We all want to give thoughtful gifts, but we also want to avoid cluttering both our own homes as well as those of friends and relatives. This can make it hard to find meaningful holiday or Christmas gifts from toddlers to give. Never fear though —we've been making a list, checking it twice, and we've come up with some Santa-mental DIY gifts from toddlers that are more than just nice!
Handprint and Footprint Gifts
These are my absolute favorite items to receive! I have a growing collection of these crafts that my boys have put together for me each year and they truly make me smile every time I see them.
Best of all, making these can be a festive activity for your kids to enjoy while they are on winter break. You can DIY these gifts at home, or better yet, go to your local paint-your-own-pottery shop and put the mess and most of the work on someone else's plate!
Some awesome handprint and footprint DIY gifts from toddlers include:
- Jewelry dishes
- Framed pictures
Some of my favorite designs are handprint reindeer, footprint mistletoes and bells, and using either a handprint or footprint to serve as the letter "O" in the word "JOY." You can also change up the theme if you want to gift these for Mother's Day, Granpdarent's Day, or any other occasion.
Similar to the handprint and footprint gifts, another great preschool Christmas gift for parents is a fingerprint frame that features an adorable photo of the toddler with their parents. To complete this toddler gift, simply have them dip their fingers in various colors of paint and dab them all along the panels of the frame. Then, parents can turn these fingerprints into a string of lights using black paint.
Custom Tote Bag
Every parent needs something to cart the many things they need for their tots, so a custom tote bag is the perfect gift for parents on the go! For this DIY gift from toddlers, all you need is a light-colored canvas tote, some Pentel Arts Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks, and an iron to set the design. Some stencils can also be fun for the less experienced artists in your family.
Once they draw their design, parents just need to lay soft paper over the design and iron it. The heat will set the image allowing the bag to be thrown in the wash whenever it needs a little TLC!
The dye sticks are listed for children three years and older, so some supervision is required for the drawing portion craft if younger tots are doing it.
If your toddler is hoping to give a gift to the plant lover in your family, this can be a thoughtful choice. Just snag a plastic terrarium, some potting soil, small indoor plants, pebbles, and any decorative elements that they think will look good.
PBS Kids has an awesome instructional video that shows how to put this preschool gift together!
These are another one of my favorite gifts! Our kids grow up so terribly fast, especially in their younger years, which means every few months the photos you have up need to be updated.
Photo gift companies like Shutterfly and VistaPrint have so many fun gift options to choose from. When making these types of gifts, I select a myriad of photos and then I let my toddler decide on the gift, the design, and which photos will be printed on them.
For recipients who have a big home, any gift is perfect, but for those with less space, we love to give:
- Photo magnets for the fridge
- Custom playing cards
- Photo puzzles
All of these items get used regularly, making them a great DIY gift from toddlers!
Another way to personalize this toddler gift is to allow your toddler to fully control their photo selection — let them plan a photo shoot! They can pick their outfit, the location, and props. Once you get all the shots, let your tot pick out their favorites to print!
Holiday Box Sign
For those parents like myself who are a sucker for box signs, this can be a fun and festive gift for toddlers to give! To craft this Christmas gift, simply head to your local hobby store, and snag a blank box sign, some holiday stickers, and any other add-ons you want for your sign. Next, decide on a design and let your toddler get to work. Parents can always add words and names after the decorating is done!
If you have a Cricut or Silhouette, this can be a super simple sticker-style craft that will end up looking professionally made!
Smart Phone Cases
This is another super easy gift that will get tons of use! Print out a bunch of wallet-sized or smaller photos and purchase a clear phone case. Then, pick up a small paintbrush, Modge Podge, and scissors from your local craft store. Have your toddler lay out their design and make sure that everything fits. If not, cut the photos down to a smaller size.
Next, remove the photos and apply the Modge Podge to the exterior side of the phone case. Then, layer your photos on the surface, pressing them lightly to adhere them to the case. When everything is in place, allow it to dry for a few hours, and then apply a second layer of Modge Podge overtop to seal the surface.
Cup of Cheer
We all love sweet treats at the holidays (or any time if we're being honest), but if you're a parent, you know where those little hands have been (or you can at least guess). This makes handmade food items a no-go for a present, but that doesn't mean that your kids can't share something to indulge the sweet tooth as a present.
For this gift, head to your local dollar store and pick out some cute holiday mugs and ribbon. Next, run by the grocery and grab a box of hot chocolate packets, a package of candy canes, and some individually packaged holiday marshmallows. Then, have your toddlers fill each of the mugs with the individually packaged ingredients and tie on a bow!
You can also pair this gift with gingerbread cookies and even wrap your mug in a sweater. Yes, they do make adorable sweaters for mugs! Once assembled, these can make for a great germ-free gift that takes minimal time to put together.
Spring is just around the corner, which makes custom flowerpots a useful Christmas gift toddler can make on their own! It also makes a cute gift for Mother's Day or Easter. All you need is a plain terra cotta flower pot, paint, brushes, and some butcher paper, to limit the mess! Let your little ones decorate to their heart's content. Once done, head over to any store that sells plants and find something to fill their creation with.
Decorative Holiday Baskets
This was a fun tradition that my family always enjoyed making during the holidays when we were kids. To create your holiday baskets, you must first head to your local craft store and pick up some supplies:
- Fake Christmas or holiday-themed decor
- Hunter green or red crinkle-cut paper
- Pine cones (if you do not live in an area where nature provides them for free)
Once you have all your supplies, the assembly is up to your toddler! They can decorate the baskets as they see fit. Fill up the base with crinkle paper, wrap ribbon around the handle, and fill the interior with fun Christmas or holiday decor. This can serve as a great centerpiece for the dinner table or you can use it as a fun way to gift one of the other presents on this list!
These baskets are great for family and friends, but they can also make fun teacher gifts as well! Just add in some sweet holiday treats and a card and your toddler will bring an A+ grin to their teacher's face!
Gifts Toddlers Can Make Are Sweet & Meaningful
While receiving a sweater or book is always nice, the best presents have some real meaning behind them. These holiday or Christmas gifts toddlers can make are not only thoughtful, but they can serve as great activities for your toddlers to enjoy. They can create fantastic learning moments — teaching them the importance of kindness and generosity towards others.