Sometimes it can be hard to think of fun, engaging gifts for your kids (and for all those “extra” gifts you have to buy for friends and family). I thought I would highlight some of the games, crafts, and books that my kids have been enjoying lately!
First on the list has to be Escape! My kids LOVE this fast-paced, exciting board and dice game!! My three kids (ages 8, 11 and 13) have been playing this new board/dice game called Escape: The Curse of the Temple (affiliate link) all fall. In fact, they’ll beg each other to come play!! They work together to “escape” from the temple in exactly 10 minutes (before the timer runs out and the creepy music ends!). Unlike other games, the players do not take turns. Instead all players continually roll dice to try and move, collect gems, and add rooms to the temple. Don’t get stuck with five black skulls (dice) or someone will have to help save you! It’s a game that you play with creepy music… You have to rush back to a room (by rolling dice) when you hear the “gong” wait until the continue music chimes and then go to gather gems, build rooms, find the final escape room, and get out… All before the music gongs one final time!
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. And if you do follow the links, thank you SO much for supporting our blog! ~Liesl
Our other favorite board games: Dixit, Settlers of Catan, and the card games my kids highly recommend include: Exploding Kittens, Love Letters and my son really loves the card game, Magic, the Gathering.
As a homeschooling family we really love Elementeo Chemistry Card Game (which helps kids learn the chemistry elements!), 10 Days In Europe (a geography board game), Telepathy Game of Strategy and Reasoning (a really fun logic game!!), and puzzle game which I *love* called Q-bitz. This post here highlights some of our other favorite board games: 15 Family Favorite Board and Card Games.
Several years ago my sister sent us a Slack Line for Christmas. We’ve definitely had a lot of fun with this over the years. It is easy to set up or take down and you can bring it to the local park if you’re having a party with friends. Everyone loves giving it a go! This version comes with a teaching line: slackers 50-Feet Slackline Classic Set with Bonus Teaching Line
Our family has had a lot of fun with this skip ball. It’s always hanging around our living room! The e one we got is the Empower SkipFit.
Scratch Maps: This summer we did a huge trip out West. I bought a scratch map to track our progress. The kids *loved* this!! I thought I would add this in as a gift idea since so many of us incorporate geography into our homeschool curriculum!!
This is the USA scratch map we used as we made our way across the country. I decided to go with a larger (almost poster size map 33inches x 23 inches) because it also had the highways. I thought that would be a bit more fun and figured we would keep our scratch map in a poster tube.
There is also a smaller USA scratch map that is closer to 8×11 in size: USA Scratch Map.
If you travel abroad a lot or are studying a lot of countries in your homeschool, you might enjoy this Scratch Off Bucket List World Map. Just note that you cannot scratch off individual U.S. states with the map below. This one is neat because it reveals many of the world landmarks (which would go well with our World Facts Packet).
Pretty neat Scratch World Map, don’t you think?!!
Crafts: This year, I’ve ordered a number of PlushCraft kits to give as gifts… both for my girls and for some “Secret Santa” gift exchanges they have to do with friends. My girls are 8 and 11, but kids as young as 6 have been able to do these kits. This is a no sew, no glue kit… the kids just push the felt into place into pre-cut holes. Some of these are just about $10 (the limit for our gift-exchange). Below (left to right) are the Purr-fect Pillow, Puppy Love Pillow Kit, Kitten Club 3D Kit, and Puppy 3D Kit.
I got DD this Yarn Giraffe Kit this year. It has really good reviews.
Both of my girls have gotten a Klutz craft kit called Pom Pom puppies. The little puppies turned out to be adorable. If you have crafty kids, they definitely might like this! My girls also loved a Duct Tape Craft kit they got last year at some point… then they went on to use rolls of fun duct tape to make shoes, bags and more!
3D Printing Pen: My girls are very artsy. With 3-D printing becoming more popular (and more affordable) this is a neat option. It really makes them think more spatially because it takes some planning to create the designs they hope to. I’ve linked to one option… you’ll find lots of 3D Drawing Pens and the price varies wildly.
Books –My kids raced through all the Lightning Thief books! If your kids haven’t read these yet, you might consider getting them! I loved the series too! After that, my daughter delved into the Ranger’s Apprentice books on the recommendation of her best friend!
Both of my girls love the Warrior Series, about four different clans of cats. My oldest daughter has now read most of the 35 books or so in this series!
Other Animal Books for Tweens: Since she read all those, I set out to find some new books she would enjoy. For her birthday (in October), I got her the Silverwing Collection (about bats). She loved those books! I also got her the Animals of Farthingwood. She loved that too. I asked her which she liked better and she said, “I would probably have to say Silverwing.” So, there you have it!
So, that’s about it for now!! Don’t miss all the Christmas and Holiday freebies (addition and subtraction worksheets, skip counting mazes, multiplication worksheets and more) we have available here on the blog!
Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. And if you do follow the links, thank you SO much for supporting our blog! ~Liesl