Today's activity was inspired by a problem. I had a baby shower to attend, and I forgot to buy wrapping paper. I thought about being tacky and showing up with it just in a plastic bag, and I also considered wrapping it in the Christmas paper I had in the closet.
Then, it hit me. For my mother-in-law's birthday last February (when Oliver was 15 months old), I'd let Oliver decorate the paper on her package. At the time, the activity was just OK. Oliver wasn't very interested in crayons or markers or art in general, and I had to motivate him to color. Today, I decided I'd give the project another try.
First, I wrapped my friend's gift in the Christmas wrap, wrong-side out, which left the paper entirely white. Then, I dug around in our "art bin" (a large Tupperware I keep under the sink that's filled with crayons, markers, kid scissors, watercolor paints, and other miscellaneous creative goods) and pulled out a package of stickers and markers. I gave them to Oliver and asked him to decorate the package. He looked skeptical until I stuck a sticker on the paper myself. That did it! Oliver dove in. He placed every last smiley-face sticker onto the paper and then scribbled all over it in various colors. He had a great time! Unfortunately, I had to cut him off from the activity after about ten minutes because I needed to get going for the shower. If I hadn't, I think he would have continued decorating for at least half an hour.
"Homemade Wrapping Paper" deserves an A grade. Not only was it creative and fun, but it also was useful! I think a lot of close friends and close family members will appreciate a personal touch like this. Besides, it saves you from having to buy special paper for every event you attend!
Here are some photos of Oliver enjoying the activity: