I look forward to the Thanksgiving/Advent season all year long, welcoming the shorter days, the candlelight and handmade crafts and food, the warm drinks and countdown to Christmas. When it comes to gift-giving, I am one-part intentional, one-part pragmatic, meaning my favorite gifts are both meaningful and useful. The thought of gifts that might easily break or quickly pass with a trend or carelessly add to the clutter of our spaces ties my stomach in knots. So Mark and I hold to a simple process for support: we set a specific budget, make notes of needs, curiosities, and interests growing within our children that we want to support, and begin planning. It is incredible how quickly gift ideas rise to the surface with this approach, but also how many goods are quickly disqualified, too. Of course, because they are human, our children sometimes have their own wishlists to share with us, perhaps roller blades or a sewing machine, which we always consider, too. Wink. If you’re curious to read more about our gift-giving philosophy, I encourage you to read through the older guides linked below as I share more in them.
This is the fourth year for me to share this gift guide, something I really enjoy sharing in this space and one that is often requested throughout the year. Although it is labeled for the homeschool, the ideas are clearly not restricted to homeschoolers but are a collection of books and goods to support creativity and ingenuity, just like our homeschool. I’m quite certain this is not the first or last gift guide to wander across your screen this weekend, but I hope this one inspires you just the same. For those of you who are new to space, I encourage you to sift back through the previous three guides for ideas, too, as each list builds upon the other. Enjoy, and happy Thanksgiving!
Volume One / Volume Two / Volume Three
YOUNG ARTISTS + BUSYBODIES
1 A Child’s Introduction to Art 2 Natural Charcoal Pencils 3 Waxed Canvas Scribblers Case 4 Singer Beginner Sewing Machine 5 Paint Brush Set + Case 6 Table Easel with Drawer 7 642 Things to Draw 8 Natural Indigo Dye Kit 9 OMY Paper Beads Kit 10 Animal Friends of Pica Pau 11 Cut Paper Pictures 12 Ring Toss Game 13 Ride-On Sanddigger 14 Nikon Coolpix Waterproof Camera 15 13 Artists Children Should Know
Gifts of Experience / Art Lessons, Parent-Child Pottery or Painting Class, Children’s Museum Membership
YOUNG NATURALISTS + ADVENTURERS
16 Pocket Map Atlas 17 Mountaineering Lightweight Cot 18 Organic Terrarium Kit or Fairy Garden 19 The Wonderous Working of Planet Earth 20 Watercolor with Me in the Forest 21 Go Find It Nature Scavenger Hunt Cards 22 A Year of Forest School 23 Stellarscope 24 Organic Heirloom Vegetable Garden Kit 25 Butterfly Garden Growing Kit 26 The Stick Book 27 The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs 28 Sunography Solar Powered Photography 29 Lost Hiker Wallet Kit 30 Nature Exploration Games 31 What We See in the Stars 32 Mini Adventurer Exploration Kit
Gifts of Experience / Rock Climbing Passes, Camping Trip, Rent an RV, Canoe or Kayak Daytrip, Backpacking
YOUNG SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS, + TECHIES
33 Steam Lab for Kids 34 Bacteria Science Kit 35 Crystal Growing Experiment 36 Date Navigator Wooden Mechanical Model 37 ArchiTECH Electronic Smart House 38 Ada Twist’s Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists 39 What Do You Do With an Idea? 40 Earthrise: Apollo 8 and the Photo That Changed the World 41 Children’s Lab Coat 42 Newton’s Laws Construction Kit 43 Geometry Strategy Boardgame 44 Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst STEM Kit 45 Solar Rover Kit 46 Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments 47 The Girl With a Mind for Math 48 The LEGO Architect 49 Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science
Gifts of Experience / space camp, summer science or engineering camp, art lessons, weekly project/experiment hour together
YOUNG FOODIES + WRITERS
50 Alice in Wonderland Zipper Pouch 51 Stripe Denim Apron 52 Blackout Poetry Journal 53 Handlettering 201: Intermediate Lettering and Design Basics 54 Superhero Book Ends 55 LuminoLite Book Light 56 Field Notes Memo Books 57 642 Big Things to Write About: Young Writer’s Edition 58 Paisley Rolling Pin 59 The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook 60 Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story 61 Babycakes Mini Cake Pop Maker 62 Fruit + Veggies Cutting Molds 63 Joseph Joseph Nesting Bowls 64 Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen 65 Library Tote 66 Bear Oven Mitts 67 The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs 68 Kid Chef
Gifts of Experience / book club, book subscription, cooking class, weekly baking hour, parent-child date to a favorite restaurant or bookstore
Thank you Hannah Walls for your research help on this post. This post contains some affiliate links. Cloistered Away might receive a small commision on the goods purchased through those links.
I love you gift guides! I came across one on Pinterest which led me to your blog and now I’ve savwd everyone! Thank you! My children are little (5,3,1+one on the way) but I can’t wait to use many of these ideas as they get older.
I have just found you and my heart is full. I am embarking on Slow + Sacred Advent by Jennifer Naraki and when I read your piece I had to run over to your space. I felt like I instantly connected to you and now I see these gift lists….some of these very things are in my gift closet right now and I now know Know that I’m heading in the very right direction with what I’ve been feeling…..less is best. Less is intentional and special. I’m so beyond grateful to have “stumbled” (no way is it that….this is meant to be!) upon you and your lifegiving words. Thank you and blessings all around to you and yours.
Also, these gifts are INCREDIBLE. When I hit the foodie + writer spot I smiled so wide….I’ll be adding some to my very own wish list😂♥️
Welcome, Sky! And thank you for your encouragement and life-giving words. They mean much to me. Also, I always find little treasures I’d enjoy myself while pulling these ideas together. Isn’t that part of the joy of parenting and homeschooling, too, that we fill our home with things and activities we find beautiful or enjoyable, too? Smile. Wink. Enjoy, mama.
This is a fantastic list thank you so much! I love that this list inspires learning and exploration.
I’m so grateful to hear this, Nicole!