Holiday gift ideas for homeschooled children

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treshay
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Holiday gift ideas for homeschooled children

Postby treshay » Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:48 pm

Hello and Happy Holidays to everyone! This is our first year homeschooling and is also my husbands first official month on the job as a truck driver. It's been rough to say the least and we are BROKE! I hate to put it out there like that but it's the truth. It's practically going to take everything he earns this month just to make our house payment and pay the standard utility bills and I can't imagine how we'll manage gifts for our three girls this year. :cry:

But I have faith and I know we'll find a way. I'd like to start a thread on good gift ideas for homeschooled children. Yes, all children want toys - but mine really don't watch alot of tv (like they did at this time last year - which is where they got their Christmas wish list) so they don't even know what to ask for. My oldest said she'd like Legos, Tinkertoys and paint this year and said that if she saw what was being sold in toys she'd want all of it but wouldn't play with it (she's getting smarter already LOL) so she said she doesn't want any of that. :D

What are some fun, creative ideas for toys and games that you might ask family for or get yourself that would be exciting to get but also could be used for learning???

Here are my thoughts to get it started:
Legos
Tinkertoys
Marble Madness
Blocks
Paint
Thinking about a microscope for my 8 yr old

For some reason that's where the ideas stop but I know there are so many other things out there that I've heard of and a world full of things I haven't so please list things you've gotten in the past that have been fun and educational. Thanks!
Teresa, mother to Mackenzie (8 ), Breanna (4) and Emmalee (5months)

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knobren
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Postby knobren » Tue Dec 04, 2007 3:58 pm

My neice had fun with light-sensitive paper. Some kits are sold under that name and others are called solar paper, Nature Print Paper, or SunPrint Paper. The paper changes color when exposed to light, so you can put leaves, keys, toys, etc. on the paper and make a sort of picture of it on the paper. Then you stop the reaction by putting it in water for a few minutes and then let it dry and hang it on the wall or fridge.

I also got her a Star Theater, Constellation Projector, Star Planetarium, or something similar in a different brand that projected constellations on the ceiling and came with a manual to help you figure out what is visible at different times of the year.
Last edited by knobren on Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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knobren
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Postby knobren » Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:14 pm

I haven't seen them first-hand, but glancing at the Nasco Science catalog, I see there are various educational games that might be fun, depending on what your kids are interested in. For example, there is one called The Dinosaur Game - Survival or Extinction (K and up).

The 8-year old is old enough for a mystery party game. I've played a few adult murder mystery games and they were fun. The ones for kids are usually solving other types of mysteries. You have to have enough kids for a party and you would probably only do it once for a birthday or something, but it lets everybody play dress-up and practice critical thinking.

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Postby momo3boys » Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:41 pm

I love puzzles and crafts. there are bead looms and yarn crafts. yarn rugs, and projects with leather. I saw a book in the library that talked about how to make all the fun stuff you need for crafts, like silly putty and finger paint.

Project books for science projects are great too. as long as you make sure that the projects are there idea and NOT part of the curriculum.

Gross motor activities are also a favorite of mine, and generally cheap. balls, and homemade obstacle courses....

Thank you for all the good ideas that you ladies had too.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

treshay
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Postby treshay » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:33 pm

Another idea I thought I'd mention. My mom was the lead teacher in a preschool and has a folder full of dough and goop type recipes. She is also having some financial problems this year since her preschool recently shut down so she asked if we would like a batch of homemade playdough for Christmas. I thought about it and realized that we would have more fun making it ourselves, so she is jarring the ingredients and packing it pretty with a recipe tag on the outside. We started getting excited and decided it would be really great if she could make a few different packages with the different recipes that she has. Some of the recipes call for certain chemicals - like liquid starch but I assured her that I would be present and helping with anything that was needed.

So I thought I'd throw the idea out there for any of you who have kids who like to make their own stuff - look up recipes for different goops and give your kids the ingredients. Oh and my 16yr old brother is contributing by writing a brief explanation of the chemical reactions that are happening so I'll be able to talk to the girls while they see it in action!!
Teresa, mother to Mackenzie (8 ), Breanna (4) and Emmalee (5months)

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Postby WWMama » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:37 pm

Good ideas. We have always found that our kids (even pre-homeschooling) were happier with a box of "junk" than anything else. doesn't cost a lot - whatever odds and ends you have laying around the house or garage - and the things they come up with are great. Its even better when they start explaining to you why things they have made actually work.

I think that sometimes the most creative ideas come out of lack of resources.
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It does not meant to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.
It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

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knobren
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Postby knobren » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:24 am

WWMama wrote:I think that sometimes the most creative ideas come out of lack of resources.


I think so too. When I was a kid, we didn't have alot of toys, so we made up our own games. We played "store" using buckeyes for money. We played dress up in Mom's clothes. We had imaginary tea parties, climbed a tree to our fort, and made a village out of our stuffed animals and dolls and told stories of their adventures. We had adventures and battles in our back yard or neighborhood. Some of the neighbor kids joined us to put on little plays or puppet shows for our families. Ah, youth!

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Postby Theodore » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:38 am

With duct tape or packing tape and cardboard, you can make cardboard swords and shields. I and my siblings did this a lot when I was younger, then we'd have swordfights until the swords disintegrated :)

We also enjoyed our original Tinkertoy set, which had wood pieces and even a motor. I haven't been able to locate one like that recently, all the sets seem to be plastic, or jumbo, or don't include a motor.

We also had a large container of "Dr. Drew's Blocks", which were basically just rectangular wood blocks that we could use to build all sorts of things.


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