Gift Ideas That Include Stuff You Already Have

This is the list for those of us who remember when our children were more fascinated by the box as what came in it! If you’re not sure whether your recipient likes books, matching the book with an activity can keep your gift fun and meaningful.

When you already have that little something extra in the house, that’s even better. You won’t need us to give you pairing ideas!

A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska
| ages 1 to 6 |

Along piece of string william wondriska long black piece of string “ties” together the single object on each page. As you go through, you see that the objects are not random, but  carefully chosen representations of the 26 letter of the alphabet, in order from A to Z. The string invites the child to trace its line, looping across the page, around the object, and onto the next page.

Parent reviewer: My sons (3 and 5) loved to trace the string with their fingers. They had fun trying to guess the name of the object on the page, trying to match it to the letter in the alphabet we were supposed to be on.

Read the Review | Order at | Shop Your Local Indie Bookstore

kindergarten craft51 Things To Make with Paper Plates by Fiona Hayes
| ages 4 to 9 |

From farmhouse and safari animals to royal garb and seasonal decorations there is something for everyone in this collection of craft ideas. Supplies vary per project, but are budget-friendly and use things you already have on hand: paper plates, glue, scissors, ruler, felt-tip pens, and pencils. 

Wherever your imagination takes you, you can bring those ideas to life with this fun book built for curious and creative minds. This book will come in very handy for snow days, rainy days, and the times you hear “I’m bored.” The projects are easily adapted for a classroom because they are simple to do. It is easy to see all the possibilities of using the book for science (make frogs when studying pond life), social studies (masks for cultural celebrations), and language arts (book characters).

Worth noting: Tracing paper is not listed as a supply, but we recommend it. The book doesn’t have cut-out templates or patterns, but you can trace the illustrations to make your own.

Read the Review | Buy at | Shop Your Local Indie Bookstore

cardboard boxes51 Things to Make with Cardboard Boxes by Fiona Hayes | ages 9 and Up |

Boxes of all shapes and sizes are transformed into decorations and toys for kids. Projects range from making a pirate hat to building a train or a castle. In addition to boxes, projects usually require paint, glue, and scissors. Some will incorporate other items, such as googly eyes and drinking straws.

Makers will have a field day with a variety of projects in this book. There are some fun projects that will give kids room decorations (aquarium) and hours of pretend play (pirate ship, dragon). The desktop bins project is cute, too. Overall, the projects skew a little older than the Paper Plates book. There is more “wait time” for glue or paint to dry before assembling.

You’ll need to have a stash of boxes of various types (shoe box, facial tissue, cereal), toilet paper and paper towel rolls, and for some projects, corrugated cardboard. [The kind that used in packing/shipping.]

Read the Review | Buy at | Shop Your Local Indie Bookstore

wreck this journal keri smithWreck this Journal: Now In Color
| ages 10 and Up |

Yes, you can write, or paint, or draw, or shred pages … and more. Illustrated prompts in the text guide readers to explore their creative side.

Part journal, part art book, this is an exceptional – and very fun – choice for tweens, teens, and adults, too.

Read the Review | Order at | Shop Your Local Indie Bookstore
See all the different Wreck This Journal editions

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