Tis better to give than to receive

I like for Lucy to be involved in our gift giving. She has been making and drawing cards for a while but at three she can actually be involved in picking out or making things as well. It can be tricky to find things kids can do where the end result is something a non-grandparent/parent/aunt would like to receive though. Here are a few of our favorites -


A great birthday gift, just use your favorite homemade recipe. You could even have your child pick out a few  printable playdough mats to laminate and include with it.

Play silks:

 I always buy a couple extra silks when I place an order (I use these - the 30x30 or 35x35 silk scarves). Then when we need a gift, Lucy can pick out what color(s) of dye (kool-aid) she thinks that child will want and help me dye them. We started by using this tutorial but I've found the crock-pot makes it even easier. Start it all with tap water so its safe for little stirrers, heat it up in the crock pot until silk is dyed and water is clear and then turn it off and let it cool. Once its safe to handle, let them take over again and help you rinse it.

Wooden Toys:

Lucy painted a couple of these stackers for Jonah's birthday present. They take watercolor quite well (either premade liquid watercolor or some regular watercolors diluted in a couple tablespoons of water). I did the prep work ahead of time, just a bit of sanding to smooth out the rough edges, then set out one color and one piece at a time so she really couldn't mess it up. When she is older, I might give her more freedom but I didn't want to end up with a rainbow of browns.  After they dried she helped me wax them with a beeswax rub we had but you could probably just use a bit of olive oil. So lovely and not too expensive. The shipping does add to the cost but if you purchase several items at a time it is quite reasonable. That same etsy shop also has pep people, bowls and acorns and I think it would be fun to put together a color matching set of either bowls and acorns or pegs and pots. Or if your kids are older and more artistic, how cute is this Noah's Ark set?!

Baked Goods:

Our librarians, mail-woman and trash pick-up guys will all be receiving a plate and a card from Lucy next month. We've also made treats for friends that have gotten hurt or just because. Do make sure they don't have allergies or health issues. When I was about five or six years old, we would make cookies for the little old lady who lived across the street quite regularly. It wasn't until later we learned that she was diabetic and couldn't eat them but was afraid to tell us because she thought we would stop visiting! We didn't stop visiting, we just stopped giving her cookies she had to throw out. But it also illustrates an important point - I remember her! I don't remember her name but I remember her and visiting with her and the blue teddy bear she made me. This isn't busy work or going through the motions, it really makes an impact!


I'm not sure if we will ever get sick of rolling beeswax candles. Lucy loves to make these and so do I. It's cathartic. And I don't like most scented candles but natural beeswax candles smell so nice (and subtle!) and burning them at dinner seems to calm everyone down. A good gift for adults who like your children but need something more than fridge art. There are kits on etsy and different stores but I bought supplies here, both individual color sheets and the medium brood foundation for natural color so we could make a variety of different sizes. I cut the sheets then Lucy cuts the wick to the right length. I start the candle so the wick is wrapped tight enough but she rolls the rest and presses the seam. Every once in a while it starts to get crooked and I help her out but she really can do most of it herself and they still look very pretty. We are using candles she rolled for our advent wreath this year and I think they are so much better looking that your standard taper candle.

That's all I've got. What kind of presents do your kids like to give to others?

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