Gift Ideas that are Fun and Educational

gift ideas that are fun and educational

Today, I sat around a table with some great friends of mine.  As our children all ran through the house and yard, we started sharing a few gift ideas with each other.  A few of the moms even ordered items I suggested on their phones as we chatted.

Even though most of you are probably already done with your Christmas shopping, I thought I’d take a minute to share a few ideas with you anyway.  These are items my children are getting for Christmas (or already received at a recent family gathering).

Most of these items come with a low price tag.  Other than the lego set, we paid less than $20 for each of these.  If they are higher priced than that, I would wait to buy them.  The high prices may be due to low stock.

In no particular order:

Kutz LEGO Chain Reaction Craft Kit.  This kit includes a fun book showing how to set up lego chain reactions as well as including lego pieces to do this.  Since I have a son who loves Rube Goldberg machines, I hope this kit sparks much more creativity in our lego building.

Awesome Lego Creations with Bricks You Already Have.  I’m excited about this book that finally just arrived at our house.  (Amazon was out of it for a week or two.)  There are step-by-step instructions to build all sorts of lego creations (animals, robots, etc) as well as “creative challenges” where they give you key lego pieces to collect but don’t spell out the directions.  I love the detailed supply lists for the projects and that we can use the legos we already own.

Klutz Star Wars Thumb Doodles Book Kit.  I was searching on Amazon for a craft book for my youngest.  This is the same style of book as this Sweet and Sparkly Fingerprint Kit Ruthie had years ago but with a Star Wars theme.  I know he is going to love it.  I remember Ruthie really getting into creative little art projects with her book, and I hope this one does the same for Gideon.

Mini Pom-Pom Pets craft kit. My daughter could use craft kits every day of the week.  I thought this one looked fun and had a few new skills in it. She has already been given Sew Mini Treats this week.

Lego Birds Model Kit.  These are display-worthy realistic birds, complete with Latin name plaques. Ruthie received these as a gift at a family gathering, and they are wonderful.  I was really impressed with this kit.  It’s apparently been discontinued by Lego but is still available for purchase.  I hope Lego makes more kits like this in the future.


And, there you have it.  Just a few educational but fun gift ideas.

Do you have gifts you are looking forward to giving this Christmas that are fun and educational?


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Lego Pilgrims

Yesterday, I was faced with taking a child to the doctor and a granddad watching three children in the afternoon.  Not all educational activities are great for others to oversee.  Before I could decide on an afternoon task, I saw a great post from Classical Conversations at Home.  She inspired me to have the kids build the current history sentence out of legos.

Honestly, I didn’t know what I was asking.  I thought they would throw something together in the half hour I was out of the house.  I wasn’t even close.

After five hours over the course of two days, I had an entire production about the Pilgrims.  (These lego creations might not seem to reflect 5 hours of building, but we had quite a few boats fall apart during the creative process.)

First we had the Pilgrims loading onto the Mayflower in England.  Notice that England has a dock and no trees since (according to one builder) they would have used the trees to build things. loading in Plymouth England Then the Pilgrims traveled on the treacherous seas. Traveling on the Seas Yes, they had a perilous (to use our new IEW vocabulary word) voyage complete with sea monsters and large fish. sea creaturesIn case you missed him, William Bradford was watching for land. William Bradford

Finally, they were close enough to use the long boats.  Please note the incredibly large anchor. long boats to shore At last, they arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts (which of course had no dock and still had trees). arriving in Plymouth   After I had finished taking pictures, the kids decided to act out the entire scene again.  This time, they had an audience. the audience I’m thankful that I saw Classical Conversations At Home’s post and that we had time to implement some history play into our week.