36+ Affordable Handmade Gift Ideas for Young Children

Our Christmas last year was pretty stark…when it comes to gift-giving. César got me nil, I gave César a coupon book that I made (which he still has never used!), and we gave Sofía cozy pajamas and a pink rolling backpack that came with a bear. That’s it. We didn’t even have a tree until my sister-in-law (who was living with us at the time) brought up her 2 1/2 foot tree, and we promptly put it on top of our media storage cabinet. We didn’t want the little terror to become even more of one.

Looking for something special to give your child? These affordable handmade gifts will light up any toddler's eyes!© tashka2000 / Dollar Photo Club

Just because we didn’t get all into gift giving doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great Christmas season. We still went to see Christmas lights, had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with César’s family, and visited my parents on Christmas Day. We just didn’t place any importance on the gifts, tree, and decorations.

The 4 Gift Rule

This year, I’d like to start a new tradition that I’ve heard of others doing and always wanted to try. It’s called the 4 Gift Rule. Each person gets something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. It’s really simple and should make Christmas so much more enjoyable.

In that spirit, I also want to make the gifts we give each other. I think it will make our Christmas so much more memorable and meaningful. I have wonderful memories of Christmases growing up, but the ones I remember the most are those with handmade gifts.

Simple Handmade Gifts from My Christmas Past

One Christmas, when I was about 6, I made all of my siblings picture magnets with their favorite animals on them (with my mom’s help, of course). That same Christmas, my older sister made us all sugar cookies, and my older brother made us all really cool name plaques that he put in clear box frames. He’s an awesome artist, so they looked really professional but cost him almost nothing to make. I think I still have mine in one of my “treasure boxes.”

I remember one Christmas when I drew pictures for all my siblings and rolled up and tied each one with ribbon. I remember feeling bad that I couldn’t do more, but my mom assured me that everyone would love their gifts. I was just happy to see their faces when they saw the pictures I drew for them.

Ideas for Handmade Gifts for Young Children

I’ve spent some time thinking of gifts, and searching out examples, that I can easily make for my girls that will be exciting for them and really cheap as well (especially compared to store-bought versions). Since I have girls, most of these gifts are geared towards them, but a lot are great for both girls and boys. Most of these gifts are for kids younger than four years old.

Here’s my list. I hope you can find a great idea for your child as well! (If you want to pin any of the pictures below, please click on it to go directly to the blog post and pin it from there)












If you are reading this in December, it might be too late to start scrambling to make any of these, but you always have next year! These ideas will definitely come in handy when I need birthday presents, too.

Have you ever had a handmade Christmas?

Be sure to follow me on pinterest if you liked this post! Charlee @Humble in a Heartbeat

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  1. Mama instincts says:

    Omg! This post is awesome! Not only for Christmas but for crafts we can do all year. I’m definitively saving it and sharing it.
    I love that your family dinamics are similar to ours. In Costa Rica Christmas is celebrated on Christmas eve so we celebrate that day with my Costa Rican friends and give each other gifts and on Christmas day we spend it with my in laws and do their gifts.
    I love Christmas and love celebrating twice. 🙂

    We haven’t gotten into the whole decorations thing and haven’t gotten a tree yet. Since we’ll be in Spain for Christmas we don’t be doing any of that this year but I plan to get a tree and decorations next year. I think my daughter will be old enough to enjoy decorating a tree. 🙂

    • Thanks so much for sharing! I’m glad it’s helpful. I love celebrating twice, too 🙂 What an experience to spend the Holidays in Spain! I hope you’re enjoying life in Europe!

  2. This is pure awesomeness! I love the idea of 4 gift rule and we might start implementing that as well. We will be slightly more frugal this year with our gifts due to upcoming move to our own place but we know we will have an awesome Christmas together anyway!

  3. I think there can be great benefit in teaching our children that there is nothing wrong with simple and homemade. Thanks so much for all of these wonderful ideas. Pinning them to my Christmas board!

  4. Tiffany McKay says:

    Brilliant! Thanks for taking the time to compile this list 🙂 Pinned!

  5. You go sis– start young and they won’t think anything of it! Kids can easily get spoiled in this materialistic world even when as a parent you try not to give them so much! I really like making gifts for kids! Great list! I just sent some homemade gifts to my nieces in Germany but forgot to take a pic first so I could (finally) do a post on my blog! I’ll have to make them again so I can have bday gifts ready!

    • If only I had a sister who could help me sew a nightgown or two… 😉 Haha. Just kidding. I really want to learn how to sew, but there’s no way I’m getting a machine unless I’m gonna be serious about making stuff. I can’t wait to see your post!

  6. I love your childhood magnet gifts! That is so sweet. One year my youngest sister wrote each family member a poem and rolled it up with ribbon. I loved it! I also like the 4 gift rule thing you’re going with

    • I love the poem idea! Although, I don’t know if my hubby would appreciate a poem as much as I would love it if he wrote one for me!

  7. Great list!! Pinning. 🙂
    Emily recently posted…December GoalsMy Profile

  8. I love that you mentioned sock puppets. A lot of parents forget about the importance of helping their child’s imagination. It allows them to be more creative. 🙂

  9. I’m a huge lover of busy bags! Great for on the go!

  10. I can relate to having a pretty bleak Christmas as far as gift giving goes. When we don’t have as much money to buy gifts, I love to try and make handmade gifts. I’ve found that the homemade gifts are a lot more appreciated anyway. I love the 4 gift rule idea that you explained! You have a quite the list of homemade gift ideas! Thank you so much!


  1. […] a normal toy. It will also help her learn through her senses. I definitely prefer to give my kids handmade gifts over […]

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