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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Homemade Christmas: Gifts for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Thanks for checking in for day two of the Homemade Christmas series. In case you missed it, you can check out yesterday's post focused on homemade gifts for Infants. Today is all about toddlers and preschoolers!

One of my personal favorite toddler gifts are quiet books. Whether you make it, buy it, or buy a kit to make it yourself, kiddos really do love them - especially if you can tailor them to your child! I made a quiet book for Andyroo about a year ago. I made it for our drive out to Iowa, but it would definitely make a good Christmas gift. Mine took me a long time to make, but only because I took a pretty long hiatus while I didn't have a sewing machine. If you're looking for more quiet book ideas, then you should check out How to Make a Quiet Book - which is a blog dedicated to making quiet books!

How about an I-Spy Bag? This is another project that I made for Andyroo for our loooooong drive to Iowa. Andyroo has had so much fun with this one! However, I think I would have made it smaller. Mine ended up being about 8"x8" which is pretty big for those little hands. I'm contemplating making it into a smaller bag that will be easier for him to us. Also, this can be a pretty expensive project - even with coupons and sales (which I, of course, took advantage of)! I spent probably around $30 to make Andyroo's I-Spy Bag. But it is fun - even for adults!

I'm also in love with the whole Dry Erase Quiet Book idea. I made one for my niece last year for Christmas - and it was so fun. I wish Andyroo had been older so I could have made his at the same time. However, this is totally on my gift list for Andyroo this year. Somewhat Simple has a great tutorial and even shares the pages in her book. What's so great about this kind of book is that you can customize this book to be exactly what your child needs - it can totally grow with them! What I love even more is that you don't have to worry about dry erase markers anymore because Crayola has dry erase crayons - that of course are washable. No caps to lose and no mess to worry about. And they're less than $5 at Walmart. So worth it!

Want a fun and simple idea that can be used so many different ways? How about bean bags!? Chez Beeper Bebe has a tutorial for some adorable Counting Bean Bags with appliqued numbers. Younger kids can use them for counting and older kids can use them to practice simple math. I also love how she used colorful fabric on the backs. You could easily do solid colors and use the other side for learning colors!

Here's another twist on the I-Spy bag. This one is easier for toddler to figure out alone. Check out Disney Family Fun for an easy tutorial to make a Discovery Bottle. If you wanted to make it more of a challenge, you can make a picture list of the objects and have your toddler try to find them.

How about some fun DIY Lacing Cards? All you need is some craft foam and a hole punch to make these cute little cards. Check out Tot School for a great tutorial!

Another fun idea? How about a tutorial for a Chalk Mat with a Storage Pocket. Check out Craftaholics Anonymous for this great tutorial from Maggie Muggins Designs. I know Andyroo would LOVE this!

Little ones love stickers, but if yours are anything like my Andyroo, he wants to peel them off and use them again. That's why The Creative Homemaker's Magnetic Tin with Magnet Stickers is perfect. Turn stickers into magnets and then they can be reusable on any magnetic surface!

And, if you're feeling a little adventurous, you could always go for something like a Felt Playhouse. I made Andyroo's when he was about 18 months old and he loved it. He still plays with it now! What's great is that as we have more kids, they'll be able to enjoy it too! I also love that I can keep adding to it by making other things like felt food.

Do you have any other fabulous ideas for the Toddler and Preschooler set? Feel free to share them with all of us! Also, be sure to check back tomorrow for more ideas for Homemade Gifts for the bigger kids!


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