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Creative Hanukkah Gifts for Kids

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Don't forget the kids on your gift list this Hanukkah. Surprise them with these easy-to-assemble gift packages that will keep them busy over the school vacation.

The Ancient Art of Origami

The Gift of Knowledge

The art of folding paper began in China approximately 2,000 years ago. When this art form reached Japan several hundred years later, they called it origami—ori means “fold” and kami means “paper.” The art of origami spread to other countries and developed into the whimsical art form practiced today.

Origami has gained popularity as an art form over the years. You can finds lots of kits in craft stores that explain the mechanics of this art step by step. Combine these kits with some extra supplies for a fun holiday treat.

Time frame: One to two hours

Level: Easy to moderately difficult

What you need:

  • Origami kit
  • Special origami colored papers
  • Scissors
  • Book on the art of origami
  • Plastic shoe-size box
  1. Assemble the supplies and place them in the plastic box.
  2. Be sure to spend some time with your gift recipient to get him or her started on this art of folding paper.

Clay Play

Provide the youngsters on your list with the ingredients to make these nifty clay beads and watch their creativity soar! If beads aren't their thing, help them make cute miniatures from the clay to display in a shadowbox.

Time frame: Three to four hours

Level: Moderately easy

What you need:

  • Fimo or Sculpy clay (You can buy a kit of clay with all the colors you'll need or buy the clay individually.)
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Plastic knife for sculpting
  • Toothpick
  • Cookie sheet
  • Pot holders
  • Cord for stringing beads
  • Shadow box for miniatures
  • Glue gun

To make bead necklaces:

  1. Put several colors of clay together, and roll them out with your hands to make a snake that is evenly rounded throughout. If you want to make square beads, use a ruler and your hands to flatten each edge until you have a rectangular shape.
  2. With a knife, cut the rolled shapes into individual beads. Put a hole in the middle of each bead with a toothpick.
  3. Place the beads on a cookie sheet and bake as directed by the clay's manufacturer (approximately 275°F for 15 to 20 minutes). Remove the beads from the oven using the potholders and allow them to cool.
  4. String the beads with bead cord or wire and knot the ends together.

To make a shadow box:

  1. Think of things that reflect the child's tastes and interests—certain music, foods, fashion trends, hobbies, sports, and so on. Use the clay to make images that represent these tastes. For example, if the child likes to play an instrument, make a musical note out of clay. If he or she plays baseball, make a ball and bat. If the child is fond of pizza, make a pizza out of clay and so on. Do this until enough favorite things are sculpted out of clay to fill the shadowbox.
  2. Bake the clay objects following step 3 for the beaded necklace. Allow the clay objects to cool.
  3. Glue the clay objects into the shadow box.

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More on: Hanukkah


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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