Creative, Healthy Stocking Stuffers for Children
Strawberry-chia fruit leather may be tasty but tucking nutritious snacks in your kids’ Christmas stockings isn’t going to win you a parent-of-the-year mug. Fostering your children’s creativity on the other hand is both fun and important for their emotional health, per PBS – the TV station that airs “Sesame Street,” “SciGirls,” “Nature Cat,” and other educational shows.
“Creative experiences can help children express and cope with their feelings,” PBS said. Creativity also:
- Lets them experiment with new ideas
- Teaches them how to solve problems
- Develops motor skills
- Introduces them to shapes, balance, and spatial relationships
- Promotes social skills
- Enables them to relieve stress
How to Nurture Your Children’s Creativity
Start by listening to your children, PBS said. Note their ideas and interests.
If they’re into art, print tickets to:
- The Getty Center in Los Angeles
- Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento
- The Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego
- The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
or any of California’s numerous art museums and tuck them in your children’s stockings.
Likewise, if they’re interested in science, print passes to kid-friendly California Science Center in L.A., Discovery Cube Orange County, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, or World of Wonders Science Museum in Lodi.
If they beat pots and pans like bongo drums or turn bananas into harmonicas, give them admission to the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad.
Toys That Encourage Creativity
Remember, PBS said, creativity “is more than drawing or painting. There’s also photography, music, field trips, working with wire, clay, paper, wood, water or shadows. The possibilities are endless. It’s important to provide children lots of time to explore materials and pursue their ideas.”
With that in mind, here are some materials to get them started.
If your children have asked about your tattoos or scribbled on their skin with Sharpie markers, consider giving them some ink of their own this Christmas. You can find temporary tattoos and sleeves on Amazon and other retail websites, and this Etsy shop owner sells flesh-colored tattoo-sleeve shirts.
Little girls who’ve admired mom’s manis and pedis for years will love playing with their first set of Piggy Paint – kid-friendly, non-toxic nail polish. Piggy Paint founder Melanie Hurley came up with the water-based, cruelty-free colors after painting nails with her two daughters and discovering that a drop of solvent-based polish had eaten through a foam plate. Hurley’s invention has been featured in a variety of magazines from Parenting to Elle to US, proving that imagination can pay off big.
Cultivate creativity in future farm market vendors by bestowing the Toysmith Deluxe Root Viewer. Instead of growing seedlings in paper cups, your children can watch carrots, green onions, and radishes evolve from sprouts to edible vegetables in a clear plastic planter.
Fans of Bill Nye the Science Guy will enjoy the Pop Bottle Science kit. He wrote the guide on how to perform 79 experiments, including how to make:
- A volcano
- A tornado
- A lava lamp
- A walkie-talkie
- A trombone
- A thermometer and barometer
Fat Brain Toys said the set teaches children fine motor skills, directions, and logic.
The Healthiest Gift of All
Christmas falls during the Obamacare open enrollment period, so be sure to give your children the healthiest gift of all: health insurance. Call Cost-U-Less at 800-390-4071 today for a free California health insurance quote.