CHRISTMAS TIME HAS FINALLY COME, AND WITH THE ARRIVAL OF DECEMBER ALSO COME THE OPPORTUNITIES TO GET CREATIVE WITH OUR KIDS. 2020 HAS BEEN A CRAZY YEAR FOR ALL OF US, AND THIS DECEMBER IS A GREAT TIME TO USE ALL THE TIME YOU HAVE HUDDLED TOGETHER IN THE LIVING ROOM WRAPPING GIFTS WITH OUR KIDS, AND MAKING DIY CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS TOGETHER.
Yes, I know what you might be thinking: “If I can hardly wrap a gift myself, how am I going to involve the kids?!” The answer, my fellow parent, is to keep it simple and to organize everything beforehand, and an assembly line. Below is a list of the 5 simple steps to follow in order to wrap presents with kids (sans drama!).
Step One: Get Organized
Gather a general gameplan. Think of all the materials you will need to gather before you start, and include things like bows, ribbons, tape, and any other little things you might need to prepare before you get the kids onboard. This will help you set up everything in the assembly line, and it will make things go more smoothly overall.
Here’s an example of what you need to wrap a present:
1. The gift: it can be anything you’re looking to wrap, whether it’s things you’ve gotten grandma and grandpa, things they’ve gotten for their friends, or any other present you’d like to give this Christmas.
2. Wrapping material: people usually go for a festive Christmas wrapping paper, but you can go with anything you have around the house including newspaper, parchment paper, crepe (tissue) paper, or even cellophane. Make sure you gather large enough pieces to cover the gift entirely plus a little extra, and even cut them to that size before you start.
3. Tape: clear tape is usually the best way to go, since you can always add a little piece on the outside if needed without being too obvious. However, you can incorporate decorative tape such as washi tape or lace tape into the design if you’re feeling festive. Line this up with the tape dispenser or some rounded scissors to cut it with.
4. Bows and ribbons: we all love a nice bow, and these come pre-made at stores, or you can make your own quite easily out of plastic or fabric ribbon. Making the bows beforehand might take a little extra time, but it will save much frustration for the little ones, and it will also save material. Plus, giving them the options to pick their own colors out works like a charm.
5. Tags and pens/markers: when you’re used to giving people their presents directly to them, tags aren’t always necessary. But adding that special little touch is always a good idea. Add the tags and pens or markers to the last section of the line. Then, if your little ones can write, allow them to fill it in with their own handwriting (because who doesn’t love that?!). If they can’t, go ahead and fill them out beforehand.
Step Two: Wrapping the Present
This part can get a little tricky depending on the age of you kids. If they’re older and can already properly fold over paper and use tape, etc. all on their own, simply guide them by wrapping a gift alongside them and telling them the steps as you go for them to copy you. If your little ones are too small still, give them tasks such as holding a fold, helping you fold over paper, centering the gift, etc., and this will make them feel more than involved.
Back to the assembly line. First, pick the present you would like to wrap. Then, have each child choose the wrapping paper they would like to use. Notice that a lot of this is based on giving them options and choices — that’s because 1) assembly lines are super cool, and 2) kids love picking and choosing things!
Now we move onto the tape section with our present and wrapping material, and considering what we spoke about earlier regarding their ages and abilities, start wrapping your gifts! You can go as simple or as complex as you’d like during this whole step. If you’re also a wrapping beginner, here is a video guide on wrapping presents for beginners that you can follow as you go or get familiar with beforehand.
Remember, this part can be a little frustrating for all parties involved, but if it does get a little frustrating, take a breath and start over. It’s just paper and tape, and you can always go back in and cover your mistakes with ribbon or decorative tape if all else fails!
Step Three: Get Fancy!
Once your Christmas presents are all wrapped, you can move on to the ribbon and bow part of the assembly line. If the ribbon is long, you can go for the classic double cross ribbon technique, and if it’s short you can always improvise and give your present a modern twist.
This part can be completely up to your kids, as it will add their touch to it. Let them experiment with different ribbon ties and designs, and let them choose the bow they’d like to use — whether or not the colors match! Also, go with their placement, and try to stay away from “no, the ribbon always goes front and center”, as that’s not always the best choice according to kids.
Once the Christmas present is nice and fancy, you can go in and adhere or tie the name tage onto the front of the present. If your child would like to add a note or anything like that, you can either tuck it into the ribbon once they’ve written it, or tie it onto the bow, or even stick it onto the present with a piece of tape.
And there you have it, friends! Wrapping presents with kids can be a little messy, a little frustrating, but above all it will be fun and memorable for everyone involved. Don’t forget to get all the best Christmas snacks and hot chocolate together, and crank the Christmas jams or your favorite Christmas audiobook! It’s Christmas 2020, and we will make this the best Christmas yet!