Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by Chelsea Morrison. She is a pre-school teacher and mum of three boys.
Sometimes it can feel as though your child is being invited to a different birthday party every weekend. The cost of presents quickly starts adding up, as does the stress of coming up with new and unique gift ideas. And if that wasn’t enough pressure, it is now commonplace to provide party bags, featuring small gifts and tokens of appreciation, if you’re the host!
Present giving can be simplified with a bit of creativity and craftiness. As well as being more cost-effective, getting the kids involved in making gifts for their friends instils valuable lessons around thoughtfulness and generosity. It should never be about the cost of a gift — it’s always the thought that counts! For ideas on DIY gifts for kids, look to the numerous craft blogs or YouTube video tutorials. To get you started, here are five great gift ideas suitable for every occasion.
For Growing Minds
Personalised stationery is a particularly good idea for primary school kids who are learning to write. Letter writing to friends and family is a fun way to practice and quickly improve writing abilities. The birthday child’s parent will thank you for such a gift — it will be a welcome relief from the other noisy toy gifts! On the other hand, if you are the host, personalised labels for kids are a great take-home gift. Your little one’s friends will love stickers with their names on them that can affix to their toys, lunchboxes or anything else!
Homemade games are a great gift idea: The cost is minimal, the gesture is lovely and making gifts at home is a great way to spend time bonding with your child.
Smelly sparkle play dough is a top choice for younger children. Here is a recipe that doesn’t even require cooking:
Combine 2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of salt.
Add 1 cup of water, 2 drops of food colouring and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.
Add 3 tablespoons of glitter, a drop of vanilla essence or a couple drops of fruit-flavoured essential oils. Mix well.
Knead well – if consistency is too wet, slowly add more flour.
Another idea is to make your own board games. For a funky twist on noughts and crosses, collect approximately 24 flat, smooth stones from the garden, river or beach. Paint all of the stones with two different designs (i.e. ladybugs on one side and spiders on the other). For your board, simply utilise an A4/A3-sized blackboard and draw on it with brightly coloured chalk. Too easy!
Glitter shoes are a great gift idea for the girls. Buy plain, cheap flats from a discount shoe store and get creative with fabric paint, glue, diamantes and glitter. An idea for the boys is to turn plain slippers into cool looking cars. Sew on large buttons for wheels and stitch on pieces of felt or coloured material to shape the outline. Visit a $2 shop and your local sewing store for cost-effective craft supplies.
A cute idea for younger children is to make felt hand puppets.
Draw an animal pattern on paper, or print one off the Internet.
Utilising your pattern as a template, cut the required pieces out of the felt.
Blanket stitch the layers together.
Sew on buttons for eyes and wool/ribbon for whiskers. You can get clever and immortalise the birthday boy/girl’s favourite animal or family pet in felt!
Friendship photo frames are a really sweet and simple gift idea. Get crafty with a plain wooden or plastic photo frame, glue, diamantes, paint, glitter and ribbon. You can also very easily fashion your own photo frame out of wood or thick cardboard, or go a little bit crazy and create a whole photo scrapbook. For a personal touch, include a recent picture of your child with his or her bestie.