What better for a kid than to make a present for a relative or teacher? And what beloved grandparent, aunt, or parent is not thrilled with something made by the hands of their little darling? Kids get a great feeling of satisfaction from having created their own gift. The libraries have lots of books to get you started, and there are possibliities for kids of all ages.
For example, we have a book at Oaklyn in our Christmas section called Christmas Crafts: Things to Make the 24 Days Before Christmas by Carolyn Meyer. It includes directions for bread-dough ornaments, apple-and-clove pomander balls, potato-print wrapping paper, and lots of other things.
The Christmas section is not the only place to find good craft ideas. Try the general children's craft area for other brainstorms. EcoArt!: Earth-Friendly Art & Craft Experiences for 3- to 9-Year-Olds by Laurie Carlson includes bird feeders, potpourri sachets, flower vases made from glass bottles decorated with decoupage or yarn, wreaths of pine cones or seed mosaics or popcorn, and on and on and on.
Older kids will find lots of ideas in Earth-Friendly Crafts for Kids :50 Awesome Things to Make with Recycled Stuff by Heather Smith. School Library Journal suggests it for grades 5 - 9. It's complete with photos of kids that age making simple things like "Super Stylin' Desk Set" on page 50 (made from assorted tin cans, spray paint and yarn) to involved projects like "Wrinkled Wax Batiks" on page 122 (involving boiling water and hot wax - and the directions to get an adult's help! ). On page 89 are diections to turn a pizza box into a "cool vanity case or collector's box." Hmmm, do I still have that pizza box from last night?