Is your 5-year-old already wearing thick, plastic-framed glasses? Get the mini shoegazer started on knitting and other artistic outlets so she or he can wear his or her own sweaters already. 85-degree weather be damned. Motor skills not quite developed yet? Put the babies to sleep with an indie pop kids’ album. Stephen Scott Lee’s What Did You Do Today, Stephen Scott Lee? features fun tunes such as “Grab a Ballon” and “Fill ’em with Kindness (Bullies Song)”. Lee’s sound has been described as reminiscent of Wilco and, er, Barenaked Ladies.
When the kids can hold crayons, give them Yellow Bird Project’s The Indie Rock Coloring Book ($10). Find the birds in Devendra Banhart’s beard or snake your way through the Broken Social Scene maze. Profits from the 32-page coloring book will benefit charities that Yellow Bird supports, such as Art for Change and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
When the little hands want to do other things aside from coloring outside the lines, give them some, fat, kid-size knitting and crocheting needles, available at most craft and yarn stores. Simple scarves and blankets can be made in a relatively short amount of time, with the big gauges allowing for fast progress. If you’re a fan of needlepoint or inspired by the Hawaiian quilt exhibits that have been at Mission Houses Museum or the Honolulu Academy of Arts, start the little ones on quilting with Klutz Press’ Quilting ($21.95), which comes with easy-to-follow instructions and basic tools of the trade. If the keiki need some inspiration, browse the Hawaii crafters on [etsy.com] to score some crocheted kid beanies (seller: CutsiePatootsieHI) or wacky hand-sewn animals (seller: cooksie).
Once the kid is ready to rock out, why not go for the ‘ukulele? Stay local. If you think your kid’s got a bit more gusto than a $10 plastic-stringed uke from ABC Stores can handle, consider a beginning student-quality ‘ukulele. Since the buggers are already small, keiki as young as 4 years old can start on a normal-sized one.