gift ideas for kids

  • Celebrating Kansas Day

    kansas day

    Today is January 29 and most places in the US are experiencing the Polar Vortex that has descended on us in a most unwelcome way. But today is far more than that, yes. It just so happens to be the same day that the state of Kansas became the 34th state of the Union in 1861! A little history lesson here on the Christmas blog today, hehee. But, there is a party involved I understand.

    According to wikipedia, the people of Kansas have been celebrating this momentous day ever since 1877! It took them 16 years to find a way to commemorate the day, but once they did they never let go. That is a LONG time, like 137 years long. Have you heard of this holiday? I hadn't until just the other day, and it made me start thinking about Dorothy and those ruby red slippers of hers. What, you don't instantly think of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz when you think about Kansas? Okay, well here's another question for you. Do you know any little girls that would like to have a pair of those ruby red slippers? Maybe for Christmas? ;)

    slippersThe ruby red slippers could be used, obviously, as slippers, or for dress up, or they could sit on the shelf next to favorite dolls and simply represent the dream world of a little girl. They could be mounted in a shadow box and hung on the wall, never to be worn but always there as a reminder of the importance of dreaming. Whatever lesson you wish to convey, these adorable shoes would really please I think, don't you think so?

    I found several places online that give tutorials on how to make these metaphorical shoes, but I'm not sure we really need super detailed instructions for this project because it really is pretty simple. Here's all you have to do"

    1.  Just start with a pair of ballet shoes, and spray paint them red, two coats.

    2.  Allow to dry thoroughly, 48 hours should do it.

    3.  Lay out red sequins, and using a glue gun, attach the sequins to the shoes. (warning, this will take awhile)

    4.  Again, allow to dry. Once dry, shake them to see if any of the sequins fall off. If they do reapply.

    And, that's it. A really nice gift would be to give the book The Wizard of Oz along with the ruby red slippers. Any little girl would love these....and some big girls I know would too.

    Kansas, shoes

  • Better Than Nutella?

    nutellaI remember the first time I tasted Nutella. My step daughter brought it over, and I thought it had a weird name and at the time I wasn't very adventurous with food. I almost didn't try it, can you imagine?! But just one lick, and I was hooked.

    And, apparently I'm not alone, because back in 2007, February 5 was chosen as World Nutella Day! A couple of fans decided that just enjoying it in the privacy of their own homes was simply not enough. They reasoned that any food that has the capacity to create childhood memories that last for a lifetime should have it's own day, no?  Not sponsored by Nutella, these fans stepped up and created a day set aside to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella. Sounds good to me!

    Imagine what a homemade version of Nutella would do for your awesome factor with  friends and family. You don't have to tell them how easy it was either....they will think you are pure genius when they taste it. Who knows, maybe you could even give Nutella a run for their money.

    You'll need:

    • 1 cup hazelnuts
    • 4 teaspoons coconut oil
    • 6 ounces 65% dark chocolate, melted
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1. Dump your hazelnuts onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and roast in a 350* oven for about 10 minutes.
    2. Let the nuts cool, then wrap them in a dish towel and shake to remove the skins.
    3. Next, put the nuts in your food processor and process until smooth.
    4. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until you have a nice smooth butter.
    5. Jar it up, and store in the fridge until you're ready to give it away (unless you eat it first, which is likely to happen so you may as well just make a double batch). It'll keep for a good month if you manage to resist.

    I dare you to try this.

     

    Recipe adaptation

     

  • Frosty the Snowman Treats | Easy and Fun!

    FrostyYou know how it is at Christmas time. We spend loads of time shopping for our littles, wanting them to have the latest and greatest cool toy. With overflowing love in our hearts, we usually spend way too much money, and we know we're spending way too much money but we do it anyway. Then Christmas morning comes, and what happens? They are simply fascinated with the box!

    It's true, kids can entertain themselves for hours with a cardboard box, and this tells us something about how they see the world.....simply! Let's transfer that information into the Christmas treats we make for them, too. I can remember spending countless hours making adorable sugar cookies, icing them, decorating them, and I'm definitely not saying this tradition should be abandoned. But, I present to you today a very simple and yet classic treat that the kids are going to love.

    I found this idea, dubbed as Frosty the S'more-Man (isn't that clever?!), at a very fun and crafty website. These make perfect little packages for all the littles in your world . . . classmates gift, neighborhood friends, and any other place that your littles gather in their little worlds! Here's what you'll need to do these up right, and you're going to be surprised at how simple and affordable it is. You know, kinda like the cardboard box every kid loves to love.

    For each little package you'll need:

    • 2 graham cracker squares
    • 1 mini Hershey bar
    • 1 snowman peep
    • 1 - 4" x 6" cello bag (available at Michaels)
    • 1 free printable bag topper (available here)
    • stapler

    Load up the goodies in the bag, print your topper, fold it in half around the top of the bag and staple. I told you it was easy!

    Happy S'more-Man making!

     

    Photo courtesy

     

     

     

  • Top 5 Gift Ideas Under $20 for EVERYONE!

    Times are rough, but that should stop you from buying your friends, family and loved ones great Christmas gifts. MerryStockings.com suggests these gifts under $20!

    1. Personalized Christmas Stockings. We all know just how great it feels to get personalized Christmas stockings that we can decorate with all around the house, so why not give it to your friends and help them start a tradition?

    We recommend four designs:
    Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Sequined Santa
    Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Toboggan Trio Stocking
    Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Winter Snooze
    Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Peace Santa

    2. Spiderpodium. Almost every one has an iPod, iPhone, e-book reader and a host of different gadgets, but there is no single way to hold or store them on their desk, in their car, or everywhere else. The Spiderpodium can take care of that.

    3. Plain Classic Brass Christmas Stocking Holder. Christmas stocking holders make it easy and convenient for people to hang their Christmas stockings. This plain classic brass Christmas stocking holder is an elegant and simple piece of art that will delight your recipients!

    4. Solar Powered Mosaic Jar Globe with Jewel Tones. A great way to light up the evenings outdoors, this is one cool and elegant lamp that is both earth-friendly and captivating to the eyes!

    5. Gift Certificates. As much as you would want to choose the perfect gift for everybody, there will always be those people who you can't seem to find a gift for. Don't sweat it! You can always give them a gift certificate that would allow them to choose their gifts for themselves. MerryStockings.com have just recently added gift certificates to its roster of Christmas products, so that you could truly give them the best gift they want!

  • Perfect Gifts for Your Kids

    Christmas is a time for kids and family.  Bless you if you have a loving family to spend Christmas with this year.  But it is also a time for gifts.  Thinking of what to get your precocious little loved ones this year?  You really do not have to spend a large sum of money to come up with the perfect gift! Here are some tips from MerryStockings.com!

    1. Give them their heroes on a personalized Christmas ornament.  Find out who your kids look up to.  It could be the latest rap metal band, or a young actress, or the new Philippine president.  You can then give them personalized Christmas ornaments with the picture of these celebrities.  It would give your child great pleasure to be able to decorate their rooms, lockers or even your Christmas tree with these one-of-a-kind ornaments!

    2. Give them the gift of creativity.  A good Christmas gift would be an art set, perhaps a canvas and coloring materials.  Let them while away their time drawing or painting.  If you like them to be crafty, give them a cross-stitching set, or scrapbooking materials.  If they have yet to discover their artistic potentials, why not set them on the artistic path with these  Bucilla Christmas Stocking Felt Kits, Cross Stitch Christmas Stocking Kits, or Felt Applique Kits.

    3. Give them the gift of knowledge.  Educational toys and books would last them a long time.  As they pick up new learnings with it, they will be able to use that at school or later in their lives.

    4. Give them time off.  Create coupons that would give them a day without chores.  Or allow them to trade their chores for one activity that they would enjoy.

    5. Allow them to choose for themselves.  A gift certificate to the local shopping center would be a great way to allow them to buy gift for themselves.  And because it was them who chose the gift, you could be certain that it is something that they really want or need!

  • The 4 Best Christmas Gifts for Your Kids

    Forget the latest versions of the PSP, Nintendo Wii, the latest smart phones, or the fancy toys.  While your kids might drool and salivate over these gadgets, they might be out of the question especially on a tight budget.  But it does not really mean that you should be disappointing your kids this Christmas.  It is after all a season for kids!

    MerryStockings.com have come up with a list of inexpensive gift ideas for your kids!  Here they are:

    1. Something to keep their memories in.  Your children would have a lot of memories to create.  And it is a sad testament that most kids today only have their MySpace or Facebook accounts to keep their pictures and memories in.  You could give them a photo album to keep their pictures in.  Or if you want to get them started on being creative, how about spending for a blank scrapbook and some scrapbooking materials?

    2. Books.  They say that books are dying with this generation.  Indeed, it is easy to just go to Google and search for a topic and get your fill from the search results.  But you only have to hold a book in your hand and read it to know that it is just not the same.  Instilling love for the written word in your kids should not stop at letting them use Google for everything, get them to read physical books, the classics, even Twilight or Harry Potter.  It's not as cool as just downloading it from Amazon.com to their e-book readers, but it will surely be worth it.

    3. Personalized Christmas gifts.  Be it a Christmas ornament with their pictures on it, or a mug with their names, customized Christmas gifts are a surefire way to let them know how special they are.  What is more, you could let them be creative with these Christmas stocking kits that they could design and assemble on their own.

    4. Family time.  Take your kids out to the park, or have a picnic outdoors.  Throw some snowballs or watch a movie together.  Make sure that you announce this special day when both Mommy and Daddy are at home to spend time with them.  No work, no phone calls, no distractions.  Just a special day to be together.

    The best gift you could give your kids this Christmas is you time and love.  And with these four tips, you can easily join in the fun.  How about helping them gluing the appliqués on your Christmas kits?  Or reading to them a chapter of the book you bought?  Or designing a page of their scrapbooks as you look at the photos together?  These gift ideas are a priceless way to spend more time with your kids and bond with them.  Surely,  a brand new Nintendo Wii couldn’t compare!

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