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Five Christmas Gifts Parents Can Easily Make for Kids

Many families find themselves a little financially embarrassed around the holidays, but you can still put plenty under the Christmas tree for your kids, when you make some of the gifts yourself. And don't think that homemade gifts will only impress really young kids. There are plenty of extra nice things you can make for older kids as well.

For a young boy you can easily make a safe dart-type game that he will truly enjoy.  

Purchase a piece of felt for less than a buck, and it will become the "dart" board. Or, use a solid-colored piece of cloth you already have at home. You cannot use tungsten steel tip darts, thus purchase some lightweight balls at a dollar theme store and use them for the darts. Use a marker to draw one large circle and write the point amount, which you make up, in two or three places within the circle. 

Keep the point numbers close to the circle. Inside that circle, draw another, and write its point amount. Make still another which will be the bull’s eye. Stick Velcro strips all over the balls and kids will have a blast throwing the balls and keeping score. The game can be easily placed in a shrink wrap bag and put in a stocking or under the tree.

Towel tic-tac-toe 

Tic-Tac-Toe is a great gift that any young child would like. Sew or glue fabric or felt strips to a towel, to form a tic-tac-toe board. Include any six items, such as beanie babies or novelty items, to become the game pieces. Kids will stand at the end of the towel and toss the game pieces onto the towel, attempting to land them inside one of the nine squares. Two kids can take turns or one child can practice on his own. Game pieces can be anything - even old CD's! Use felt or foam pieces to make the CD's into frog faces, pig faces, or even panda faces. The cute game is perfect for preschool kids.

High-end paper towels contain a cardboard tube which is fairly sturdy. This can become a beautiful jewellery holder for an older daughter. Wrap it in black velvet or white satin, then make a hole on one side, in the centre. Glue a painted dowel rod into the hole, and onto a wooden slat. If you prefer something a little nicer than cardboard, craft stores have cylindrical shapes of wood and other materials. Bejewel the wooden pieces or just paint your daughter's name on it. The holder can contain many necklaces or bracelets.

A teen daughter will love a Scrabble board

Featuring herself and her boyfriend, accompanied by cute sayings about the couple. Glue pictures of the couple randomly on the Scrabble board. Use only one large picture, in the centre of the board, or several small pictures, around the perimeter. The design is yours alone. Now use the game's letter tiles to spell out cute words pertaining to the couple, like "LOVE", "CUTE", OR "SWEET". This gift is one-of-a-kind and will thrill the girl and her friends.

What little girl wouldn't love a giant doll? 

They're easy to make when you start with a baby sleeper that covers the feet as well. Stuff the sleeper and glue the cuffs closed. Now dress the sleeper in pants, shirt and shoes. Glue the shoes on or tie tightly. Once again, glue the cuffs shut on the long-sleeve shirt. Use a knee-hi stocking for the head. Stuff and shape it then glue it to the neck area of the shirt. Glue on a cap that has a brim encircling it. Some call this a "Gilligan" hat. 

The doll needs no face. Simply hot glue the cuffs of the shirt to the face, and the doll looks like it's pouting. Lay it on a bed or add dowels to the legs, when beginning the project and the doll will stand in a corner and pout. This project takes a little effort but is not difficult. Clothing and shoes for the doll can be purchased used at Goodwill stores.

Times are tough but your Christmas doesn't have to be skimpy. Make many of the gifts yourself, and your child will love them, and so will your budget.

Don't be the product, buy the product!