Even if arts and crafts are not your forte, you could put together some easy and quick gifts to surprise your child – from a toddler to a teenager – without even burning a hole in your pocket. For a preschooler, make a lacing jenny – made using a foam sheet cut into interesting shapes with holes punched along the edges and a long shoelace to practice threading the cord in.
Sensory activity boards are yet another cool idea. Buttons, beads, almost anything that can be made to move or make noise could work. Try your friends, see what your local plumbing supply, hardware store, and electrician might want to purge. Add a screen door latch, a zipper, a piece of straw – anything! You could get really carried away with a project like this.
My mom used to put together really fancy doll houses with discarded shoe boxes or other cardboard boxes. You can even take help from an older kid (yet another way to keep them busy) or your husband for these projects.
Nothing expresses love like a handmade gift. Here are some uber cool Children’s Day celebration gifting ideas for kids of all ages—those playful, inquisitive adults who refuse to grow up!
1. Handpainted T-Shirts
Everyone loves something that is made especially for them. And kids all ages have their own sartorial statements. For the child that is fashion conscious, a hand painted t-shirt is such a wonderful idea! And there is no rocket science to this. Simply buy a white (ideally) or solid-coloured cotton t-shirt. Draw a design using a pencil. Fill in acrylic paints that have been mixed with a little fixing medium – so that the paint lasts longer. If you like, you can make sets of these as well.
Here is a little something to make their reading nook or study table look more colourful. Simply pick up a few smooth-edges pebbles that fit into your palm. Wash them thoroughly to remove surface dirt and paint using acrylic paints. You can use yarn, wool, wood shavings, sequins etc to paint on facial features and give each ‘pebble character’ a unique identity. I painted a set for my son and very soon he was holding ‘pebble puppet shows’ for his friends.
Books are friends for life. A lover of books is never alone. And ask the parents whose kids are book lovers in this day and age of digital noise, how blessed they are. Make attractive bookmarks for your bibliophile. And make them into sets. Books come in different sizes – so make at least four or five in varying sizes.
This is clever. And most unusual. Especially for older children who have grown out of toys. Gift your child an envelope labelled ‘Concessions”. Put in this some “coupons” that they can “spend” at any time: Favourite TV show marathon on a weekend; Pizza dinner; movie and popcorn night, you pick the movie; sit and read a book with me; stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime.
5. Lego storage box
All little children need boxes to store their little treasures. You can help your kids make one for each other using a wooden box and leftover lego pieces. Paint a wooden box (that can be customised by your carpenter) a colour of your choice. Glue the lego building plate on one side and let it dry. Fix the lego pieces (do not glue them on, because then you can change what you build). Voila!
Text and images by Aarti Kapur Singh