fun and easy kids gifts
Goofy Golf: I purchased an inexpensive children’s golf putter that came with a couple foam balls (on sale at Target) and I am making an assortment of mini golf targets, empty tin cans & oatmeal containers open at both ends, shoeboxes & plastic milk jugs with an arch cut out of both sides/ends, large wrapping paper tubes, animal shapes painted & cutout from cardboard, etc. The cans, containers, boxes, etc. will be covered and decorated with scrapbook paper. My son's own miniature golf course for indoors or out.
Cardboard Castle: We're collecting large boxes (appliance boxes, etc.) to cut and paint to turn into a cardboard castle (you could also do a playhouse or whatever your child is into). When I was looking for ideas I also saw this idea for a small play castle made with toilet paper tubes & paper towel tubes I thought was really cute too.
Cardboard Shield & Sword: Of course if you're going to have a castle you have to have a shield & sword! (And probably a homemade cape too!)
Drive-In Movie: I'm decorating a cardboard box to resemble a car, with paper plate wheels, etc. Then I will put in the box: a kid movie, a tub of popcorn, a box of licorice & some juice packs. Then my son will be able to sit in his car & have his own drive in movie night.
Homemade Puppets & Puppet Theater: Make puppets out of felt, spare socks, whatever craft supplies you've got on hand & a puppet theater out of...what else, a cardboard box. (Or a tension rod & sheet will do nicely too).
Magnet Fishing Game: Make a fishing pole with a dowel and a string, tie a magnet to the end of the string. Cut out fish shapes from either cardstock or fun foam and clip paper clips to the mouth end of the fish (or to make it look nicer, cut out 2 shapes for each fish, sandwich the paper clip between the 2 shapes and glue together, leaving just a small end of the paper clip enough for a magnet to catch onto.) For older children, you can write or paint numbers on the fish to use as points. Object of the game - each player gets 5 casts, after their turn, add up the points of whatever fish they caught & the highest score wins.
Foam Fishing Fun: For a fun bath toy, cut out fish or sea creature shapes from craft foam. Package with an unused aquarium fish net and challenge you child to scoop up all of the fish, say, or everything that's red.
Tic-Tac-Toe-Toss: Whip up several bean bags (simply sew up 3 sides of 2 squares of fabric, insert some beans or I prefer lentils because it makes it more pliable, then sew up the last side.) Purchase a large square of felt (such as 45 inches x 45 inches), with either paint or colored duct tape, make a tic-tac-toe symbol on the felt square. The object of the game is to lay the target on the ground and have the kids stand back a distance according to their age & skill level and toss the bean bags trying to land 3 across.
Merry Music: How about making some homemade instruments, guitars made from shoeboxes & rubber bands, drums made from empty tin cans & a cut balloon streched over top, shakers made from plastic cups taped together with rice inside.
Milk Jug Catch: Decorate a couple empty plastic milk jugs as desired, cut the bottom quarter off each milk carton. The edges will be slightly sharp, so you may want to tape the edges with duct tape. (These come in fun colors at the hardware store, if you're looking to get fancy), add a ball and you have an easy catch game.