How to Create Five Child-Made Holiday Gifts using Items around Your Home

This holiday season, gift-giving may look a little different for families.  Creating a gift with your child for a loved one provides a meaningful and memorable experience while creating something someone else will enjoy.

While creating a gift for another, children build empathy as they think about how their gift will cause someone else to feel.  Additionally, children are provided with the ability to express themselves creatively which often brings an internal joy and sense of accomplishment.

Consider some of the following options for holiday gifts that use materials commonly found in and around your home and enjoy quality time, as you and your child create together!

Nature Ornaments


  • Pinecones, twigs, or acorns collected from outside
  • Felt, yarn, scraps of cloth
  • Hot glue or tacky glue


  1. Decide what you will create (some ideas: winter animals, holiday trees, or snowflakes)
  2. Glue materials to decorate
  3. Set aside to dry





Relaxing Sugar Scrub


  • 16 oz mason or plastic jar (or any other similar size container)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2-4 drops of essential oil (any scent)
  • ¼ cup body wash (similar or complementary scent to the essential oil)


  1. Add sugar, essential oil, and body wash to a bowl and mix
  2. Add mixture to a mason jar and seal
  3. Use as a wash or scrub




Drink Cozies


  • Clean socks (sock missing its pair, this activity is perfect!)
  • Thread and needle or hot glue
  • Buttons or other embellishments


  1. Cut off the bottom half of the sock leaving the neck of the sock.
  2. Either zig zag stitch or hot glue the cut portion so it will not fray
  3. Decorate cozies using buttons or embellishments attach with thread or hot glue
  4. Slip over a cup to use






  • White paper
  • Watercolor paints or food coloring mixed in with water
  • Paintbrush or cotton swabs
  • Ribbon or string


  1. Child paints the paper using the paints
  2. Once dry, cut the paper into 2-inch strips
  3. Hole punch at the top and tie a ribbon or string




Computer Wrist Rest


  • 1-2 pounds of dry rice or beans
  • Gallon size plastic bag
  • Scrap piece of fabric (or old shirt) measuring 14×12”
  • Permanent markers or fabric paints
  • Sewing machine and thread or hot glue gun


  1. Prepare the space to decorate by laying out a piece of cardboard or newspapers
  2. Decorate the fabric using markers or paints and set aside to dry
  3. Pour rice or beans into gallon size bag
  4. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.
  5. Once dry, fold the fabric together with the decorated side on the inside.
  6. Either sew or seal with hot glue the long side and one short side of the fabric
  7. Turn the fabric so the decorated portion is on the outside again
  8. Insert the bag with rice and sew or seal the final side


Want more activity ideas to try with your child? Click here


Age Groups:

Advanced Pre-K

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