We are on a mission these days to make our own. Make our own toys, food, and gifts. I have some trouble with the last one though (well, and the food one … but that is for another day). I fear, sometimes, that giving homemade gifts is perceived as being cheap.
While we do like to save money, that is not the reason we like to give homemade gifts. I am trying to raise my children to be thoughtful and to put time and love into things they do. Giving homemade gifts is a wonderful way for me to nurture this quality in them.
I am making a very big effort to “get out of my head” about it. If it is important to me, and made with love, I know the recipients will be thankful. John’s most favourite saying is, “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” (Dr. Seuss I do believe).
Some gifts that we generally give are our homemade soaps and lotions. These are practical gifts that, when wrapped up with a little time and care are beautiful. I will share how we make our soap very soon – so so simple, and lasts our family at least 6 months, plus oodles for gifts.
But I am going off on quite the tangent, as this post is really not about why we give homemade gifts, or what other homemade gifts we give. No, this post is about a special homemade gift for a special little boy.
A sweet friend of ours was celebrating his 3rd birthday. We have known this little monkey since he was a babe, and he and Benjamin are good little friends. I knew we needed to make him something super special for his birthday. But what?
Perhaps it was because it was spring and we were spending our days outside (and therefore not really crafting), or perhaps it was that I was over thinking (as I have been known to do), but one way or another I just couldn’t come up with a gift idea.
So I popped onto Pinterest. Which can be a frightening thing for this Mama – with all the “ideas” that I suddenly “need” to try. But, as luck would have it one of the very first things I saw was perfect. Jen, from Mama. Papa. Bubba. Blog. had made a gorgeous mermaid playdough kit! I had never thought of making a playdough kit before, and knew it would be perfect for this little monkey.
The boys and I decided what type of playdough kit our little friend would like best. Maybe a zoo one (said Benjamin, who loves animals), or perhaps dinosaurs (was Sammy’s suggestion, who loves – you guessed it- dinosaurs). But then we did some chatting about the birthday boy and his interests. Oh it is a little tricky for tiny ones to think of others, but with just a little coaxing we decided on a construction set. Yes, that one would be just right.
We whipped up a double batch of our lovely, super simple, super soft, no cook playdough. And dyed it blue (for water), green (for grass), and brown (for mud).
Next, we made a quick trip to the dollar store (I know what your thinking … “Well, that’s not homemade!”, but baby steps). We bought a container that was made to store ‘rainbow bands’ and had moveable little compartments inside. We also got some marbles, pompoms, and river rock. Finally the boys each chose out a little dump truck and a steam roller.
We popped it all together, and it looked great.
Madeline made a cute sign to tape to the top, and it was all set for the birthday boy.
The kids were very proud that they had made a gift especially for their friend. And they also thought that they should make one for themselves. A sure sign that this gift is kid approved!
Thank you for reading friends, have a lovely start to your week.