When I give a gift I love for it to have some creative component to it, especially when it is a gift for a child. If there is anything I want to give a child it is the opportunity to create, use, share and have their abilities affirmed. This may be doing something with their hands such as crafts or baking, making music, imaginative play, sharing stories etc. Little bits of plastic packaged in card, then wrapped in more plastic usually just don't do it for me or my children. They are usually left sitting on the shelf.
So when we found that Ess' friend loved anything to do with making jewellery, we were delighted to be able to give her a gift of beads in a homemade pouch.
We had such fun shopping for the gift in the little bead shop. Ess chose the beads in the colours she liked and she and the shop assistant set about designing a possible pattern for a bracelet and necklace - to be sure we purchased the correct number of beads ;). This was infinitely more fun than waiting in the excessively long line at Toys"R"Us to pay for the card we chose. Oh how I wished that the newsagent was open on a Saturday, or that I had made a pretty card.
I popped in one of the headbands I have been making as she has lots of lovely long curly locks which I hope will be held back sufficiently.
We hope she likes her little gift and has many hours of designing and creating, playing and storing and, of course, doing her lovely hair with her new headband.
What criteria do you have when you are giving a gift?