“What do we get them this year?” It’s a question that goes through the minds of many a parent at Christmastime. The enigma of gift giving for children becomes even more challenging for homeschoolers who wish to bequeath presents that will be useful and worthwhile even once the Christmas glow has dimmed. And while that new English curriculum might be what a homeschooling mother would enjoy seeing under the tree, her children might not be quite so excited. So what’s a conscientious homeschooling parent to do? Where do homeschoolers go to find gifts that are educational in nature, but that children will also enjoy?
There are many options online for finding the perfect gift for kids – choices that promote learning, while also exciting children at the same time. By shopping from the computer rather than in a store, homeschoolers have many more options available to them, and can individualize gifts for each child’s interests and desires, without sacrificing the element of education. Check out these websites and suggestions for gifts that incorporate both fun and learning this Christmas:
- Timberdoodle – This homeschool resource includes not only gifts for children, but homeschool curricula, special needs resources, and more. Some great options for gifts from this site include:
- Stop Motion Animation Kit – Kids learn moviemaking with this unique kit! Includes an instruction book on stop animation movie making, a CD of sound effects, software, camera, and even a sample movie! Perfect for older children and highschoolers.
- Stick-EZY Letters – Even the youngest children can have fun learning the alphabet with these letters, which stick to almost anything.
- Magnetic Marvels – Includes 32 activities that explore magnetism, including one in which magnetic putty “eats” a neodymium magnet.
- Mindware – This excellent website has “brainy toys for kids of all ages”. Shop by age or category. On this site you’ll find:
- 4-in-1 Cool Tool Workshop – This working tool set allows young carpenters ages 8 and up to safely make projects using a combination drill press, jigsaw, sander, and lathe.
- 3-D Home Kit – Future architects can design their dream home by creating floor plans, experimenting with home layouts, and then building a 3-D model of their project with these kits.
- Recycled Robot Kits – Children can make robots out of recycled items such as a soda can, brush, or plastic bottles.
- Young Explorers – On this site you can search by age (from 0-tweens) or by department, such as “boys best sellers” and “classic toys”. Features a wonderful category on award-winning toys. Consider these educational gift ideas from Young Explorers:
- Visible V-8 Engine – Children can learn all about mechanics by building this award-winning ¼ size engine that actually works when the crank is turned.
- Fashion Design Studio – Future designers can create their own fashions with fabric, sewing essentials, mannequin, and everything needed for making clothing for 9-12” fashion dolls.
- Ultimate Mission Spy Case – Kids learn problem solving skills and how to look for details with this awesome spy kit, which includes night beam binoculars, wrist motion sensor, time stamp, secret message capsules, glow-in-the-dark powder, an ultraviolet light for lifting fingerprints, and more!
- Fat Brain Toys – This site stocks of 6,000 products, specializing in “the best, safest, and highest quality toys”. Features a “gift wizard”, which allows you to search by the recipient’s interest, age range, or gender, or by the toy’s price range or country of origin.
- Discovery Channel Store – This store gets its origin from the t.v. channel by the same name.
- Learning Express – This website specializes in gifts for children 12 and under. Some ideas:
- Toys to Grow On – Advertised as “the online toy store for developing minds”, this site has lots of educational and fun options for all ages.