Friday, December 11, 2015

Creative Gifts for Creative Kids - Off the Wall Friday

Tessa's Senior Portrait
Okay, let me brag a little.   I have the best teen daughter.  I mean really!  I'm not saying that just because she's my daughter, but really because she's amazing.  She's smart, emphatic and dramatic.  Ohh and she's creative....really creative.  Honestly, I can't really take credit for the first three traits - but the last  - well - let's just say that I try to nurture that in her from when she was little.  And now that's turning 18 (GASP!!  How did that happen?) I can say that it stuck!!

So how did I raise a creative kid??  Why giving her plenty of creative gifts and the space to explore with them!!!  So since I know you all have kids and grandkids that need their creative spirits nurtured I thought I would share some of secrets!!

The Best Creative Gifts to Raise a Creative Kid

(that won't cost you a fortune!)

Under Age 8 (or so depending on the kid!)

  • Scotch Tape  - yep - just plain old tape.  I would buy it at the dollar store and give Tessa a ton of it.  She would tape scrap papers together to for collages.  She would unroll  and wad it up to make sculptures,  She would tape her other toys together to come up with new toys.  
  • Blank White Books.  I mean totally blank books.  They make them in all sizes.  With lines.  Without lines.  Kids can become instant authors and illustrators.
  • Perler Beads.  These little plastic beads can be arranged in any designed and then adults iron them so that they stay together.  Forever.  I loved this one because not only did it foster independent creative time but it encourage a more focused approach to a project (plus helped in fine motor skills!)
  • The Day the Crayons Quit.  I LOVE this book.  Kids love this book.  You'll love this book.  
  • Tempura Paint and tons of paper.  Did you know that you can buy tempura paint in the 16 oz bottles along with reams of paint?  Plus its all washable!!!

Tweens and Teens

  • Art Supply Kits - I would give Tessa small kits of art supplies with all the proper accessories so she could explore to her hearts content without worrying about "wasting" supplies.  I told her I expected her to use up all the supplies by year's end and let me know what she thought.
  • Usborne Introduction to Art - I love this book.  Tessa learned a lot.  I learned a lot!
  • Sharpies.  In all colors.  In all thickness.  Sharpies are cheap, versatile and fun! Possibilities are literally limitless (if you have have a doubt - see pinterest!)
  • Duct Tape and Washi Tape - Point your favorite teen to pinterest and give them a box of decorative tapes - see what they come up with 
  • Washi Tape
  • Zentangle - Everyone can doodle.There are a ton of books out there that can get anybody started including Artist tiles that you can make little masterpieces on them!  I call doodling the gateway media into the fine arts!

So this should get you started!!  After all that, though, what media did Tessa finally choose to concentrate in?  Writing!!!  LOL!!  Yeah, although you'll see here dabble in the fine arts, she writes every night and has 75.000 words written of her first novel!  

I do have a good creative idea gift idea for her this year but shhhhhhhhhhh its a secret and since she actually reads my blog, I'll have to let you know in January!!!

So what are you favorite creative gifts for kids??

Anddddddd - What  Have You Been Up to Creatively?


Deb Cox said...

Oh Nina, thank you ever so much for this timely post. You've reminded me of many things I had forgotten for little ones. Time to restock and create and be prepared for whomever comes in the door. I have my sewing room but it is not always the right place. The dining room table will be creative central with a watchful eye. Congratulations to you and your daughter. Enjoy and happy holidays.

Christine Staver said...

Your blog today cracked me up. My daughter was obsessed with scotch tape. She hoarded all the tape in the house and used it to make stuff including paper tomagotchis and blanket forts. Every time we went to wrap a present we could never find any tape. She had many of the things you mentioned and she ended up being creative. She is not a quilter yet.

Julie said...

Excellent list! May I add to it aluminum foil? I was forever hunting mine down. I thought I had a flock of little crows that collected shiny things for years, but they were always using it in some kind of project.


Glen QuiltSwissy said...

OMG! LOL Carie went through a TON, a literal TON of scotch tape. When she got married I gave Andrew a case of it! And she is a famous architect now, very creative! It must work!

Mary Marcotte said...

Wonderful idea, Nina. I've given small boxes of some of the things that you mentioned to the nieces and grands. They love having their own (and are less likely to use up mine). I would add wax paper to your list, too. It's great for using under projects and also good for using in projects. Oh, and bits of fabric! My grandkids would dig through the trash in the studio to find bits and pieces to make things (usually for the puppies). Thanks for the reminders of such sweet memories!