We believe in working from children’s strengths and providing toys, tools and supplies that are open-ended, can be used in creative work and play, and that can help your child make a leap from “I can’t..” to “I can!” Here are a few ideas to light up your holiday with imagination with creative thinking gifts.
These gifts will honor your child’s imagination and make the holiday season more meaningful and more personal. While each person has a constellation of Sensory Alphabet strengths (line, shape, color, movement, rhythm, space, light, sound, texture), your child probably has one or two that really stand out — that you notice in his or her art work, in what your child pays attention to, likes to play around with, maybe in elements of his or her collections and activities. If you have a kid who loves color, here are some ideas for holiday gifts to consider.
Color Mixing Kit
Package up a kit with liquid water colors (or food colors) and unscented shaving gel, a large white plastic tray (for mixing palette), eyedroppers and small plastic cups. This is a “slightly” messy craft, and the emphasis is definitely on process not product. But simple squirt out a bit of gel, add a bit of concentrated watercolor to each small cup of water (a tablespoon of water is plenty), then add an eyedropper of water to shaving gel and watch it expand. Make a palette of basic colors to mix and match.
Say no more. You may remember the pleasure of this color fun as a kid! And check out the Crayola website — you’ll be surprised at all the fun ideas for crayons and other colorful products. This creative thinking gift will please any age!
Colored Scarves for Dress Up and Movement Play
Buy or dye a set of inexpensive silk scarves in a rainbow of colors. Add several lengths of colored tule strips. These can provide dress-up magic more wonderful than you can imagine. Provide pipe cleaners and/or colored hair ties as fasteners. A few felt or straw hats are fun, too. For older kids (7 and up) make a tie-dye kit the preliminary — For inexpensive scarves ready-to-dye and all the tie-dye supplies you need (plus instructions) see Dharma Trading Company.
A three-dimensional option for color play. Layer, mix and pattern with colored clays. For older kids, FIMO orother plastic bake-able plastic can be wonderful for colorful jewelry making. Here’s a good site for multiple colors of play clay. Or you can make your own with a recipe from this site — and add color with either dry tempera, food coloring or liquid water colors.
Paint BIG Kit
Large roll of white drawing/painting paper, inexpensive washable tempera and 1”-2” brushes. Give your child the gift of scale. Too often kids are only given small sheets of paper for their painting experiments. If you have space, cover a wall with heavy duty paper –builders paper from the home improvement store paint department is one option. Put down a drop cloth, add paint and brushes for a giant paint-a-thon. For an older child, help him or her design a mural and transfer it to a wall, then paint with a favorite color scheme. Talk about a gift with impact!
Art Books and Museum Outings
Use the ideas in The Missing Alphabet to custom-design some outings for your color loving child!Some artist’s books and videos to consider as accompanying gifts: Matisse, Van Gogh, Miro, Chihuly. You’ll find lots of good kid-oriented art books in many museum gift shops.
For your tablet, check into some of these wonderfully creative pattern and color apps: