Instead of the usual cookie or gift exchange, try getting together with other creative parents for a Christmas “Creativity Exchange.” This is a fun quick way to fill those school-free holiday days with creative activity.
A creativity exchange is similar to a cookie exchange. In a cookie exchange, you make a whole bunch of one kind of cookie, bring them to the exchange and leave with a variety of cookies from everyone. With a creativity exchange, you come up with an idea, instructions, and supplies for one creative activity for parents and their kids. Then you bring enough for everyone, swap with everyone, and leave with a bundle of ideas and projects. The great thing about creativity exchanges, besides being exposed to lots of new ideas, is that it is often more economical to buy lots of one thing than all the bits and pieces for several projects. This way you can do lots of different activities with minimal expense.
Want to host your own “Christmas Creativity Exchange”? Here’s how:
Choose your guests and send out invitations – You want to have guests that have kids who are similar to age as yours and who would be excited about the idea of trading creative projects. Send them an invitation detailing what a “Creativity Exchange” is – you can include a copy of this post as a reference. Find who will be attending well ahead of time so everybody knows how many kits they will need to make. Ideally the party should be on the small side, 8 is probably the highest manageable number.
Ask guests to choose a creative project that can be made into a kit with instructions. This may be a craft/baking project/art project/game or any other creative activity that you think would be fun. Turn your project into a kit and include easy-to-follow directions and any essential material that the other guests may not have.
For example if you are creating a “Sock Puppet Kit” you could include a sock, scraps of felt or material to decorate, and googly eyes – but you don’t need to include basics such as scissors and glue. For a “Cookie Decorating Kit,” you would include a recipe, some fun cookie cutters, special sprinkles or icing pens but not the actual cookie ingredients. A “Play Dough Kit” could include some homemade dough, the recipe you used to make it, and a few fun tools for shaping and play.
All kits should come with instructions including a list of materials that are included in the kit and any extra material you might need to complete the project.
Ask your guests to come with enough kits for each guest to take one home and a sample kit that you can demonstrate for the group. This is a fun way to see the projects before hand and ask any questions you may have.
Hosting the Party – Hosting an exchange is as easy as making your guests feel comfortable. I would suggest leaving the kids at home or setting up an activity area for them slightly away from the parents so that the kits still remain a surprise. Supply some drinks and snacks and, once all your guests arrive, take turns introducing your kit, the contents and showing what the finished project looks like. As the host you should go first. After each person shows their kit, have them pass out one to each guest. When you are finished, you should have as many new Creativity kits as the number of guests in attendance.
Creativity Exchanges All Year Long – The great thing about a Creativity Exchange is it does not have to be a once-a-year event. You could hold one every month if you like and choose a different theme and have different members of your exchange group play host. A few themes you could have: Spring, Easter, baking, a chosen color, creativity from a different country, the possibilities are endless. You could even combine a Creativity Exchange with a Stone Soup Potluck. Regular Creativity Exchanges could be a welcome group activity for home schooling parents as well!
Do you have any ideas for creative projects that could be turned into ‘Christmas Creativity Exchange Kits”? Please share your ideas below!