|So thank you again to our
wonderful Homeschool.com Product Testers who helped us come up with this
wonderful list. We hope you find this Holiday Gift Guide useful and we wish
you and your family the best this holiday season.|
Your friends at Homeschool.com,
Rebecca, Katie, Chris, Ann, Susan and Julie
To show our Product Tester's enthusiasm about
their suggestions, we've used many of their own words—
GAMES and TOYS:
- Puzzibits (www.puzzibits.com).
These are Lego type pieces in puzzle form. You can create flat or 3D
figures. Several types of puzzles can be created from one kit. These can
be purchased at Target as well as online. We have had so much fun with
There is a new scrabble card game called
Scrabble Slam that is
great. We also like Boggle, Blink, pretty much any board game or card
game is fun and educational at the same time. Speed Stacks are really
good! But you have to order them online. For anyone who doesn't know
what they are, they usually get "hooked" by simply visiting their
like interactive games such as
Smarter Than a 5th Grader
(board game & video game),
(board & video game),
Clue and Brainquest
(board & video games). And they can be purchased just about anywhere.
are great! Inexpensive and great stocking stuffers/Chanukah gifts.
- At Target, they have 2 games called
and the other is
There is a 3rd and I believe it is just called
We also bought
for counting and it was only $5!
- A favorite for our family (and I know
this would be a blessing to all families that own this product) is "HomeSchoolopoly",
great and I can say that
products, especially Star Wars, are a big hit at our house.
- If you have an aspiring singer at home or a child that just loves to
rock out to the hottest songs on the radio then you have to check out
the Sing Scene by JAKKS Pacific! The Sing Scene is a singing video game
that plugs right into your TV without a gaming console or software. Just
plug in the microphone and play or I should say--SING. My girls had such
a great time with this product and it's a great way to get the family
all together for some fun.
TV Games Motion SpongeBob
son is a big fan of Spongebob and he loves this game! The entire family has
enjoyed playing it together, something that only games like Mario Kart
or Mario Party have done that in the past. The games are pretty easy to
learn and it helps his hand-eye coordination as well. Another really
nice thing about it is that it is not violent like so many games out
there today. It is also VERY easy to hook up; we brought it with us to
to my parents' house when we visited and hooked it up there so all of
the kids could play together.
Patch Kids Newborn
- This was my one year olds very first Cabbage Patch Kid. She
loves this baby doll and it is the perfect size for her. The doll is
smaller than the original cabbage patch dolls and is very soft and
cuddly too. Would definitely recommend this product for any young child.
Jakks Discovery Kids Binocular
is a big telescope for kids 6 and older. Set them loose to explore the
moon, the treetops, or go on a hike and explore the birds in the sky. My
son had a blast with this and uses it all the time. Much more
inexpensive than a professional one, and I don't have to worry about him
breaking it. The Jakks Discovery Kids Binocular Safari Scope is one of
those things that most kids will never stop using to explore & to learn
about the world around them.
- This is a great little portable handheld system for kids too young to
properly handle a Nintendo DS. The games do seem to be quite
educational, usually offering three difficulty levels and reasonably
priced at $25 each. LeapFrog did well to include a game and art
application preloaded in the system. Also, the backwards compatibility
with original Leapster games means you can quickly increase your kids'
edugaming library by visiting a few sale bins and garage sales or
gathering hand-me-downs from friends.
Touch Reading System
We use this toy for our almost-five-year-old during our daily commutes.
It's wonderful because it grabs her attention and delights her during
what is usually a miserable time of day for her. It's not like a video
game, which I really enjoy because it's more interactive and prompts
questions and interesting conversations with my child. It's not often
when our child thinks that a toy is as awesome as her parents do. But I
can tell this one is definitely on her short list. It's the only toy
that regularly travels from the car to the living room, to the kitchen
table, to the bedroom, and then back to the car. That's right. She
carries it. She doesn't ask us to carry it around for her. As far as
I'm concerned, that's the highest praise you can give.
My First Computer
- My son always wants to play with my computer, so this is a natural fit
for him, and it seems to be educational, too. It is cute looking and
attractive to kids. However, not only it is cute, but the keyboard is
QWERTY instead of the ABC layout often found on kiddy laptops. This
should be a real plus when my son gets older and transitions to a real
computer. The included games are definitely enough to get started. So
far, I didn't buy any of the extra games, but I suspect that I'll want
to as my son gets older. The toy seems worthy of the additional
investment. Additionally, the quality is pretty solid... a feature that
you have likely come to expect from Leap Frog toys. In summary, if you
use a computer a lot and your child wants to use his/her own along with
you, this is a great educational toy.
- We love
This is a great site for making scrapbook pages, photo coffee mugs and
other items. When you join they actually give you several hundred
dollars worth of free items and all you pay is the shipping and
handling. This year we've made some scrapbook pages, some coaster sets,
and a few letter openers for gifts. I've even made a watch for my mom
with the pictures of her grandchildren on the face of the watch. I was
able to get this at no charge except for the shipping and handling!
Joining is absolutely FREE and they will send you offers with special
codes to save on other items. This is a great way to save and give
a gift that has true meaning.
Gourmet Sweets Candy Bead Studio-
What little girl doesn't like to play dress up? Mine do!
Granted we don't wear much jewelry at all but the candy bead studio is a
fun little activity for a rainy day or when the kids want to feel
Style Six Silk
girls had LOADS of fun with the Silk Screener from Style Six.
oldest daughter loves the idea of designing her own clothes and this is
a perfect tool to do so. She took an older shirt she had thrown
in a drawer and added hearts and swirls to it to give this shirt a
second life with her own creativity. The process was simple too. I love
all the designs and they'll be coming out with more and different paint
colors as well. Sometimes when Tweens are so hard to please, finding
this kind of activity is a blessing in disguise! With a minimal purchase
of a pack of white tees, this is going to be used many, many times. I
would highly recommend this product if you have tweens in your household
that need a creative gift idea.
- Michael's Arts & Crafts Store has some
awesome kits for $1! My girls enjoy the felt purses as well as knitting
purses and crocheting hair accessories. The knitting and crocheting kits
are such a value because you get the directions, yarn, and the
hook/needles! It's a fabulous deal for a buck!
- I like the site
They have all kinds of crafts--everything from knitting/crochet to you
name it. You just sign up for their e-mail and you receive updates on
whatever interests you.
- A good site for children to find
instructions on how to make nice but simple homemade gifts is
These are really cute projects that will make wonderful holiday gifts.
- As terribly goofy as this sounds, my
girls (6 and 9) and I have become SERIOUSLY addicted to the
looms. You can buy a set of 4 sizes at Walmart for about $14 (plus the
cost of yarn) and make gorgeous hats, scarves, doll clothes, slippers,
pillows, blankets, etc. My 6 year old was making hats on her own within
only 10 minutes. I highly recommend this product.
- We like the
that you can dip in water and paint with –they are $6 at Walmart in the
- I'd like to suggest
Crayola Air Dry Clay
(and anything else by
Watercolor Pencils by Crayola, Faber-Castell, and Prismacolor, Activity
Stained Glass Coloring Books
by Dover Publications and
by Be Amazing.
are so much fun!
- How about handmade bath products, such
as flavored lip gloss or fizzy bath salts?
For the lip gloss:
you only need, 1 tablespoon petroleum jelly, 1 tablespoon shortening and
1 package of flavored kool-aid. The instructions are to melt the
petroleum jelly along with the shortening over hot water (in a ziplock
baggy), gently melt, then add flavoring (kool aid), knead lightly to mix
ingredients. Pour into small container, let sit for 10 minutes, then
cool in fridge for 30 minutes.
For bath salts:
you need 1 cup Epsom Salt, 1 cup sea salt, 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup
citric acid, food coloring and any scent of essential oli.
The directions are to mix the salts first, add baking soda, food
coloring, followed by the oils and citric acid. Mix very well. Can use
old jelly jars for storage.These are fun for kids to make, they are
inexpensive and it teaches measuring (math) and economics (not having to
purchase expensive products that can be made at home).
- For a hand-made gift, we usually get an
ornament craft kit
from Oriental Trading Company for each of the kids and they make those
for grandparents and aunts and uncles, they usually cost about 10- 30
cents each. This year for stockings I am going to decorate a recipe that
I think they would like to make with mommy (me). Each child will get
their own recipe therefore their own special time with me. Who knows
maybe some of the ingredients will show up in the stockings as well,
like gum drops, M&Ms, nuts, pretzels...
- This was my son's idea--for gifts for
grandparents--take pictures from throughout the year and make a family
movie using your computer. Ours turned out GREAT and I love it!
- Dress-up clothes! Dress-up clothes are
at the top of my list right now. My sister asked for dress-up clothes
for her daughter as well. Thrift stores are a great resource. Though
this tip is too late for this year, I also get Halloween costumes on
clearance and give them to my son for his birthday and Christmas. Last
year I purchased a firefighter outfit and this year I snagged Obi-Wan
Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker costumes for 50% off. I bought my 1 year old
daughter a couple of fuzzy hats and purses from The Dollar Tree. She
also loves wrapping a scarf like a boa. I am planning on getting the
hats and purses for my younger nieces.
- Very nice mother/daughter look-alike
- My favorite educational gift site is www.hometrainingtools.com . It has gifts for all
ages, grade levels and curriculum. It doesn't have anything under a
dollar but a lot under $10.00. Great gifts for teen boys, dissections,
robots, chemistry, etc.
by Scientific Explorer are lots of fun—and educational too!
- My 6 year old son loves snap circuits
snapcircuits.net. My husband and I enjoy fooling around with
them too! And books are always welcome.
- I have been checking out sites lately
and the one I really like for educational products is
I find their products to be very reasonable too.
has really great science products. My kids think this site is cool...it
has a lot of awesome stuff--.
Corps of Rediscovery
website has interesting stuff including a Home Economics Set.
- Gift ideas: a magazine subscription
for an interest ( music, poetry, science), a subscription to Netflix,
annual zoo pass or a museum pass.
- My girls have been reading the American
I have found that each girl has several stories. There are movies, and
mini dolls as well. The mini dolls come with a book and are much less
expensive (I found the ones I wanted for my girls on Amazon.
Harry Potter series,
Interactive History Adventure
(You Choose Books), the
series of books, the
series, and the
- I have a couple of ideas. First of all,
we love books and
has some amazing great deals in internet specials and will have fabulous
Black Friday Specials that will go all weekend.
- Although admittedly expensive, ipods
have been some of the best gifts we have given because the kids can then
put educational resources on them such as
We do hope you find these suggestions
helpful. And if you have any more you'd like to send us, please forward them
We might use your suggestions in future newsletters!