Start a Santa's Workshop in Your Home With Your Kids
Fall is the perfect time to start a Santa's Workshop in your home. Are you a concerned parent who thinks your children are too self-centered at Christmas and only think about themselves and what they will receive instead of what they will give to others during the holidays? Well there's no time like the present to start thinking about presents (yes, pun intended!)
Pick one night or one afternoon per week and have your children make crafty gifts for relatives that they will give as Christmas gifts. Before officially starting your Santa's Workshop sessions, bring your kids to the crafts section of your local department store or crafts stores such as A.C. Moore or Michael's. Have them look around for craft ideas to make and give to people that are close to them. Make sure to look in your Sunday newspaper flyers before going to the stores to check for coupons. Often both Michael's and A.C. Moore have coupons in the flyers for 40% off. If you have neighbor's or relatives save flyers for you as well, each child in your family can pay for craft items separately. If your children are young and don't have money of their own, you can provide the money for the crafts but the coupons are usually one per customer, so they would have to go through the register on their own with their supplies.
Many craft stores have marked down areas, so check those out before making purchases. Once one craft is completed, head back to the store to pick out the next one for them to start on. But always bring coupons to save money. Not only will your child love giving a gift from the heart, but it will be even more exciting to watch their loved one open and appreciate a gift made with love.
Here are some ideas for crafts that can be created and given as gifts:
- Gift Baskets:
- If you are a smart shopper, you can purchase health and beauty items with coupons or on sale and fill gift baskets with them. Children can decorate baskets with paint, stickers, or ribbons and make gift tags to attach to the baskets.
- Picture frames with mats inside that can be taken out and painted with the child's own design, then inserted back into the frame when dry. The frame can either be left empty so the recipient can choose what picture they want to put in, or your child can insert a picture of themselves alone, or with the recipient for an extra personal touch.
- * Homemade candle kits that will create 2 - 6 candles are convenient, make beautiful products and can be given to more than one person.
- * Potholder looms make nice homemade pot holders, and many female relatives can use those. Also, blank white pot holders are sold in stores, that children can decorate with permanent paint, with a handprint for young ones, or they can create their own design. My son made one of these for me for Mother's Day when he was two years old, which was 19 years ago and it has held up well and is my favorite pot holder. Using it still, makes me smile today.
- * Knit scarves are great winter time gifts. My daughter learned to knit when she was 12 and started creating soft knit scarves for me, her grandmother and her aunts in their favorite colors or to match their winter jackets. They are still favorite gifts although she is almost 18 now.
- Painted Clothing and Tote Bags
- * T-shirts, sweatshirts or painted tote bags with designs the kids came up with on their own are frequent reminders of their love and creativity to gift recipients. Also, if kids are too young to come up with a design, hand prints and footprints are really cute and easy to do.
- Wood Products
- * Painted wood products that are useful are always nice too. Wooden frames, napkin holders, key holders, and other items that are helpful in the home will be bright and colorful gifts of love and creativity.
- Christmas Tree Ornaments
- * You can purchase plain round Christmas balls and have your children add paint or glitter (using glitter glue keeps things neater.
- * Or buy wooden ornaments for your children to paint and give as Christmas gifts (see below).
- * A scrapbook of a special pet or special memories of a trip taken with the recipient is always nice. And every time the recipient looks at the gift, the memories will come back again and again. It's truly the "gift that keeps on giving." (See the scrapbook kit below to get your children started)
- Jewelry/Sea Shells Crafts
- Seashells and sea glass can create a necklace or just have your children fill baby food jars half full with beach sand, add some shells and seawater. Glue the top on, have the kids add a circle of nautical material on the top with a ribbon and your kids can give it as a gift to someone who loves the beach.
Making Your Crafting Time Memorable
For a nice extra touch during your Santa's Workshop time, take a picture of your kids making the craft, and tuck it in with the present. The recipient will appreciate it even more.
For extra added fun, play Christmas carols and drink hot chocolate while everyone is working on their gifts. Not only will the gift be memorable to the recipient, but the crafting time your kids do together will be a special time to remember. And if you have crafts you would also like to give, don't forget to join in the fun.
Here's a kit below to get you started. It makes 16 beaded ornaments and the kids can give them to many family members with one kit!
Crafting With Kids Poll
Do You Help Your Children Make Handmade Gifts for Others?
© 2012 Karen Hellier