Great Gifts that Nurture the Arts (page 3)
- 8 Great Gifts to Inspire Reading
- Great Birthday Gifts Under $25!
- Top Green Gifts for Earth Day 2009
- Introducing Your Child to the Arts: Dramatic Play for Children
- Could Arts-Integrated Education Help Your Child Succeed?
- Introducing Your Child to the Arts: Making Art Through Movement
Got a young artist at home? Looking for great gifts that spark creativity and inspire imaginative thinking? The creative arts are an essential part of learning, and help to shape kids into well-rounded, culturally aware adults. Help nurture out-of-the-box thinking and self-expression with these amazing art-inspired gifts. From paint pallets to wood-making to homemade sushi, we've got you covered, young and old, with this year's greatest gifts for the creative genius in all of us. These gifts are not only packed with learning but they're full of fun and exploration. Here's are list of top picks for artistic fun:
My Giant Busy Box Running out of craft ideas to do with your kids? This fun craft box provides hours of entertainment at a reasonable price. Kids get all the tools they need to make 16 different projects, including tissue art, silly puppets, sticker scenes, and more. Even better, many of the activities are mess-free, making this box perfect for travel or some no-fuss rainy day fun. (Alex)
Washable Kids Paint Love painting but hate the mess? Ditch the brushes for these hand-held marker-like dispensers. Pick up, press down, and get crafty: the paint flows freely as kids apply pressure to paper. Once they lift the dispensers off the page, the paint stops flowing. Compact and easy for kids to handle, each color has a unique scent, from strawberry to sour apple, making painting a sensory experience. Easy cleanup for parents, with the kid-appeal of a scratch and sniff sticker. (Crafty Dab)
Jazz Playground If you've ever wanted a kid-friendly CD featuring musicians with genuine talent, then slap "Jazz Playground" in your stereo. Jazz aficionados out there, or parents just wanting to expose their children to the genre, will love jazzy takes on favorites such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "This Little Light of Mine." Kids will not only hear great jazz—and learn about techniques such as scat and improvisation—they'll hear it sung in Dutch, Portuguese, French, Japanese, and English. (Putamayo)
Theater Stage What little kid doesn't love putting on a puppet show? Puppets are classic kid entertainment, and this plush, easy-to-store finger puppet theater is packed with pretend play potential. It's got all the features a kid could want, from curtains that open and close and a fold-out stage to pockets for storing his puppet collection. Great portability and a soft handle on top mean this little stage goes everywhere you do, making impromptu puppet shows as easy as 1-2-3. Let the show begin! (Manhattan Toy)
Do Art Travel Easel Perfect for your amateur artist, this 34-piece portable art set truly takes multitasking to the next level. Filled with washable markers, oil pastels, colored pencils, and chalk—not to mention a sketch pad, dry-erase whiteboard, and chalkboard—this premium quality pack provides seemingly endless creative options. And since it all folds up neatly into a clever traveling case made from impact-resistant plastic, it's essential for on-the-go illustrations ... because you never know when inspiration will strike! (Faber Castell)
Super Art Studio They don't call this art set "super" for nothing! With 140 pieces packed neatly into a sleek aluminum carrying case, this set has all the basics covered and then some. From watercolors and pencils to pastels, paint brushes and everything in between, this comprehensive art studio has everything your budding artist needs to create millions of masterpieces! The case makes it all perfectly portable, and slots for each piece in the set make staying organized a snap. Start your art now! (Alex)
Young Woodmaker's Project Kit Get your build on! This very cool set contains all the nails, glue, and pre-cut wooden pieces junior woodworkers need to make three good amazing projects. In addition to bragging rights, your carpenter will work on fine motor skills, building hand muscles for the more complex writing tasks of third grade. High quality materials lead to beautiful results, but instructions could be better—all the more excuse to make it a parent-child project and sneak in some quality time with your increasingly independent kid. (Toys to Grow On)
Muse Magazine Backed by the authority of the Smithsonian Institute and infused with the infectious writing of Carus publishers, this magazine is sure to delight the artist, writer, mathematician, astronaut, and philosopher in your child. Are humans born to run? Why can't you remember your first birthday? Is time travel possible? These questions and more help spark your child's quest to understand the world around her. Stuff that first mag in your child's stocking, and she'll be stalking the mailbox from then on! (Carus Publishers)
Fashion Studio Unleash your inner fashionista! Design your own fashion line from start to finish with the Fashion Studio from ArtLab. The kit has everything you need to create your own couture, including a designer's light table, 34 traceable clothing silhouettes, 10 artist-quality colored pencils, sketch paper and fashion forward book outfitted with everything from drawing techniques to fashion facts—even tips to get you started on your line. The sky's the limit with this fabulously fun fashion studio. (Smart Lab)
Book of Artrageous Projects Looking for a not-so-run-of-the-mill gift for your aspiring artist? The Book of Artrageous Projects is filled with hands-on projects and tons of fun facts that take art history to a whole new level. A wonderfully creative collaboration between Klutz and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this book brings art to life with everything from Egyptian tomb paintings to Michelangelo-inspired sketches. Packed with all the tools curious minds need to explore, imagine, and create, including copper-colored foil, color pigments, a paint brush, and even light sensitive paper, this book of "artrageous projects" inspires young artists to dive head and hands first into art's colorful history. This unique book reminds kids of the importance of imaginative thinking and the power of artistic creation. A must-have for any art lover. (Klutz)
Brushes iPhone App This amazing application is like having a complete artist's palette, right on your mobile phone. With an advanced color picker, several brushes of varying sizes and styles, multiple layers, and extreme zooming, Brushes gives artists the power to create original artwork in seconds. And while it may take a while to create a masterpiece, this app is legit: it was used to create a cover for The New Yorker magazine and boasts an amazing archive of "paintings" created by real artists using just a finger. (Taptrix, Inc.)
Oil Painting Set This set has everything a young artist needs to become an oil painting pro—including the easel! With 12 tubes of oil paint, 6 hog bristle brushes, a solid wood table top easel, a wooden palette, an 11x14 inch canvas, a plastic palette knife, and an artist's tote, you'll be a master painter in no time. Perfectly portable for plein air painting (painting in open air/outside) for artists looking to take their work outdoors. A beautiful oil painting set that will delight newbies and pros alike. (FineArtStore)
Sushi Making Kit Get rolling! You don't have to be a master sushi chef to make your own scrumptious sushi right in your own home. This kit from Sushi Magic is the perfect sushi starter set for anyone from the kitchen klutz to the practiced pro. The set includes a roller/molding tool for churning out expertly rolled sushi, a two-part mold-and-press nigiri tool, instructions and tons of recipes to get you going. What makes this kit better than the rest? The Sushi Magic kit has the only nigiri mold that presses seafood, wasabi, and rice together to let you shape professional quality sushi at home. Great for sushi parties and making healthy and delicious meals for the whole family to enjoy. (Sushi Magic)
Crayola Oil Pastels Portfolio Series There's nothing quite like the look of an oil pastel—deep, rich colors that seem to float and move together on paper. Somewhere between an oil paint and a crayon, these portfolio pastels are the perfect set for anyone from a budding artist to a seasoned pro, made as only Crayola could make them. Use them for wet or dry work, then dip your paint brush and blend to create colors. These perfect pastels create bright and vivid colors that are sure to provide inspiration for your imagination to take flight! (Crayola)
No matter what the age, these art-minded gifts are the perfect way to nurture imagination and creative thinking. And if you're looking for an inspiring last-minute gift to give, these picks are just what the doctor ordered. Who knows? You may have a young da Vinci in the family!
See our full list of great gifts on our 2010 Gift Guide.