Holiday gifts are expensive and if your kids are like mine, they’ll play with something for a few minutes and they’re onto the next toy. This year I’ve come up with some homemade items that won’t break the bank but will hopefully be just as enjoyable as store bought toys.
Take 6 small pop bottles (the size you get out of a vending machine.). Do your best to remove the labels and for any sticky residue try using a product like Goof off. I painted the bottles white to closely resemble bowling pins. You could do anything fun with these, get creative. For a weight bottom, I found craft marbles and filled just a bit on the bottoms of each bottle. This will help them stay up easier to ground them a bit with the weight. Super glue the tops back onto the bottles to ensure that there is no way to be able to get the marbles out. For the ball you could do a few things. Obviously you can just purchase a ball- that works. We ended up taking a smaller rubber ball and wrapping it in a bright colored duct tape, just for something fun and added a bit of weight to the ball. Is it the prettiest, well no, but I hope my kids love it!
By taking small boxes (cereal ones worked best!) and covering them in paper they make great buildings! My son has a train table and we figured these would be fun for him to use on his table. I just took colored construction paper and attached it to the boxes with double sided tape. Once I got everything cut down I drew on windows and doors (you could use more construction paper). We saved up all kinds of different boxes so he’ll have several different sizes. I see this becoming a fun game for him to stack and knock over! And if they break, they are easily replaceable.
This one is SUPER simple. Find pictures online of anything, favorite movies, shows or objects are a great place to start. Print them out and laminate them. If you don’t have a laminator try using packing tape, it will give the same effect. If you want something a bit sturdier, try putting your picture onto a piece of card stock or cardboard to provide extra strength.
Jewelry making kit:
Find large beads at your local craft store and get lots of shapes and colors. I bought a couple bundles of fun yarn and put them in a fun box. My son loves to string things together and in turn my daughter loves to wear jewelry. You could also use pipe cleaners to string beads on and they will be a little easier for younger fingers to navigate.
This one is great for any time of the year, or a stocking stuffer! Take all your left over and broken crayons and shave them down or break them into chunks. Then take a small muffin tin pan that you only use for crafts and put your shavings into the cups (we have these great ice cube molds from Ikea that are fun shapes and will work also!). The recipe I tried calls for an oven at 250 degrees and obviously bake until melted. You can place them in the freezer to set faster if you’d like. These are great for small hands as they are often bigger and you can hold them easier!