We tend to keep the holiday season in our home fairly simple in terms of gift giving, both the quantity and expense. This isn’t from a desire to be Scrooge-like or withholding, but instead another way we’ve learned over the years to simplify, to stay within our financial means, and to help keep our home filled with fewer things we really enjoy and can manage well. Living in a small home has taught me a valuable life lesson: less really can be more, but it means making tough decisions. Buying less, means I choose something far more carefully. My husband and I often pick high quality gifts, something that can easily be passed down between siblings, family, or friends when they’ve outgrown it. We also love giving gifts that engage their interest and skill sets, tools that can double for our home school experience, too.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve received a few emails and comments and texts from other parents asking about Christmas gifts for their own homes, wondering what we’re getting our children or asking about our favorite books or toys or nature books. Although it took me a bit of time to collect a few, I created this gift guide as a way to share both our favorite learning tools and ones still on our wishlist. I added “gifts of experience” section to each category, because often we have given experience over things to our children for Christmas or their birthday. It can be a fantastic way to give something meaningful without carting more things into your home or when finances are a little tighter. Clearly, this is not a finite list, nor is it strictly for the homeschool or Christmas season, but I hope it in itself is a tool of inspiration. Enjoy.
1. Kanken mini backpack | full size 2. Suunto compass 3. Wild Explorers Adventure Club membership 4. Critter Cabin 5. National Park pass (4th graders are free!) 6. Nature Anatomy 7. Cavallini Insects wrapping paper (frame it as a poster) 8. Fujifilm instant film camera 9. Strathmore watercolor journal 10. Animalium 11. laminated local pocket field guides 12. Magiscope
GIFT EXPERIENCE | museum passes | a state or national park pass | handmade coupons to use during the year for weekend camping, star-gazing, fishing, or hiking | Wild Explorers membership
[ THE YOUNG FOODIE ]
13. Odette Williams apron set 14. Farm Anatomy 15. A Kid’s Herb Book 16. Garden in a Can 17. Le Petit Chef Set 18. Chop Chop: A Kid’s Guide to Cooking Real Food 19. The Simple Hearth play kitchen 21. Mini Woven Basket 22. Moleskine Recipe Journal
GIFT EXPERIENCE | 20. local cooking classes | handmade coupons for special kitchen time together | meal at a special/favorite restaurant
23. Tabletop Paper Holder 24. Pottery Wheel 25. Paint Jar Holder 26. Lrya Rembrandt Polycolor pencils 27. Strathmore Mixed Media Journal 28. Lyra Ferby colored pencils (best for little hands) 29. Lost Ocean coloring book 30. WhatchamaDRAWit 31. Fun with Architecture book and stamp set 32. Drawing with Children 33.Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series 34. Stockmar Beeswax crayons 35. Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Places Real and Imagined 36. Stockmar watercolor paint
[ THE YOUNG WRITER + BOOKWORM ]
38. Bookrest Lamp 39. The Puffin In Bloom Collection 40. Emoji Stickers 41. Personalized Pencils 42. Postcard Set 43. Calligraphy + Lettering Set 44. Mamoo Bookbag 45. The Storymatic Kids Game 46. Tell Me a Story 47. Wood Small Moveable Alphabet 48. Wool Writing Journal 49. Don’t Forget to Write (elementary grades) | (secondary grades) 50. Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing
[ THE YOUNG TINKERER + BUSY BODY ]
51. Lap Loom 52. TinkerCrate subscription 53. Things Come Apart 54. Morakniv Wood Carving Junior Knife 55. Rulers and Compass 56. Seedling Fashion Design Kit 57. The New Way Things Work 58. Wooden Child-sized Real Tools 59. Child’s Natural Broom 60. Playful Math Kit 61. European Math Kit 62. Sewing Kit 63. Child’s String Mop
GIFT EXPERIENCE | build or make something together | sewing or woodworking classes | tickets to a science museum or the Exploratorium in San Fransisco