We have the kids choose presents for the other parent at birthdays and Christmas, because it’s such good practice in gift-selection techniques: “What would the other person like? Not what would YOU like, but what would THEY like? No, Daddy doesn’t like sour gummy worms, that’s YOU who likes sour gummy worms”—and so on.
Wrapping the gifts is a pain. I am not the “Patient Teacher” personality type, I’m the “Here, I Can Do That Faster and Better and Easier Myself” personality type. I try to overcome this because I know it’s important, but a person can only stretch so far. So Paul came up with what I think is the best idea ever for letting children do their own gift-wrapping without the parent losing his or her mind.
Here is what you’ll need: paper lunch bags (I like the traditional brown ones best for coloring on, but you can also find them in other colors if you want to do mostly sticker-work, or mostly coloring in black); markers or crayons or pens or pencils; stickers or glue-on items (beads, sequins, etc.) if desired and if appropriate for child’s age; stapler.
Have the child decorate the bag first, before putting the gift inside.
When the bag is finished, have the child put the gift inside and staple the bag closed. It’s kind of charming if this is done with weird crumples and two dozen staples.
One thing I like about this idea is that it works for a wide variety of ages and artistic abilities: we’re still using it for all the kids (ages 3-12) even though the 12-year-old sometimes prefers to use wrapping paper. And the kid who can barely draw a stick figure can just write to/from, or can cover it in stickers; while the kid who loves to draw can cover the whole bag with drawings.