creating giftable art with children

creating giftable art with children

Image: a store display of holiday craft kits with “nope” written across it.

Image: a store display of holiday craft kits with “nope” written across it.

Last month I talked about how most kids holiday crafts are aimed at adults rather than children, and don't represent real creativity.  Today I'm giving you a few ideas on how to offer creative opportunities that will still create beautiful holiday gifts for family and friends!

1. Use real materials

Go wild at the craft store and try out real canvases, acrylic paints, beeswax crayons, and modeling clay.  Quality art supplies inspire creativity and result in something that looks better than flaking tempera paint on wrinkled construction paper.

Image: a store display of rainbow colored modeling clay

Image: a store display of rainbow colored modeling clay

2. Decorate a finished object

A picture frame or the mat for a framed photo, a tree ornament, a plant pot, or an apron for grandma.  If you can incorporate a cute photo of the child along a sample of their artwork it's an extra cute peek at this moment in their life!

Image: a toddler's drawing turned into a multicolored watercolor painting of an elephant.  Image credit: Ruth Oosterman

Image: a toddler's drawing turned into a multicolored watercolor painting of an elephant.  Image credit: Ruth Oosterman

3. Collaborate

Artist Ruth Oosterman turns her toddler's scribbles into beautiful paintings, but you don't have to be an artist to work together with children to create a group project.  Try giving a toddler's finger paintings to older children to cut and glue into a collage, or print children's art on fabric for an adult's sewing project.

4. Go monochrome

A rainbow palette of paint looks lovely to start with, but add in a small child and it'll be muddy brown in a blink.  If that's not something you want to hang on your wall, consider giving a couple shades of one color, or adding in a metallic or glitter paint for dimension. 

Image: beeswax crayons

Image: beeswax crayons

 

The play-based kids are shipped off to the grandparents, this play-based nanny is on vacation, and PBK is on break for the holidays! I’ll be back in the new year with regular weekly play prompts  and a series on visiting museums with young children!

please touch! (visiting museums with young children, part 1)

please touch! (visiting museums with young children, part 1)

meanest nanny on the playground

meanest nanny on the playground