Kids' Holiday Gift Guide 2016

     Every year adults grapple with what types of holiday gifts to get for the children they love. If you're looking for ideas on gifts that will entertain and engage, while developing multiple intelligences, you're in luck! Below are some great suggestions for kids of all ages.

     When I was growing up, KLUTZ® was a household brand.  Established in the 1970s, this line of children’s activities has stood the test of time.  Some of you may fondly remember the old Cat’s Cradle or Shrinky Dinks.  With all the electronics that kids are exposed to these days, why not take things back to a simpler time?  KLUTZ® makes some seriously fun, screen-free activities for girls and boys alike!  A branch of Scholastic Inc., all KLUTZ® products cleverly include elements of academic skills like reading, writing, following directions, critical thinking, etc.  Beyond that, I found each of the following products available online for less than $15! 

      One product that jumped out in my mind is called The Many Moods of Me Journal.  Flipping through the preview pages, I could just picture my tween self venting through the pages of this book.  The beauty of the journal is that it teaches kids to identify their emotions and to work through them.  To boost the fun factor, The Many Moods of Me Journal also comes with a mood ring and a mood pen!  (Kids pick the color of ink based on their mood!)  This is a great gift for kids to tap into their intrapersonal side!

      Another great find is LEGO® Chain Reactions.  With this kit, kids can make 10 different machines that cause—you guessed it!—chain reactions!  Imagine the excitement your child would feel watching his/her creations come to life!  Success!  What an awesome and rewarding way for kids to exercise their logic skills!

      For those interpersonal kids who thrive on shared experiences with friends, a timeless gift is in order.  Any girl who’s been to sleepaway camp probably remembers making and sharing friendship bracelets!  This KLUTZ® Friendship Bracelets Craft Kit also reinforces patterns and encourages kids to follow steps in sequence.  I had this exact item as a child and enjoyed it for hours on end! 

If you’re planning a road trip over Winter Break, you may want to consider gifting Books in a Cup.  This cute and convenient product fits into a car’s cup holder and contains hours of entertainment!  Each cup comes filled with 4 activity books (40 pages each), stickers, a pencil, and even a pencil topper.  Let’s just call this one fun on the run!

      For the visually inclined, Make Your Own Mini Erasers is a dream!  (I mean, if kids have to go back to school after break, they might as well do so in style!)  The instruction book is 48 pages long, and it’s full of designs kids love most—puppies, sweets, and more!  Once designs are complete, help your kids turn their creations into working erasers by simply baking the clay in the oven for a short time.  The kit comes with enough material to make a whopping 25 erasers and immeasurable fine motor practice! 

     One last KLUTZ® kit I’d like to recommend is the classic Face Painting.  As kids, my sister and I had a blast with this product!  My parents walked in to find my little sister dressed in tie die, hair in scrunchies, painted as a bunny.  I was the “ar-tee-st” who put that ensemble together.  My dad found it so amusing that he ran for the camera, and I still have the picture hanging in my room to date.
      This holiday season, I hope you and your family make long-lasting, good-old-fun memories!  Have a joy-filled, safe, and relaxing time, and I’ll see you again in 2017!