Fun, Educational Gifts & Activities
With birthdays coming up, I am often on the look-out for educational activities that might be appealing to my kids. I also grab things from time-to-time that will add some sparkle to our units. This post has a number of educational things I’ve added to our homeschool collection… puzzles, games, geography activities, science tools and more! 🙂
Critical Thinking Challenge! My kids really love this activity called Kanoodle (affiliate link) and it comes with a book of puzzles, so it is challenging for any age (including me!) There are over 100 puzzle challenges included in the book.
Last spring when we studied the rainforest again, I got the kids a giant rainforest floor puzzle. (affiliate link) The artwork is really beautiful! Because it has such big pieces, it is perfect from even the early ages. I got it for my girls and they were 9 and 11 last year, but wish I’d had this in our homeschool cabinets years earlier. It’s pretty, don’t you think?!
Another puzzle we got recently is this Ravensburger World Landmarks Puzzle. We recently spent time learning about many of the famous world landmarks, so this fit in with our unit well! We got the 300-piece puzzle, but they also have this same world landmarks puzzle in 1000 pieces or 2,000 pieces! (affiliate links)
When we did our huge road trip out West a couple of years ago, I got the kids a scratch map (affiliate link) that they 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 (affiliate link) that might be fun if your kids are studying the US states!
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. (affiliate link) Just note that you cannot scratch off individual U.S. states with the map below.
Here is a picture of the table cloth version of the world map. (affiliate link) It is made of cotton and comes with washable markers.:
One more thing before I leave the topic of geography activities. Our family *loves* the board games… 10 Day in Europe (or 10 Days in Africa) and have learned SO much geography from playing these wonderful games!! Note: The prices right now are outrageous, but keep your eye out for these amazing games. Maybe ebay will have them available.
Here is a picture of some of the bones we found when we did owl pellet dissection a few years ago! I always get the extra-large pellet and they’ve always been Another fun find were these digestive system aprons from Oriental Trading. We got a set not only because we’re studying the digestive system now, but we used them also for our foreign language studies to learn the organs in German. 🙂
One thing we have used every year is our Molymod Chemistry Set. We got this set with 111 pieces. I’m glad we did because we’ve been able to build things like a glucose molecule. When we go into more depth with chemistry, I think we’ll add another set so the kids have even more pieces to work with! (Here is a set with just 52 pieces: Molymod Organic/inorganic set)
Here is a picture of the kids building various molecules a while back!Dry Ice — Have you explored Dry Ice with your kids? We did a range of science activities when we talked about the States of Matter. You can purchase dry ice at your local grocery store (handle with care!). This is definitely an activity that will WOW your kid!
When we did our unit on the Properties of Matter, here were some of the materials we got for that unit (The links below are affiliate links):
- We got the Density Cube Set but this set of 10 would work well too: Density Cube Set. I saw cheap sets, but was worried when people said the dimensions of the cubes were off. Carolina.com (a science supply company also has Density Cube sets.)
- Equal mass set (Diverse materials): There are different options available. We got this one ETA hand2mind, Equal Mass Diverse Materials Set, (41785). This set has brass, aluminum, nylon, PVC, and clear acrylic.
- We also had a scale that could measure in grams. We purchased the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale. This kitchen scale has been perfect for our needs (and we’ve used it pretty regularly for science in the past couple of years).
Here are some of the units I mentioned above:
World Landmarks which is in our World Facts Packet
Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter We learned about density and used the density cubes and equal mass sets I mentioned above.
Chemistry Packet (Coming Soon!)
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. Happy Homeschooling, everyone!! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.