This is my daughter's Christmas list: iTunes gift card. Barnes & Noble gift card. Claire's gift card. Are you starting to see a theme?
Let's just say Grandma isn't exactly happy handing out just gift cards at Christmas time. If you're looking for a thoughtful gift idea to give out to relatives or are struggling finding something for your own daughter...
Below are three alternatives to giving plastic this holiday season.
Tweens are at that spot right on the edge of childhood. I strongly believe at this point, more than ever, that we need to continue to inspire our children's creativity.
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once (s)he grows up.
― Pablo Picasso
Creative Christmas Gifts for Tween Girls
1. DOODLE CRATE (Ages 9-16+)| Check out the website
This is a great alternative for girls who love to do arts and crafts. As a parent of tweens, I've started to notice that three-quarters of the ideas on Pinterest are geared toward preschoolers.
Can you relate? My girls don't want to do hand print art anymore, they need something more. Lately, I've been at a stand-still when it comes to offering the girls project ideas.
What I like about Doodle Crate is that they foster creativity with age appropriate projects. Click here to check out some of their sample crates and gift options.
My daughter was beyond giddy when she opened this sample Geometric Canvas Pouch Doodle Crate.
You’d think, since I’m a parent, the smile (right) is what would make me *love* Doodle Crate, but it’s not.
THIS is the face that won me over:
THAT is the quirky face my daughter makes when she is happy and truly engaged in a project.
We believe that by fostering a child's creativity, you also help build an inner confidence and strong sense of self. And we believe that by learning new skills, children also learn to tackle other challenges with tenacity and persistence. — Sandra, Founder & CEO of Doodle Crate
My daughter prepped her workspace and diligently read the instructions. She assured me that this was HER project and that she didn't need my assistance.
She got started on her tape resistant painting project. Her favorite part by far was the little pom pom that you attach to the zipper of the canvas pouch. Check out her sweet smile on this Instagram video.
On the Doodle Crate site they explain:
Our crates introduce fun crafting materials and interesting techniques. As kids dig in, they begin to see how materials can transform. They start dreaming about the possibilities and exploring their own ideas. By exercising their imagination and creativity, children learn something new. We love seeing them develop an enthusiasm for making and creating something all by themselves.
I admit skepticism, sometimes when I look at a website it all feels like marketing mumbo-jumbo. Yet...
After my daughter finished her Doodle Crate she wanted to know if we had more yarn. She spent a good portion of the afternoon experimenting with making different sizes and types of pom poms to attach to holiday gifts. Sooooo, yeah. The creators of Doodle Crate were right on. I officially take back my snarky mumbo-jumbo comment.
2. MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION
We live in a digital world, give your tween the gift of old fashion snail mail. They'll love the monthly read.
Our girls continue to enjoy National Geographic Kids. I've also heard wonderful things about the American Girl Magazine from friends with daughters. And Discovery Girls looks like something my ladies would love, too.
3. GIVE A CLASS
Check your local art galleries, libraries, park systems, museums, and colleges for classes geared towards tweens. The one item on my ten-year-old's Christmas list that is NOT a gift card? A drawing class at our local CVA (Center for Visual Arts). They have a variety of different types of classes: painting, pottery, zentangles, photography. Remember...
Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.
One quick note: If you are shopping for a niece, daughter of a friend, or granddaughter... please make sure you consult with the child's parents. If a creative class doesn't work into their schedule, I'd default back to saying, "Doodle Crates ROCK."
If your not-so-little lady is not crafty, I highly recommend the creative Tinker Crates (Ages 9-14+), too. I am considering a subscription to that for my daughter as well this year!
What would you add to this list of ideas? Let's chat in the comments.
P.S. These stats have got me thinking:
Sir Ken Robinson, chair of the UK Government's report on creativity, education and the economy, described research that showed that young people lost their ability to think in "divergent or non-linear ways", a key component of creativity. Of 1,600 children aged three to five who were tested, 98% showed they could think in divergent ways. By the time they were aged eight to 10, 32% could think divergently. When the same test was applied to 13 to 15-year-olds, only 10% could think in this way. And when the test was used with 200,000 25-year-olds, only 2% could think divergently. . . . He described creativity as the 'genetic code' of education and said it was essential for the new economic circumstances of the 21st century. [Copyright © National Literacy Trust 2008 (UK)]
Click here to listen to Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk.
Let's keep our girls open to divergent thinking by providing them thoughtful gifts this Christmas.
Disclosure of Material Connection: his is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”