As crafters and art-makers with your kids, we can’t help but have a soft spot for homemade gifts (or at least gifts with a personal touch). Nothing brings our staff more joy than watching the pride on a child’s face as they make a sweet gift for their loved one!

While we will be having MANY (and I do mean many) Christmas crafting days here for both our preschool students and our drop-in childcare kids at Austin Kid’s Retreat, we wanted to give you some ideas on things you can create at home with your child to gift. Does your Elf on the Shelf have you feeling so over being creative?

Austin Kids Retreat has you covered!

First – check out these 24 Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas and take the hard work out of making Christmas magic. Two – we have put together a list of creative craft ideas that have a touch of homemade but can be ordered to completion! OR follow Austin Kid’s Retreat on Facebook for announcements on specific Christmas ornament/gift crafting days so we can do the hard work for you!! 

A little note about this article:

We’ve included ideas that can be adapted based on the child’s age (for example drawings can be substituted by handprints or footprints for little’s too young to draw – and drawings can be more complex for older kids or perhaps instead of drawing they compose a thoughtful note of love and gratitude! Learn more about how we practice thankfulness and gratitude here. ) Enjoy!

.

.

Personalized Gift Ideas (from Kids): 

Handprint Apron

For the grillmaster, chef, or baker in your life create your own special apron! “Helping hands” or get creative with a custom design (Christmas tree hands or a Christmas wreath, use the fingers to create a Hannukah menorah and thumbprints for the flames). Change up the final look by buying an apron that already has a cute saying on it and then decorating that!

.

.

Red Truck Christmas Ornament

Here’s a great way to share your favorite memories of your child or Holiday Card! Print off a custom little license plate to glue onto the ornament and add the year in there! Encourage your child to paint the truck and assist in gluing this cute ornament craft project together! This is the perfect inexpensive gift that your child can make MANY of to gift to your large family!

Bonus point: Maybe you already have a bought gift or have decided to gift something else on this list as your main present. Use this sweet ornament in place of a card when wrapping your present!

.

.

Artistic Golf Balls

Here’s to the golf-lover in your life never mistaking their ball again! This is a great and easy craft that can be tailored to any age! Gift as is or pair these sweet artistic golf balls with some great golf accessories!

.

.

Custom Art Yeti

Immortalize your child’s artwork on a useful gift sure to be well-loved for years! Find a local shop that can custom etch Yeti’s. We recommend this Austin local brand (just order online and either pick-up or they ship all over!) > www.perfectetch.com 

.

.

DIY Lego Tray

Kid to kid gifting! Don’t forget cousins on the list – either DIY your own box or buy a wooden ottoman tray. Encourage your child to get creative and paint the tray with some artistic flair! Use stickers or stencils to add a custom name and glue on a Lego plate. Up the complete look of this gift by including a little lego set to go with!

.

.

Customized Cutting Board

Little kids can draw on a cutting board with a pencil and have their design overlayed and burnt. Older kids can try their hand at wood etching themselves – thus incorporating the T that stands for Technology in STEAM learning! As childcare experts we love the idea of crafting something that will develop a new skill set, expand creativity in a new medium, and gift something heartfelt! Whether it’s a drawing, a recipe, or a note this creative gift is an exciting new way to personalize something useful!

These wood burners are inexpensive on Amazon. Make sure if you’re using this board as a cutting board you use the right wood and seal it appropriately. Home Depot outlines how to DIY your own cutting board here.

Hint: Writing out a famous family recipe? Gift the recipe item WITH the board for an extra sweet gift!

.

.

Double Duty

Gift a custom mug PLUS use it as a planter to give some great herbs! This gift gives back twice and allows your childs development to be challenged into being creative in multiple ways – from designing the mug to the art of gardening!

Hint: Here are some steps on how to make that sharpie design wash proof!

.

.

DIY Bath Bomb

STEAM learning at it’s finest- this project lets your child be scientific in their measurements and artistic in their design! Let your child’s inner scientist emerge as you create custom colorful bath bombs! Fun for any age or gender – customize this gift by changing colors to reflect the person you’re gifting, or keep it neutral with Christmas or Hannukah colors! Give a surprise and hide something fun in the bath bomb! See a full tutorial here!

.

.

DIY Clay Coasters (Or ornaments…or Keychains)

Create a simple classy gift design with simply creating the clay and stamping letters into this gift or add a sweet child’s touch by giving them a toothpick and asking them to draw a design or write a brief note into these DIY coasters. For younger children, consider making a fingerprint snowman in the coaster design! Challenge your child to be artistic as they choose to be creative from the shape of the coaster to what it says!

See the full tutorial here.

HINT: Add a small hole near the top to turn these coasters into ornaments! Or shrink the design down, keep is skinny and add a hole to make a great keychain.

.

.

Soap It Up

Customize this gift to the receiver! Men and women alike all use soap, so why not create something special with your child and make a custom little science experiment in soap making. Degree of difficulty can vary based on age. Not only that but creating custom soaps could become their first experience at creating a product to start their own peer-to-peer business! Again here is a great activity that incorporates the science of soap making with the important creative side of the brain!

Get inspired by all the creative soaps featured here 

.

.

.

And there you have it! 10 great creative ideas you can do with your child to gift for the holidays this year! The best part is that all these gifts are useable and work with any gender/age/aesthetic. As one of Austin’s best childcare centers, with a focus on STEAM child development, we can’t help but love all the opportunities to use the many aspects of STEAM in creating these custom gifts.

Want more STEAM in your life? Check out these great STEAM gifts we pointed out on Black Friday! While the sales may not be active anymore, the value of the toys selected on this list remain the same!

.