I have two nieces who are currently 8 and 10 years old. I'm looking for creative ideas for gifts for this age group that are positive, educational, age appropriate... and so on. Their birthdays have passed, but I was overwhelmed by how spoiled with "toys" they are and I was wanting to plan ahead for xmas time to do something different.
Gift cards or magazine subscriptions.
Oooh, magazine subscriptions, good one. I also like books, pretty pens/paper/journals, something for their room, sports items (rollerskates/rollerblades, tennis racket, baseball glove).
I recently saw a journal with a built in light, presumably so that the writer could lie in bed with the lights out and write her 'secrets". I'll try to remember who makes it. I plan on this for a Christmas gift for dd.
DD10 isnt much into 'toys' but loves art supplies, and regularly askes to have class fee's paid as her 'presents'
How about movie tickets/gift cards?
I am desperatly trying to get away from giving/getting 'stuff' and replacing with an experience ie tickets, membership, classes etc.
You don't say if you live nearby, but if so, a "date" with them, singly or together, to go do something fun - that has been a huge hit with my DD. My mom took them to see "The Nutcracker", (before Christmas) and then their gift to open at Christmas was a ballerina ornament, as a souvenir of the trip.
A friend and her parents took my DD to a play for her birthday, complete with dinner out. These are very special, wonderful for her relationships, and can be tailored to fit your budget.
If you are too far away, I second paying for a class or something they can do - my IL's paid for my DD to take a pottery class at a comm. college, and for Christmas they get swimming class paid for.
Otherwise, another vote for mag. subs., or for craft things to do, rather than toys. My mom put together (probably quite inexpensively) a craft box for each girl - a nice sturdy decorative box, with a variety of things geared for each girl. My eldest got a "Learn to Knit" book (aimed at kids) with yarn and needles and a promise to teach her, along with a crochet hook and a kit for making loop potholders. My middle DD got a knitting "mushroom", paints, paper, and a tie-dye kit to do a pillowcase. They have done these things, and still have the box to keep their craft things in.
Knitting and crochet supplies...you can often get these as a kit so they get instruction and enough material to make one cool thing.
Books on CD.
A photo album with little journal entries from you about their years so far.
Art supplies-- you can often find *awesome* art kits for very little money at Sam's during the holiday season. Make sure to include watercolor paper and a sketchbook with charcoal pencils.
Origami paper and a book on paper folding.The Daring Book for Girls. The Dangerous Book for Boys.Watercolor for the Artisically Undiscovered
(by Klutz). My two older girls and I each have our own copy of this. It's so much fun, and everything you do in it looks great!Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered
(also by Klutz). My girls also have a copy of this, and so do I. I love these books.
Fun tights (you can often find them on super-sale at Lands End). A book on ropes and knots, some carabiners and ropes.
A fishing pole and book about local fishing.
Handmade paper kit.
My 10 yo is really into oragami. SHe also likes books about magic tricks.
I wouldn't suggest giving knitting/crocheting/sewing stuff unless you can teach her or her parents can. My DD was given a crochet kit and I am hopeless at that stuff and she can't figure it out (probably takes after me!) It is just sitting in her closet.
Also, if you do a craft kit, make sure it seems like something the child can really do. My SIL gave DD a "sew your own teddy bear" kit. OK, maybe Laura Ingalls Wilder could have sewn this thing together by hand when she was 8 but it was not for a typical 8 yo. I ended up having to sew the whole thing on the machine. I am not a great sewer and it was pretty hard for me, and definitely not something I would choose to do.