December 11, 2017

Last Minute Christmas Projects - Packages for Kids

Welcome to my stop on the Last Minute Christmas Projects blog hop, hosted by Jen of Faith and Fabric! If this is your first time here, then an extra big welcome to you 😊 If you're interested, I'd love to have you sign up for The Bulletin, my monthly newsletter. When you do, you'll also receive a copy of my Wind Farm quilt pattern, available exclusively to subscribers.

I have a different sort of project to share today. It's something my mom used to do for my younger cousins and I've been doing it for a few years for some of the little kids I babysit. We just call them packages, for lack of a better name. It's not a sewing project, though I like to include handmade things in them.

You know when you want to give a gift, and it has to be small (money-wise), but you still want it to make an impact? These packages are the perfect answer.

It's not so much the gift itself that makes the big impact, though. It's the delivery!

The packages are a bunch of small gifts and the idea is that the kids open them, one at a time, over the days leading up to Christmas. Mom used to do 7 days of gifts and I do 5 days, starting on December 20th. You know those days when the kids are practically dying to know what Santa is bringing them and they just want to open ALL THE THINGS? That's when they're allowed to open the packages.

Genius, right?

I've heard from the moms of kids I've given these packages to that they were up, asking if they could open "Leanne's present" at 6 in the morning, then spent the next hour making puppets from the kit they opened. I love it! Sure, the moms might not like it so much at 6 in the morning 😀, but the kids sure enjoyed what I gave them, more than they would have if they opened the same gifts on Christmas morning along with everything else.

I usually aim for a lot of the gifts to be things to do, like art supplies, craft kits or colouring books. I also like to include something handmade, like this play alphabet or this bean bag toss game.

Here's what the kids will be getting this year:

Day 1 - homemade playdough. I use this recipe to make my playdough and it is so, so soft. It also lasts for months when stored in a zip-top plastic bag. I think I've included play dough every year I've given the packages.

Day 2 - watercolour paints and brushes.
Packages for Kids |
Day 3 - the personalized placemats I've been working on, along with a little treat to enjoy so they can use the placemats right away.
Packages for Kids |
Day 4 - stickers, paper and glitter glue.
Packages for Kids |
Day 5 - refrigerated cookie dough. This last gift is always the same, and I make sure to explain to the moms that the gift marked 'day 5' needs to go in the fridge right away until it's time to open it. I've thought about making jars of cookie ingredients, but that seems like I'd be giving the moms more work. This way they only have to heat the oven and scoop the dough onto the pan. Keep it simple for Christmas Eve, right?
Packages for Kids |
Just as a note, I don't do packages for kids younger than 3, unless they're the younger sibling in a family already getting a package. The younger kids just don't have that same anticipation about Christmas yet and they don't get that opening a present early is extra special. Likewise, I find kids tend to outgrow my packages, but that's only because of the gifts I choose. You could certainly choose 'older' gifts and keep the fun going as the kids get older if you wanted.

Technically, this isn't a last minute gift, since you have to be thinking ahead enough to have it ready a few days before Christmas, but it doesn't take much work. Most of the gifts are from the dollar store, or they're things I make myself, so there's not a lot of running around to do to get it all ready. Plus it's so much fun to hear about how excited the kids were to open each day's gift and how much fun they had using it.

There are lots of other last minute gifts being shared in the hop, so be sure to check them all out!

Thanks to Jen for hosting the hop and to everyone participating! It's always fun to see what everyone comes up with to fit a theme 😊

So, are there kids on your list who would enjoy getting to open some presents early? Packages are definitely the answer!


  1. What a great idea. It sounds like the kids love your packages.

  2. These are a great idea Leanne, I can't wait until our grandson is old enough to appreciate packages like these :)

  3. I love this idea, having contemplated making book advent calendars I have shied away due to the cost. This is achievable and affordable:)


Thanks for taking the time to leave me a message. I love hearing from you.