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Any Ideas on a Christmas Gift That a 3 Year Old Can "Make"?

I'd love to have my kids make something for their grandparents for Christmas...but the oldest is 3. They constantly color pictures for them and make cards so I'm looking for some other ideas...any thoughts? We're already planning to bake cookies...any other ideas? Thanks!

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These are all fantastic ideas! I can't wait to go to the craft store and try some of them. Thank you all so much! Happy Holidays!

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Here's an idea of something I did with my kids a few years back...the grandparents (who we gave them to) loved them!

Here's what you need...

blue ball oraments (plain color)
white paint
paint pens or different color paints
and the note to attach

You paint the childs hand white then gently place the oranment in their hand and let them grab it then when they let go you should see a white handprint. Let it dry. Then when it's dry, each finger is a snowman so you decorate it, I usually do this part, to make it look like 5 snowmen standing together and maybe make some snow coming down around them. Then when you're all finished you attach a note that says...

"These aren't just five snowmen
As anyone can see,
I made them with my hand
Which is a part of me.
Each year when we trim the tree
We'll look back and recall
Christmas of 2008
When my hand was just this small."

I googled it and found a video on YouTube, here's the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weHExt5Aw-k

1 mom found this helpful

this idea comes courtesy of a long time elementary teacher (who happens to be an aunt to my nieces on their other side of the family). She helped them create a reindeer doormat. After buying a plan, cheapie door mat, she had my nieces step in a bowl of waterpaint (or a giant stamp pad will do), and create footprints on the map. Then their aunt drew the remaining parts of the reindeer.

If you go to the Family Fun magazine website, there are a plethora of easy, cute craft ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

Why don't you go to a craft place like Michael's or Hobby Lobby and see if you could purchase an age appropriate kit. They always have such great ideas available, or it may spark an idea of your own. Have fun!

I just did this yesterday with my 3 year old. Michael's stores has a craft ornament kit where you make little picture frames from Christmas trees, sled and snowflakes. Your child's job is to decorate each one - with stickers (comes with in the box). We did this yesterday and we made 16 ornaments to give as gifts - I just had to get wallet size pictures and I glued them in.
Good luck!

I always love handprints in plaster or those plaster kits. Also - "peppermint candy wreath ornaments are fun - just for decoration purposes, not to eat! Use hard red/white candy, place in a wreath-shape circle on lightly greased piece of aluminum foil, giving them a little room between candies so they can spread, bake in oven, watch the candy melt slightly and join together. Take out of oven, take 1/2 of a paper clip and immediately stick in the top of the wreath before they harden. Once hardened, glue a little bow on it. You can also varnish before you add the bow. Good luck.

Check out Family Fun Magazine, they have excellent craft ideas every month.
We also made Tshirts for the grandparents. I had the kids draw a giant red heart with puffy paint and then I painted their hands with whatever color puffy paint they wanted and then put their handprints over the heart edges so it looked like they were holding the heart and then we wrote MY GRANDKIDS HAVE A HOLD ON MY HEART.
We also make Christmas cookies every year and the kids can decorate them anyway they want or use christmas cookie cutters and we hand out tins of homemade cookies to anyone who purchases a gift for my children but I don't "purchase" gifts for them.
Good Luck!

I'm not crafty, so I go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and buy either the wood or ceramic ornaments that need to be painted and have my son go to town. He is also 3.

I also picked up large wooden snow flakes and had him paint one for us and one for his grandparents.

For thanksgiving I found a turkey that he painted. I plan to try to find something for every holiday.

I like the idea of trying a ceramic store. We did a grill plate for my husband for his first fathers day and we plan on going again to make a plate for Santa's cookies.

Good Luck!

Hi T.,
How about Snowman ornaments using your son's hands. We used blue ornaments with white paint. Then black sharpies to draw hats and faces. A "low mess" option is to take clear ornaments and roll the paint inside (a hint: a little paint goes a long way). Or if you have a pottery place near by you could have your older son paint a plate an then at the end put their handprints on it and Grandma could use it each year for something special (rolls, eggs, veggies, etc).
Best wishes for a happy holiday!

Help them make ornaments for the tree. We started this when mine were little and continue it to this day with the grandkids. Easy ones are pinecones....get some elmers glue and toothpicks or popsicle sticks. Have them put glue on the tips of the pinecones using the toothpicks or popsicle sticks (fingers work good too LOL) and then sprinkle glitter on the glue (or you could probably use glitter glue). This way they can make different colors on different tips - and there is no "right or wrong" way of doing it - it's very individual for each boy. Then use string or ribbon at the top to make the hanger. Spray it with hairspray (or finishing lacquer, etc) to hold it and keep it year after year.

Another one is made with popsicle sticks - and make sleds. Lay out 4 and glue them to each other on the sides but make sure the middle 2 are pulled a little up from the two side ones to make it look like a sled. Then tip over 2 more on their sides and glue them to the bottom as the "rudders". You can use one split in half at the top across all 4 of the sled pieces (sorry don't know how else to describe it) and then have the kids paint them whatever color they want. You can use a paint pen to personalize them or put the year on them, and then string or ribbon or yarn to make the holder.
Hope this helps a little.
lia sophia jewelry

Plaster of paris molds of their little hands: Just get the plaster of paris powder from a craft store and follow the directions. You can get stands for then hardened molds so the grandparents can display them. Your little ones can also paint the molds after they are hard. You can also get the "handprints" poem off of the internet (http://www.dltk-holidays.com/dad/mhandprint.html) to give with the molds. You could frame the poem or just have your child color a piece of construction paper and glue the poem to it.

Hand Print T-shirts: As a daycare teacher we did this for all the children in the room as an end of the year project. You can write a saying in puffy paint such as "Grandma's Little Sweethearts" then have your children stamp their hand prints (pairs) around the message. Make sure to write each child's name under the hand prints in puffy paint. This is a keep sake every grandparent will love.

Hand print Christmas wreaths: Cut the middle- the non ridged part - out of 3 paper plates (one for each child). Trace your child's hand on green construction paper, then cut out several copies of this handprint. (You can stack paper and cut many at a time) Then have your child arrange the handprints in a ring (all facing one way) around a paper plate and glue down. Finally add a red ribbon to the top (fabric or traced on paper). Grandparents can save this wreath and hang it every year. Make sure to add the child's name and age to the back.

We've always done crafts from Michael's craft store. They have unfinished holiday wooden decorations that we have helped our son paint. Also, one year I traced his hand on thin green foam and duplicated the trace to make a hand wreath. The grandparents still hang them. Just hot glue some ribbon for a hanging loop and a ribbon bow with a few jingle bells attached to finish it off.

Have fun!

What about making an ornament. You can bake homemade playdough and paint it. Use cookie cutters or creativity and then paint them when they are hard. I used to do it in the classroom, haven't in years, but I know we just used the playdough (flour, salt, oil, cream of tarter) and paperclip for the hanger and then non toxic paints from the classroom. You bake them on REALLY low heat until they are hard and then let the paint air dry. Good luck!!

i am not sure where you live but if you have a michaels or any type of craft store take a walk down those aisles and youll be surprised how many cute cheap things theyll be able to make. they have wooden ornaments to paint or color and put their photo in. bring your coupon.

dear T.,

My daughter just turned 4 and loves to arts and crafts. Here are some of the things she does. I take cookie cutters and trace them on the foam sheets and then cut it out and let her decorate it. Last year we did ginger bread men. We used the little gems for the buttons and puffy paint by tulip to make the while lines. It was a great hit. She also did christmas trees. She took glue and put it on and then put glitter to make garland and then the next day I let her glue different things on the tree to make ornaments. For the wrapping paper I take just white roll paper and let her take the cookie cutters or sponges and dip them in paint and then decorate the paper to wrap it in. We also decorated a canning jar with foam stickers, glitter, the beads with letters and then used one jar as a piggy bank and the other jar we added the dry ingredients to make choc chip cookies. Other wise another idea is to trace their hands and feet and then cut that out and put the toes at the top and then glue the hands behind the toes to make it look like a reindeer. then I let them put their own nose and eyes on them. We use everything from buttons to noodles. Good luck and enjoy, if you need any more ideas let me know.

I just saw this scarf on the Today show this morning. Take a yard of fleece and and cut it into 8 inch strips. Then take some tape as a marker and cut some fringe. Now, I had the idea to get some fabric paint and have my son paint on the scarf. I'm going to make stripes with the tape and have him paint every other one. Your 1 1/2 y.o. could do it too! I think it's a great homemade gift. Grammas will love it! Gotta love Martha Stewart!

If you do any art work with the kids you can make a calendar out of it. Just scan in 12 pictures and find a calendar format, print it out, have it bound at Staple's (or wherever) and you have a great gift. You could also make a collage book out of their art work. Cut up some of their prjects, glue to card stock, laminate and bind it.
Hope that helps!

My 3 year olds loves to draw and paint too. I saw this in some magazine. I am going to take one of pictures print it on the iron on paper and put it on a reusable shopping bags. Most stores sell them for only $1 and it's something useful!

We made stepping stones for all the grandparents last year and had them decorate them with those beads and such. You can just buy a kit and then extra cement or whatever it is in the kid. They loved it and have ALL of them in their front yards around their tree! Can't wait to see other ideas you get.

I have a few ideas. Take an empty soup can and have them cover it with colored paper and decorate it or have them glue buttons on it or decorate it with yarn in different colors or glue a picture of themselves on it. and it can be set near the telephone to be used to store pencils and pens which are so hard to find to take down information when needed.

Take the cardboard from a roll of paper towel and glue paper or cloth around it and decorate it and it can be used to store plastic grocery bags. the grocery bags are rolled up on two fingers and stuffed in the cardboard. It will hold a lot of bags.

Find a cute picture of the boys and make a cardboard frame from colored paper and decorate it and place magnets on the back and it can be placed on the fridge or a file cabinet at work.

If I think of anymore I'll email them to you but these are a start. Good luck!!!!!!

You could make them garden stones. You can pick up the kit at any craft store. Put their name and date, maybe a hand or foot print, let them go to town with the decorative stones.
Or a pottery store. They could make them mugs or plates.
Or you could take all the pictures they draw and turn them into calendars.
Good luck!


I am doing this for my parents this year: White Apron (Joann Fabrics) then paint in green & red handprints from all the grandkids. You could even add to it each year and watch the hands grow!

One year I made a wreath banner for my mother and mother-in-law.

I got a piece of muslin about two or three feet long. I sewed a rod pocket at the top (like for a curtain rod to go through). I hemmed the edges to look nice and keep it from raveling.

Then I got red and green acrylic paint from Walmart for about fifty cents a bottle. Got two different greens. I painted one hand on each grandchild one at a time and had them place their hand print to make a circle on the muslin so it looked like a wreath. I then had each one dip his/her thumb in red paint to place in various places on the wreath to look like berries. Then I used the bottom of one of the bottles dipped in red and green to make Christmas balls on the wreath.

I then used a simple stamp set of letters to stamp Christmas 2005 at the top of the banner.

I outlined the letters and Christmas balls in glitter paint. And I wrote each child's name by one or their hand prints.

I hot glued a pretty glittery ribbon around the edges and a nice glittery poinsetta on each corner.

I placed a wooden dowel (they are less than a $1 at Walmart in different sizes) through the pocket at the top and tied a nice ribbon to each end so that it could be hung on the wall or door.

I bought a small navy colored throw rug at Jewel for about $6. Got white paint at Michael's and poured it on a paper plate. Stood my child in the paint then I picked her up and set her on the rug, along the bottom edge of it. I put her toes closest to the edge of the rug. Then I took the puffy t-shirt paints and made hats, noses, faces, scark, stick arms and turned her footprints into snowmen! I wrote her name and the year on the upper corner and Happy Holidays across the middle of the rug. I took a paint brush dipped in the white and made snowflakes all over. It was cute, my parents still have it.

I found decorative pillows on sale that were plain on at least on side. I used fabric paint to put the kids handprints on them. The grandparents loves them and some keep them out all year, others just at Christmas time.
Have fun!

We do handprint ornaments or wall decorations. 1 small paper plate, mix plaster of paris (buy at a craft store), let set a couple minutes, make a hand print, let harden. Then your child can paint or decorate, too.

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