4 Fun Holiday Projects that Make Great Gifts from Kids

Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of UrbanSitter to score a sitter or two so you can get out to enjoy a holiday party or take care of some shopping without the kids. Why not make it fun for the kids and a little easier on the sitter by leaving them with instructions and supplies for holiday crafts to tackle together?

We’ve selected four crafts that will score big points with kids and are simple enough as to not to stress out the sitter. What’s even better? These crafts make awesome homemade gifts. Your kids will love wrapping their masterpiece and will beam with pride when they deliver it to a lucky recipient this holiday season.

Our top four, fun-to-make, homemade gifts, along with instructions and a handy shopping list for each:

  1. 1. Salt Dough Hand Print Ornament

Those tiny hands, whether they belong to your newborn or your 7-year-old, won’t last for long. These classic handprint ornaments made with salt dough are an adorable, touching way to cement a moment in time.  You’ll cherish them so much, you won’t want to give them away… so have the sitter and your kids make one for you, too.  Click for instructions.

Here’s what you’ll need to leave the sitter:

4 cups of flour

1 cup salt

Food coloring

Large Mixing Bowl

Cookie sheet

Canola oil

Small rolling pin

Drinking straw


Photo by Stephanie Severin
Photo by Stephanie Severin

2. Magnified Magnets

This is a good project for bigger kids who have better focus and dexterity than their younger  siblings. Half the fun of the project is hunting down tiny pictures to fit on the back of glass pebbles. Good places to search for images include: scraps of wrapping paper, Christmas cards, homemade drawings, and thumbprints made with a stamp pad. Simply cut out the image and glue it right side up to the flat side of a glass pebble. Once dry, glue a magnet to the back of it. The blogger gives you more detailed instructions, and lots of photo for inspiration.

You’ll need the following, available from a craft supply store:

3/4 inch circle punch

Glass accent marbles/pebbles


Stamp pad

Craft paper, wrapping paper, cards

¾ inch magnets

3. Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels

Photo by: food.com/938006

This is a yummy cooking project for kids of various ages.  Everyone can help break up the chocolate; older kids, with the help of a sitter, can dip the pretzels into melted chocolate (candy canes work well for dipping, too); and little ones can sprinkle and/or roll pretzels in crushed candy, sprinkles, nuts or coconut. There is no shortage of recipes for this one, but here’s a favorite of ours.

You’ll need:

Pretzels rods or candy canes

Chocolate chips or melting chips

Candy, sprinkles, nuts, coconut – anything you want to roll them in

Wax paper for cooling pretzels

  1. Holiday Cards

crafts for kidsHere’s a good project for preschoolers. It’s a DIY holiday card using their handprint and finger paint. The instructions recommend using washable finger paint because it’s thicker and of course, easier to clean up than the real deal paint. You simply help kids coat their palm in paint and press it onto the front of cardstock to make a Christmas tree or menorah. You can use other colors and fingerprints to decorate the tree if you are making a Christmas tree print, or for the flames on the tips of the menorah candles.  It’s a simple project that requires few materials, and  produces great results.

You’ll need:

Finger paint


Paint brush


Have you found other holiday crafts for kids that your kids are going ga-ga for? We’d love to hear about them. Please share with us!

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Babysitters and Nannies

Whatever do you give to the person who takes care of your children? While cold hard cash is always appreciated, it’s nice to also show your gratitude with a personal gift to go along with it. To help you choose something special, we’ve rounded up our favorite holiday gift ideas for nannies and babysitters, including something to fit every budget and taste.

Show her you care enough to have noticed her good taste. Hex Hoop Earrings, $78-$248 via Alexis Russell Design.

Alexis Russell Design
Alexis Russell Design.

For the bookworm, a set of classics that is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. Jane Austen Set, $225 via Juniper Books.

via Juniper Books
via Juniper Books

A hat makes for a toasty token of a gift. Embellished Beanie, $30 via TopShop

via Topshop
via Topshop

An awesome, lightweight, portable and wireless speaker that turns any job into a dance party. Beats Pill, $299.95 via Beats by Dre.

via Beats by Dre
via Beats by Dre

An interior design aficionado will appreciate a little flair for her home. Jonathan Adler Letter Pillow, $124.99 via Bloomingdales.

via Bloomingdales
via Bloomingdales

These shiny vases are right on trend and kind to your budget, too. Ombre Mercury Vases, starting at $29 via West Elm

Via West Elm
Via West Elm

A tasty DIY you can create with the kids provides a homemade treat with a personal touch. Homemade Nutella Truffles via Deliciously Yum

via Deliciously Yum
via Deliciously Yum

For more great gift ideas for the special sitter or nanny in your life, check out our Pinterest board. The lucky woman who saves your sanity will be glad you did! 

Perfect DIY Holiday Gifts for Kids to Give

molli-xmas copyTeach kids the joy of giving by helping them to choose or create thoughtful, personal DIY gifts for best buddies and loved ones in their lives.

They won’t have to save years of allowance and birthday money or toil away hours of their after-school time crafting to give these sweet gifts that capture the real meaning of the holiday season.

For more DIY holiday gift ideas, visit our Pinterest holiday board!

7 Handmade Holiday Gifts Ideas

Thumbprint String of Lights Canvas

An endearing gift of tiny thumbprints turned into a string of holiday lights make a lovely, homemade cardthough they are certainly worthy of a frameand simple enough for the tiniest of thumbs.

via Beneath the Rowan Tree
via Beneath the Rowan Tree

Photobook of Artwork

You know that pile of your child’s precious artwork that seems to multiply exponentially every time he empties his school bag? You may be able to whittle it down without guilt by creating a fantastic photo book of the one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Help your child pick favorites he created throughout the year and quickly and easily compile them into a Mixbook photo book worthy of coffee table space.

via Mixbook
via Mixbook


Cinnamon Applesauce Heart Ornaments

Grab a whole lot of cinnamon, some applesauce, ground cloves, a heart cookie cutter, string and a pair of little hands who are ready to dive in and do some kneading.  These adorable creations are fun to make, will have your home smelling divine, and will provide festive fragrance to their recipient’s tree for years to come. Remember–as good as they look and smell, they are not edible!

via Katy Elliot
via Katy Elliot

Personalized Coffee Mug

If you want to make a quick and easy gift that’s also heartfelt, check out these mugs personalized with a porcelain marker. The instructions provided by Crafts Tuts Plus show you how to transfer ready-made designs or create your own. They also provide free, printable templates for creating adorable monster images, but you can obviously create your own. Just remember that any design transferred with this technique will be mirrored, so you may want to have your little artist stick with pictures instead of text.

via Crafts Tuts Plus
via Crafts Tuts Plus


Canvas Silhouette Paintings

Full disclosure – this isn’t one for the kids to create, but it sure is sweet for them to give to an adoring grandparent or special loved one. The DIY is on you, but it’s fairly simple. You’ll need a canvas, acrylic paints, foam brush or roller, and a vinyl sheet. Essentially, you will take a photo of your child’s profile, print it on regular paper and then on the vinyl sheet, which will stick to the canvas. Once secured, you can paint the area around the silhouette and cleanly peel over the vinyl. Eye-popping and personal without being too traditional.

Silhouettes by Honest to Nod
Silhouettes by Honest to Nod


Giving to Those Who Need it the Most

Give the gift of changing the world. Kids can either choose to give to a cause in need or send a gift card that allows someone else to support a cause near and dear to their own heart. GlobalGiving Gift Cards allows the recipient to choose a project that they would like to support – choosing by location or theme, for example – and watch how the money is put to work through regular updates from the field. Causes include many that are relatable even to young children. What better gift than to show children that each of us can make a difference?

via GlobalGiving
via GlobalGiving

If you’re hoping one of these heart-warming gifts ends up with your name on it, leave some craft supplies and instructions for the sitter to tackle with your kids.

UrbanSitter.com has plenty of babysitters ready and willing to jump on some DIY time with the kids!

Holiday Gift Guides for the Children, Nannies and Babysitters on Your List

Photo by monettenriquez

Get a head start on your holiday shopping by checking out two brand new UrbanSitter Pinterest boards.

We’ve created awesome holiday gift boards to help guide you to the right present for your kids or other little ones on your holiday list, and we don’t want you to forget your nanny or the super babysitters you depend on throughout the year, so we’ve created a gift board for them, too!

Here are just a few suggestions to get you started on your holiday shopping:

Holiday Gifts for Nannies and Sitters – Pinterest Board

Most nannies and babysitters will agree that a cash bonus is the best holiday gift, but it’s always nice to accompany it with a personal gift to show you think of them as more than just a household employee.  How about one of these?

Mujjo Touchscreen Gloves are ingenious. Their conductivity and texture allow you to use any touchscreen device without taking your gloves off, which means you can text or map out your destination without getting frost-bitten hands.  They come in five colors. You can’t go wrong with black.

Kelly Wearstler Cabochon stud earrings are not only gorgeous and incredibly thoughtful to give. They are also sure to appeal to any taste or personal style. You can’t miss with either the Hemmatite or Howlite natural stone insets.

West Elm Favorite Throws are super soft and offered in an array of beautiful colors. They are just right when you want to give a little something to show your gratitude.  And just the right price at their currently reduced price of $23.

How about a little something for your child to give his nanny or favorite sitter? We’ve got the perfect find. This gold heart key chain from JCrew will melt her heart every time she grabs for her keys.

If she’s worthy of a splurge, why not give a road warrior urbanite a snazzy new bike helmet like this Furono Leopard Bike Helmet from Cloak & Dagger? It’s just the thing to jazz up her daily commute to your place.

Holiday Gifts for Babies and Kids – Pinterest Board

Here are five cool finds that are sure to please boys and girls in each age range on your list.

The Bloom Coco Lounger is a gift parents will appreciate and baby will enjoy. It calms fussy babies with a gentle rocking motion and looks uber cool in the living room.

You won’t wince when you see Baby chewing on these adorable rattles. Yellow Label Kids products are hand-knit from organic bamboo yarn and are made by artisans who are paid fair living wages as set forth by the Fair Trade Federation. And, they are oh so cute and have a soft bird song rattle.

Think of your toddler’s eyes popping open in wonder when she opens her very own personalized board book featuring photos of Mommy and Daddy, the family pet, and a favorite toy or blanket. This impressive gift is totally DIY and sure to become a cherished favorite. Click here for a tutorial from the blogger who created it.

The LeapFrog LeadPad is a big hit with kids age 4 to 7. It’s entertaining and educational and a bit easier on your wallet than going the IPad route.  Think of how nice it will be when you don’t have to hand over your smart phone to keep him busy in the waiting room.

Do you know a Big Girl who is all about glitz and glamour and would love nothing more than to get her ears pierced and sport some flashy studs?  You can hold off on the pierced ears a few more years thanks to Poppy Drop Earrings. They work like temporary tattoos, which means she won’t lose them and can easily change them to match her outfit. Choose from a handful of collections, which include flowers, peace signs and cute little bugs.

Did you get some good ideas? Watch for our next post for some great fodder for building your own Mommy Wish List to whisper into Santa’s ear!

UrbanSitter has not been paid to feature any of the products shown above. These are personal favorites of the editors of the UrbanSitter blog and do not reflect endorsement by UrbanSitter, Inc.