Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
Hanukkah is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, that means it’s time to scramble to find eight gifts for each of the kids on your list. But let’s face it the ordinary fare of socks, pencils and costume jewelry can get a bit old, especially for the more creative kids in the family.
If you’re shopping for an artistic or creative child this year, I understand. I have three of them! Here are ten simple ideas for sure-to-be-loved Hanukkah gifts for creative kids. (And I promise, there is nary a pair of socks in sight!)
Paints are one of those gifts that can be adapted to any age. For a preschooler, finger paints are a favorite. Slightly older kids might prefer Tempera paint or a small watercolor set (do make sure they’re washable!) Older children might love a starter set of oils or water colors, along with a few brushes. Blank canvases, painting paper and multi-media art paper tablets are great choices for other days during the holiday.
9. Things to make into other things
Creativity can take many forms. Some like to paint. Others like to put things together. A box filled with gears, dials and other machine parts might inspire a SteamPunk masterpiece. A robotics set, with extra accessories can be given on one night, or spread out over the holiday. Things to build like clocks are another wonderful choice, especially if there’s room for custom touches.
8. Jewelry findings
Creating their own jewelry is something that appeals to many creative children. Depending on their age, anything from simple plastic beads to fine jewelry elements can inspire creativity. Older children might also like the challenge of repurposing old necklaces and bracelets into new pieces. Give them the tools they need to take things apart and reassemble them into one-of-a-kind masterpieces.
The challenge of creating something with clay is something that appeals to kids from preschool through high school and beyond. For little ones, a reusable, non-toxic sculpting material is the best choice. Older kids might enjoy clay that can be baked into permanent creations. For more advanced artists, true sculpting clay with a basic set of clay-working tools might be the the right gift.
6. Drawing pens and pencils
Yes, it is possible to draw with any pen or pencil. But for budding artists, a set of drawing pens or pencils with different tip sizes or hardnesses will work better than ordinary office-supply writing supplies. Buy a few to get them started, or select a drawing and sketching set to provide them with everything they need.
5. Lots of paper
Paper, paper and more paper. Paper is one of the most appreciated Hanukkah gifts for creative kids and young artists. Rolls of drawing paper work well for the small ones or beginners. More experienced artists will appreciate tablets of paper designed for pen and ink, pencil, water color or mixed media.
Not all art requires paper or clay. A really good point-and-shoot digital camera is more affordable than ever, so consider presenting your would-be photographer with the tools they need to find their unique vision of the world around them. (Have a child who prefers things a little old school? Film cameras are still available, too!)
Making music is one of the most creative outlets a child can have, so why not gift them with an instrument of their choice? Don’t worry about what instrument or musical style they want…or above all, whether it’s the instrument you would LIKE them to play. Learning to create music is the key, whether they choose an acoustic guitar, a shiny saxophone or a the retro sounds of an accordian.
Puppetry is a very creative form of expression for kids of all ages. Not only do they get to pretend to be a character, puppet shows and puppet play encourages improvisation and quick thinking. Start with just a few puppets, or set them up with a kid-sized puppet theater all their own.
Learning how to work with clay, read music or act out a scene can inspire a creative child to expand their craft. Look for fun, low-pressure lessons on their level so they won’t be bored…or stressed. Check out area art schools, or see if the community schools or museums in your area offer age-appropriate lessons in the art forms your child enjoys.
Hanukkah gifts are easy to pick if you start by thinking about what your child loves to do. Give them the tools they need to express their artistic vision, and your imaginative kids will be happy for all eight nights.