Friday, December 03, 2010

Herbal Holiday Gift Series 2010 - Kids.

Kids are tough when it comes to herbal gifts, but not impossible.
Without a doubt, I was lucky to have a kid who loved everything I did or made for her.
At 10, she wanted her own teapot. At the time, animal prints were all the rage, so I found a 2 cup teapot in a leopard print and gave her some packets of herbs that she could blend into her own teas.
When she was younger, she loved any kind of bath additive, with scented bath salts being at the top of the list. She also loved a massage after her bath, so I blended relaxing essential oils into apricot and jojoba oil and we'd use that afterward, sending her into dreamland. To make the bath salts, I would take the larges crystals out of a large bag that we had for the shop and save them. To a quart of salt crystals, add 1 tsp glycerin, 30 drops of essential oil (I always chose relaxing oils!), and a few drops of food coloring, mixing well. The massage oil was made simply by mixing 10 drops of lavender eo per ounce of oil. Almost any liquid vegetable oil can be used for this.
One year I taught her and a few of her friends to make lip balms and sparkly glycerine soaps (followed by a slumber party, which was undoubtedly the most difficult part for me).
For young boys or girls, field guides are almost always welcome. For some kids, the field guide might be about rocks, or butterflies, birds, or trees. Any kind of nature guide is a good thing.
Kits for making things are fun for kids too - but they don't have to be pre-made.
A few dried gourds with some permanent markers can be a rattle making kit.
Some olive oil, beeswax, a smidge or two of pink mica, and a few lip balm tubes or pots with instructions make a lip gloss kit. Our Balms & Salves How-to and Recipes book would be a great addition.
At the Dollar Tree, I saw that they had hemp twine the other day. Combined with an assortment of beads and some clasps from the craft store, a jewelry making kit could be made up pretty inexpensively.
Finding and printing out knot-making instructions from the internet into a booklet form, and adding some rope would work to teach someone how to tie knots. I know my brothers would have liked that when they were young.
Journals or art supplies are welcome gifts, depending on the child. One of my daughter's favorite gifts was the day my sister allowed her to go through her fabric collection and take quite a few odds and ends to play with.
Sure enough, as she got older her dad made sure she got lots of electronic gadgets, and that was a good thing too. She still loves to learn to do the things I love to do. At nearly 20, a cookbook that includes the foods she loves best from home, her very own sewing kit, or even a collection of "how to keep a home, by Mom" in a booklet would be great.

Cindy Jones at has some crafty ideas that she shares on her blog here

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