You know what makes for a perfect present? A gift that is enjoyable for the receiver, personalized, inexpensive and is just as much fun to make as it is to use. One of our favourite homemade gifts for the special youngsters in our life checks all those boxes, making for unique and thoughtful DIY gifts for kids.
My toddler loves any chance to help us work in the kitchen, so when I suggest we make playdough to present to our little friends on their birthdays or other special occasions, she pushes over a chair and hops right up to get to work. We use my favourite playdough recipe, which is no-cook, long-lasting, and non-toxic so as to be safe for young ones who can’t help but put some in their mouths. Together we measure, scoop, pour, stir and mix ingredients. She seems to love the way the dreamy flour feels as she sinks her hands into it, and we talk about each layer of ingredients as we add them to the bowl.
To personalize the playdough for our friends, we choose which colour to turn the playdough, and what other kinds of additives to add. Should we use sparkles? What kind? Should we make the playdough have a scent? What type of essential oil should we use to scent it? (If you use an essential oil to scent your playdough, make sure that it’s an oil that’s safe to use with kids, and that you’re only using a couple of drops. A little can go a long way! Dry Kool-Aid powders can also be added to achieve both colour and scent, as an alternative, although you might find these play doughs are more tempting to be put in the mouth.) I love that making DIY gifts for kids we know gives us the opportunity to talk about little Z’s friends and what they’re like, encouraging communication, language development and building on concepts of people and preferences.
Once everything is mixed together, the final step is kneading the dough for an extended amount of time. This is essential to giving the playdough the right texture and making sure it lasts, and also offers a chance for my little to get some more enjoyment out of the gift we are giving.
Find a container or large zip lock bag to store the playdough, then wrap it all up in a reusable gift bag (saving on packaging here!) and head on out to that party.
Of course, if you’re strapped for time, but still want to gift a child with non-toxic playdough, this edible art supply store has some really neat just-add-water dry mixes for organic natural veggie dough that are sure to be a hit. (FYI: This is an affiliate link. Click here for my full disclosure policy.)
Did you like this idea for DIY gifts for kids, to save money, encourage learning through play, and offer a thoughtful and personalized gift for your little one to give their friends? You might want to sign up for my e-newsletter that keeps you up to date with what I publish on The Big To-Do List.
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