Story Tapes
There are may be more imaginative children's story tellers out there on the circuit, but Jim Weiss wins many parents' loyalty because he tells stories straight and looks for themes that are universal. Weiss's whole story tape collection is available on Chinaberry.com, a marvelous company that mostly specializes in marketing thoughtful, uplifting books. One classic in the Weiss cassette collection is "Tales From the Old Testament" (item 8175) for kids five and up that includes the stories of Abraham and the Idols, Ruth, David and Goliath, King Solomon, and Queen Esther. $10.95 Also of interest to children seven and up is "Heroes in Mythology: Theseus, Prometheus, and Odin" (item 8602). Compact Disc versions are also available. Only a few years ago, Chinaberry was debating whether online outreach would be appropriate for their warm, personable company. Today, the site is up and it's lovely.

Window Star Kits
Kids love light and translucence, and HearthSong.com's festive window star kits for children six and up will provide you with all the fixin's to make beautiful, luminous folded paper stars on windows at home. $9.95 kit includes paper and book. Ten additional transparency paper sheets are an additional $4.95.



Butterfly Pavilion
If you want to raise children invested in the preservation of God's creation, here's a gift that allows them to witness one of the most delicate and beautiful transformations in all of nature. There's a side-lesson in responsibility (and creativity for parents): Once the butterflies hatch, you'll have to take care of them until it's warm enough outside to let them fly free. The kit comes with a certificate to redeem for 10 healthy caterpillars that subsequently arrive by mail, ready to demonstrate their dramatic metamorphosis. $21.95 Check out Insectlore.com for this and other cool insect habitats.

Candle Crafts
What is it about wax? Even the most inattentive child seems relaxed by its softness in warm hands. And, of course, light is a theme that links the Christian, Jewish, Kwanzaa, and other holidays. Candles can be dipped or rolled from tinted wax sheets, then decorated with cut out or pinched off bits of contrasting beeswax. Naturalplay.com stocks a candle making kit that introduces young people to this enjoyable craft. You can give away the pillars, tapers, and votives they make as gifts. $17

NovaNatural.com sells the highest quality German beeswax in thin, colorful sheets for $10.95 a box. The stuff is so gorgeous, you'll want to just sit in a chair stroking your cheek with these smooth, sweet-smelling sheets until your kids demand you decorate.




Older children can pinch off and roll the wax between their fingers to make flower petals or stems with which to turn a common dinner candle into a beautiful thing. Our favorite way to get young children involved is through the use of these clever wax punchers which let little hands make stars, flowers, or hearts they can then apply to the candle with the warmth of their hands. Three punches for $6.95

Gardening Set With Flower Press
You can always pick up gardening tools for children at your local garden shop, but this $11 kit comes with pumpkin and forget-me-not seed packets and for another $8, you get a wooden flower press that presses ten layers of flowers between corrugated dividers.



Experienced flower pressers say that heating blossoms in a specially produced microwave press is a great way to preserve the flower's full color and get pressed flowers quicker! We can't say this gift is environmentally correct, but in the spirit of great man-made advancements, we've included it. $19.95

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