Monday, 24 September 2012

Thoughtful Gifting : Toddler-friendly handmade dominoes

I love giving gifts and have always prided myself on finding great gifts. In my view gifts don't need to be expensive, large, bought or new to be great gifts. Often I find it's the smaller, less manufactured gifts that are the most appreciated. With that in mind I am going to start sharing some of the gifts we either make or buy here.

On the weekend we attended a friend's 2nd birthday, they are a like minded family and we wanted to make something for the birthday boy. Enter stone dominoes!

Inspired from a pin on Pinterest which led me here I decide to whip up a set for Mr M the night before. They were easy, cost effective, fun to make and fun to play with.

After a bit of thinking and discussion Mister and I sat at the kitchen table and got started. Using 12 stones that each has a symbol either end and using four different symbols to have a total of 24 symbols for playing. We finally settled on making a set with the four elements on them; fire, water, air and earth. It was simple and fun, truly the hardest part for us was deciding on what our symbols should be! We then used our Eco Green Craft paints (though I'm not sure if they are still available, hope to know more soon) and once they were dry sealed them using a PVA/water mix, so it wasn't so thick.

For something different we also added a big stone with all four elements on it to be used as a hub. These stones can be used in many ways including tradition style dominoes, to match pairs or by using the hub as a starting point and growing outwards.

We plan to make Rilla her own set as she loved playing with them and a few sets for Christmas presents (which is 12 weeks away tomorrow, Tuesday, if you don't know!!).

Some of the other ideas we had for the pictures/symbols are:
* Celestial bodies - moon, star, sun, planet
* Animals - your child's favourites or narrow it down further to water creatures, Australian animals, extinct animals
* Seasons - a snowflake, Autumn leaf, sun for Summer, flower for Spring
* Shapes - triangle, square, circle, rectangle etc

There are so many options but keep in mind the more simple the shape the better for painting.

So that's my first post on thoughtful giving, I hope you liked it! What are your go to gift ideas? Or are you like me, forever trying new ideas?!

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