Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Need a Homemade Gift or Craft Idea? Lapbook Castles or Houses or Zoos!

It was the idea to end all ideas.

My children have always struggled to know what to give each other for birthdays. It’s not easy to coordinate a trip to the dollar store for shopping, especially when the birthday child ought not be involved. My children don’t have a lot of money anyway, and then they come home with another plastic plaything that lacks thought and meaning. The gift is just future fodder for a donation bag or the garbage can. {Can I get an amen? J}

Homemade gifts are usually the best, not just because of the thought and effort but because it usually involves a practice of some skill on the part of the gift-makers. However, there are only so many bookmarks and activity books that can be made. J

If you’ve been following my blog, you know our love of lapbooks, including birthday card lapbooks. Back in September, just as birthday season was beginning for our family, I wondered out loud what else the children could do to make a birthday lapbook special. The children have made paper dolls ~ knights, princesses, dogs, etc. ~ for each other, but those poor creations were homeless.

Ta-da! The idea to end all ideas. J

Make a lapbook into a dollhouse, castle, or zoo.

My 14yo begins with folding the file folder as she does for a lapbook. She then cuts a second file folder in half. One half is taped to the lapbook to be a floor that unfolds. The other half is used to cut out princes, knights, animals, beds, cages…whatever creatures, furniture, or fixtures will inhabit the final structure.

At this point, just unleash the creativity!

Possible materials:

·         Glue
·         Gel or glitter pens, crayons, colored pencils, markers
·         Stencils or cookie cutters ~ for letters or animal shapes
·         Scrapbook paper
·         Fabric scraps
·         Jute or string
·         Toothpicks
·         Ribbon
·         Washi tape
·         Yarn

Have fun!

Have you thought of this already? Aren’t they fun?

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  1. Love that creativity! And SO much better than getting $ store stuff that's not going to be kept around anyway.

  2. Those books are very creative. I totally understand about dollar store gifts. I try to stay as far away from that as possible.

    1. We did Dollar Tree once several years ago and quickly regretted it. We're always on the look-out for something homemade, an activity for the giver/maker and something with meaning for the recipient. :-)

  3. What a creative idea! My 3 year old will love a paper doll house! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Just saw this, 4 years later, but how cute! Your comments about the dollar store, trying not to take the birthday child with you, ending up with more "stuff" that won't be enjoyed long... This is super cute and I love the creativity. Another thing our kids have started doing is buying FOOD items for each other, real treats that they don't often get. Chocolate. Gum. Slim Jims. That is nice because it really is a huge treat and once it is gone, it's gone! Again, adorable post, love the idea and saving.


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