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Easy holiday gifts kids can make

Whether it's a family photo book or a batch of freshly baked cookies, a homemade gift truly comes from the heart. Try these simple and fun projects with your child.

By GreatSchools Staff

'Tis the season when children make their holiday wish lists and check them twice. An important part of the season is experiencing the joy of giving as well as receiving. What better way to teach that lesson than by helping your child make his own gift? With these gift projects, he'll be doing something creative and productive with his free time during the holiday season while practicing his math and writing skills, too. Friends and relatives will no doubt appreciate these homemade, heartfelt gifts.

Hot chocolate in a jar

When your child makes this gift, she'll be using math and writing skills to measure the hot chocolate, measure and cut a fabric scrap, and write a personal holiday message.

What you'll need:

  • Small glass jar (baby food size)
  • 1 serving of hot cocoa mix
  • About 1/4 cup of small marshmallows
  • 4-inch or larger fabric scrap (depending on the size of your jar)
  • 18" length of ribbon
  • Glue
  • Hershey Kiss candy
  • Small wrapped candy cane
  • Holiday card

How to make it:

Clean the jar and dry it well. Measure a one-cup serving of the hot cocoa mix into the jar. Fill the jar to the top with small marshmallows. Count them to see how many you used. Cut the fabric scrap into a circle. Center the fabric circle on top of the jar lid. Tie the ribbon around the edge. Glue the Hershey Kiss on top of the fabric cover. Glue the candy cane to the side of the jar. Write a personal note and draw a candy cane or other holiday symbol on the card. Include simple directions like the following: "Here's a little gift to warm you up on a cold afternoon. Simply pour this jar of cocoa mix into a mug filled with 6 to 8 oz. of hot water. Top with marshmallows and drop in the Hershey Kiss. Stir with the candy cane and enjoy!"

Cinnamon roll Christmas tree

Thanks to a GreatSchools member who sent this easy and festive holiday recipe.

What you'll need:

Two cans (small size) refrigerator biscuits
cinnamon sugar (add ½ tsp. cinnamon to ¼ cup sugar)
¼ cup margarine (or softened butter)
1/2 cup raisins or dried cherries (if desired)
¼ cup melted margarine or butter
rolling pin
cookie sheet
non-stick spray

How to make it:

Preheat the oven according to the package directions. Bring both cans of biscuit dough to room temperature (makes rolling the dough easier). Form each batch of dough into a ball. (Try not to knead the dough too much as it will make it tough.)

On a lightly floured board, roll each ball of dough out flat, about a 1/4 inch thick, into a rectangle. Spread a little margarine (or softened butter) and lightly sprinkle some or all of the cinnamon sugar (depending on your taste) all over the biscuit dough. Top with the raisins (or other dried fruit). Start at one end and roll the filled dough jelly-roll style into a log and pinch to seal the seam. Cut each filled roll into 8 cinnamon rolls and lay them on the cookie sheet.

Brush a little melted margarine (or butter) on top of each roll. Bake according to package directions. After the rolls have cooled, shape them into a Christmas tree and put colored plastic wrap over them.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

12/21/2009:
"UHm yes great idea s i LUV it but how bout non food gifts Hmmmmm!!!"
01/2/2009:
"These are great idea's and im a kid aswell and think they easy as pie!!!"
12/23/2008:
"wow the hot chocolate is a great idea. and also i am a kid and even i find it easy to make. thats a very good thing. keep up the good work. Happy Holidays! Anonymous :0)"
12/7/2006:
"I thought this artice was great. I printed several different gift/crafts for our two youngsters to make. thanks a bunch and we will have fun making them,"
11/14/2005:
"I think it is wonderful that these ideas have been shared with us. I have a first grader who loves to create things and give them to loved ones. Lori A."
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