are various kits you can purchase, or go back to basics with some threads, and sit down with your child to teach them how to make their own. If you need teaching yourself, there are a number of videos online offering tutorials, how-tos and guides to help. Once they get the hang of it, it’ll keep them occupied for hours, and the finished bracelet is something they can take pride in.
Sweet Treats and Bakes
Anything in the kitchen! Christmas is all about spending time together and having fun, so getting creative in the kitchen will leave your family and friends with some tasty treats they can enjoy during the holidays. Brownies, flapjacks, cookies, cakes, sweets and chocolates all make for delicious presents this December, and can also be decorated and personalised for each person. You can also customise the way in which they are presented, decorating tins and using nice ribbons, before placing your delights on some festive napkins and handing them over.
We hope this has provided a little bit of inspiration for all parents of children at our independent primary school, providing some creative gift ideas for family and friends along with a way to keep your children entertained over the holidays!