Easy Toddler Gifts

by HEAB on May 3, 2013

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We’ve been busy this spring!

Spending a lot of time at various parks….

Dragon Park – a local favorite.

Eating A LOT of these…

Starbucks Spinach Feta Wrap – I’m addicted!  

 I never understood why people would sit and wait in a long line at the Starbucks drive-thru when it would be quicker to simply walk inside.  However, with multiple children strapped into car seats, I get it now.  Drive-thru people, I’m sorry for judging you as I have now joined your ranks.

We’ve also been attending numerous toddler birthday parties.  I’ve been trying to get creative with our gifts for several reasons.  First off, like many of our friends’ homes, our house is filled with toys.  So I’d rather not add to the clutter.  Secondly, since the cost of birthday presents can really add up, I’ve been making gifts.  I usually use this method for making a wax crayon batik drawing and then put it in a simple frame.  These all took less than 30 minutes to make, and you can add a personal touch by asking the mom what her toddler is into these days.

This was for our friend Taylor, who turned one last week.  He’s into trucks and choo-choo trains.

Collette turned two and loves hearts and lambs…

For her gift, I also painted the glass of an empty frame with chalkboard paint and included a box of chalk and an eraser.

For Hugh’s first birthday, he got a sun…

I love making gifts for our kids’ friends as I love to draw and paint.  I used to paint a lot more in high-school and college, but then I started running…and that kind of snowballed into spending ALL of my free time either exercising or thinking about exercise.  It’s good to be creating again.  Didn’t realize how much I’d missed it!

Besides the whole Starbucks drive-thru thing, I never understood women that had whole areas of their homes devoted to gift wrapping.  Yeah, totally get that one now too…

I had just as much fun wrapping these gifts as I did making them.  It’s amazing what you can do with a little Kraft paper and washi tape.

Hope all of you are enjoying spring, and Katie, I promise the snow will end soon!

{ 53 comments }

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance May 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm

omgosh, I can’t believe how big Summer is!! Time flies way too quickly!

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Michelle,
Tell me about it! She’s growing up so fast.

Meagan May 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I was hoping for an update! Glad you’re doing well :)

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Thanks Meagan,
Hope you’re doing well too. :)

Purelytwins May 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

that Dragon Park looks like a playground that our niece would love!!

Emily May 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I love these!! Check this out: http://www.art-is-fun.com/printable-coloring-pages.html xoxo

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Emily,
Oh my gosh, the fun I would have with those printables. I could spend hours coloring!

Lou May 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Super cute, Heather – I SO appreciate non-toy/clutter gifts, and the fact that you put your time and LOVE into these is so beautiful :)

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Thanks Lou. :)

Liz S. May 4, 2013 at 2:25 am

SUCH adorable gifts!!

Happy weekend to you! xo

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Thanks Liz, same to you! :)

Sarah May 4, 2013 at 9:15 am

Hey Heather!
Glad you are all doing well! What kind of craft paper do you use? I bought some from the Container Store and it’s thick and very hard to wrap. I love your wrapped package/name tag! You should open an etsy store and do custom pictures!
sarah:)

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Hi Sarah,
I bought my Kraft paper at Michael’s, and it’s pretty thick too. I can’t use regular scotch tape when wrapping with it as it won’t hold the paper together. So, I just use strong clear packing tape instead. Works great.

Hope you guys are all doing well. Love keeping up with you via Instagram. :)

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) May 4, 2013 at 9:54 am

Love that you make gifts for the parties! I think those are really the best gifts. The ones from the heart! Love that you’re finding your way back to art too. I think it’s so important to do things that really make you feel like you, ya know? Cute ideas for the kiddos!

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Sarena,
YES, we must do the things we love. Sometimes, I lose sight of that!

Lara May 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

I went through a phase when I was totally addicted to those wraps! It was when I was working in the city and commuting. I’m a little burnt out on them now ;)

I wish you lived closer so you could help me be crafty for G’s first birthday party. I want to do all this fun stuff I see on Pinterest, but I think I’ll just end up ordering a bunch of it on etsy and spending a lot of money :( The main thing I want to do are banners. It’s a Mickey theme so I need that Mickey shape. I think if I had that I could just trace them out on construction paper, right? I’m hopeless!

Lara May 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

P.S. People comment about how cute our homemade frame is ALL the time. It is the sweetest thing just sitting on his little bookshelf with his newborn picture in it, and I smile every time I see it and think of you. Thank you, again <3

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Hi Lara,
That makes me so happy. :)

As far as G’s first birthday goes, you can totally make a Mickey Mouse banner. I would simply buy some heavy black paper or card stock and cut out Mickey silhouettes and string them together with red twine or ribbon. You could either punch holes in them or secure them to twine with miniature clothespins. Done!

P.S. If it makes you feel any better, we’re having a fiesta themed party for the twins, and I bought all the decor from Amazon and Etsy. No shame!

Lara May 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Oh that does make me feel better :) And I love the idea of a fiesta theme! Maybe I’ll steal that for birthday numero dos ;)

Tracy May 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Love your creativity, Heather! As a mom I would love to receive any of these over all the toys my kids collected over the years. When I am buying gifts for toddlers, my criteria is that it is a one piece toy. I couldn’t stand the toys that had multiple pieces just waiting to be lost!

I especially love the chalkboard painted frame!

HEAB May 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Hi Tracy,
I hear ya. Some of Summer’s favorite toys involve smaller parts, and they end up EVERYWHERE.

Errign May 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm

These are awesome!! I want to make them :)

HEAB May 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Thanks Errign. Go for it! They were easy peasy. :)

Lorne May 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Cute cute cute!

Starbucks does drive through in the U.S! Not here :(
Come to think of it – life would be so much easier for a parent if all shops had a drive through ;)

HEAB May 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Lorne,
Of course we have Starbucks with Drive thrus. Remember, we’re lazy Americans. ;)

I have to agree with you. Since becoming a parent, I seek out the drive-thrus. Oh my goodness, they make life so much easier!

Elisabeth May 6, 2013 at 6:28 am

Gosh Heather, you’re very artistic. Those pictures are beautiful. I’m addicted to those spinach wraps too. I think I could eat one every day. Glad you guys are doing well. Thanks for updating when you can. Enjoy your little ones!

HEAB May 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Thanks Beth. Hope you and your three are having a good week! :)

Ameena May 6, 2013 at 10:51 am

I had to laugh at the drive through judgment…I am guilty! I am now reformed.

Love this gift idea. I always ask people NOT to give Maya birthday gifts but to take her somewhere fun instead. The park, bowling, mini golf, anything. Some people do that and others give regular gifts (which I donate). It’s a win-win!

HEAB May 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Ameena,
We request no gifts as well, and I love the idea of taking our kids out for a fun activity. Must remember that for future gifts!

Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily May 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Love the creativity!!! You are crazy talented :)

HEAB May 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Thanks Jen. I love getting crafty!

Alyssa (azusmom) May 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm

LOOOOVE the pictures! The kids will probably have those on their walls long after the toys have been broken/discarded.

When my kids were babies/toddlers i SO wished for a nearby drive-through Starbucks. Actually, I still do, during school vacations. :)

HEAB May 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Alyssa,
I know, right? So grateful there is a drive thru so close to our house. Makes coffee/spinach feta wrap runs so much easier! :)

Cara (Twinthusiast) May 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm

So cute Heather! Great idea. For the girls’ party this past weekend, we asked each family to bring a used kids book for a book swap instead of gifts, then every kid went home with a “new” book. (Since I’m artistically challenged, perhaps I’ll stick to this?) ;)

HEAB May 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Thanks Cara, and I LOVE your book swap idea. Totally stealing it! :)

Amanda May 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

These are fantastic! I’ll be giving these a try as I also know some kids with a surplus of toys :) I’ve been following your blog for a few years and just wanted to say thank you for continuing to share your life and insights. You have been such an inspiration as to the balance of self-care with family, job, etc. Thanks for the meal ideas too. I’ve used them on more than one occasion, my favorite was the quick millet bread you made in a skillet a few years back. Don’t know if you remember that one…

HEAB May 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Amanda,
Thank you so much for sticking with me over the past few years. I post such random stuff these days, and it’s good to hear positive feedback from readers. And yes, I totally remember that millet bread. That was good – thanks for the reminder! :)

Jennifer J May 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Did you really just accept a compliment regarding your advice on balancing self care with job, family etc? Not a “hater” like your friends called me last time, just think honesty and integrity are both important , even on a blog.

What are you balancing?

Most housewives wish their husbands provided for all their financial, childcare, etc… needs like yours does! Good for you, just be honest about it!
JJ

Karen May 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Hey, be nice. I think the stream on the last post suggested some sort of health issue. I think the blog is cute.

Jess May 10, 2013 at 9:06 am

You are so clever and artistic! Lovely gifts! So personal too :)

Health Bee May 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm

The gifts are adorable! Love the beautiful gift wraps. :-)

Thanks for the wonderful post. Hope you have a great spring & a fun-filled summer.

Michelle May 14, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Hi Heather-
I’ve read your blog for a couple years now and rarely comment or read the comment of others. However, in recognition of the comment from JJ above, just thought I would share my appreciation for your blog. My perception is that your posts and responses to comments are genuine, heartfelt and more vulnerable than I would dare to be with my friends, let alone random strangers. I started reading your blog for the ideas and encouragement regarding healthy eating but still check in now with your random posts because I find them joyful. My life is quite a bit different than yours- my kids are grown and I was never a stay-at-home mom. Nonetheless, I find the bits of your personal life that you choose to share publicly to be an enjoyable story.

In all of life -close relationships to blog reading – I would like to be better about telling others that they enrich my life in some way. So, thanks!

HEAB May 15, 2013 at 7:01 am

Hi Michelle,
Thank you for such a kind and supportive comment. This was the first thing I read this morning, and it has set the tone for my whole day. It’s going to be a good one. :)

J @ Chocolate Covered Chickpeas   May 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I must try one of Starbuck’s spinach feta wraps now!

HEAB May 16, 2013 at 9:51 am

J, yes, you must. So good!

Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste May 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Just stumbled across your site and I’m thrilled to have found it! Can’t wait to read more about your culinary adventures!

HEAB May 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Thanks Kelly, glad you found me!

Colleen Murphy Stewart May 22, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I’m so glad I checked to see if you’ve posted lately! I’ve missed you and your blog posts :) You are so talented Heather!! Love your oh so cute toddler gifts. I bet the Moms just LOVED them too :)

HEAB May 23, 2013 at 7:04 am

Thanks for checking in Colleen. Always nice to see a comment from you. :)

Yooli May 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Mmm, a spinach feta wrap sounds si good! We’ve majorly cut down on our Starbucks runs lately to save money, but I may need to try making a homemade version with some frozen spinach, feta, and egg whites on a Flatout wrap! Wonder if I could make a few and freeze them! I’ll let you know if they turn out…

HEAB May 29, 2013 at 7:08 am

Hi Yooli,
Yes, please let me know how they turn out. I’ve seen a few versions of Starbucks wrap online but haven’t tried it myself. Just so much easier to go through that darn drive-thru! ;)

Laurie Sayeed June 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

HI Heather!

We are enjoying all the parks here too! K and C must have a b-day coming up? I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character in “Christmas Vacation.” :)

Thank for the art inspiration, keep it up!

HEAB June 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Thanks Laurie,
Glad to hear you’re getting in plenty of outdoor time. Loving the spring weather here in Nashville. :)

And yes, C & K turn one on June 16. I can’t believe it!!!!

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