Monthly Archives: December 2017

Go Ahead, Parents. Encourage Regifting!

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Hello Inksters,

Did you know that December 22nd is National Regifting Day?

Yes, that’s a thing.

In the United States, regifting is usually discouraged, poo-pooed. But I say, why not regift?

Each year, my children give each other presents. Usually, we would give them a few dollars and take them to a favorite local thrift store to shop for each other. Oh the treasures they would find — great puzzles or board games (sometimes with all the pieces), gently used soccer jerseys, and durable action figures. They were all items enjoyed by other children and would be enjoyed again in our house.

Now, I know, technically that is not regifting. This year, though, I’ve asked the kids instead to regift to each other. We save outgrown clothes, aged-out book series and toys to pass along to the next child in line — a sibling, cousin, or friend — when they are ready. So they are visiting our basement bins to find treasures that were loved by them to gift intentionally to their siblings.

Books are particularly wonderful items to regift. A story, after all, is a gift that keeps on giving! Our oldest sifted through her early chapter books, spoke with wistful glee as she rediscovered Ursula Le Guin’s Catwings┬áseries (which she’ll give to her youngest brother) and 100 Cupboards (for her middle brother).

Our youngest loves rocks and picked one from his collection to give to his sister. With it, he is giving her his book of meditations we bought for him a few years ago: A Handful of Quiet.

Toys are great regifts, too. Our middle child found his k’nex bridge building kit that he’d used for a science fair project a few years ago that he now wants to give to his little brother who is now very interested in learning about how bridges work. He loved — and still does love — building and is excited to play with this kit with his brother.

Hand-me-down dress-up and everyday clothes are being handed down as gifts this Christmas, too.

Best part of this for parents? Of course, we spend a little less money and we bring things in storage — items in very good condition — back in useful circulation. It is certainly a more “green” practice. Another perk: while the kids were looking through bins, they also noted what they still want to hold on to and what they’d like to let go of, so we have a healthy pile of items in great condition to donate to people who can make use of and memories from them.

But the most important part? We get to listen as our children rediscover items they made memories around — and to hear them want to give the item to their siblings not just to give something, but because they want a person they love to also experience a similar joy as they use the item, or rediscover the story, too. And you actually get to learn what memories stick for them.

So go ahead and regift. It can be its own kind of inkspiration.

A fun additional inkspiration: Write a note to the recipient of the gift explaining why you wanted them to have this particular item.

Happy Holidays!

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Window Inkspiration

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Hello Inksters!

Take a moment and look out your window. Really! Look out the window at the world just beyond your door. What do you see? I see snow falling on an already snow-covered ground. Winter fun! Use whatever you see outside as inkspiration. Here are some ideas:

 

 

Christmas Inkspiration

  • Write a letter to Santa alerting him to the weather in your area. He may appreciate your extra help as he makes final plans for his trip!

Kwanzaa Inkspiration

  • Kuumba, the KiSwahili word for creativity, is one of the Seven principles of Kwanzaa. Use this inkspiration to practice and reflect on Kuumba — today, during Kwanzaa, and every day!

Anytime Inkspiration

  • Use what you see through your window as a setting for a story.
  • Use the scene to remember. When, for example, was the last time you played in the snow? Write about it!
  • Notice something happening? Write the next step in the action — or the step before!
  • Write an explanation. For example, How does it snow? Write a scientific or mythical explanation.
  • Describe and draw a creature that could live in this scene.
  • Pick a spot to observe throughout the day. Perhaps a particular square in your window pane? Revisit your window throughout the day. Keep track in your journal of the changes you see in a small area.
  • If you can, get outside and observe your small area up close. Use all of your senses to describe the spot. If you can’t get outside, imagine how the spot sounds, feels, smells, tastes.

Nothing sparking your inkspiration outside your own window? Then write about this view outside the windows of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana:

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Happy Creating! Be sure to share what you create!