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Teachers, neighbors, or friends, it doesn’t matter who is on your list, these DIY gifts are great for kids to make.
Making gifts with your kids for the neighbors is a creative and thoughtful way to foster community connections and spread joy. Here are some easy and fun DIY gift ideas you can make with your kiddos to show appreciation.
From simple crafts to homemade treats, these gifts will surely brighten up your neighbors day.
Crafts are a fun way to spend quality time with the kids.
Here are some simple craft ideas that you and the kids can make to give this holiday season.
Jingle Bell Door Ornament
I did not know what to call this, I made it up.
My husband’s grandpa moved into an assisted living home, years ago.
I wanted to help him make friends and spread holiday cheer.
We made one of these for each of the residents, so they are inexpensive and Gramps was losing some of his motor skills, so they are easy.
Get glitter pipe cleaners (the longer the better) and medium sized “jingle bells.”
Twist 2 different colors of the pipe cleaners loosely together to form a nice pattern.
For example silver and blue or red and gold.
“Thread” three to five jingle bells on to the pipe cleaner strand.
Connect the ends to form a ring.
The ring goes around the door knob.
You may have to add pipe cleaners to make long enough.
We adore snowflakes in our home and have been making then since the boys were very young. Every year we hang them in the living room so it “snows’ in Arizona on Christmas.
I talk about this tradition and others that are special in our family in “10 Family Traditions to Create Deeper Connections” be sure to download yours!
If your child is older, have them fold their square paper into triangles, then cut along the folded edges to create unique patterns.
If the child is younger, you can create the snowflake and have the child color or decorate it with glitter.
Self -Esteem Boosting
Positive Affirmations for kids
There are 36 heart cut outs.
- You can choose the ones you love and use one ach day of the month.
- Each one starts with Today... to center your child on what to focus on this day.
- Example: Today... I am good at solving problems
36 Self-Esteem Boosting Positive Affirmations
Popsicle Stick Snowmen
These are cute.
These can be made and added to family gift packages as the child’s contribution.
Glue popsicle sticks together to form the body and head of the snowman.
Wait for the glue to dry and paint the snowman white.
Add two small circles for eyes and a triangle for the nose.
(Impromptu mini geometry lesson!)
Ornaments practically scream Christmas.
I love Christmas ornaments.
There are a variety you can make with the kids.
These are the easiest DIY ornaments, in my opinion.
At your hobby store get the fillable plastic ornaments.
Kids can drip paint inside to create creative and fun patterns.
The ornaments can be filled with endless options like: dried flowers, buttons, fake snow, rubber band bracelets, ribbon, etc.
Do people still collect random buttons?
I do, but have no idea why!
For this craft, I would head to the fabric store or scour the 2nd hand stores to find unique and fun buttons.
You will need popsicle sticks, buttons and glue.
Glue the popsicle sticks into a snowflake , (or multi pronged star).
Then glue the buttons onto the popsicle sticks.
Salt Dough Ornaments
This is what most people think of when they think of DIY Christmas ornaments. These can be made into any shape, painted, and hung.
I did some Charlie Brown themed ones when I was a kid that I still have!
Because they can be made into any shape, they can easily reflect what is important to your child or big events that happened that year.
You can also create a unique shape to reflect something special about each neighbor.
There are lots of recipes for this dough on the internet, so find the one that you like, just be sure to read the reviews.
It seems everyone is on some type of diet restriction.
I am hesitant to give food at the holidays, however, it is the traditional gift.
It is also one of the easiest to make in bulk.
A Home Cooked Meal
Cooking a meal for your neighbor is a thoughtful gesture that they will truly appreciate. If you are cooking individual meals, you can tailor make the to the dietary needs of each neighbor.
The obvious downside of this gift is it is expensive if you have several neighbors.
Kids will love helping in this process and this teaches them to go the extra mile and think of others especially during the holiday season.
The Cookie Plate
I adore the cookie plate.
I love meeting with girlfriends and doing a cookie exchange so we can create cookie plates with lots of different goodies on our plates.
Do you remember Forest Gump?
I think that the cookie plate is a lot like the proverbial box of chocolates, you try all different kinds in search of the best.
The end message, regardless of so many not eating sugar or flour, kids love making cookies.
Some of my fondest snacking memories include ChexMix.
When “gluten free became a big deal, this popular mix was made with just the seasoning, cereals, and nuts and was still scrumptious.
Of all of the holiday treats given to the neighbors, this is the one that is most budget friendly and multi-diet conscious. It can be gluten free and sugar free.
Mason Jar Gifts
There are a ton of different ways to give a sweet in a mason jar.
If this idea interests you, google it or look it up on pinterest.
Find a fun mix: hot chocolate, soup, cookies, snack mix, brownies, dog treats, etc.
Fill the mason jar. If the ingredients lend themselves to it, layer artistically.
Attach a cute label with preparation instructions.
The holidays can be stressful.
Giving the gift of tranquility and peace is always welcome.
Here are some gifts that give your neighbor the feeling of going to the spa.
The holidays can bring tension.
Help your neighbors relax by making soothing bath salts.
Your kids can choose calming scents from essential oils to mix with epsom salt.
Winter often brings rough, dry, chapped skin. Give the gift of healthy, glowing skin with a sugar scrub. Combing granulated sugar with coconut oil and essential oils to make a gently exfoliating scrub.
Aromatherapy Rice Bags
At the end of the day, your neigh boss can put their feet up with an aromatherapy rice bag to sooth their shoulders and neck.
Fill a small fabric bag with rice and a few drops of essential oils.
Heat the bag in the microwave for a soothing, scented compress.
Fill small bags of fabric with dried herbs like lavender, chamomile, or rose petals. These can be used to give clothes a fresh smell when placed in drawers.
Made with Love
These are crafts that are not quite as easy to make as the Simple Crafts, but do not “fit” in any of the other categories. They are all DIY and budget friendly.
Handmade Greeting Cards
Simply tell the neighbors to have a fabulous holiday season.
Just tell them on a beautifully crafted card made by you and the kids.
Your kids can create colorful personalized messages.
Encourage them to draw pictures or write kind messages what will bring a smile to your neighbors’ faces.
Hand Painted Rocks
I love kindness rocks.
Find smooth rocks and paint them with colorful designs and/or positive messages.
You could even do Santa, holly, snowflakes, or other seasonal images if you are really artistic!
Useful gifts are always welcome.
Purchase plain wooden or cork coasters.
Your children can decorate them with paint or markers.
Add a protective coating to make them durable.
Create fridge magnets by cutting out pictures or drawing, laminating the images, and adding a magnet to the back.
Another idea is to find the heave duty magnets that are clips and decorate these.
I always need to put something on my fridge!
Homemade Play Dough
This is for the neighbor who has kids.
Who doesn’t love a fabulous play dough to squish their fingers into?
There are a lot of recipes online from the old fashioned salt dough to a fun slime.
Make a large colorful batch and package into smaller containers to give to all of the neighbors with kids.
Include a few cookie cutters for added fun!
Few people think to give origami at the holidays.
Yet, I believe this is one of the most special and perfect gifts you can make and give.
Firstly, there are so many designs, that it easily accommodates all ages and skill levels.
Secondly, you can make it very personal by choosing a shape, animal, or symbol that you feel represents the neighbor and then have a nice little note telling why you chose that origami shape for them.
Finally, these can be hung for year round decoration, put on the tree as an ornament, placed in a windowsill, the ways to enjoy them are endless.
Best of all to you as a parent, these are incredibly cheap!
Encourage the children to get into the holiday spirit and create some lovely DIY gifts for the neighbors. This can be a rewarding experience for your children and a great connection type active for the family. It is also a great “hands on” learning lesson of gratitude for our children. Any gesture or token of remembrance can go a long way in showing appreciation for your neighbors and brightening their holidays.