We often get asked during the holiday season what kinds of creative gifts we would recommend to give as gifts for children and loved ones. Here are some recommendations from our team of art therapists at Indigo Art Therapy Studio.
Model Magic- This air dry dough is soft to the touch, doesn’t leave a residue on hands, and can be painted when dry. Always a go-to in our studio.
Tempera sticks- We are obsessed! Kids and adults both love the buttery smooth texture of tempera sticks, as well as their versatility, blend-ability, and quick dry time. It’s a relatively mess-free way to paint.
Art easel- A dedicated space for art makes creativity accessible at any time. Bonus points if the easel includes no-spill paint cups!
Fake snow! - Enjoy sensory fun and play for the whole family. Just add water and you can have a white winter in Florida!
Curiosity cups - Putty and slime are popular holiday stocking stuffers for kids. These cups full of miniature objects can make your sensory gifts even more fun! Great for kids who like to make their own slime or for adding a personal touch to any store bought slime or putty.
Kinetic sand kits- Kinetic sand makes an awesome gift for anyone who loves to play with soothing textures. Another versatile material, kinetic sand can hold a sculptural form or can just be used for relaxing sensory play. We love that it never dries out!
Butcher paper wall mount- Go big! Butcher paper can be mounted to a wall for plenty of space to create, pull down, and repeat! Great for gross motor skill development and movement + art!
Scratch Art- Reveal colors by scratching lines and shapes into the black coated surfaces. Excellent for sharpening fine motor skills. Pair these nifty scratch art bookmarks with a book by a favorite author.
Plaster cloth gauze- We always have this in the art room! Simply place strips of the cloth over a mold, add a little water, and smooth out the surface. We like to use this material with face molds to create masks or with balloons to create vessels. The dried plaster can be painted or collaged.
Art trays- an art tray is a great gift to include with a set of sensory play materials. Art trays help keep surfaces clean while teaching body and spatial boundaries.
Crayons! But not just any crayons. Check out these beautiful handmade gem crayons from Etsy! And let’s not forget the absolute joy a classic 64 pack of Crayola Crayons with that built in sharpener can bring!
Sensory dough- This is an excellent multi-sensory stress reliever for adults or kids. We keep this in our coping skills tool boxes and use it to get back in touch with our bodies and our senses. Sensory dough makes for a sweet DIY gift as well!
Magnetic tiles- Hours of open-ended play and imaginative building! These tiles keep kids of all ages interested for hours on end. Kelly's kiddo added this one to the list.
Oval Lite Brite- This classic toy is an art room favorite! Glow in the dark designs are fun, relaxing, and a great way to build fine motor skills while enjoying a sensory experience. The new oval shape can help increase focus and relaxation.
Sensory projector light- Create a peaceful space for sensory down-time or quiet meditation time. Color and light can make us feel all right!
Eco art therapist, Samantha, reminds us that the holidays are also the best time to repurpose materials! You can reuse bubble wrap as a fun snow-like texture for print-making. Bows can be used to embellish sculptures or to add dimension to flat works of art. Ribbon and wrapping paper can be cut up and pasted for collage. And of course, cardboard tubes and boxes have infinite creative uses!