It was recently my husband’s birthday and I found myself trying to think of something modest and sentimental that my toddler son could give to him. Even though he is only two years old, we were running out of gifts toddlers can make with all the birthdays, Father’s Days, and various other occasions.

I was starting to feel like we were going overkill on the homemade cards and drawings — especially since at this point in time, they all pretty much look the same! But don’t tell the 2 year old I said that. So instead of another forced scribble session, I decided to come up with a few ideas of gifts toddlers can make that would be more exciting and meaningful for all of us.

If you have a strong willed child, check out these tips for when your toddler likes to say “no”.

4 Simple & Free Gifts Toddlers Can Make

Instead of another homemade card, I decided to come up with a few ideas of gifts toddlers can make that would be more exciting and meaningful for all of us.

Personalize Photo Book Card

I love photographs, and when I try to choose just one or two favorites to print, I end up with an entire folder on my desktop. So if you just can’t decide, it’s easy and unique to make a card in the form of a homemade photo book.

Of course there are countless professional options online, but you can go even more simple (and budget friendly) by printing out your own pictures and pasting onto paper. Personalize each page with a photo and matching caption- i.e. “I love when you read to me.”

4 Simple & Free Gifts Toddlers Can Make For Parents Click To Tweet

Frame It

I hate to say it, but in our house, cards and drawings get stuffed into drawers or hung on the fridge for a few weeks until they meet their trashcan fate. One way to avoid the clutter and waste while still preserving the sentiment is to frame your child’s drawing. Use a frame that you already have or find one at your local thrift store. 

You can also frame a single photograph and have your child color or stamp their handprint on the mat. Mom or dad can display it at work or it can be hung on the wall at home.

4 Simple & Free Gifts Toddlers Can Make For Parents

Color on Wrapping Paper

This is a great idea if you are giving a store-bought gift but want to add a personal touch. Wrap the gift in plain paper (you can even cut up brown paper bags to use as wrapping paper), and have your child draw on the paper. That’s it! I ended up going this route and loved that my toddler got to feel proud handing dad the gift with his art work on it, and then we could toss it as quickly as he had forgotten about it.

Baked Goods

Young children love to “help” in the kitchen. One of my son’s favorite activities is cooking, and I’m always trying to figure out how to let him safely navigate the kitchen. When it comes to baking, he loves to pour in the ingredients and mix them up. We make zucchini bread for my husband’s birthday every year, and it’s even more special now that my son can participate!

It is a fun activity for the two of us, and it makes the whole experience even sweeter. I love including a baked good with gifts because it’s practical, meaningful, and doesn’t take up any extra space- at least not for long!

DIY gifts from toddlers! Instead of another homemade card, I decided to come up with a few ideas of gifts toddlers can make that would be more exciting and meaningful for all of us.

Jenna Lombardi
Jenna Lombardi
Jenna Lombardi currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, Aaron and Clare. She loves to travel (even with kids!), find a good bargain, and enjoys an iced chai latte with soy milk every now and then. When she’s not wrangling the kids at the playground or the zoo, she can be found practicing hand lettering, reading about pregnancy and natural childbirth, or testing out a new recipe in the kitchen.