Lately, my daughter’s favorite activity is to stand in front of the bathroom mirror and stare at herself. Seriously: She’s fascinated with her looks. The other day, I caught her with her nose pressed to the mirror. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Counting my freckles,” she says.
Mirrored toys are super-amusing to tots because they love seeing themselves. That doesn’t much change when kids get older, I’ve realized. Some of the most popular presents I’ve given Sabrina and her brother in recent years involve objects imprinted with their photos: a mug (the one at left is from Shutterfly), a notepad, stickers. Last year, we got my son a birthday cake that had his photo and he liked it more than his gifts.
You just can’t go too wrong giving your kids an object with their cute little faces on it. Also great: nothing’s too crazy expensive—all of the photo gifts I’ve rounded up are under $20 (and a lot of sites are having sales right now). It’s also really easy to upload photos for whatever you’re making; the technology’s gotten super-speedy.
And perhaps the best part of all? Your kid’s going to be amazed that Mommy made that. Go on, impress them!
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Photo plate 1 of 15The beauty of this plate: He'll polish off whatever food you put on it just to see himself. Available in a variety of designs, including Disney Princesses, Polka Dots, Farm Fun and Lightning McQueen.
The details: $19.99 for a ten-inch plate made of melamine (BPA-free, dishwasher safe); Shutterfly
Photo notepad 2 of 15For doodling, journaling or making a list of all the ways she loves Mommy.
The details: $12.99 for 50 pages; Pinhole Press
Photo water bottle 3 of 15Way to get your kid to hydrate!
The details: $13.42 for an aluminum bottle that's 5.5 inches tall; Walmart
Photo book 4 of 15A bound soft-cover book is sure to be a bestseller with your kid—if you fill it with photos of him, that is.
The details: $19.95 for 8 x 10 inch Standard Portrait bound book with soft cover, 20 pages; Blurb
Photo insta-book 5 of 15OK, relatively instant: Mosaic is a new app you can use to create a book with uploaded pictures from your iPhone or iPad (iOS 5 or greater required). A great last-minute gift—it's delivered within four days.
The details: $20 for a book that's 7 x7 inches, 20 pages; Mosaic
Photo teddy bear 6 of 15Bears just don't get much cuter than one with a hoodie sweatshirt imprinted with a photo of your little darling(s).
The details: $19.99 for bear that's 8 inches tall; Snapfish
Photo mouse pad 7 of 15Clicking is so much more fun when your kid's staring down at a picture of her and her sis…assuming it's a day when they like each other.
The details: $12.95; Personalization Mall
Photo deck of cards 8 of 15Just don't let the kids play strip poker, OK?
The details: $19.99 per deck; Shutterfly
Photo jigsaw puzzle for younger kids 9 of 15Piece on earth! Little kids will love putting together a puzzle of a familiar face.
The details: $14.85 for a 24-piece puzzle in a personalized box; Piczzle
Photo jigsaw puzzle for older kids 10 of 15A more challenging puzzle made by uploading any photo.
The details: $14.99 for a 100-piece 8 x 10 inch puzzle in a gift tin; Snapfish
Photo calendar 11 of 15Pick your design, load your photos and give your kid a year of KID!
The details: $19.99 for an 11 x 8.5 inch calendar; Mixbook
Photo poster 12 of 15Framed photos are nice and all, but a giant picture of your kid on his wall? Awesome! Instantly print out a photo poster at a Kodak Picture Kiosk.
The details: $14.99 for a 16 x 20 inch poster (larger sizes also available); click here to find a local Kodak Picture Kiosk.
Photo backpack tag 13 of 15Tag—your kid's it! This one's got a cool 3D effect; available in a variety of designs, including animated ones. The back has lines for name, address and phone number.
The details: $6.99, including a fabric fastener; Snapfish
Photo placemat 14 of 15A fine way to stake a spot at the dining room table.
The details: $14.99 for a 10 x 16 placemat with a fabric surface and padded base; Ritzpix
Photo memory game 15 of 15Kids can find matching pictures of themselves, a pet, grandma, their blankie—whoever and whatever!
The details: $19.99 for 24 cards made with 12 photos; Pinhole Press