Just in time for this gift giving/recieving season, I wanted to write a post about what we will be buying for our friends and family this year. Read on for some great gift ideas for loved ones of all ages.
I used to encourage my kids to draw and color and paint as much as possible when they were younger. Now, it seems that all they want to do is play and experiment with color. I think I created mini-chocolate-chip-cookie-eating-coloring-monsters just like myself. I'd like to do the same for your family.
This month, my two daughters aged 4.5 and 6 have eight birthday parties to attend. I am so very, very tired of buying and receiving weird, useless toys. So, here are some of my suggestions on what to buy your loved ones this year to unleash their budding artists within. Again, for older gift recipients, maybe an IPad Pro with Stylus pen would be ideal. Just saying...
For younger gift recipients however, here are some of my favorite gifts, products, brands or stores (in no particular order...)
1) Ergonomic Pencils...These are all the rage for those learning how to write...Stabilo makes the best ones...
2) Colored Pencils...I don't love colored pencils as they do not produce a vibrant enough effect for me but, for kids I would choose the Stabilo Chubbies or Easy Colors as they are the most sturdy and easy to use.
3) Markers...There are so many different types of markers to choose from. Of course younger kids need washable, non-toxic ones...but for older coloristas I recommend Edding Paint Markers, Sharpies, Stabilo Fine Markers or Cappies, Pentel Brush Markers or Tchibo Magic Markers.
4) Oil Pastels (Not to be confused with crayons)...Faber Castell or Pentel make great sets. If you want to get crayons for your younger kids, then try twist crayons as they are more durable than the rest.
5) Erasable Pens or Gel Pens...Pentel, Uniball and Tchibo
6) Paints...IKEA Mala, Giotto (available at Lola in Reşitpaşa, Istanbul), Mothercare ELC
7) UHU Patafix is a must product for kids who like hanging up their art everywhere around the house. It doesn't damage paint and furniture!!
8) Canvases in a variety of sizes. The small ones are great for kids to create an art wall in their rooms. Mixed-media projects like pastels, paint, markers and collage projects adhere really well to canvases.
9) How-to-sketch, paint, draw books or workbooks...
10) Art lessons...(Istanbul Modern has great offerings for kids).
Do not forget to invest in high quality drawing paper as well, since there is nothing more annoying than drawing on flimsy paper that rips or soaks in the paint before you finish your masterpiece.
If you want to get something other than drawing/painting supplies for your kids this year, you could also try clay, playdoh, board games, magnetic building toys, lego, puzzles, books or clothes to get dirty in the mud or exercise in. Just no more Minions, Spiderman, Winxs or Elsa anything please...
Tırtıl Kids has opened a store in Kanyon and UNIQ, Lola has the bestest bestest art supplies in the city or you can always visit one of the hundreds of traditional kırtasiye (paper supplies) stores in Istanbul. Just beware of stale, low-quality art supplies in the aforementioned stores. Choose carefully and always go for quality over quantity and steer clear of those 100-piece art sets filled with junk. Less is definitely more in this case.
Enjoy and have a colorful, artful new year!!!