I know it’s cheating, but I will often delay buying homeschool supplies and other necessities when I know that Christmas is just around the corner. Markers and paints, and paper, and glue make the best stocking stuffers! This year, however, we are already well-stocked with the usual art supplies and educational games, so I went on the hunt for some more unique and creative Christmas gifts for homeschoolers. I came up with some great stocking stuffers and gifts for under the tree!
Insta-Snow Powder was a huge hit for us last year. We live in Texas, so my children rarely get the opportunity to play in snow. This gave them hours of fun! You simply add water to the powder and it expands rapidly into a soft, white, fluffy substance, very much like real snow! Now, just a little caveat – we did try other brands first and did not get nearly the dramatic results that we got with this brand! It comes with a guide that includes the science behind the fun. Best of all, if you keep it contained, it will eventually dry out and you can use it over and over again!
Is this not brilliant?! A friend told me about these little bookmarks and I immediately knew that I needed to get them for my children. They go through phases in reading. Sometimes they cannot be peeled away from a book and other times it’s a full-time struggle. Either way, as a homeschool Mom, I require at least 15 minutes of reading every day. In fact, we do a lot of timed activities, such as math, typing, copywork etc. Yet, despite our habit of timing everything, it’s like pulling teeth to get the kids to remember when they started something and when the activity can end. So these two little bookmarks are, hopefully, going to save me a lot of frustration.
Remember the Rubix Cube? This was the best-selling toy in the early ’80s (am I aging myself?), and has been the best-selling individual toy ever. I’m not one to follow trends, but I do love a proven classic, so I got this great stocking-stuffer for my son for Christmas last year. He spent hours watching YouTube videos to learn how to solve it. It still sits on his bedside table, well within reach for those moments when you need to give it just one more try. Sometimes I stop in, too, to see if I can still do it, and I am amazed that the series of moves instantly come back, bringing all of the like colors together.
I typically think of stocking-stuffers as the cheaper, smaller items, but this gift does not fit in that category. Over the past several years, we have moved away from the use of compact cameras, towards cell phone cameras. It is my strong belief that this is a HUGE loss. Our children, growing up now are losing the appreciation of photographs for the sake of beauty and are rather focused on photography as a social media outlet with a completely different purpose. Giving a child a camera is like getting a little glimpse into their world. The results are hilarious, joyful, exhilarating and timeless. I wish every child (and parent) could have this experience. But you’ll need a good solid, compact camera, like this one, to withstand the assault of child’s play! It’s small but shockproof, and even waterproof. Let your child capture their Christmas memories for a change. You will both love it!
This comes in a pack of 3, which is totally orchestrated, because I want one of them, too! There’s one for each of my kids, and one for me. That’s fair, right? We love to sit down together and do something creative. I can already feel the fire burning, see the Christmas lights glittering, hear the Christmas music, as we snuggle up together to do these puzzles. It’s one of my favorite parts of the holiday! There are plenty extreme dot-to-dot books to choose from. Pick your favorite theme and enjoy it with your children!
Gifts for Under the Tree
A Fairy Garden
Every year, we make (or refresh) our little fairy garden. This year was a hiatus because someone thought it would be a good idea to use the fairy’s feet as sidewalk chalk. This is educational on so many levels. The kids love participating in the preparation and planting. It’s also an ongoing creative adventure. My children play with their fairy garden throughout the entire year. We’ve always bought everything separately, while can be an expense. This fairy garden is for indoor use, contains everything to get you started and best of all it’s on sale right now! This particular brand also has several choices of what to plant in – a lily pond, a tree hollow, a cottage, or a garden bean blossom. So cute!
No kid can resist slime. It doesn’t matter if they are 4 or 14 years old, slime will entertain the best of them! I’m sure there is some great and fascinating science behind how slime works, but my favorite part is that slime will keep my kids busy for HOURS. This kit contains everything needed to make slime, including different colors, and options to add glitter or glow properties, or to make it scented. We’re not big fans of artificial scents, so we added diluted essential oils to ours. This is currently 25% off on Amazon Prime, so grab it quick!
Make Your Own Stop-Motion Movie Kit
My son has recently been obsessed with stop-motion movies. I didn’t even know this was a thing. He recently spent an entire Saturday, working on what turned out to be a 9 second movie of the sinking of the Titanic, featuring peg dolls and a woolly blue blanket as the sea. Then I ran across this cool kit, which supplies everything needed to make a stop-motion movie, including a green screen, characters, a tripod for your iphone, and an app with backgrounds and sounds that helps you put it all together! I’m actually really excited to do this with him! This kit is currently 36% off on Amazon Prime, so if you have a tech-savvy kiddo, this may be an entertaining way to get them started.
My children have recently been watching some silly channel on YouTube. All it is, is a marble following a track. Now, granted, the tracks are crazy-elaborate, convoluted creations that wind in and out of a house, through a pool and enchanted forest, down a rainbow… well, you get the idea. This version was such a good price that I got two of them. I’m sure there is some educational value in this toy – definitively lots of creativity, the opportunity to engage in construction, and observe motion. Just as a word of warning, this was a lot smaller than I imagined, but I don’t think that will put a damper on my son’s enjoyment of it.
So maybe I’m a little old-fashioned, or just plain weird, but I remember getting a knitting loom for Christmas as a child, and being enthralled with it. In fact, here I am about 35 years later, and I still turn to knitting as a productive form of relaxation. One afternoon, my children were watching me as I was knitting and they asked me if I would teach them. Granted, they currently have the concentration of a gnat, so I knew any extensive teaching wouldn’t stick, so I quickly taught them finger-knitting. Both my son and daughter loved this so much that they continue to do it, months later. This simple loom is a way to take it to the next step and actually create something useful. The kit includes a hand and circular loom, needles, buttons, beads and yarn, and it’s currently 25% off. Score!
I wish you all a peaceful and organized holiday season! Maybe these suggestions can help you get started (or finished!) with your shopping!