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!

Babysitting Gift Cards: The Best Holiday Gift Ever

The holidays are quickly approaching, and everyone will be scrambling to find that “perfect” gift for family and friends. Make it easy this year – avoid the malls, the crowds, and send the perfect gift for the moms and dads in your life: UrbanSitter babysitting gift cards!

Every parent will appreciate the gift of babysitting, especially when it’s courtesy of UrbanSitter’s trusted and qualified babysitters. Parents love that UrbanSitter taps into their local community to find the best babysitter referrals from friends, neighbors and parents at school. With an UrbanSitter babysitting gift card, moms and dads can plan a stress-free date night, “me time” spa day, get a long overdue hair cut, or even enjoy a nap.

UrbanSitter gift cards are easy to use and delivered instantly by email (or printed at home, if you prefer). Your gift recipient decides how to use their gift card—to book and pay a babysitter, get membership, or both.

Don’t just wait for a holiday to purchase a babysitting gift card

UrbanSitter babysitting gift cards are the perfect gift for every occasion:

  • Holiday gifts and stocking stuffers
  • Birthday presents
  • Baby shower gifts
  • Mother’s Day gifts
  • Father’s Day gifts
  • Gifts for co-workers

Buy a babysitting gift card now! Available in a variety of amounts to fit your budget: $25, $50, $75, $100, $200.

10 Fabulous Father’s Day Gifts – Round Up

Fabulous Father’s Day Gifts

Make his day with one of these great gift ideas for Father’s Day.

Follow UrbanSitter on Pinterest for more Fathers Day ideas!

Arc’teryx Versatile Fleece Jacket

If your baby’s Daddy is cool enough to go the playground with the kids, give him a stylish jacket to keep him comfortable in the elements.

Fathers Day idea

Front-Load Toolbox

No ordinary tool box, this box is expertly designed with a front loading door so you can access all your tools without having to remove the top tray. The powder coated toolbox is hand-made in America.

Best Made Co Toolbox

iPad Lapdesk

Let him comfortably eat his Father’s Day brunch in bed while perusing the daily news on his iPad or tablet. No juggle needed when he has a sturdy lapdesk. Here are the top picks for best lapdesks.

IPad Lap Desk via Coolmomtech

UrbanSitter Gift Card

Like a little bird whispering in his ear, an UrbanSitter gift card for free babysitting says go ahead and take a breather from the kids… and hopefully, dear man, you will take me with you. UrbanSitter gift cards are delivered instantly by email or you can print it at home. Now that’s a perfect last minute lifesaver.


Herschel Weekend Backpack

Stylish and functional, this durable backpack can carry everything he needs for the day. Use it for a day at the beach, a shopping trip or a weekend get-away.

BBQ Sauce & Rub Grilling Set

If he’s the Grill Master at your abode but hasn’t yet mastered his Secret Sauce, give him a little help. This set of barbeque sauce and rubs from Williams-Sonoma includes Sweet Onion Applewood BBQ Sauce, Smokehouse Rub and a Steakhouse Rub. Perfect for grilling just about anything.

Travel Cord Roll

He’ll feel a little like a Secret Agent Man when he unwraps his Travel Cord Roll. This cord roll holds up to 8 cords & 2 plugs. It’s a gorgeously simple way to wrap and carry USB cords, earbuds, and power cords.

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Father’s Day is Looming: 7 Great Gift Ideas

Fathers Day gifts, fathers day gifts, diy father's day gifts

Father’s Day is fast approaching. Don’t panic. Below is a helpful list of great Father’s Day gift ideas. We’re sure you’ll find a gift that’ll be perfect for that special dad in your life.

  1. Photo for His Office — Men aren’t always the most diligent about decorating their offices, but who can resist a precious photo of the kids or better yet, you AND the kids? Print and frame it, and have the kids make the card. Done.
  2. Night Out on the Town — Make a reservation for dinner at his favorite steak house. (Note: this should be HIS favorite restaurant, not YOURS.) He’ll love the fact that you took the reigns. Enjoy a bottle of wine and maybe even head to a movie or comedy club afterward. Be sure to book your sitter early — remember, UrbanSitter has trusted caregivers ready to watch your kids! 
  3. Homemade Gift by Kids — More than a card, give him a handmade paperweight or picture frame. Head to your local craft store and get some modeling clay and do hand impressions, or use popsicle sticks to make a frame (or even buy the frame and let the kids decorate it). Or, find a few smooth rocks and use markers to embellish. He’ll love it, guaranteed.
  4. Concert or Theatre Tickets — When another button-down shirt just isn’t going to cut it, do a little research on which band or play is coming to town. What will your husband love? Whatever you choose, he’s sure to be thrilled with your thinking outside the box.
  5. Breakfast in Bed — This one seems cliche, and might usually be reserved for Mother’s Day, but I think most men enjoy it, too. Have the kids help you (but not too much — no shells in the omelette!), and take it in on a tray after you’ve let him sleep in a bit.
  6. Office Visit — This is always a huge hit. Usually reserved for business, his office is also someplace he’d most likely love to share and show off. Most offices are willing to have kids visit, if only for a few minutes, and it’s a good thing for kids to be able to envision where Daddy goes every day. Afterwards, treat him to lunch at one of his favorite local eateries.
  7. Hobby Gear — Take the time to do some research or really *listen* to him in the preceding months when he talks about those cool shoes or the clubs he covets. Then go out and get them — and don’t be afraid to ask the salesperson for help.

Best of all, let Dad just enjoy his day. Tell him how much you and the kids love him — it’s truly the best gift one could give

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Kids

Just like every year, Father’s Day is coming up in June! Get ahead of the curve and start the kids on a homemade gift craft project! Choose one of these simple DIY Father’s Day gift ideas from kids, get your kids busy at the kitchen table with either you or a babysitter to lead the charge, and in no time at all you’ll have a touching and memorable gift to give Dad for Father’s Day.


We can guarantee this awesome gift won’t end up stuffed in a drawer or lost by the end of June. A terrarium is a way cool way to add a little green space to Dad’s world. These instructions from Hallmark’s Think.Make.Share blog are easy for kids to create this in one hour. And it does sound pretty simple – choose a wide-mouthed, clear container; fill with the appropriate soil or sand; plant small succulents or seedlings; and water moderately. 

Terrarium via Hallmark Think.Make.Share

Bright and Brilliant Picture Frame

Dad will be happy to replace the boring old photo frame he has displayed on his desk or bedside table with this customized frame creation. Choose a sweet photo of your child, whether it be a school portrait or a candid shot, and insert it in a simple wood frame. The frame pictured here is from Ikea and cost $2 for 3. Have the kids paint the frames black, and once the paint is dry, mod-podge with bright mosaic paper squares like these from Lakeshore.


Frame via Teachers Bits and Bobs

Daddy Questionnaire

Another Father’s Day gift idea kids from kids is to turn a free printable “All About My Daddy” questionnaire into a framed piece of art that’s bound to keep Dad laughing for years to come. The framed questionnaire pictured here uses a custom questionnaire created by Mom and filled in with the answers her child provided. The completed questionnaire was matted and framed in a simple white frame and decorated with a miniature banner created from craft paper and twine. Here’s another free printable questionnaire we found, or create your own. Definitely don’t forget to include your child’s age — it speaks volumes about the thoughtful responses.

Questionnaire via Free Pretty Things for You

Homemade Sweet Treats

Haven’t they always told us that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Give it a shot. You and the kids can whip up some yummy Dad’s Day cupcakes, a batch of his favorite brownies, or even a big waffle breakfast. You’ll have just as much fun baking the goodies as Dad does gobbling them up. Be sure and make extras for tiny tasters. Need some inspiration? Check out these cool cupcake creations for Dads who like to fish, Dads who like to golf, and for those who simply sport a tie.  Cupcake images found on Pinterest. 

Fish cupcakeGolf cupcakes


Looking for a sitter to take that special dad out for Father’s Day? Join UrbanSitter to browse profiles and book jobs online.

Fantastic Father’s Day Photo Ideas

father's day, fathers day picture ideas, father's day picture ideas, father's day photo shoot idea

Scrambling to find the perfect gift to celebrate the Dads in your life this Father’s Day? You can scour the stores in search of a gift that speaks to his hobbies or wardrobe, help the kids create a craft worthy of a spot on his desk, or take one spectacular Fathers Day photo that he’ll cherish for a lifetime. The right photo says far more than any store-bought gift or last minute craft. We’ve curated a list of fun father’s day picture ideas to inspire you and your child and capture the perfect shot.

Photo Ideas for the Perfect Father’s Day Gift

via Natural New Age Mum
via Natural New Age Mum

Write a message that’s as sweet as the tiny feet.

via House of Hendrix
via House of Hendrix

Get Dad to star in a photo shoot.

via Crafty Texas Girls
via Crafty Texas Girls

Fun photo that the kids will love creating.

via Amanda Myers
via Amanda Myers

With a message and a family photo that steals his heart.

via I Can Teach My Child!
via I Can Teach My Child!

In his shoes.

via Family Share
via Family Share

This Father’s Day photo shoot idea works especially well if you have three kids!

via Indulgy
via Indulgy

Make it multi-generational for a powerful portrait of the fathers in his life.

For more great Fathers Day picture ideas and inspiration for photographing kids in general, check out our Photographing Babies and Kids Pinterest Board.

Looking for a sitter to take that special dad out for Father’s Day? Join UrbanSitter to browse profiles, sort by pay rate, and book jobs online.

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!

Last Minute Gifts For You and Yours

Tick, tick, tick…. You are running out of shopping time! Check out the UrbanSitter Pinterest Boards, including Mommy Wish List, Gifts for Nannies and Sitters, and Gifts for Babies and Kids, and grab those last few gifts before it’s too late. Here are a few of our favorite last-minute choices from our boards. Here’s hoping they’ll work for that so-hard-to-buy-for someone on your list.

For YOU.


Drop a few of these hints his way:

We LOVE this! For $179, you get a professional to design a room in your home. Includes a floor plan, furniture layout, 3D rendering, colors, finishes fabrics, and a shopping list that will save you countless hours (days, weeks, months, if you are like us) of agonizing over the perfect pieces for your dream room.  You can purchase a gift certificate for the service on their website.

http-::pinterest.com:pin:51580358203603770:No need to saddle him with a bunch of research. The Nikon COOLPIX S800c is a really solid grab-and-go camera for throwing in a purse or diaper bag.

It’s reasonably priced and not hard to find. We found it at Best Buy on sale for $299.99.


These calfskin leopard-print gloves from J.Crew are so elegant, and are just the right touch to spunk up your neutral coat. They are foolproof, unless of course they just don’t fit, in which case you could always return them and find something that suits you at the uber-Mom friendly store. On sale now for $99.99.

For your favorite sitter or nannies.

Yes, you should probably give you a little something beyond just a higher hourly rate during the holiday season (although no one has ever bemoaned a boost in pay!). Why not pick her up something thoughtful and let your kids deliver it to her next time she babysits. Good choices, include:


A Tory Burch cosmetics case looks lux and is sure to make any girlie girl smile from ear to ear. We found it at Nordstrom for $55. Grab one near you (they even wrap it quite nicely) or order by Dec. 21 to have it shipped in time for Christmas.


A gift set from Fresh bestows a bit of pampering. It includes three products that promise to deliver spa-like Zen. Though we can’t vouch for that claim, we can attest that they smell really, really good. Order straight from Fresh and expedite shipping.


If she’s making coffee for one, a French Press is the way to go. We love this one from Bodum, available through illy for only $25. The red rocks and the coffee really good, too.

For Babies and Kids on your list.

Whether Santa’s been slacking or the neighbor’s kids just brought gifts for yours and left you standing there empty handed, fear not. These will work well:


Tobbles Stacking Toy truly looks like sculpture. Kids will love it and design-savvy parents will appreciate your good eye. If you can’t run to the MOMA store to pick one up, order online. It’s a steal at $25 and $22.50 for museum members.


Make it easy on yourself and grab two gifts in one trip. MOMA has so much to offer… like the Remote Control Spaceman. So dang cool! It’s $26 and even less if you’re a member.


Whether boy or girl, baby or teen, any kid digs new, cozy jammies for Christmas morning.  Get a pair for $29.50 at Garnet Hill. You can save a bit if you buy more than one pair, and Garnet Hill is covering the rush shipping.

Hope you found what you’re looking for!  Don’t forget – you can easily book a sitter on UrbanSitter so you can shop without the  kids!