The holiday shopping season has begun. Some of you crazy shoppers may already have finished, but if you’re like me, the shopping will be done in the coming weeks, mostly from the comfort of your very own living room. I have the lists of wants from my kids, but there are a few kids out there that are not mine that I’ll be shopping for this year. When I do pick out stuff for kids that I don’t know as well, I try to pick something non-standard and that inspires creativity and thought. Depending on the age of the child, I usually select something that falls into one of the categories below…I hope you find them helpful!
Play Dough/Clay –
Play dough and clay are fun for little kids all the way to preteens (Sophia, age 10, loves the stuff). Whether you child loves baking or cars or animals, with play dough, they can create whatever they want from their imagination. My favorite is the home-made kind, there are lots of recipes out there; but the multi-packs of the brand name stuff are fun, too. Or, you can opt for clay. Craft stores like Jo-Ann have different kinds, but there is the clay you can bake and save your creation forever!
Legos/Building Blocks –
I remember when I got my first huge pack of Legos for Christmas. It was back in the day when there were just a few colors, mostly blue, yellow, red and green. It wasn’t one of those kits that make just 3 or 4 specific pre-designed ‘things’ either, it was just a kit sorted by pieces. I LOVED that thing and spent hours creating houses, and cars and whatever I could come up with. My 14 year old son is the same way. Even as a teenager he still breaks out the Legos from time to time. Nowadays they have specific ‘girl’ Legos, also cool, but I’m sure a female child would like any of the cool ‘boy’ kits too 😀
The reason dominoes are on the list is not for the game you play with them. Although that is fun too, the reason the kids and I love them is for the chain-reaction fun they provide. There’s nothing like setting up an elaborate chain-reaction design of dominoes and than pushing that first one down. As the tiles fall one-by-one, completing your plan with a final click on the table, you can’t wait to try another layout, maybe adding some obstacles.
Even as an ‘old mom’ I enjoy setting up dominoes to fall. There’s just something satisfying about designing and watching the end product.
Science-y Kits –
Both Alex and Sophia love science-y kits. Some of the kits you can get are more general, containing a bunch of chemicals and stuff with a booklet of different experiments you can try. This type is Alex’s favorite.
There are also kits with specific goals, like Spa Science kits (Soph liked this one); or things like ‘Bug Science’ or ‘Hydroponic Science’. You can pick a science kit that is related to another area of interest for you child.
If you want to use stuff you have at home in your own kitchen for experimenting, there are also lots of good science experiment books out there with ingredient lists you can pull from your cupboards.
With digital cameras being so inexpensive these days, a camera for a kid isn’t an extravagant gift. If you kid is a preteen or teen with a cell phone, they may already have one, but getting a dedicated tool can really inspire kids to learn about what they’re using. For younger kids, just a simple point and shoot will allow them to collect images of things that intrigue them and then catalog them later. For older kids, there are some pretty decent cameras for under $100 that may inspire them to further pursue an interest in photography.
Recently, after discovering some of her own writing in old journals of hers, Sophia has started journaling mostly every night before bed. Writing down the activities of the day and any thoughts is a wonderful way for kids (and adults!) to practice the skill of written communication. Journals don’t have to have perfect spelling or grammatical structure. They don’t even have to be coherent sentences, just a list of thoughts or ideas is fine. But, writing everyday, improves the skill of writing. It also helps the mind process and remember.
Plus, it is fun to look back at old journals to remember the thoughts, feelings and events of a previous time. I know when she’s older, Sophia will have fun reading through her old journals…maybe she’ll even be able to share them with her kids some day 😀
Craft/Building Kits –
Crafts and building things are a more traditional form of creativity. If your child enjoys painting or beading or making bird houses, kits like these are the perfect way to support their interest. There are lots of them out there to choose from. We like our Two Kids Craft Kits because we know the quality of the materials we use and that the kits will last. We provide everything you need to complete the kit and we encourage families to do the kits together, so they can connect while creating a life-long memory.
Just remember when selecting presents, creative inspiration is particular to the person creating. With this list we worked to include items that will trigger inspiration, or support it for a large variety of interests–have fun finding the right gift!
We’d love a comment from you letting us know your favorite gift for inspiring creativity in kids!
Happy Holidays Everyone!