FOR KIDS

Some­times the best gifts are ones from the heart

Times of the Islands - - News -

Chil­dren’s Cre­ations Are Hol­i­day Hits

The nicest hol­i­day gifts aren’t nec­es­sar­ily the ones in the big­gest, fan­ci­est boxes. Nor are they nec­es­sar­ily the most ex­pen­sive. Some­times the best gifts of all are the homemade ones that are made by young ones—our chil­dren, grand­chil­dren, nieces, neph­ews and, per­haps, stu­dents. Hol­i­day gift ideas that chil­dren can eas­ily cre­ate in­clude fes­tive tins of baked and dec­o­rated cook­ies or col­or­ful painted rocks to be used as “per­fect” pa­per­weights. Other ideas in­clude or­na­ments dec­o­rated with glit­ter and con­struc­tion pa­per cut­souts of trees or snow­men, or painted pinecones glued on dec­o­rated card­board bases.

Remember to let chil­dren know that they can per­son­al­ize their cre­ations with “Grandma” or “Teacher,” for ex­am­ple. Many of the in­ex­pen­sive ma­te­ri­als needed for these projects can be found in dol­lar stores and in arts and crafts shops. “My kids love work­ing on art projects—dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son, es­pe­cially,” says Amy Towne, a Cape Coral res­i­dent who has two young ones. “Grandma looks for­ward to her hol­i­day tra­di­tion of get­ting a homemade gift that she brings to her of­fice.”

While par­ents may as­sist with scis­sors, con­struc­tion pa­per, glit­ter, paint and glue when chil­dren are mak­ing great mas­ter­piec-

es at home, there are also lo­cal places that of­fer classes and work­shops on cre­at­ing hol­i­day gift items. “We will be of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of hol­i­day-themed classes and work­shops for chil­dren,” notes Denise Ahlstrom, owner of Karma & Co­conuts in Cape Coral.

The Cen­ters for the Arts of Bonita Springs is also a great place for classes and camps that fea­ture hol­i­day and win­ter themes. “Our fun, win­ter-themed camps in vis­ual arts, per­form­ing arts, sci­ence and cook­ing—for ages 4 to 18—make the arts ac­ces­si­ble to all school-aged youth,” says youth ed­u­ca­tion direc­tor Heather Roper. Schol­ar­ships and dis­counts are avail­able.

Work­shops and classes are also of­fered at arts and crafts stores such as Michaels, lo­cated in Cape Coral, Fort My­ers and Es­tero. In ad­di­tion, Cape Coral Parks & Re­cre­ation sched­ules some hol­i­day craft ac­tiv­i­ties for young­sters.

Whether you and your chil­dren work on do-it-your­self ac­tiv­i­ties, or you en­roll them in classes, camps or work­shops, the end re­sults will be sure to light up loved ones’ hol­i­days be­cause of their spe­cial gifts. Ann Marie O’Phelan is a South­west Florida res­i­dent and reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

From left: Chil­dren cre­ate art­works at the Cen­ters for the Arts of Bonita Springs. Their pieces will make trea­sured hol­i­day gifts.

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