Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide - Arts/Crafts Kits & Supplies

I love to have things that can occupy my children that do not involve any type of a screen. Certainly, they get outside to play, but I like to have indoor activities too. One thing that we enjoy doing inside is arts and crafts projects.

I love to have both structured kits that are designed to make a specific project and assorted craft supplies to make whatever suits their fancy. Since I think that kids learn best when they can both observe and participate, I like to embody creativity myself in the form of cake decorating, creating memory boards and making things like Tinkerbell Shoes.

Here are some ideas I have for gifts for Art and Crafts:

Crayons, Paint, Scissors, Glue, Paper, etc. - For basic art projects, a good collection of school supplies can be a great starting point. I like to stock up when the back to school sales are on. Then, you can take this collection of random items and add to it to create a 'kit' of supplies.

Pipe cleaners, PomPoms, Sparkles, Glitter, Tissue Paper, Scrapbook paper and embellishments, etc. - Wander down the craft row and you will find a collection of miscellaneous things that with the addition of some creativity quickly turns into a fun-filled afternoon of crafting.

Stencils - Sometimes, the help that stencils can provide in creating a project is a great boost, especially for younger kids that are not as adept at drawing or coming up with ideas. A card is quickly made filled with flowers and hearts and more.

Learn to Draw Books - A simple to follow learn to draw book can help a child feel more confident in their ability to draw - even freestyle. There are books for all levels - from complete a drawing to recreating familiar characters.

Creativity for Kids kits - They offer such a wide array of projects and price ranges. Many of their products hearken back to my childhood - like Shrinky Dinks and Pot Holder Looms. They have kits for boys and kits for girls. Kits for the young and the old (in fact, most say they are for kids from a certain age to 99). They offer crafts that the kids can make for themselves (jewelry, bags, headbands) and gifts to give (pot holders, garden stones).

Latch hook, Needlework, Cross-Stitch, Crocheting/Knitting, etc - Whether a book or a kit, introducing the child to these activities can help them fill many hours and encourage fine motor skill development. I remember spending hours as a child, much with my cousin, creating latch hook rugs, some of which became wall hangings and others pillows. I know that (when I had time), I loved to do cross-stitch - I even cross-stitched the gifts for the parents at our wedding - a verse from a card that I recreated in a cross stitch and that we framed with a picture of us with the parents. I can remember doing cross-stitch guest bath towels and baby bibs, to give as gifts, too.

Classes - Why not give your aspiring artist/crafter a gift of enrollment in a class. Locally, there is both community education, courses at Joann or Michaels, Kids College and other groups that offer classes on different topics. There are card making classes and watercolor and photography and many more.

Not sure what the young crafter in your life might need or like, a gift card to Joann or Michaels Stores is a good option - let them choose their craft or supplies.