When I was a kid, my favorite gifts were arts and crafts-related; they were the first ones I ripped from the packaging and dove into headfirst, then continued using long after the novelty of other toys wore off. Kids today have so many opportunities to create with technology but often at the expense of projects made with real, tactile objects which are so important. Another magical benefit of open-ended crafty gifts? They’ll center kids when they need a break from the holiday chaos and provide a better outlet for all that sugar-driven energy than whatever follows “HEY MOM, watch this!” Here’s a roundup of gifts for makers of all ages.
Crafts for Little Kids
Don’t let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book!: Parents are raving over this book on Amazon – seriously, it has a damn near perfect rating. It’s a crazy, unusual, playful journey which tells a story as they work through 250 pages of activities. Think pages that turn into hand puppets, building an airport, creative prompts like drawing your favorite food in the fridge – one mom said her kids were entertained for THREE hours in a row. God, I need to stop shopping enabling myself.
Yoobi Art Enthusiast Bundle: Have you guys heard of Yoobi? They’re a company that makes bright, modern school supplies with a 1-for-1 mission – for every item purchased, they donate an item to a classroom in need in the U.S. So awesome. Their holiday bundles are so cute; they were kind enough to send over this art bundle which my preschooler is using non-stop. The surprisingly vibrant crayons are triangle shaped so they don’t roll off the table (yesss), and the markers are perfectly sized for little hands. We haven’t tried everything yet, but it got her enthusiastic stamp of approval. (Note: the tempera paint is more of a pretty, watercolor-y wash of color).
My Giant Busy Box: This is our go-to gift for the preschool set. Tons of projects they can do independently or with a little help. The scissors included for paper cutting exercises are plastic and not sharp, but they work amazingly well! Does your kid march to a different drummer? Mine too. Sometimes she didn’t want to follow the projects and had a blast creating whatever she wanted with the fun art supplies. Because art doesn’t have rules, Mom.
Crafts for Big Kids
Sneaker Customization Kit: Got a hard to shop for tween/teen on your list? Call in your ringer. They can customize 2-3 pairs of ‘involved’ shoes, or 4-5 pairs of regular shoes with this kit, which includes everything they need to paint a waterproof, wearproof design and have the coolest kicks in town.
Craft-A-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects: This book’s filled with supersweet little crafts like magnets, cupcake toppers, garlands, hair accessories, little stuffed animals, cute overload right here. Your response every time they say “I’m boooooooored” for a whole year.
Hand-Carved Stamp Kit: I love this little stamp maker kit. Kids can use the templates provided in the box to carve stamps, or freehand whatever they want to make custom stamps for stationery, notebooks, gift tags, etc. They’ll be opening an Etsy store before you know it.
Crafty Gifts for Everyone
The Little Book of Calm Coloring: Anyone not need a calm, sanity saving activity during the holidays or just everyday life? …Bueller? This little book is less intricate than the detailed adult coloring books, but still has interesting patterns you (or kids) can get lost in for an hour or more. Well, I’ve already bought some Christmas gifts for myself, so on to stocking stuffers it seems!
Colorforms Original 60th Anniversary Edition: They’re back! And still as awesome as you remember (unlike Flight of the Navigator). These are pretty much the definition of open-ended creativity for ages 3+. Educational, entertaining and just plain cool.
Boogie Board eWriter: Ok, so this one’s electronic – but – it’s basically a feather-light portable sketch pad where kids can practice writing, draw, do math problems. See? Educational. Nice feature – upload their artwork to your phone or computer (or write your grocery list then send it to your phone because it’s more fun than paper).
Happy quiet time!
P.S.- More guaranteed cool Mom Edit gift guides for everyone on your list.