Written by: Jen Block
Giving is an important skill for children to learn. Many are used to receiving, but due to limited funds rarely get the chance to give gifts of their own. There are many things your children can make for loved ones for the holidays. Here are a few that are easy to assemble:
Turn hand-print gifts into a family tradition. Give them to your parents every holiday season or birthday. Squirt fabric paint onto a paper plate. Lay out your fabric of choice on a piece of cardboard. Press your hand into the paint, press it onto the fabric to leave your hand print behind. Decorate further with fabric markers. Make sure to write the year or your age somewhere on it so you parents can look back on it which will bring a smile to their faces.
Dish towels, hand towels, T-shirts and napkins work well for hand-print crafts. Make wall plaques with circles of craft wood. Paint the wood a solid color first then put your hand print in the center. Attach a picture hook to the back. Glue your picture under the hand print and seal in clear gloss.
Polar or micro-fleece is easy to work with because it requires no sewing. Make a fleece throw with two same-size rectangles of fleece. Cut 1-inch pieces of fringe all around the outside edges of both pieces. Lay on top of each other then tie each piece of fringe on one fleece rectangle to the corresponding fringe on the other fleece rectangle. Continue until all the fringe is tied.
Use the same method to make throw pillows. Cut two pieces of fleece 4 inches larger than a pillow form on all sides. Place the pillow between the two layers of fleece and tie the fringe together, securing the pillow inside.
Help your parents set the table. Paint designs onto card stock, then cover both sides with clear contact paper. Cut out with decorative edge scissors into place mats or coasters.
One of the most satisfying and self-esteem building activities your child can participate in is creating gifts for others. They will gain a great sense of satisfaction from making presents for younger siblings, cousins and neighbors. The secret to making this experience fulfilling is making sure that the projects you choose to help children make are easy enough to complete without frustration.
Bio: Jen Block is the Associate Director at Camp Sewataro. She herself was a camper and Waterfront staff member in the 80s. She returned to Sewataro in 2007 and now her daughter is sharing in the Sewataro experience.