As a lover of literature, a stalker of stories, and a fanatic of the fantastic, I am ecstatic to share my lit love with others –especially the younger generations.
Studies have proven that learning to enjoy reading from a young age influences a child’s appreciation for the written word throughout their life. One study showed that children who are read to aloud (frequently) are more likely to read for enjoyment on their own. Another study showed that children who are provided time to read (especially during the school day) are more likely to read for fun. Other studies show children who see their parents read are more likely to read for fun as adults. Yet another study shows children who have books available at home (in a place where they walk by every day) are more likely to read.
There are many ways for stories to pop up into stockings — for the young and the old. These tips may, and probably will, veer more into the children’s (12 and under) age range than the teen or adult age range. I’ll do my best to include gifts for all. All the same, stories can be shared, loved, and encouraged without the typical size book ever being given. Stories are all around us just begging to be told. You just have to find them. It’s like a giant virtual-reality I spy book!
Anyhow, check out these DIYs and ideas for stocking-stuffers and gift ideas.
Eye glass holders (for those who need “readers” this can be a great gift!)
Cozy Classics (books small enough to fit in a stocking!)
Gift Card (the local bookstore is a GREAT way to give, and support a local business. But Amazon and Barnes and Noble are available to most place)
Book related mug for their complementary cup of coffee or tea
TeaSoapBooks Bath products
Too Big for a stocking:
*Story Stones. I love these because your collection can be added to constantly. Basically, you find a rock or stone (preferably 1″- 2″ in size) and either paint an object or modge-podge the picture of an object on the rock. The rock should be, if possible, flat(ish) on two sides, making it like a coin. So, you can actually paint/modge-podge each rock TWICE. How to use it? Put five or so rocks in a canvas bag, and toss them like you would dice. Use the images shown to tell an on-the-spot story. It can get very silly and very interesting very quickly. Need ideas for what to paint? Keep in mind each story needs characters, settings (time AND place), and plot. That’s four pieces right there! a character, something to show the time (like the sun, or a clock, etc.), a setting (house, school, etc.) and an item or person that “shakes things up” for your character! Some themes to try include monsters, camping, school, sports (or maybe one set for each sport), and the beach.
*Book Up-cycling Art: If you are daring enough to do so, cut up your giftee’s favorite book. I highly recommend garage sale-ing, purchasing “fall-apart” books from your library, and using the books from your own collection that are on their last limbs — cutting up a perfectly readable book is sacrilege. Anyhow, there are many projects you could do from this point. You could find their favorite quote from within the book, then do some “blackout art” around that line. You could cut a random page from the book and print an image onto the page. You could origami fold a bouquet of flowers. The possibilities are endless!
Happy Hunting, those perfect gifts are out there. 🙂