Homeschoolers Gift Guide
A special seasonal gift guide assembled by a homeschooler specifically geared towards other homeschoolers. Read below for ideas and links! (and as always, using my links is much appreciated and makes it possible for me to provide posts like this for you! )
I polled you on Instagram to see what kinds of things you were looking for this holiday season, and games were definitely a front runner. I really need to dedicate an entire post to games, because I have far too many favorites to share just in this one post, but I will share some of my favorites for a range of ages/subjects, plus a few great subscription boxes (what kid doesn't like their own mail?!), and something on my must-have list for my own kiddos.
Minecraft Builders & Biomes - I don't know about your house, but Minecraft is a constant obsession over here. It was only natural that I snag this board game, and surprisingly, the concept transfers over really well. It is a hit with all of us, and it's not too complicated for a fairly wide age range...it says 10 and up, but my then 7 year old picked it up easily last year.
Imhotep Builder of Egypt - I'm a firm believer in that ANY game is "educational" because you're building skills, no matter what kind, but the kids do love when we tie in a particular theme to what we may be studying, or their favorite subject, and Imhotep is one of those. (Santorini is another great one for this!) This is another one that says 10+ but we found it to be adaptable to include younger players as well.
Astronomy Fluxx - One of many in a line of my favorite card games, from the small gaming company Looney Labs. This one does happen to have an educational component, but they have so many fun versions to choose from. This is best for slightly older kiddos because the constant rule shifting (hence flux ;) ) can be frustrating for littles. Looney's Loonacy is a great choice if you have younger kiddos! It makes a great, quick, family game round.
Castle Panic also gets an honorable mention as one of our favorites, as it's a cooperative game, so it can be played with the whole family (since littles can be helped with their turn, since you're all working together), and it has extensions packs you can add on later for lots of longevity.
These are always such a hit with kiddos, since getting something in the mail just for them is just such a treat.
Two great homeschool-friendly ones are the Places, Please! Theater Box , and the Let's Make Art Kids box.
Places, Please! has an option for older kiddos that fully guides them through the process of putting on a play, from costumes and props to the scripts (including a separate one just for the 'director'), allowing them to learn the full process to putting on a play. They also have a box geared towards younger children, which helps guide memorable imaginative play experiences curated around much-loved storybooks.
Let's Make Art for kids is truly one of my favorites for kids of all ages. They include quality supplies (no crayola here!), and links to video lessons to walk your kiddos through each project! I love their whole message of creativity and empowerment (and their customer service is on point too). This link gets you $5 off of your first purchase of $30 or more! Sign up quickly if you want to get the first box before Christmas!
Speaking of Art, my kids have been SUPER into watching the Art for Kids Hub channel, and drawing like their little lives depend on it. Selfishly, I get tired of tripping over the markers and colored pencils all the time, and decided to snag them these amazing, customizable Pen Folios from Erin Condren to turn into take-along art folios! (disclosure: this is Arlene from @arleneandcompany affiliate link. She's my go-to for all things planner related and turning this giant folio into an art folio for my kiddos was her idea! So make sure to use her link and follow her if you don't already!)
I did get my kids the cool Star Wars themed one I linked above, but they have so many patterns and options to choose from. Plus you can customize color on a lot of them, and add your child's name! Erin Condren JUST started a huge 30% off sale for insiders, so this a great time to snag these. Definitely order them early.
I'll be pre-filling these with a bunch of awesome markers , colored pencils, and these cool fineliner pens, plus it will fit a paper pad or sketchbook AND still have room for their tablet or iPad for ideas.
On the subject of tablets, we just had to upgrade our kiddos' and after a lot of research, ended up with these Samsung Galaxy A7, 10.4" 64gb ones. These are a big step-up from their old Kindle Fire's, but without the price tag of an iPad (a bit out of our reach since we needed two). Keep an eye out for these to drop in price around Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
I wanted to mention these because I had a hard time finding information on what we should get for them, and I actually want to do a whole post on what we're liking AND what I found about the best parental controls to use on them (spoiler: Google Family Link is AMAZING and I'm so so happy that I stumbled on a post about it literally as I was trying to set their tablets up. I definitely want to talk more about this though, so keep your eyes peeled for a post on that if you're wondering what to use on your own family electronics). I'm really happy that they'll be able to use these for drawing tutorials, video editing (hopefully) and even some of their schoolwork!
And last, but not least, I'll actually be snagging two of these puzzle balls myself as stocking stuffers, since sensory items are in big demand around here, especially during read-aloud time. It can be hard to find ones that don't break easily, or make a giant mess if they do (just say no to 'stress balls'!) but these ones have been on my list for a while. We like these type of little squishy toys too, because they can play with them quietly during read-alouds too, or they're small enough to hold during other types of sit-down work.
I hope this was helpful for you! Please share with others who might as well, and don't forget to make sure that you're signed up for the email list so that you're the first to be notified when posts like this go up! Let me know here or on IG if you have any questions, and happiest of holidays my friends!