Sunday, November 10, 2013

35 Frugal, Creative, Educational, Homemade and Faith -Filled Christmas Gifts & Stocking Stuffers for Kids

Well,  it's mid November and how can that be?
 We're all turning thoughts
to not only Thanksgiving and Advent preparation, 
but also to suitable, educational yet fun,
faith-ful,  creative and frugal gifts, aren't we?
Well, I've prepared a Christmas gift- giving - guide of the 
many items that we own and love,
 have enjoyed, and purchase as gifts as well!
And before we get going on the list,
 speaking of Advent, you might like to
click to my Jesse Tree traditions post for our no - frills
Jesse Tree resources that you can easily adapt,
 should you be looking to start your own.

So, go peruse the list and enjoy!

Faith resources ~ Where to start; where to start? We all have our go-to books and materials. Let me share a few of mine. They're well used and dog-eared, many of them...but they're mainstays to our book baskets and  we just keep buying them  over and over for our Christmas gift giving. Sacraments and  birthdays, too. I cannot say enough about each of the following items. We use them all the time and as for the Christmas memory book, I'm thrilled that amazon now carries it! Remember the Lillian Vernon catalog, which was pre, pre pre internet shopping? I bought the memory book from them, personalized too,  ages ago when my husband and I were first married. Since our first Christmas, I've written and recorded, included pictures and special Christmas cards from each year. It's become  a treasured keepsake. 
The Rosary Comic Book

Catholic Youth Bible

The Jesse Tree

Let's Make a Jesse Tree:
26 Full Sized Patterns

Concise Bible History

Christmas Memories Book

Science kits – available at your local Walmart, Target, Amazon.
Here's one that my kids have used and enjoyed:


We also enjoy crystal growing kits immensely.  We've used these kits from Smithsonian with great success. Hubby is a geologist and HE enjoys them as well! I've also seen these same kits at Michael's! Take advantage of those 40% off coupons in teh Sunday newspaper!

Educational Board games – Ever troll through amazon's selection of games?? They have everything you could think of and then some. Surprisingly, their prices are pretty decent too! These are a few  tried and true games that we have on our shelves; we've bought many of them for friends and family too. :      


Playing cards/Dice  Not just for playing card games, these cards can be used in your home school for teaching a variety of lessons…sorting by color, by number, by suit, sequencing, addition, subtraction, and much more. Dollar Tree has packages of 2 decks for a buck! Wow. AND 6 pairs of dice for $1.

The Great Courses - Visit amazon for a thorough selection. Our family has really enjoyed these DVDs!

Art supplies  ~ Michael's, Walmart, so many stores have incredibly inviting selections of craft supplies. One might buy the supplies more cheaply and put together artsy gift baskets, too, which cater to the recipient's interests. For ease, and perusal at your convenience, Here's what amazon offers in the way of art resources, from pads to easels to brand new gimmck-y art-sy fun that any kid would love to get! 

Home Made Gifts~ 
Sewing kit ~  Use an empty baby wipe container or a small basket from Dollar Tree..... put some spools of thread, needles, a thimble, scissors, tape measure, buttons, and pieces of scrap material (example: small squares to make a small pillow or other small project). For stuffing…you can use CLEAN rags that have been cut into small pieces. Boys and girls needs to know how to's an enjoyable activity which gives kids a great sense of accomplishment!

Crochet kit – Same idea as the sewing kit above…if you have an extra crochet needle (the larger the better for beginners) and some yarn, put it together, print out some simple directions from the internet, put in a gift bag, and instant gift! Again, excellent for fine motor work! Remember…PATIENCE comes as part of the gift since YOU will be teaching your child the new skill. 

Recipe Booklet: Put together simple kid friendly recipes that use ingredients that your kids like so that they will be motivated to learn to make the recipe! Place the recipes on index cards, card stock, or other paper, decorate, and bind together with brass brads, staples, tape, or ribbon.

Weaving Kit:  Take old pieces of material, cut into strips, write out directions, and put in a box! If you like, you can also make a weaving board using a piece of scrap with nails hammered in at one inch intervals around the edge of the board to hold the initial strips of material.

Knot Making Kit~ Take some extra laundry line, print off or hand-write various knot-making instructions from the internet and put in a box! Both girls and boys need to know how to make knots, and there are many different know to learn how to make.

Wood Project Kit ~ Have Dad pre-cut pieces of scrap wood and write up some simple directions build a bird house, tool caddy, CD holder, napkin/letter holder, etc.

DIY Pencil Cup Art Kit ~ Wash and dry a few cans of different sizes, fill with a scrapes of ribbon, colored paper, buttons, etc. Include a small container of glue to use to affix the decorations.

Gift Bags ~   Paper lunch bags can be decorated using paint, colored pencils, pens, glitter glue, and/or recycled Christmas cards Use a hole punch to punch two holes at the top of the bag to thread a ribbon through. Tie a pretty bow and you have an instant gift bag!

Christmas Memory Book! Use old pictures mounted on recycled Christmas Cards. Include a short fun sentence below each picture. This appropriate for all ages! GREAT to use as a beginning reading book for your struggling reader.

Custom Decorated Socks ~ Everyone needs socks! You can get a jumbo pack of black or white socks at your local Walmart and then use embroidery floss and an embroidery needle to custom decorate them! For Boys…sew on a soccer ball design, baseball, baseball bat, etc. For Girls, sew on a few pretty pearls or sequins, or sew on a flower design.

My Journal & Drawing Book ~If you have a bunch of loose-leaf and/or blank paper hanging around and two pieces of card stock, use the card stock as a front and back cover, and then using a hole punch a few extra holes in the paper and then bind together with ribbon for a girl or twine for a boy. Include a couple of new pencils or pens with your gift.

Homemade Custom Stationary ~ This is appropriate for both girls and boys of all ages. Great for fine motor and  thinking skills! You can use any paper you have, art supplies, stamps, etc. to create and decorate personal stationary. You can make your own envelopes and decorate them as well or purchase them at your local dollar store or office supply store. There is something so special about opening your mailbox and finding a hand-written letter in it! It tells the person who is receiving it that they are very special!

Recipe in a Jar ~  Simply get all the ingredients for your child’s favorite cookie recipe, layer it in a  jar so it looks really cool, and attach step-by-step recipe directions written on an index card.

Gifts in a Jar ~  The gifts are services and the gift of time. Think about special things you can do with your child that won’t cost you a penny. Write each on a small strip of pretty paper. Fold up the paper and place it in the jar. There are  no limits to the number of gifts in the jar. You might do 12 – one for each month of the year, 7 – for each day of the full week, etc. Ideas for gifts include: Reading a special book to your child, game day, family game night, a hike, going to the park, building an obstacle course, library day, etc.

File Folder Board Games ~ Make up your own board games! Make markers from scrap material around your home and store them in a recycled envelope that you tape or staple to the back of the folder.

Puzzle Booklet! Make up your own crosswords and word searches using words that your child knows and clues that make them think! This is an EXCELLENT activity for kids who have expressive language difficulty. It is great for reviewing history, science, language arts, and math facts! You can also create puzzles that are geared to fun activities that your child participates in every week…co-ops, physical education activities, church activities, etc. You can illustrate/decorate the pages as you like.

Make Your Own Wood Puzzles~  Every wife I know has a husband with a pile of scrap wood hanging around in the garage. This project is for Dad! Grab a scrap piece of thin plywood or other wood that is about 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Glue a picture of your choice onto the wood using diluted Elmer’s glue and then brush the glue on top of the picture to seal it. Let dry completely. This is like decoupage. Once completely dry, carefully cut into unique shaped pieces using a jigsaw or other saw device. Use a Zip-Lock Bag for storage!

Well, that concludes my lengthy list!

 Friends, as always,  
thank you for stopping over and 
spending some of your precious time 
here at my home on the web!
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Until next time,


Post dividers and general cutesies,
courtesy of Shabby Blogs

And may I humbly request that if you are clicking through to amazon'for any item,
not only the ones listed above,
that you consider using my affiliate link!?
I'd be so happy if you did!
I will receive a tiny portion of your sale.
Here it is:

If you are an amazon affiliate,
please let mw know and I'll click through your as wel the next
time I need to purchase something there!
Be happy to.
Until next time,



  1. Wishing you luck with the blog competition!!!

    1. Thanks so much, friend~

      Appreciate it!

  2. What a fantastic list! marking this for future reference, now I can keep my kiddos and grandkiddos busy these next several weeks

    1. Aw, thanks Linda! Happy some if ay be beneficial to you!

      Thank you for stopping in!!

    2. Hi Chris, great list :) thanks for sharing at Creative mondays

  3. We have that red Christmas Memories book. We love looking through it and seeing the family change in the pictures, and remembering bits and pieces of what made that year unique.

    1. Absolutely!! I;s SUCH an amazing keepsake!

      Thanks for stopping in, Kathleen!

  4. Excellent list, and great gift ideas, Chris. Thank you for linking these up. Pinning and sharing this post!

    1. Aw, thanks, Lisa!! So nice of you to stop by and say HI too...I appreciate the visit.


  5. I love this, friend! I am featuring this as one of my favorites in the Hearts for Home Blog Hop this week! :-)


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