Are you struggling with last-minute gift ideas? Do you want to find that perfect something that will excite the young person in your world and keep them engaged all year long? Impossible, right?
When you tap into creativity you can unlock a world of imagination in others. This might mean the children in your home, the ones in your classroom, or even yourself. Young and old alike can benefit from that creative spark that motivates them to create new things or explore new ideas. Sometimes it just takes some simple materials or an imaginative tool to get the mind going. Here are a few gift ideas to unlock creativity in everyone:
1. Ok, this may date me a bit, but I remember being about 7 or 8 years old and making my own "scratch art" paper with my neighbor. Did you do this too? We would heavily scribble rainbow colors to cover an entire sheet of paper only to then cover it all in even heavier black crayon. (My Crayolas definitely took a beating!) Once our sheet was covered we would scratch the black away in intricate designs revealing bold colors underneath. I remember creating dozens of these and hanging them on the fridge. Boy, we were innovators back then because now you can buy your own ready-to-go sheets.
I shared this with my own children (ages 5 and 7) and I think we might stick with the homemade version. #MakersGonnaMake
2. Maybe you're not the artistic type but still enjoy creating. Tired of Legos or K'Nex and looking for a new and different type of building material? Try Plus Plus. These mini plastic "plus signs" interlock as you design 2-D and 3-D creations. They now come with a base plate that allows the creative genius in your family to engineer multi-level structures and bring new ideas to life. Plus Plus are cool tools for any classroom and great for home use, too.
3. Paper. Yep, just paper. There are so many cool paper crafts that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Check out this video that shares 10 ideas for kids that can engage their creative minds through measuring, cutting, folding, weaving, and curling. Simple activities like these don't require lots of fancy materials, but can provide hours of fun!
When in doubt and you need some creative stocking stuffers--head to your local dollar store. (It is a makers best friend!) You can find tons of materials to make your own little creativity kit. Markers and construction paper. Stencils and colored pencils. Crayons and coloring books. Stickers and notebooks. Glitter, glue, and borax (to make some slime). String and beads for necklace making. Balloons, tissue paper, and glue for papier mache. The possibilities are endless!
All of these gift ideas are pretty simple, but especially useful when you are on the go this holiday season. Toss them in the car for the road trip to grandma's house or the plane ride to visit Aunt Barb and Uncle Ned. Staying at home for the holidays? Gather around the dining table for some messy creativity and try some artistic design with the family.
Want more ideas for unlocking creativity in the classroom? Check out my book Unlock Creativity: Opening a World of Imagination With Your Students