Children can sometimes be difficult to shop for. Big toy companies use smart advertising to entice children to ask for toys that will only hold their interest temporarily. This year instead of throwing money at the latest fad, make a homemade gift that will provide your child with hours of imaginative entertainment.
Dramatic Play Box
Dramatic play is an important part of any child’s day. It allows them to “try on” the roles of other people in their home and community. To facilitate this play, you could make your child a Dramatic Play Box. You will need a container of some sort (like a toy chest, rubbermaid container or even a cardboard box) and dress-up items like clothing, shoes, hats and accessories.
Check around your home and at a local thrift store for supplies for the box. Children especially love hats and aprons from local businesses. You could also put things like fake credit cards, old cell phones and play money in the box. For more ideas, please see this article.
Children may also enjoy dressing up as their favorite superhero. If this is the case, then use this tutorial to make a reversible superhero cape.
If your child is into pirate play, then you can make a treasure map. You will need 1/4 yard printed fabric (check your local fabric store for quilting fabrics that look like a map), an 8½” x 11″ piece of fusible felt and Fray-Stop.
Following the instructions with your fusible felt, iron on to your fabric. Trip around the edges and then put on the Fray-Stop to preserve the integrity of the fabric. Optionally, you can insert a ribbon in the middle of one side of the map leaving 2″-3″ inside and 6″-10″ outside. This can be used to tie up the rolled up map when not in use.
If you have the ambition to create your own map, then follow the tutorial here.
Perfect for car trips or sitting in church, and I-Spy book will keep kids entertained. To make your own you will need a 4″x6″ photo album (many are available from Dollar Tree stores), pictures of piles of objects and 4×6 index cards.
Pile together common household objects and take a picture. Keep a list of all the objects you used for each picture. For each picture you can either print the list onto the index card or make up a rhyme or riddle to go with each picture. Then you simply fill up the album with a photo on one page and the matching card on the next page so that they face each other.
To see an example of this type of book, please visit this site.
Alternatively, you could make an I-Spy bag. It follows the same concept, except small objects and poly-beads or rice are placed inside a large beanbag with a see-through window. For instructions, please see this site.
Happy Holidays! And also Happy Crafting!