I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Great Gifts for Curious Kids

Playing Qwirkle

Creating an atmosphere of learning takes some intentionality. Like a farmer who sprinkles seeds here and there expecting some, but not all, to sprout into something good, you'll want to strew educationally-rich books, games, toys, and tools all around your house, nurturing the God-given curiosity in each of your kids.

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Lay out a feast of ideas that will inspire wonder and delight, not just amusement. 

With this in mind, skip the toy aisles of the big boxed stores this Christmas, and opt instead for gifts that will kill two birds with one stone--gifts that will be fun, but also engaging. 

Look for open-ended toys, ones that can be repurposed and reimagined into many different things. Look for games that will engage their critical thinking skills. Look for real tools that will enable your kids to do real innovative work, as opposed to the kid/toy versions that only mimic real action.

To help you buy purposeful presents this Christmas season for cultivating an atmosphere of learning in your home all year long, I've put together a list of great gifts for curious kids. I've included items from a variety of price ranges and ones that will appeal to both boys and girls. 

Great gift ideas for curious kids--This Christmas, buy more purposeful presents in order that you can cultivate an atmosphere of learning all year long. #homeschool #giftguide #christmasforkids #homelearning #delightdirectedlearning #awakingwonder

Qwirkle- This simple game of wooden tiles takes dominoes to the next level. Players must use logic and math skills to create complex columns of both colors and shapes. While strategic choices do improve one's score, basic matching skills are all that's required to actually play the game. So kids as young as four or five can participate, making this a great option for any family with a wide age span. 

Mad Libs and Would You Rathers- Place packs of these creative word games all throughout your home--in book baskets, on nightstands, in travel bags, and create a daily five-minutes-of-fun option that doesn't require a screen. (One quick Mad Lib done together in the middle of a hard day, can quickly recalibrate attitudes and turn the entire ship around. Don't ask me how I know!) 


Historically Accurate Paper Dolls- If you will be studying a particular era of history in the coming months, grease the wheel by introducing the fashion and accessories of the day with a set of historically accurate paper dolls. Dover Publications offers options spanning from ancient Egypt all the way to the present day. (When your kids have tired of using the figurines in play, repurpose them for notebooking.)

Lego Boost Creative Toolbox- Computer coding has never been so much fun! With this LEGO robotics set, kids get to combine both engineering and computer science. 

The LEGO Technic Idea Book: Simple Machines- Hundreds of examples of simple machines are featured in this how-to-build book, each focusing on a different principle, concept, or mechanism.

Magna-Tiles-  Like LEGOS, This basic starter set of magnetic tiles can be combined with other sets to build an endless number of creations, sharpening rudimentary math and science skills. But unlike LEGOS, the pieces won't lacerate your feet when you step on them. 

Historical Dress Up Clothes- Dramatic play helps to solidify the facts learned in the typical school day. Don't just fill the dress-up box with superhero suites or Disney princess costumes, though. Throw in a prairie dress, a Revolutionary War uniform, or a 1920s newsboy's hat too.

Origami Kit- Origami is a no-fuss, paint-free art project for the child who loves to create and the mom who doesn't want another mess to clean up.

Hippity Hop Therapy Ball- While not exactly a toy that will inspire curiosity, a giant hop ball is the perfect gift for the active child who is too squirmy to harness his curiosity in a positive way. Balancing on a ball takes an incredible amount of core strength. A wiggly child who sits on a therapy ball during deep mind work will have an easier time concentrating because he'll be able to release all his pent-up energy through his abdominal muscles. The ball can obviously be used for hopping both indoors and outdoors too, providing another outlet for physical activity. (Be sure to order the correct size ball for your child based on his age/size.)

Illustory- Got a son or daughter who loves to write stories? Give them the gift of a published book with their name on the cover! The validation of seeing their very own book on the family library shelves will, no doubt, encourage them to keep writing.

The LEGO Animation Book- Your child can learn the industry secrets of LEGO stop motion movie making in this heavily illustrated book. All the projects can be done using a stop motion app on a cell phone or tablet.

142-Piece Art Set- Encourage your child to move beyond the basic art mediums of crayons, markers, and pencils by providing them with the real tools of master artists. 

Metal Detector- A 1921 deputy's badge, a WWII soldier's transit token, and a handmade ring with Norwegian letters etched onto it--These are just three of the dozens and dozens of treasures my son has found with his metal detector. Each item he unearths sends him down a deep well of historical research. You too can provide endless hours of exploration and organic history lessons by putting a metal detector under the tree this year.

Graphics Tablet- Learning to use an artist's tablet is the first step to mastering animation, 3D design, or digital illustration.

Catan Jr.- This easy-to-learn game is the perfect substitute for kids who aren't quite ready for the time commitment or strategy level of the classic Catan. To be honest, even at 41, I prefer the speed and ease of this game far better than the original. 

This Christmas, give a gift that keeps on giving all throughout the school year. Serve up a feast of ideas and let a quality toy be the teacher, cultivating your child's natural curiosity. 

Need more homeschool-friendly gift ideas?

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