8 Unique Gift Ideas for Kids | KiwiCo Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for an awesome gift for a creative kid? In a world of endless options, it can be a challenge to find a unique present that encourages innovation, exploration, and delight. That’s why we created our Holiday Gift Guide which features enriching STEAM projects that help kids learn while having serious fun. 

Our goal is to inspire kids to see themselves as scientists, artists, and makers and every gift in our guide is designed by experts with learning in mind. We spend over 1,000 hours inventing and  testing every project to ensure that these gifts spark curiosity, build confidence and are deeply engaging. Below, we’ve featured a few of our most exciting gift suggestions for multiple interests and ages. Share the joy of innovation and creativity with your family this holiday season.

Unique Gift Ideas for Kids Ages 2-4

Little ones learn through play. These gifts are designed to engage kids, parents (and grandparents) to have fun and make discoveries together.

Colorful Chemistry

Unique STEM Gifts for Kids 2-4 Year Olds: Colorful Chemistry

In Colorful Chemistry, kids play with color and a learn whole lot of science! Eager learners will create bubbly reactions in their own chemistry lab. The pack includes different colors, so creative youngsters can add their own artistic flair!

Doctor’s Visit

STEM Gifts for Kids 2-4 Year Olds: Doctor's Visit

Explore empathy through pretend play! With Doctor’s Visit, kids assemble and decorate an entire medical kit, which includes a thermometer, stethoscope, and plenty of felt bandages. Using these medical tools and a handy doctor’s checklist, kids check their patients’ ears, throat, heart, and more. Then, with the help of some felt bandages (and maybe a hug), they can make their patients feel better again!

More Gift Ideas for 2-4 Year Olds

Gift Ideas for Ages 5-8

Bridge the gap between learning and fun with these STEAM kits that teach valuable lessons about science, math, art, and more! In addition to hands-on projects the kits include awesome comics that educate and entertain.

Pinball Machine

STEM Gifts for Kids 5-8 Year Olds: Pinball Machine

With the Pinball Machine crate, kids design their own pinball board and learn the physics behind the game. They’ll play with angles and momentum and dive into fun, hands-on activities in Play & Learn magazine! Plus young creators will enjoy decorating the game board with bright geometric art.

Crystal Chemistry Garden

STEM Gifts for Kids 5-8 Year Olds: Crystal Chemistry Garden

Craft a colorful chemis-tree and garden using felt shapes and liquid watercolors. Then eager learners can concoct a chemical solution that’ll make their garden grow fun and funky crystals over two days. They’ll learn about the science behind crystals, too: how they’re formed, and how they make up all sorts of things, like salt, snow, and sapphires!

More Gift Ideas for 5-8 Year Olds

Gift Ideas for Ages 9-11

These kits blend of science and art and are designed to accelerate natural curiosity and growing creativity. All of the materials and guidance are included to create something unique, practical, and fun!

Hydraulic Claw

STEM Gifts for Kids 9-11 Year Olds: Hydraulic Claw

Explore engineering with this hydraulic claw! Hydraulics are the use of liquids for mechanical force or control. They’re used all over, from airplanes to factories to theme parks, and this project dives into the mechanics and science behind the topic. Kids learn about hydraulics, mechanical force, and other fundamentals while they experiment with interactions between gas and liquids, and learn about robotics!

Walking Robot

STEM Gifts for Kids 9-11 Year Olds: Walking Robot

Build a walking robot with this robotics kit! The fun doesn’t stop there. They’ll learn about mechanical motion, friction, and even experiment with the robot’s design.  The kit includes a step-by-step video, illustrated blueprint instructions, all necessary materials, and a special edition magazine!

More Gift Ideas for 9-11 Year Olds

Gift Ideas for Ages 12+

Struggling to find a gift for a creative tween or teen? Don’t worry! These hands-on gifts are designed to engage inquisitive kids with awesome art, engineering and science projects that teach STEM principles. With these kits, teens can learn, have fun, and create something practical all at the same time.

Light-up Speaker

STEM Gifts for Kids Ages 12+: LED Speaker

Explore the science of sound by building a personal speaker! With this kit, teens can create an amplification circuit to power a speaker, set up a glowing LED, and learn about transistors and electromagnetism . It’s a journey into hands-on electronics with a sonic result!

Fire Lab

STEM Gifts for Kids Ages 12+: Fire Lab

Give the gift of Fire Lab and ignite a passion for science! Teens will learn about combustion, oxidation, capillary action, and more!  With this kit, teens will have everything they need to make a colorful flame lamp and play with fire!

More Gift Ideas for Ages 12+

If you’re looking for special deals on holiday gifts, don’t forget to visit out Countdown Deals. Every 36 hours, a different selection of awesome project kits are on sale for 50% off!

DIY Glitter Ornaments | Sparkly Family Fun

DIY Glitter Ornaments: Completed

All That Glitters 

It’s time to bask in the magical sparkle of the holidays with a craft project that really shines–on your tree! Dust off the glitter stash and get ready to make some golden memories!

It’s Ornamental

Below are some key ingredients you can use to make your Christmas tree show the best in glam!

DIY Glitter Ornament Ingredients

  • Plastic or glass ornament globes
  • Small paper cups
  • Cleaning solution (rubbing alcohol works well) 
  • Floor finish or floor wax.
  • Glitter (non-toxic, extra fine)
  • One creative helper!

Next Stop Glitter Town!

DIY Glitter Ornament Ingredients

Now you can make winter days a whole lot brighter with some glittery fun! A shower of glitter can make any winter day shine warm and bright with holiday cheer. Here’s a simple step-by-step glitter ornament guide to help you and your loved ones have a merry little Christmas this year:

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Grab your favorite crafting partner, some cleaning solution (vinegar or rubbing alcohol), transparent (clear) ornaments, a bottle of floor finish/cleaner and your favorite color of glitter. Once you’ve gathered all these materials it’s time to create the best DIY glitter ornaments to light up the season!

Step 2: Clean-n-Shine

DIY Ornament cleaning and shining

Now that you’ve got your transparent plastic or glass ornaments out, look over your ornaments carefully since dust likes to hang out on glass and plastic surfaces. The inside of an ornament is irresistible to dust bunnies. To clean them out, you may need to pour some cleaning solution inside and swish it around.

Ornament interior cleaning

Fun Fact: Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol is often preferred over vinegar when cleaning. If you are wanting to deep clean any transparent surfaces (like clear ornament spheres) isopropyl is ideal. It is what is known as “volatile.” This means it doesn’t leave a residue as it evaporates. As a bonus, it tends to dry quickly, so anxious artists don’t have to wait so long to complete the next step!

Step 3: Spread it Around

After you’ve coated the interior of your ornament, it’s time to get rid of the excess cleaning solution. Instead of tossing it out entirely,  this could be a perfect way to intro your young creators to the art of conversation. Some glitter ornament DIYers suggest pouring the excess into any other glitter ornaments you are looking to glitter glam. Or if you only want to do one or two ornaments, you can reuse the solution in other interesting ways.  If you use isopropyl and have quite a bit left, there are so many interesting projects you can do with it. Along with being a great cleaning agent, it plays a role in countless craft projects and science experiments!

Step 4: Drip It Dry

DIY Ornament drying process

Break out the small paper cups! It’s time for a drip dry. When you use a chemical agent like rubbing alcohol, the drying process is quick and easy. Flip your sparkling clean plastic or glass globes upside down into the small paper cups. After the residue from the cleaning solution has evaporated, you’ll be able to move on to the next step–adding the adhering glitter ingredient.

Step 5: Swirl And Swish

You can skip the unsightly glue globs! Glitter ornament-making professionals say floor finish works much better, allowing for a more even layering of glitter inside the ornament sphere. Take only a little of the solution and drop it into the open ornament. Once you’ve done that, swirl the liquid around inside, but don’t shake! You want to avoid causing a bubbly reaction. The fewer the air bubbles the more evenly the floor finish will go on. After the interior is fully coated, glitter glam comes next!

Step 6: Bedazzle Your Ornament Ball

DIY ornament decorations

Now it’s time to add in your non-toxic extra fine glitter powder to the mix. What color does your child prefer? Half the fun is in picking the color! Remember how you swirled your floor finish inside your globe? Pour the glitter into your already finish coated globe and do that same fun swirling motion. Pretty soon you’ll have a sparkling example of what your creative crafter can do with only a few directions and a whole lot of enthusiasm!

Step 7: Cup on Repeat

Now you can reuse the cups you had used for the cleaning solution drip dry step as holders for your glitter globes. You can set them upright in the cup this time. Here’s an opportunity for some prediction premonitions. Will the glitter take longer to dry than the cleaning solution? Will it dry faster?

Step 8: Cap it Off

Completed ornament with glitter

After the ornaments have dried, you’ll need to reattach the lid of the ornament. (Usually, the lids are made of metal or plastic and have a wire that slides in or out of the holes at the top of the lid when pinched.) But wait! Before you attach the ornament cap, it may be wise to add a little glue inside the sides of the lid. This will help keep the lid snug and tight. You don’t want to let the festive ball drop off your Christmas tree!

Step 9: Stick a Pin/Wire in It

Now it’s time to slide the wire back into the ornament cap. This should be one of the final steps. The less you handle the wire, the less likely it is to damage the glitter within the globe. The wires can be a little sharp, so make sure you handle them carefully, especially when handling glass ornaments. Too much force applied can crack the plastic or glass. (For younger artists shatter-proof plastic ornaments are recommended over their glass counterparts.)

Step 10: Put a Scrapbooking Spin On-It

Set of completed DIY Glitter Ornaments

This next step isn’t necessary to complete the project, but it’s a great way for kids to give their ornament an extra boost of personality! Stick-on sequins and Christmas themed stickers like snowflakes, trees, stars and reindeer make great additions to any glittery sphere. It’ll be a fun way to empty your scrapbooking overflow while allowing the Christmas DIYer in your life to sparkle as much as their glitter creation! 

This season, glitter ornaments can help keep winter days warm and bright! It may just come from a different source–from the smile on your child’s face as they discover a whole new way to celebrate the holidays!

Looking for gifts to put under your sparkly tree this year? Stop by our gift guide to see our 100+ gifts for kids of all ages!

9 Fall and Thanksgiving Pumpkin Recipes For Kids

Thanksgiving Fall Projects baking

It’s squash season…and that means pumpkin reigns supreme! We love pumpkin because it’s a healthy ingredient that plays well with kid-friendly recipes. And we love these Thanksgiving pumpkin recipes for kids because they take advantage of the season’s favorite ingredient, with easy steps kids can help with. They’re great for Thanksgiving Day, or for snacking all November long!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Recipes

Mini Pumpkin Pies w/ Press-In Crust

Mini Pumpkin Pies Ingredients setup

It’s super easy (and super fun) for kids to make their own pies. A hands-on, sensory activity– like playing with play dough, only with edible results!

No-Bake Pumpkin Cookies

Thanksgiving no bake cookie recipe

A community favorite, these tasty, tiny no-bake treats are great for kids to prepare and enjoy. These pumpkin cookies are also perfect after-school snacks, since they’re refreshing bundles of pumpkin, oats, and raisins!

Pumpkin Cookies

Thanksgiving pumpkin cookie recipe

We love a kitchen filled with the scent of freshly baked cookies. This pumpkin cookie recipe is ideal for small bakers since there are only three easy ingredients: cake mix, pumpkin puree, and chocolate!

Pumpkin Smoothie

After researching different ways to make smoothies, we settled on one that has only four healthy ingredients: milk, honey, pumpkin, and yogurt! This pumpkin smoothie is definitely a community favorite.

Pumpkin Bread

Thanksgiving pumpkin bread recipe

Few things in the world are better than a great loaf of pumpkin bread. The delicious aroma of cinnamon and spices wafting in the air reminds us of autumn, cool weather, and getting cozy at home with fun books and tasty snacks!

Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds

Thanksgiving caramelized pumpkin seeds recipe

Pumpkin carving season is over, but maybe you still have some uncarved pumpkins sitting on your front porch, or are inspired to cook with some of those beautiful squashes while they’re still in the market. In any case, this is great way to make a tasty snack with the season’s harvest.

Pumpkin Waffles

Thanksgiving pumpkin waffle recipe

Mornings are always a rush; this is a great make-ahead meal you can store in the refrigerator or freezer and simply pop in the toaster oven for a quick breakfast treat.

Whipped Pumpkin Fruit Dip

Whipped pumpkin fruit dip recipe

This whipped pumpkin dip is great for getting fruit (and pumpkin!) into picky kids. A great addition to a holiday fruit platter.

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin bars Thanksgiving recipe

The smell of pumpkin baking in the kitchen reminds us of fall, but we love to make and eat these pumpkin bars all through the year!

We hoped you enjoyed our collection of Thanksgiving pumpkin recipes! For more awesome Fall family activities & crafts, see our list of 14 Creative Thanksgiving Traditions for Kids!

10 Handmade Holiday Gifts Kids Can Make

When I was twelve, my best friend and I made a series of finger puppet animals. We spent hours cutting out tiny felt ears and gluing googly eyes. I gave a set of bears to my aunt and she loved them so much she hung them on her tree. Many years later, the bears still make an annual holiday appearance.  Everytime I see those crazy little bears, I am reminded of the thrill of making and giving her something I made myself.

Now as a parent, I love crafting homemade gifts with my daughter. We pick a project, set up a workstation, and then create bespoke presents for grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. Making a homemade gift is about creating something unique and meaningful; something the recipient will treasure for a long time.

Spending time together creating something awesome is the best part of this holiday tradition. It’s a way to slow down, reconnect and get back to basics; it’s also a way to encourage generosity and kindness. 

Here at KiwiCo, we are committed to inspiring kids to see themselves as artists, scientists and makers. As the holiday season ramps up, we’d like to encourage everyone to gather together to make handmade holiday gifts for each other. Here are some projects kids can make (along with a seriously fun wrapping idea!) We’ve included some of our favorite DIYs as well as some easy kits from our store:

1. Holiday Circuit Cards (Ages: 9-16)

If you want to light up someone’s holiday, these circuit cards are cheery and bright.  Kids will learn about LEDs and circuitry while they make something useful and fun.


2. Pull-Tab Cards (Ages: 5 to 16)

There is no more meaningful gift than a homemade holiday card with a hand-written message. These Pull-Tab cards are an imaginative way to start the holiday season.

3.Tin Lanterns (Ages: 5-9)

These sparkly lanterns light up a winter’s night and are festive gifts to bring to a holiday party. Make a different pattern for each person on your gift list.

4. Swirly Ornaments (Ages: 5-9)

Kids will love to swirl and mix the glitter paint to create unique, colorful ornaments. The KiwiCo Swirly Ornament crate includes all the materials you need to make charming holiday keepsakes.

5. Geometric Candles (Ages: 9-16+)

Create a trio of faceted candles to decorate the house! With KiwiCo’s easy Geometric Candle crate, kids will learn how to fold a geometric mold, dye some wax, and transform the wax into a candle. The kit includes a video tutorial link, step-by-step illustrated instructions, all the materials, and additional design ideas and inspiration.

6. Rolled Picture Frame (Ages: 9-16)

Filled with photos of your kids, this DIY picture frame makes a great gift for grandparents. This isn’t a short project either so you’ll have plenty of quality time together!

7. Bath Bombs (Ages: 9 to 16)

Learn about chemistry as you make fizzy bath bombs using KiwiCo’s Bath Bomb crate. Mix-and-match colors to create cute colorful discs!

8. Pencil Roll (Ages: 5-16)

Make this cute and colorful pencil roll to gift to your favorite artsy friend for year-round creativity.

9. Super Easy No-Bake Holiday Cookies (Ages: 3 to 9)

These yummy mint cookies are easy for kids to make by themselves as they don’t need to go in the oven! Gift the cookies in tins for a simple go-to holiday party tradition.

10. Holiday Puzzle Box (Ages: 9 to 16)

Give the gift of entertainment with this holiday puzzle box! Wrap your special someone’s present in this box and then sit back and watch them try to open it.

Unique Thanksgiving Games for the Whole Family

We know many grown-ups will be busy tomorrow and Thursday shopping and prepping for the Big Meal — but it’s also helpful to have some fun Thanksgiving games lined up to keep the little ones entertained.  These are also some of our favorite ways to bring the family together before or after Thanksgiving dinner — maybe you’ll find a new family tradition here!

Unique Thanksgiving Games

Turkey Bowling (ages 3-8)

Thanksgiving turkey bowling party game

On Thanksgiving Day, we have a family tradition. We play the “Turkey Games.” It’s basically a bunch of Thanksgiving games and friendly competition amongst our family and friends of all ages. As the table is being set and Thanksgiving dinner is cooking, it’s a really fun way to spend time together. This year, we’re trying out a new event: Turkey Bowling. My kids had a blast creating and playing this DIY game. Plus, the scoring brings a little math and learning to the fun. Strike!

Thanksgiving Game: Pictionary (ages 6-12)

Thanksgiving pictionary party game

Sometimes my kids get a little restless on Thanksgiving as the grownups are preoccupied with getting that special meal onto the table. We ended up DIY’ing a Thanksgiving pictionary game that would be a perfect way to spend some time before – or after – the meal.

Pumpkin of Gratitude (ages 7-16+)

Pumpkin of gratitude Thanksgiving project

My daughter brought home a pumpkin similar to this one from school. We loved the concept. So, as a family, we decided that we would each create a pumpkin of gratitude to explicitly recognize that we have so much to be thankful for. We are truly fortunate. This project is simple, but it turns out beautifully. I hope that we continue making pumpkins of gratitude as a tradition in years to come.

Cranberry Catapult (ages 6-16+)

Cranberry Catapult Thanksgiving game

We love catapults around here at KiwiCo. That’s why we make two types of catapults: the Basketball Catapult and the Arcade Catapult. Launching things is endless entertainment! This particular cranberry catapult includes a nod to the Fall season and Thanksgiving. Cranberries make for the perfect ammunition. We tried pom poms too, and they worked just as well (or even mini marshmallows left over from the sweet potato casserole!)

Wishing a safe and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from all of us at KiwiCo!

Christmas Slime Recipe | 13 Easy Steps to Holiday Joy

This Christmas you can give young scientists a chance to experience fun chemistry by helping them create holiday slime. All it takes is this simple Christmas Slime recipe. It’s time to get slimed!

Christmas Slime and Smiles

Christmas Slime Recipe - Completed

What does it take to make slime? Molecules. Long chains of molecules and a Christmas chemical combination! Slime experiments are a holiday favorite for elves, young scientists, and Santa lovers everywhere because of how awesome slime-making can be. It’s fun to play with and a joy to create.

Christmas Slime is a sensory experience that uses polymers and slime activators to get a chemically bonding reaction! The look, texture, and holiday fun scent of slime allow children to fully immerse themselves in the experiment while learning all about molecule movement. This Christmas Slime recipe is messy but so satisfying!

Step 1: Create Powerful “Bonding” Moments

Slime ingredients

It’s time to celebrate Christmas in all its colorful glory with your adventurous Christmas helper! All your child needs this Christmas is some chemical reactive ingredients and this quick instruction guide to add a little sparkle to the holiday season. Here’s what to grab if you want to make Christmas Slime that smells and looks like a holiday party waiting to happen!

Christmas Slime Recipe: Ingredients

(Serving size: 1 batch of festive slime!)

  • 1/2 cup of clear, washable school glue
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 or 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of saline solution
  • mixing container or bowl
  • stir sticks (popsicle sticks work well)
  • food coloring (your choice of color)
  • glitter or Christmas confetti (optional – you’re welcome parents)
  • holiday spice or scented oil of your choice (optional)

(Tip: Add 2 to 3 drops of peppermint oil, a cinnamon stick or small amount of gingerbread spice blend to your slime mix for a Christmas scent.)

If you don’t have a saline solution and baking soda within reach to trigger the necessary chemical reaction, other recipes call for 1/2-1/4 cup of liquid starch or 1/4 tsp of Borax powder as an adequate replacement option. They are all a part of the Boron family and react in similar ways.

Step 2: Pour On The Sticky Stuff.

It’s time to get started! Slime makers, take your 1/2 cup of clear washable glue and pour it into the bowl. This will be the base of your Christmas slime recipe.

(Fun Fact: That clear school glue is known in the science world as polyvinyl-acetate.)

Step 3: Add In Some H20.

Water mixing into glue bowl

Now it’s time to add some water to the mix! Add 1/2 cup of water.

Step 4: Get Out Your Color/Glitter Cannon!

Adding glitter to glue mixture

Here comes the creative part! Bring out your inner artist and splash in some food coloring. If you want to add some extra sparkle, this is where glitter or confetti comes in. During this step, you can also put on your experimentation cap. Ask questions like these:

  • How much food coloring do you need to add to get the particular color you want?
  • What happens when you add two different colors into the slime?
  • What is the texture of the Christmas slime after a teaspoon of glitter is added? How about a tablespoon?

And Voila! Next thing you know, you’ve got your own custom slime creation!

Step 5 (Optional): It’s Time To Get Scent-sational!

Before you put your slime activators (baking powder & saline solution, or Borax, or liquid starch) to the test, try adding a fun scent like peppermint oil, cinnamon or a gingerbread mixture of 1 teaspoon of ginger and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Stir it into the existing water and glue mixture. This will help to spread the Christmas scent through the slime. It can really help boost the holiday experience!

Step 6: Next–Activate The Powderous Pouring!

Powder pouring glue mixture

Get the stir sticks out it’s almost time to watch as molecules tango together in what’s known as the cross-linking process. Add 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder into the colorful glue and water mixture. Give it a generous stir, it’s about to get salty in here!

Step 7: Dribble In Your Salty Solution

After you’ve thoroughly stirred the baking powder, 1 tablespoon of saline solution is next. You’ve already exercised your brain muscle, now it’s time to exert some force with your arm muscles. Use your stir stick to mix the Christmassy concoction into a slimy consistency. You can stop stirring once the slime pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl.

(Fun Fact: So what just happened? The borate ions in the saline solution reacted chemically with the polyvinyl-acetate (aka the glue) creating slime!)

Step 8: Now You “Knead” To Step It Up

Kneading Christmas Slime

Does your chemistry experiment feel a little too sticky to handle? Yes, Christmas Slime is messy but it shouldn’t be overly sticky. By adding a little more saline solution onto your hands and kneading the slime, it can help those dancing molecules bond more tightly to each other.

Step 9: Put Christmas Slime To The Test

Completed Christmas Slime

What kind of slime do you like best? Do you think viscous (thick, stretchy) slime is the best kind out there? Or do you prefer a thinner, more soupy kind? Make a few batches of slime to determine what slime type you prefer, until you get the perfect Christmas slime! (Hint: Try adding different amounts of saline solution to the slime. You may be surprised at the results!)

Step 10: Have A Chemical Comparison Session

There are many types of slime. What makes one batch of slime different than another? Does borax react any differently than the saline solution? How does liquid starch react in contrast?

Step 11: It’s Time For Sensory Slime Play Time!

You’ve created your slimy masterpiece, now what?! Stretch your slime to the breaking point. How far will it stretch? Doesn’t the texture make it fun to hold? Some sensory scientists like to play search-and-rescue with their slime by placing tiny objects inside it (parent-approved objects of course.) Then they let others seek them out or guess what objects are hiding.

Step 12: Clean Up Time

Christmas Slime is fun to work with but can be a bit tough to clean off clothes and even tabletops. The key to cleaning slime is to get to it in time! Wipe or pick slime off the surface it is attached to quickly. Many slime makers also use vinegar to keep slime where it belongs!

(Tip: If slime gets on furniture or clothing that you value, don’t immediately pour vinegar on it. First, dab a small bit of vinegar and see how it reacts before using larger quantities.)

Step 13: Keep Your Slime Safe

Slime storage in container

Slime can last for weeks if it is properly stored. If you place Christmas Slime in a container that is air-tight, it is less likely to dry out. Reusable plastic and glass containers can help your slime stay fresh. Just make sure to clean your slime before storing it away.

This holiday season, smile from ear to ear with this fun chemistry experiment! No stretch of the imagination is required, only a lot of colorful, stretchy slime!

Looking for even more slime fun? Check out our Volcano Slime and Confetti Slime project kits!

How to Practice Gratitude, 10 Awesome Family Projects

Thanksgiving Gratitude Header

In the last few years, gratitude has come to light as an accessible way to increase happiness and even change our brains (thanks neuroplasticity!). Researchers are studying how to best practice gratitude and developing this field to help us better understand how gratitude affects our kids’ brains, bodies, and communities.

With all of that new research, it’s no surprise that so many parents are wondering how their kids can practice gratitude. What games should you play with your child? What awesome projects can you do together to practice gratitude? Parents want to bring gratitude into their family activities beyond Thanksgiving Day or week, but they struggle to find simple and practical ways to keep it up. Below, we’ve collected an updated list of 10 hands-on projects to try at home with your family any time of year!

How to Practice Gratitude

The Tree of Gratitude (Ages 5-9)

Create a gratitude centerpiece. This tree is a simple but elegant way to display what you are thankful for.

gratitude tree DIY for kids

Thanksgiving Jar (Ages 3-9)

Throughout the year, have your kids write or draw what they are thankful for on smooth stones, and drop them into a special jar. At Thanksgiving, pull out the rocks and talk about the things you are thankful for this year.

DIY Thanksgiving Jar for Kids

Gratitude Box (Ages 5-16)

A great use of a simple watercolor technique to create a vibrant and unique gift. Give your mini painting to someone you are thankful for! Awesome idea by Meri Cherry. 🙂

gratitude-box-kids-DIY-Kiwi-Crate-thanksgiving

Gratitude Collage (Ages 3-5)

This Gratitude Collage template helps kids learn how to express their gratitude. The prompts and illustrations are a super helpful way to teach younger kids how to express their gratitude. These paper gratitude blankets will hang nicely in your living room!

Thankfulness Collage

Pumpkin of Gratitude (Ages 7-16)

How to practice gratitude with pumpkins: this project is simple, but it turns out beautifully. Each member of your family can make their own pumpkin to display on the dinner table.

gratitude-pumpkin-kids-DIY-Kiwi-Crate-thanksgiving

Gratitude Chain (Ages 5-8)

It’s a great, kid-friendly project to remind the people around you to be grateful for the little things in life! You can hang your gratitude chain by tying strings around both ends of your chain and taping them to the wall. We also love the idea of using the garland as tabletop decor!

gratitude-chain-kids-DIY-Kiwi-Crate-thanksgiving

“We Love You Because…” Treasure Hunt (Ages 2-9)

Show your neighbor, friend, or family how grateful you are to have them in your life with a little treasure hunt. Busy lives and full days, means we often forget to stop and express how grateful we are for each other. This treasure hunt is a fun and heart-warming way to say thank you for the simple things we often take for granted.

gratitude-scavenger-hunt-kids-DIY-Kiwi-Crate-thanksgiving

Thankful Journal (Ages 2-9)

Collage the outside of a journal you make yourself or have around the house. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to jot down what you are grateful for. It’s a simple way to lift spirits and reminds us to celebrate the small things in life.

gratitude-journal-kids-DIY-Kiwi-Crate-thanksgiving

We are Thankful for the Earth (Ages 2-9)

Go for a nature walk with your kids. Keep track of what brings you feelings of gratitude along the walk. When you return home, illustrate a poster with those items: sunshine, birch trees, lakes, and more!

Thankfulness Notes DIY

Kindness Wreath (Ages 3-9)

A kindness wreath is a great way to encourage kids to create moments other people will be grateful for and to develop a keen awareness for the kindness around them! A ribbon is added to a wreath each time a family member points out an act of kindness. When the wreath is full, celebrate as a family and move it to your front door!

kindness-wreath-for-kids

How do you practice gratitude?

Let us know in the comments below! A big thank you to everyone who made it to the bottom of this blog post, and for continuing to engage your kids in hands-on learning through KiwiCo projects and/or in other ways. 🙂

‘Tis the Season for KiwiCo!

7 Reasons to Make KiwiCo Your Go-To Holiday Gift Solution

Are you scrambling to find a holiday gift for the kids in your life — a gift that inspires fun and learning? That will please the kid (most importantly!) but also their parent too? 

We may be a little biased, but we think we have a solution for even your toughest customers. Our crates are packed full of age-appropriate awesome projects and activities that encourage engaging exploration and hands-on play. We offer a wide range of crates for all ages and interests, from infants and toddlers to teenagers (and beyond!) You can also choose projects aimed at specific interests, such as art or engineering, chemistry or crafting, geography or robots. Most importantly, the crates offer old school fun.

Whether you are a parent,  grandparent, auntie, uncle or family friend, here are some reasons you can’t go wrong with a gift from KiwiCo this season:

  1. When you give a crate from KiwiCo, you are giving the gift of self-confidence, curiosity and innovation to your kids. KiwiCo inspires kids to see themselves as makers and to develop the creative confidence to change the world (for real!)
  2. You are giving the gift of quality time to yourself and your kids. With our hectic weeks and very long days, it can be difficult for us as parents to find time to sit down with the kids and do a fun activity (trust us, we know!)  Our crates are thoughtfully designed to make learning playful and fun for both you and your child.
  3. You are giving the gift of ease and convenience to yourself (or the lucky recipient’s parents!) All of our projects come with everything you need in the box! No last-minute trips to the store, no frantically checking the obligatory kitchen junk drawer for batteries, paper, or scissors. Everything needed is in the box! Plus you can order the box TODAY and select the first date when the crate gets delivered. So you can cross gift-giving off of your list.
  4. You can still have a gift to put under the tree or to give in person. With our service First Crate Ship to Me, you can have the first crate shipped to you so you can deliver a physical gift for the holidays.
  5. You are giving a gift that keeps giving. Long after the craziness of the holidays is over (and some gifts have, sadly, been forgotten/broken/lost), your kid will continue to enjoy a monthly delivery of their crate!
  6. We have a gift for ALL price points… You can find 3-, 6- and 12-month subscription terms, as well as plenty of single projects (including stocking stuffers) for sale in the KiwiCo store.
  7. …and for EVERY age, from infants to teens (and even kids at heart!) No more visiting multiple stores and websites or getting lost in the Google rabbit hole of searches for “best gifts for 5 year olds, 9 year olds, 13 year olds, 15 year olds, etc….” We can help you check off literally every kid on your list.

But don’t just take our word for it.

“This is one of the best gifts I’ve ever found for my grandson. The crates come monthly and he loves to do the projects. They are age appropriate and he can do them by himself. Science, art and more.” -Lorna B.

“So in ♥ with KiwiCo! This is THE gift I recommend to everyone I know with kids in their lives.” – Tracy T.

“I LOVE these crates. My kids have a great time and we spend family time together doing them. Great memories made” – Stacey W.

KiwiCo has the perfect solution for young scientists, creatives and innovators! We’ll help you find a gift that inspires curiosity and learning all year long.

Get your holiday shopping done today at KiwiCo.com!

Introducing Maker Crate: Projects to Inspire Artists and Creatives

Maker Crate art project for teens

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Maker Crate — our newest line for teens and beyond. Maker Crate will provide you with all the tools and instruction to tap into your creativity, learn new techniques, and make something beautiful… and useful.

Our mission in launching Maker Crate is to deliver an experience that will help you build creative confidence to turn artistic visions into design realities.  From creating a macrame plant hanger or a punch-needle pillow to spruce up a room to crafting a terrazzo-style tray to store essentials — every crate includes projects that are both imaginative  and functional.

Maker Crate Plush Pillow art project

Not only will makers learn new techniques and tools, they will learn real-world applications and the history behind each art form.  Whether you are 14 or 104 years old, a first-time crafter or an experienced maker, each crate is a chance to experiment, draw inspiration and make something to treasure or give to someone special.

Lamp project Maker Crate

If you’re familiar with our other lines, you will find some unique aspects to Maker Crate:

  • Maker Crate’s step-by-step instructions are presented exclusively through online video tutorials, to make learning new techniques more visual, more accessible (and maybe even more fun!)
  • With an emphasis on more sophisticated techniques, Maker projects are more in-depth and will likely take longer to complete. We’ve also included materials for future projects so that long after the first project is finished, you can continue to experiment with other designs. Like Eureka Crate, Maker Crate starts at $24.95/month (with free shipping.)
Painting Art Project for Teens

We know first hand the joy that comes with experimenting with new artforms and learning a new craft. We’re here to help makers feel more confident in trying new things in a way that is encouraging, convenient, and seriously fun! We can’t wait to see what you make!

Check out Maker Crate and all the rest of our lines at www.kiwico.com.

How to Make a Paper Snowflake

Completed DIY Paper Snowflake

Taking on the Snowflake Challenge

Is the young crafter in your family fascinated by snow and the holiday season? If so, then your child may enjoy delving into the snowy side of Christmas crafts. Learn how to make a paper snowflake by following these 10 easy steps. By the end, you’ll have an intricate snowflake that will bring creativity and holiday spirit into your home!

Step 1: Gather Your Paper Snowflake Materials

Materials to Make a Paper Snowflake, Scissors, Pencil, Paper, Protractor

Paper Snowflake Craft Materials

  • White paper (letter-size)
  • Scissors (safety scissors are optional)
  • Protractor or ruler (optional)
  • Pencil (optional)

(The materials listed above are enough for one large snowflake. If you want to turn your ceiling into a fantastical snowflake skyline, repeat this project with more paper sheets!)

Step 2: Create a Snow Crystal Square

Starting Piece of Paper for Snowflake
Paper Snowflake folding process

Every paper snowflake starts off in a basic square shape. Take a sheet of letter-size paper and fold a corner down to align the shorter end with the longer end. The folded part will form what’s known as an isosceles triangle. Now use scissors to trim the excess paper below the triangle shape.

(Side note: The excess paper should measure 2” x 8.5”, in case you want to make sure you’re following along correctly! It isn’t needed for this project, so you can add it to the scrap bin or recycle it.)

Step 3: Fold and Refold

Triangle folding arts & crafts process

Keep your paper folded in a triangle shape. Now fold the large triangle again in half. This will make a smaller triangle. Try your best to make clean and straight creases!

Step 4: Divide and Conquer Your Triangle!

Dividing and measuring with a ruler or protractor

Because real life snowflakes are symmetrical, we’ll need to do some careful measuring to create a symmetrical paper snowflake of our own. Symmetry is when two or more parts of a thing are identical. Think of butterfly wings, matching socks, and spiderwebs — they all have parts that match.

Now, the smaller triangle needs to be divided. The longest side of the triangle should measure 8.5″ long. Use a ruler and pencil to mark the middle of that side (at 4.5″ from each end). Use the ruler to draw a line from the apex of the triangle (the corner opposite the longest side) to the mark you made.

Step 5: To the Left

Folded paper triangle

Now it’s time to get back to folding. As mentioned, snowflakes have symmetry. Folding your triangle correctly creates a kind of symmetry, a uniformity, a balance to the shape. Take the left side and fold it so the left edge is aligned with the middle drawn line.

Step 6: Now to the Right

Paper Snowflake Triangle double-folded

Repeat this with the right side and fold it over the middle section as well. The paper should look like an arrow pointing downward.

Step 7: Flip it Forward

Once the folding is done, flip the arrow shape over to see a horizontal edge at the top. No two snowflakes are alike and you’re able to put your own unique creative spin to yours!

Step 8: Taking a Cut Above the Rest

Cutting your Paper Snowflake
Trimmed paper snowflake in a right-triangle

Take scissors and cut along the horizontal edge. After you’re done cutting, fold the triangle in half one last time. Now, the triangle is a right triangle, which means one corner of the triangle is a 90 degree angle.

Step 9: Shape it ‘Til You Make It

Craft shaping with scissors
Forming the inner edges

Make sure to keep the paper folded and begin to cut out different shapes from the edges. Beginners can start with triangles, but you can also explore squares, rectangles, or rounded shapes — get creative! 

(Tip: Never cut all the way across the triangle from end to end as it will cut your snowflake in half.)

Step 10: Unveil the Paper Snowflake Masterpiece!

Paper Snowflake Final Assembly

Now it’s time to unfold the paper. What kind of snowflake will appear? If you folded along with the steps, it’ll be a 6-pointed snowflake, but then again, half the fun is in the mystery of the reveal! Remember that every snowflake is different. Your snowflake should feature a symmetrical design, just like real life snowflakes. See how many different patterns you can create. Try adjusting the project to create bigger or smaller snowflakes to decorate and create a true winter wonderland.

Looking for the perfect present for a creative kid? Stop by our Holiday Gift Guide for a full list of STEM and art gifts for all ages!