Maxi and I were recently given a set of those knitting spoolies in four sizes.
With the next-to-smallest size, I made him a cap. Instead of adding the pom pom on top, I added extra long lengths of yarn which I braided into several long braids. He loves it.
Using the smallest spoolie, I made him a carry-all for his GameBoy which he can hang around his neck.
Working with 2 strands of 4-ply yarn, I simply made a tube about 7 inches long. Then I used one of my crochet hooks to crochet yarn through the last loop on each peg to secure it. I crocheted a strap to an appropriate length to hang the bag against his chest and then stitched the bottom of the tube closed.
Maxi tends to carry his Game Boy with the game inside of it, so the 7 inch length is handy because it is deep enough for the GameBoy plus game plus extra depth so it won't easily fall out.
'Course, Maxi loves the camoflage yarn, so I made it with that, but such a simple bag could be made quite prettily for the girls on your list.