My daughters are adults and have been for several years, but right
here on my desk I have a not-quite-symmetrical heart-shaped clay
bowl that holds my paper clips. Its not as smooth as a store-bought
container, but it was made by Ellen when she was ten years old.
I also have an ivy plant in a pot fashioned from a liter bottle
created by Polly when she was in the third grade. Of course, I cherish
I would guess that there are lots of these children-made gifts
resting with pride on the desks of parent, odd little objects that
will never get anywhere near the trash.
Urging your kids to make gifts for others has many advantages.
It fosters creativity, encourages good use of their time, makes
them think of othersand possibly saves money.
The possibilities for hand-crafted gifts are endless and books
on the subject are easy to check out at any of the eight branches
and bookmobile of the Springfield-Greene County Libraries.
Who wouldnt want to receive a child-made frame? And getting
a photo of the kid tucked inside is a real bonus to a friend or
Your Own Fun Frames! by Matt Phillips gives 25 ideas,
all starting with a simple cardboard base.
Your kid will need help with the tools, but Build-Your-Own
Birdhouse 1-2-3 by Kimberly Weinberger features clear
directions and illustrations. Crayon soap, lollipop soapeven
bubble bath, Totally
Cool Soapmaking for Kids by Marie Browning is good clean
fun. Most of the projects use slivers of leftover soap.
Crocheting and knitting is even cool with teens these days. Even
boys are doing it. The drawstring purse featured in Kids
Knit! by Sarah Bradberry is nifty as are the space balls
by Jane Davis.
to Make for Your Favorite Grownup by Kathy Ross gives
instructions for making a wide range of projects, such as Napkin
Flower Pot, Rope Trivet, Necktie Pencil Can, Hanging Potpourri Holder
and Expandable Map Holder.
If its pretty things youre after, you cant go
wrong with Christmas Crafts: Fun, Fancy Gifts to Make and
Give, an American Girl Library book. Ideas for gifts include
beaded boxes, magical wands, angel kisses and Christmas coasters.
There are many more craft books where these came fromthe
shelves of your local library.