10 DIY Christmas Gifts For Kids That They Can Build From Scratch
Christmas gift-giving is somewhat of a puzzle each year, especially when it comes to finding the perfect present for kids who are known for their fickle interests.
This year, you could go a different route and try out DIY Christmas gifts. Why?
The real charm of DIY gifts is that when kids engage in the creation or assembly of their presents, they develop a deeper appreciation and connection to them. It's not just about the end product, but the journey of making something with their own hands.
So, are you ready to explore the gift ideas your kids will enjoy making? Let's dive in!
What kind of Christmas gifts can your kids build from scratch?
Of course, you shouldn't gift your kid with an IKEA TV bench kit that just happens to be the perfect size to fit into your living room. Although completely DIY in nature, that's not a way to ignite their excitement.
Instead, think about simpler, fun, and more engaging projects that inspire creativity.
Options like holiday season ornaments or fun edible gifts are always great. They allow your kids to explore their artistic side, perfecting their fine motor skills along the way.
On the other hand, tech-oriented projects nurture a different set of skills, such as problem-solving and critical thinking. Simple robotics kits, DIY electronics, or basic coding projects can be both fun and educational, offering a perfect introduction to the world of STEM.
Before we start exploring our homemade gift ideas, let's remember the true essence of these projects.
Each one offers a unique opportunity for your children to learn, create, and explore new skills, all while making unforgettable memories.
10 best DIY Christmas gifts for your kids
Some of the gift ideas we'll see are 100% DIY, meaning that you'll use household items for your materials.
Here, you have an opportunity to turn DIY activities into something truly special. Rather than letting your kid scavenge for materials, you can prepare and beautifully package everything they'll need.
This thoughtful approach turns a simple project into a cute, personalized gift that they'll be excited to open and create.
For those who prefer a more streamlined process, we've also included ready-made kits on the list. These are great because everything's already in there, ready to roll. Perfect for when life's a bit hectic, which is pretty much the norm around Christmas!
No matter which way you go, these homemade gifts will be a wonderful surprise for the kids to find under the Christmas tree.
Gift #1: DIY LEGO tray
We'll start our list with something fun yet practical.
If your child enjoys building with LEGO, you probably constantly have stray bricks scattered around the house.
A DIY LEGO tray is a fantastic way to keep those tiny pieces organized, and it also adds a special touch to your child’s play area.
Image source: Somewhat Simple
It's a great opportunity for a family crafting session, creating a unique gift that's both thoughtful and useful.
For the basic version, you'll need a base plate and a picture frame that match in size. That's it!
However, we encourage you to include some glitter or stickers in this practical gift to transform it into a canvas for your child's art, letting them personalize the tray.
Pros and cons
The main advantage of practical gifts like this one is their dual purpose.
You can use the tray to stack LEGO bricks, making it a neat storage solution.
The other option is to use it as a display platform for your child's LEGO creations, like a bustling LEGO city or, a spooky castle, or other fun designs.
Now, there's a potential hurdle in finding a base plate and picture frame that match in size. But with a little bit of searching, you can certainly find a great pair or even adapt what you have to fit together nicely.
Gift #2: Build a fort kit
If you've ever draped blankets over chairs and tables to build your own little world, congratulations; you've actually participated in one of the classic engineering activities for kids.
Creating a fort-building kit takes that classic playtime activity to the next level.
You can find many fort kit suggestions online, some of which cater to boys who love playing the roles of young tacticians and adventurers, like this DIY fort kit.
Image source: Pretty Purple Door
Combine a fort like this with some boyish educational toys, and you're in for days of imaginative play and learning.
There are also kit ideas that are perfect for little readers and dreamers, which include cozy blankets, reading lights, and of course, books.
Image source: Our Daily Craft
Such reading forts are a fantastic way to encourage a break from screens and foster a love for stories.
Either way, a fort-building kit should contain some sheets, clips or ties for construction, and maybe even some whimsical elements like fairy lights or glow-in-the-dark stars to spark the imagination.
Pros and cons
Most other gifts are quite sedentary in nature.
However, the structures built with a DIY fort kit will get your kid moving, lifting, and crawling. That's excellent physical exercise, especially in the season of binging indulgent treats and Christmas Hallmark movies (don't worry; we won't tell anyone!).
On the flip side, having a huge fort in your house may mean that your living room might temporarily transform into a bustling construction zone, with less room for regular activities.
Gift #3: DIY Snow Globe
Is there a more festive homemade gift than a snow globe? We think not.
If you're looking for a creative and fun craft to do this Christmas, consider making a kit with all the materials needed for making snow globes, such as a mason jar or two, figurines, glitter, glycerin, and hot glue.
Image source: Martha Stewart
DIY snow globes are precious keepsakes that you can display year after year, making this a wonderful piece of home decor.
Pros and cons
The best thing about making these DIY ornaments is that you can create an assembly line, and craft several globes at once. This means that grandparents, mom, dad, family, and friends are sorted when it comes to gift-giving.
On the downside, the globes need to dry and settle, which can test the patience of young crafters. A sweet opportunity to practice patience and focus!
Gift #4: DIY Gingerbread House
When it comes to gingerbread houses, there are two routes you can take.
The first version of this lovely gift encompasses assembling a kit containing biscuits, gingerbread, candies, candy canes, and salt dough ornaments. The end result of such a crafts-related, fun gift may look something like this:
Image source: Kidspot
Alternatively, you can go for a pre-baked gingerbread house kit.
And for those who prefer zero mess, buying a foam gingerbread house kit is the perfect gift.
Image source: Oriental Trading
These options vary in the building difficulty and the time they take, but all of them let you and your child upgrade your Christmas-themed home decor.
Pros and cons
Younger kids and older kids alike enjoy crafting and decorating, so putting up a DIY gingerbread house kit is a good option for children of all ages.
However, if you decide to go with pre-baked pieces, remember that they can sometimes be fragile and break during assembly.
This means that adults could be the ones who end up building the house to help prevent damage.
Gift #5: DIY V8 Engine
In the case your little one is a budding engineer, chances are that you're constantly hearing about high-speed trains, jet turbines, and other engineering marvels.
Sounds like your kid?
Then we know the perfect gift for them: a DIY V8 engine kit!
Image source: EngineDIY
This V8 kit consists of 270 pieces, including actual, moving cylinder pistons. Building a functional engine model may sound challenging, but the detailed instructions make the assembly super easy.
Pros and cons
It's easy to forget about learning during holidays, when school's out. Luckily, DIY Christmas gifts like this V8 engine kit can keep the educational momentum going, blending play with STEM learning.
There's one thing you should keep in mind, though.
While most reviewers are satisfied with the product, a number of them complain about the annoying sound that the engine makes when running.
So that's one more sound to add to the Christmas cacophony, but think of it as the sweet symphony of learning in action!
Gift #6: DIY Smartwatch
Okay, now that we've stepped into the territory of DIY Christmas gifts that get the brain gears turning, there's no stopping.
The next on our list is Clockstar, a DIY kit with all the components you need to build a real, functional smartwatch.
After your child assembles the watch (there's some soldering involved, too), they can use it to mirror notifications from their phone, play games, or even play theremin. We bet that's a first!
You can also code the watch and add your own apps to make it even more unique.
In case your kid isn't too proficient in Python, they can still code with CodeBlocks, an intuitive block programming language.
Pros and cons
Clearly, this is a great gift idea for kids interested in electronics, as the DIY smartwatch offers a real-life application of basic software and hardware skills. Plus, your child will sure have a blast making a piece of wearable tech that they can use long after the holiday season ends.
A possible downside of this kit is that it requires a soldering iron, a tool not commonly found in every household.
If you don't have one, you can get it in a hardware store, or include a separate tool pack in your Clockstar purchase.
Gift #7: DIY Game Console
Most kids like playing video games, so much that the excessive screen time sometimes becomes a concern.
Fortunately, this Christmas, you can capture the excitement of gaming in a more engaging way by gifting toys that require kids to build their own game console.
And if you're going all in, why not get a bundle of three DIY game consoles?
Nibble, ByteBoi, and CircuitPet are three CircuitMess game consoles with different exciting abilities.
Each of them comes with several pre-loaded games, and even lets you code your own, creating an opportunity to learn the basics of coding and game design.
Pros and cons
Problem-solving, a deeper understanding of technology, and preparing for potential future careers are just some of the benefits of STEM toys like these. Essentially, a DIY game console of any sort is bound to bring equal amounts of joy and learning opportunities into your home.
Again, since building these toys is a bit more complex than assembling a, say, snow globe, you may need some specialized tools. Make sure you gather everything ahead, so that your kid can start building as soon as they open this super fun gift.
Gift #8: DIY Music Machine
Music is arguably one of the most cherished parts of the Christmas holidays, filling our homes with joy and warmth.
With that in mind, we have a real treat for aspiring young maestros, and it comes with a twist: you can get your kids a musical instrument they can build themselves!
Image source: A2Z Science
The DIY Music Machine by Smartivity is a fantastic gift for kids who are fascinated by both music and mechanics.
It's not just about playing melodies; it's about understanding and creating the very instrument that brings those tunes to your child's life.
Pros and cons
This fun DIY Christmas gift is designed for easy assembly. The wooden parts are secured by rubbers instead of glue, making for a cleaner and more straightforward building experience.
However, while it's a fantastic educational tool, the music machine has a limited range of notes, which might not satisfy children looking for a broader musical experience.
Gift #9: DIY Birdhouse
Most of us spend the Christmas Day nibbling on cookies, so why should the chirping birds out there be left out from the festivities?
In line with that, the next idea on our list is a DIY birdhouse that kids can make, decorate, and provide shelter to birds—all on their own.
Image source: Amazon
If you're into homemade gifts, you can prepare the craft kit by yourself: you'll need some scrap wood, screws or hot glue, and a template to follow.
The other option is to get a DIY kit that contains all the materials.
Either way, your kid will get involved in an activity that combines crafts with a lesson in responsibility, as they learn to build a cozy home for birds.
Pros and cons
Just like other arts and crafts projects, the DIY birdhouse opens the world of endless creativity. There's no "right" way to decorate the house, which encourages kids to add details and express themselves freely.
Unfortunately, not every environment is bird-friendly, so it's important to check if your area is a suitable habitat for birds. You wouldn't the fruits of your child's effort to remain empty!
Gift #10: DIY Wacky Robots
When you hear the phrase "homemade gifts", your mind likely springs to photo mugs or knitted mittens. But don't forget that in this technologically advanced era, you and your kids can make almost everything from scratch, including robots!
We're guessing that you don't want to spend the days leading to Christmas running around, gathering FR4 sheets, resistors, and capacitors, so we suggest that you streamline the process with a DIY robot kit.
Wacky Robots can become your best friends here.
These palm-sized robots are a cool idea for any young roboticist looking to explore the fun world of robotics in a hands-on way.
Pros and cons
The hands-on exploration is precisely what makes DIY robots a great gift.
Rather than watching videos about robots on YouTube, your kid has the opportunity to try their hand at building functional robots, learning about various hardware and software topics along the way.
Naturally, building robots is more difficult than watching media about them, so the process may sometimes seem challenging. However, the challenge makes the experience so rewarding, so all the struggles are worth it.
Find the best Christmas gift for your kids with CircuitMess
Some hot glue, an X-acto knife, and a bit of Mod Podge can go far when it comes to crafting the perfect DIY Christmas gift that kids can make themselves.
Still, if you're looking to complement DIY activities with modern technology, CircuitMess offers a variety of electronic STEM kits you'll love.
With CircuitMess STEM kits, children can learn about different technologies like AI, programming, microcomputers, and so much more. So, if you know you want to go in the direction of DIY Christmas gifts, but aren't sure what exactly to get, check out what CircuitMess offers.
See you under the Christmas tree!