5 Quick Gifts Kids Can Make
5 Easy Gifts Kids Can MakeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Home made Gifts by Kids are Best!
I love having my kids make gifts for their teachers and other people. While I can afford to buy a gift, a home made gift, especially one the kids make themselves, is more personal. Home made gifts are more personal to give and receive. Moreover, when you give a home made gift, you don't make the person who gets it feel they must "pay you back."
Your gift can be what it is intended to be, a thank you and token of appreciation. These easy gifts are ones that I've had my kids make over and over through the years. I've also made them up myself when I needed a gift in a hurry. These easy gifts are also nice to give to neighbors or as a hostess gift, especially when made in holiday colors. Although I give detailed step by step instructions, none of these gifts takes more than 20 minutes to make once you've gathered the supplies.
Layered Candy Jar Gift Kids Can make
For the quickest possible gift, or one for many people, try a layered candy jar, or layered cookie mix (see video). For this Halloween themed jar, my kids used used candy corn, harvest colored M&Ms, caramel chips and whoppers. You can choose any candies to layer, or even use up candies you have around the house. This makes a wonderful and easy Christmas gift. I used a glass instant coffee jar, but you could use any glass or plastic jar. Mine is big, but smaller jelly jars work too.
- 2-4 different types of candy that look nice together: M&Ms, Skittles, Candy Corn, peppermints, Whoppers, or even wrapped candies like Reeces and Jolly Ranchers can work.
- A Glass or Plastic Jar with a lid that is between 8 oz and 16 oz
- Tag or colored paper to make a tag (for pumpkin tag you need orange paper, 3 buttons and markers)
- Step One: Clean out the jar with soap and water and take off the label. Use a razor blade or "Goo be Gone" to take off the glue left on the jar. If the label really sticks, you might want to soak it in hot water for a while first.
- Step Two: Make sure the inside of the jar is dry. Pour in the candies one at a time in layers about 1 inch thick. Fill up to the top and put on the lid.
- Step Three: Make a tag from a piece of colored paper (scrap-booking or wrapping paper works great) folded in half. You can make it fancier if you want by making a theme tag like my Halloween pumpkin. Or you can download an image from the Internet and print it off.
- Step Four: Tie a ribbon on your jar and attach the tag to the jar with tape, or punch a hole in it and attach to the ribbon.
Hint: If your jar lid isn't plain, you can put a piece of paper, fabric, or tissue paper on top of it.
Beaded Bookmark or Key Chain Gift
Kids love giving out these bookmarks because they are so fun to make. You can personalize these with an initial charm or a charm that matches the person's hobby like a piano for a music teacher, or a cat charm for an animal lover. You can also make these in holiday colors like green and red for Christmas, or pink and red for Valentine's Day. What is really nice is that even young kids can make these quickly and easily.
- 18" hemp or thin string
- 6-10 medium to large glass beads
- 12 small "seed" beads
- 1 charm
- Step One: Put a double knot about 4" in one side of the hemp string. Measure about 7 inches in the middle of the string (or just put it inside a book) and then put a double knot on the other side. These knots will keep the beads in place so they don't slide into the bookmark.
- Step Two: Starting on one side, put on a seed bead, then a glass bead. Alternate until you have about 2-3 inches of beading. End with a seed bead and tie a double knot.
- Step Three: String the beads on the other side the same way. This time, after the double knot, add the charm and tie another double knot.
- Step Four: Lay the bookmark on foil or plastic wrap. Put clear nail polish on all the knots and let it dry. Put your beautiful gift in a small bag and add a tag!
Cookie Mix in a Jar
This classic is a great one to make at the last minute. You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. You will need a quart sized jar. That is the size of a jar of pasta sauce, so I usually save mine, take off the label (see candy jar above) and run them through the dishwasher. Next, you just layer the ingredients in the order listed below. Push each layer down with the handle of a wooden spoon
Tie on a tag with the recipe (including what needs to be added to make the cookies--usually butter and eggs). Add a piece of fabric, wrapping paper or tissue paper to the lid, tie on a ribbon and the tag and your gift is ready! You can adapt this to any recipe for cookies and adding colored M&Ms instead of chocolate chips can make this a holiday gift. Here is my favorite recipe:
- 2 cups flour
- ¾ tea. baking soda
- ½ tea. Baking powder
- 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar (pack down with handle of wooden spoon)
- 1 ½ cups any combination of chocolate chips or M&Ms
To make the cookies:
- 2 sticks of margarine or butter at room temp.
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter on medium until fluffy. Pour chips out of jar and set aside. Add sugar from jar and cream well. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat well. Stir in chocolate chips or M &Ms. Put walnut-sized balls of dough on greased baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Makes three dozen cookies.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
My kids love to bake and these simple Pumpkin Cake Mix Muffins are so easy, that even the preschoolers could make it. We usually make it with pumpkin, but I've also used bananas and applesauce. What I especially like about this recipe is that you can adapt this for diabetics and for people who are on a gluten free diet. Just buy either sugar free or gluten free mix and then make up the muffins as directed.
The kids can put their muffins on a holiday plate, or in a plain white paper bag that kids decorate. Or you can have them put it in a basket. Use tulle to tie up basket or plate after putting in bags or saran wrap. To make it even more special, you can add a couple of tea bags or homemade coffee mix. You can even have the kids add recipes they write out themselves!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (or Apple or Banana muffins)
- 1 box yellow or white cake mix
- 16 oz can pumpkin (or 2 cups applesauce or mashed banana)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mini or regular chocolate chips (you might want to skip the chips for the apple muffins and put in chopped apples, raisins or nuts instead)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put muffin liners in muffin tins (my kids favorite part). Pour the cake mix in a bowl and add the pumpkin and eggs. Mix it with a spoon or mixer until all well combined. Add in the mini chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin cups (about 1/2 full). Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the tops spring back. Makes about 22-24 muffins.
This gift is great not only for teachers but also for relatives like Grandma. You can make this a holiday scrapbook, or gather pictures of everyone in a class for an end of the year scrapbook for a teacher. Another idea would be to make “What we love about Grandma," or "Dad and Me."
- Scrapbook paper (colored on both sides). You can also use construction paper.
- stickers or scrapbook embellishments
- double-sided tape or glue sticks
- hole punch
- Cut Scrapbook paper into 6 x 6 inch squares.
- Put 4-10 pages together and punch 2 holes on one side of each paper.
- Put ribbon through the holes and tie to make the book.
- Kids can use double sided tape or glue sticks to put on pictures and use stickers or other scrapbooking decorations.
- Have the kids write out captions for the pictures in their own handwriting to make this gift especially personal. If kids are making this, they may take a while to finish, but that will make it even more special.