In many of our cultures, December is a month of gift-giving… and gift-wrapping.
While your little ones aren’t yet shopping for their own gifts (unless it’s in our Centre’s special holiday store!), you *can* get them thinking intentionally about gift-giving by having them help create special giftwrap.
Doing this together gives you a chance to be creative together, to do something useful, to reinforce thoughts of sustainability, and to help your little ones see the holidays as occasions for thoughtfulness rather than materialism.
What to do (before the wrap session)
In the week or two before you’re going to create giftwrap, pull together kraft paper, paper bags, flyers, newsprint, and other used paper you have in large enough pieces to wrap things in. Also keep an eye out for random items you can use as embellishments: bits of aluminum foil, string, used ribbon, pipe cleaners… don’t be limited to “traditional” materials!
If you don’t have any on hand, take a trip to a discount store for some brightly-coloured paints and some glue.
On wrap-making day
One by one, talk about the people on your gift-giving list. For example, “our first gift is for Grandma. Does anybody know Grandma’s favourite colour?” Working together, suss out details about that person’s preferences and habits. Does Grandma love crossword puzzles or sudoku? Then we know what part of the newspaper might yield an appropriate adornment for her gift.
Once you have your family’s little “profile” done for each person, look at the materials you have, and use them to create the perfect wrapping for that person’s gift. (Note: best to do this once the shopping is done, so you don’t end up with a CD-sized piece of paper to wrap a power drill!)
Even if most of your papers are pre-printed, your little ones can use paint, glue, and other materials to cover the printing. You can easily carve shapes into potatoes to make custom stamps, and turn any image in a magazine into a sticker with scissors and glue.
Trust us: what kiddos lack in budget, they more than make up for in imagination!
Now, the magic!
When the time comes to exchange gifts, invite your kiddos to explain the gift wrap to the receiver. Why did they choose this paper, this colour, this material?
Once the receiver hears how much your little ones have noticed about them, we’ll bet the wrap becomes the most meaningful part of the gift.