Boyish Charm

29 Free Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids

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There’s a Christmas carol Bing Crosby recorded that says, “Christmas is a coming…I don’t need to worry, and I don’t need to fret, and the more you give at Christmastime the more you get!”

Sounds great, huh? Unless you’re the one who wants to give more and the budget says no. Then it can be hard not to fret. But you can still give. There are all sorts of thoughtful handmade gifts that can be put together with items most of us have around the house. A little imagination and ingenuity goes a long way with kids. Use this list as a jumping off point for creating some Christmas magic and when your gifts are ready, wrap everything. Presentation ramps up the excitement!


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1. Make a fort kit which includes an old sheet, clothes pins, a flash light and a treat.

2. Kids love to pretend. Fill a box or old suitcase with clothing items and hats that you no longer wear. Include homemade animal masks, superhero capes, crowns, etc.

3. Modge podge comic pages or pretty paper napkins on empty tin cans to create storage sets for a desk or dresser.

4. Have a much-loved book that has loose pages? Choose a favorite picture in the book and frame it for bedroom or playroom wall art.

5. Open up cardboard cereal boxes. Glue a fun magazine picture on the flat pieces. Cut it into puzzle pieces.

6. A large cardboard box can be transformed into all sorts of fun. A utility knife, markers and paint will work wonders creating a rocket ship, car, castle or grocery store.

7. Usually we teach our kids what we know. So trade skills with another mom/dad. Hold a set of mini-classes and teach each other’s kids a new skill they might be excited about.

8. Put together a crafting kit with bits and pieces of colorful ribbon, paper, feathers, stickers, sequins, beads and buttons.

9. Playing office or teacher is popular with little ones. Paper, washable markers, clips and envelopes seem important when they’re in a mini-briefcase you make from a cereal box.

10. Look up simple science experiments and make a science kit with items from your kitchen. Beans, avocado pits and rock candy are examples of things to grow.

11. Create homemade variety packs of slime, playdough, goop, etc.

12. Make piggy banks (or bird banks, house banks, car banks) with an embellished Mason jar or newspaper mache. Put a few pennies in.

13. Paint chip sample cards make great matching games.

14. Have orphan socks or gloves? Make puppets, stuffed animals or stick ponies.

15. Print and cut out free paper dolls or action figures.

16. Melt broken crayons, pour into cookie/candy molds for fun shapes. Use free printable coloring pages for a personalized coloring book to go with them.

17. Tin cans, nuts, bolts and odds and ends are just what you need for a make-your-own robot kit.

18. Create a family of finger puppets with fabric/felt scraps.

19. Decorate empty candy tins. Make pocket-sized games (Tic-Tac-Toe) or a mini house or garage.

20. Decorate wood clothespins or pegs to make pint-sized dolls, superheroes or favorite story characters.

Give your kids certificates:

21. Stay up as late as you’d like.

22. No need to clean your room this week.

23. Extra television time.

24. No chores today!

Or how about a promise note for a fun experience:

25. If you live near a university, go enjoy barnyard animals and call it Farm Day.

26. A trip to the library every week for a month. Check out free movies.

27. Picnic in a special spot with favorite food.

28. Home spa/bubble bath treatment.

29. Go star gazing. Do a little research on the night sky so you can point out features.

Create the perfect holiday craft with these great sources gathered by the crew at Spaceships and Laser Beams.

Check out more great gift ideas perfect for boys.

Plus, don’t miss 13 Christmas Crafts for Kids

Christmas Crafts For Kids

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Stephanie Keeping

Stephanie is in love with a boy named Sam. He has taught her that it's okay to jump first and look later, to wear a dirty shirt to the park and to decide that today is a good day to take a nap in your rubber boots. She hangs out here blogging at Spaceships and Laser Beams and at our printable party shop on Etsy.