Easy holiday gifts kids can make

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By GreatSchools Staff

Family photo book

Here's a very personal gift that is fun to assemble. You might gather photos related to a special family gathering or holiday theme. What better present for special friends or relatives to remind them of shared memories?

What you'll need:

  • 2 pieces of cardboard or 4-ply rag board (sold at craft or art supply stores) for covers
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • A hole punch
  • Several pieces of 2-ply rag board for inside pages
  • Several sheets of colored paper
  • Glue stick
  • 1 or 2 pieces of 8-1/2-by-11-inch white paper
  • Assorted photos
  • Ribbon

How to make it:

Decide what size to make the book and measure two pieces of cardboard or 4-ply rag board for the front and back of the book. (A good size to accommodate one photo per page is 5 by 6 1/2 inches.) Cut covers with a craft knife or scissors. Evenly space two holes, using the hole punch, on one edge of the cardboard. Use the 2-ply rag board for the inside pages. Cut these the same size as the outside cover or make them a little smaller. Cut smaller rectangles of colored paper to use as borders for the photos. Glue the colored paper on the rag board and then glue the photos on the colored paper. With the hole punch, make two holes in each page that line up with the holes on the cover. Write captions for the photos on strips of white paper and glue on to the rag board pages. Be sure to identify the people in the photos and put the date on the front or back cover. Thread the ribbon through the holes and make a bow to tie the book together.

Family calendar

With digital photos or your child's drawings, you can make a calendar that will bring joy year-round.

What you'll need:

  • 24 pieces of 8 1/2" by 11" colored paper or card stock
  • A drawing or photo to illustrate each month
  • Printable calendar pages from Microsoft Word or a specialized calendar software program. You can also find free downloadable calendar templates online. Try Time and or Free printable calendar templates from
  • a hole punch
  • colored yarn
  • glue stick
  • ruler

How to make it:

  1. Select a favorite photo or drawing to illustrate each month.
  2. Have your child glue the drawing or photo on to the colored paper or card stock
  3. Mount the calendar page for each month on to a piece of colored paper or card stock
  4. For each month, you can highlight important family dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries, as well as holidays.
  5. With a ruler, measure two inches from each edge at the top of the paper and mark with your pencil.
  6. With a hole punch, make two holes, each one at the two inch mark, as described above.
  7. With the yarn, tie your calendar pages together.

If you have more sophisticated computer-users in your house, and you don't mind spending a small amount of money, you can make a more professional looking calendar by using a calendar program and imported digital photos, such as one of those available through Cottage Arts. You can add your own captions for the photos, too. You can make multiple editions by taking your calendar on CD to a local copy shop.

Comments from readers

"UHm yes great idea s i LUV it but how bout non food gifts Hmmmmm!!!"
"These are great idea's and im a kid aswell and think they easy as pie!!!"
"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)"
"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,"
"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."