Need a few Christmas-is-almost-here gifts for little ones? Here's a selection of options you crafty wizzes (et al.) can whip up on the quick. Bonus points that they'll be handmade with love (also speed!).
Some require sewing skills, some do not, and some require no crafting abilities whatsoever! Hooray!
Simply click on the title for a link to the full tutorial. (Some of the ones toward the end don't have their own tutorial if they're really easy to figure out!)
100% wool yarn, roll it up, and then treat it the way you're not supposed to treat wool to felt it on up into durable wool balls. All you'll need is time to wind, plus a hot dryer or hot water and soap, or both. If your kids (or pets) get bored with throwing them around, toss them into your clothes dryer for good as an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softeners.
Make jewelry for a nursing mama to wear that's safe for a baby to tug. These easy bead-and-fabric necklaces also work well as a gift for little kids in child-appropriate fabrics.
sturdy fleece for a practically-no-sew mini mei tai.
If you want to carry your baby yourself instead, use this no-sew fleece mei tai tutorial, or this tutorial for sewing a fabulous mei tai that you'll use and love for years.
Make beanbags to tossYou can sew up beanbags for a special little one right quick. All you need is any fabric, preferably something heavy-duty, such as leftover fleece. For filling, I chose poly pellets (from Michael's), but you can use actual dried beans, rice, lentils, beads, pebbles, etc. Sew two layers of squares (right sides together) almost all the way, turn right side out, fill with your "beans," then sew up the opening. If you want your beanbags to be prettier, sew a design on one of the squares first.
For extra credit, make a target for throwing.
Be very sure about sewing thoroughly, or use an inner bag for the beans for extra certainty. Don't give beanbags to any children under three without constant supervision, in case one bursts unexpectedly.
Create some sensory tar pitsMake some flubber and pop it into an air-tight container. Include some mini animals (Party City or the thrift shop will have cheapies), vehicles, or tools to play with it. If you go for a dinosaur theme, you can call them Tar Pits. The kids will figure out the rest.
Put together sorting cupsChoose little cups or containers plus a variety of colorful objects for sorting activities: by color, by size, by shape, by kind. Remember, these tiny pieces are appropriate only for children over three or whenever they stop putting things in their mouths.
Make a magnifying bagMagnifying glass + small, detailed objects (coins, shells, beads) = easy and fun lesson in observation. (Only for children over three.)
Encourage your beginner sewer with a sewing kitEmbroidery hoop, holed non-adhesive shelf liner, yarn, darning needle, placed into a sweet little bag
Assemble a crafting kitStickers + crayons + paper = transportable crafting.
Sew a travel marble gameServing Pink Lemonade's marble game is an easy sew-up project.
Make a necklace kitCut up colorful straws or gather some beads or pasta, and pop in some yarn for necklace stringing. You can tape the ends of the yarn to make it easier for little hands to thread the beads.
Create texture cards
As do yarn and feathers, textured stickers, and pop-up paint.
Craft stores also sell special textured papers that are really fun!
Make shapes with popsicle sticks
Then connect them to make shapes and letters!
Collect a bean sensory kit
Parents need presents, too!If you need something special for a mama in your life, I'd also like to ever so humbly recommend one of my books: Poetry of a Hobo Mama and The Natural Parent's Guide to Babywearing. Both are available as ebooks, so it's easy-ship!
What are your favorite go-to holiday gifts? Any fabulous crafts you're scurrying to complete by Christmas Eve? (Good luck!)