/**/ The Purposeful Wife: 5 Homemade Stocking Stuffers for the Kids

Friday, December 5, 2014

5 Homemade Stocking Stuffers for the Kids

Is your Christmas budget feeling tightly stretched? Are you sick of all the little toys, gadgets, and other paraphernalia that comes with having small children? Worried about how many new toys you're going to have to find a place for after grandparents, aunts and uncles have finished buying for your kids? Yeah, me too.

Good news: I have five ideas for your children's stockings that are easy to make, extremely inexpensive, and all around useful {read: not just clutter}. Many of the required supplies might already be hanging out around your house. Just spend one evening watching a Christmas movie with your husband and crafting {after you tuck in the kids}, and voila! Stockings, done.

Crayons. Collect broken crayons from your kid's art supplies and peel off the wrappers. Sort by color. Place crayons into a clean tin can. Fill a pot with several inches of water and bring to a boil. Hold tin can in hot water with tongs. When melted, pour the wax into ice cube trays, old film canisters, or cookie cutters. After a layer of wax cools and hardens, you can add more layers with different colors for a rainbow effect. These are so fun for kids to use, and it feels good to use up supplies that would otherwise go to waste!

Play Dough. There are many easy to whip up homemade play dough recipes out there. At the top of my "to try" list is this candy cane version {it looks so festive in the little mason jars!}, but gingerbread is running a close second.

Headbands and Hair Bows. My first foray into the tantalizing but terrifying world of crafting, these adorable flowers are EASY {which is so what this gal with two left thumbs needs}. Make them using old t-shirts or fabric scraps, and glue a little bead or jewel into the center if you so desire. Then simply attach to a hair clip or headband.

Felt Boards. My daughter S {three years old} loves playing with felt pieces. They effectively keep her quietly and happily occupied during brother's nap, in the doctor's waiting room, and at church. While she's received store bought boards, she also loves the Mr. Potato Head that I made for her. The sky's the limit here, but other felt board/quiet book page ideas you could try include human anatomy, fish pond, Christmas tree{just make a smaller, page size version}, faces, snowman, or pizza. Roll it up, tie a ribbon around it, and stick it right into their stockings.

Picture Books. Have any unloved board books lying around? Give them new life with magazine cuttings and contact paper. My one year old loves looking at books with faces, so I'm making him a book using colorful pictures of other children. Or pick a theme like Frozen, Cinderella, Christmas time, your child's favorite color or animal, dinosaurs, you name it. You could even use family photos to make a mini-scrapbook safe for little hands. Just cut or print out a handful of pictures related to your theme, glue them to the pages of your board book, and cover with clear contact paper {which you can purchase at Wal-Mart very inexpensively}.

That's my little list of ideas. What homemade gifts do your children love?

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