We are halfway through spring, and it has been full of wild weather! Warm days followed by torrential rains, and even snow in some places. Kids (and parents!) are desperate to get outside when possible. This year, however, there seems to be more indoor days than outdoor. A parent’s arsenal of entertainment for those cruddy days needs to be pretty big. Here’s where some arts and crafts activities come in handy.

While you are setting out all the art supplies, this is a good time to get a jump on homemade items that can be given as gifts. The holiday season has a way of sneaking up, so give your kids some fun craft projects to do ahead of time. Homemade gifts are a wonderful way to show people how much they mean to you and your family.

Homemade gifts are especially meaningful to birth families. If your birth family does not live nearby, send them one of these personal gifts to remind them how grateful you are:

  • Yearly photo album – at various times throughout the year, websites like Snapfish and Shutterfly offer low cost or even free 8×8 photo albums. Keep an eye out for these specials and create an album for your child’s birth family. These are very easy to create, and can be shipped directly to the recipient.
  • Handprint dish towels – this is an inexpensive, easy and practical gift that is darling! Plus, it is very easy to mail.
  • Hand-shaped clay ring/coin holder – this is so precious and more practical than the ashtray of years ago. This can easily be boxed up with bubble wrap for mailing.
  • Thumbprint magnets – another easy DIY project that is easy to ship. Add some artwork from your child, with a promise to send something new every month to display on the refrigerator.
  • Send a hug – here is something that can be replicated each year. Trace your child’s head and outstretched arms, let them decorate it, and fold it up for the mail. If you do this each year, you can see how big they’re getting.
  • Handprint/footprint LOVE canvas art – think the iconic LOVE sculpture with a juvenile twist, and overflowing with sentiment.
  • Create a coffee table book of artworkArtkive is a handy website and app that all parents need. Simply take a photo of your child’s original works of art and upload it to the app, noting the date and age. Through the website, you can order a bound book of all their masterpieces!

Even if the craft project didn’t turn out quite the way you’d imagined, it is always the thought that counts. Your birth family will be ever grateful.