I finally finished the kids’ Christmas presents today. Mad props to the guy at Kinko’s who let me use the heavy-duty stapler for free.
Here’s the finished product:
I love how the marshmallow-pop illustration turned out. Kind of a Mollie Katzen vibe going on there, I think.
I didn’t put every coupon in every kid’s book, but I tried to mix and match the projects to suit the individual kids involved.
Rundown of all the coupons is below the fold.
Where possible, I’ve linked to sites with instructions or pictures in case you’re inspired to try any of the projects.
1. Make a bear. To keep this simple enough to fit
a 4-year-old’s my attention span, I’m using this pattern. We’ll decorate them with paint and sparkly things when we’re done. Or Batman capes. Whatever.
2. Make rainbow crayons.
3. Make cupcakes. Possibly half-bakes; possibly Kool-Aid swirls.
4. Make a light-up Dalek. I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s going to involve decorating a styrofoam cup to look like one of the Daleks from Dr. Who, poking holes down the sides, inserting Lite-Brite pegs, and setting the cup over an LED tealight. Yes, several of these children are little Whovians; the rest will just think it’s fun to make something that lights up.
5. Go to the dragon park.
6. Make a flowerpot.
7. Make fondue.
8. Find a geocache.
9. Play Aunt Emily’s guitar and sing silly songs.
10. Write with invisible ink.
11. Have ice cream in Makanda.
12. Microwave a bar of Ivory soap.
13. Make marshmallow pops.
14. Take a nature walk.
15. Make popcorn treats. Like this or this or this.
16. Make a puzzle.
17. Make a Shrinky-Dink keyring.
18. Make slime.
19. Story time. Simple but still good.
20. Tie-dye party. We’ll do this one in my basement, as the potential for huge, permanent messes is fairly colossal.
The idea behind the coupon books was to spread the fun out over the course of the entire year instead of concentrating it all on one day (a particularly big deal for the kids with December birthdays); reduce the amount of new clutter parents will have to deal with; and put the emphasis on time and attention instead of material goods.
In the end, I’ll still be spending about the same amount of money on each kid, but I’m hoping this will give us a bigger bang for the buck in terms of fun and memories.