Sunday, December 3, 2017

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Artist in your Life

Recently, I wrote about a gift I wanted to give to you, my digital friends. Today, allow me to talk about gifts for others.  I often get the questions about this time of year... 'My kiddos loves Art, what kind of gifts should we get for the holidays coming up?' This post is dedicated to you encouraging parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/friend!! Let's talk about some creative gifts for 2017.

I love weaving!! I think it's one of the best ways to encourage fine motor and if you see kids engaged with a loom before, you know it can be therapeutic and calming for many. This loom from Melissa and Doug is a great purchase.  I have seen it online and in stores, but recently I saw it in my sisters house.  She home schools and has three preschool/kindergarten kids, and a 9 year old... A loom is appropriate for all elementary age students and some middle/high school students who might like to craft. Along with the loom be sure to get some fun yarns as well.  I would suggests for your younger kids a larger yarn weight to allow them to have completion at a quicker rate.

I love me some Kiwi Crates! This is the gift that could keep on giving! I bought this for my kids a couple of years ago and it sells on a subscription.  I bought three months, so they got their first crate  and then for two more months they would get a new crate in the mail.  It was a lot of fun! I bought my son the Tinker series and my daughter the Doodle.  I was amazed with the high quality and the advanced projects! 

Recently I saw Kiwi is also selling through Target! I love this because you can just purchase a crate and not have to do a subscription.  Plus... I love printmaking for kids! Even giving them a carving tool as the crate above does. Target has easy pick up so this is a great alternative to ordering from Kiwi as a subscription! 

Now for one of my favorite companies... Jack Richeson.  In our area, Blick Art and Hobby Lobby carries Jack Richenson... but online is always a good alternative. I love Semi-Moist Tempera Cakes.  These paints are more opaque than watercolors. They mix well and they are clean for home use.  For my classroom, many times I just get a three pack of the primary colors and allow my students to mix the colors.  This is a gift under $10, but I would probably get some Mixed Media Paper (I have seen this at our local WalMart) and a brush or two...


Another favorite from Jack Richerson is PlayColors.  These are a tempera stick that is easily applied to the paper. They are a solid paint that dries in 90 seconds. It's amazing for the base of projects.  I initially used this only for my younger students but have recently brought it into my older grades and they are loving it. The have metallic, florescent, and traditional colors. Jack Richeson is just one brand, there are also Kwick Sticks, and Mod Paints that I have heard are equally as good. I just have experience with the PlayColors from conferences that I have attended and what I have ordered.  I would suggest some large format paper as well with a purchase of Paint sticks.

Pacon is the paper I most often order for my students. I love the quality.  They have an entire 'craft store' on Amazon, so that would be a good place to start for Art supplies. 

For older kids who love to draw... I would suggest these Brush Pens (or brushes like these). This might be a 'me' thing... but I love to draw with the ability to change line quality... so students who want to explore drawing in a new way, this might be the perfect gift for them. Pair this with a sketchbook and an encouragement to see the book once and a while to celebrate what they have created. 

I love Usborne books.  I have been to many parties for the books and I'm always impressed with the quality of the books.  Looking online for the 'deals' might be the best way to go.  Usborne has many 'how to draw books' for all levels, but also a lot of 'how to make' books as well. 

One of the best ways that you can let kids be creative is to give them fun materials, many times these materials are FREE--ish! Here is my all time favorite thing to give to a kid... Paper towel tubes, cardboard, masking tape, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, scissors...  Kids love, love, love free exploration of materials. You can give them a prompt with a gift like this... 'build your dream house', 'make a maze for a marble'... or just give them the permission to make anything they want.  If you want this activity to last longer... give them your time too. Kids love making art with adults! Never say I'm just not that creative in front of your kids... Let them be the lead, but the BEST gift you can give your kids is your undivided attention. With a few supplies, paired with your time, and their creativity... it will be sure to be a gift that will be meaningful beyond the activity it's self. 

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