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Stocking Stuffers for Gifted Kids

stocking stuffers for gifted kids

Stocking stuffers can be so frustrating. It can be difficult to find quality gifts to include in the stockings hung by the fire with care, with such limited space and already over-stretched budgets. It’s tempting to just buy a bag of candy and toss in some socks (which I would love for myself), but when you’ve got gifted kids they’re not always so easily pleased. If a trinket doesn’t hold their attention or challenge them, they’ll toss it aside and you’ll have wasted your money. Gifted kids don’t just need novelty, they crave it. I’m sharing a handful of novel stocking stuffers that will not only delight your gifted kids, but put their brilliant brains to work!

 stocking stuffer

Stocking Stuffers to Inspire Creativity

I believe that some of the best toys are open-ended items that allow all the room possible for a kiddo to stretch their imagination. My kids don’t exactly appreciate receiving an empty box as a gift, so I’ve found these tried-and-true stocking stuffers that allow for creative play with few instructions. If you’ve had a gifted child in your life for any amount of time, you’ve likely discovered the obsession and absolute passion that they have for tape. Seriously. They go through so much tape that I finally decided to lean into it and put rolls in their stockings, and every year they’re thrilled to get it! My fidgety son loves these mini magnetic balls and will spend tons of quiet time making creations with them, just as all of my kids do with their Plus Plus neon set and the packages of Wikki Stix I keep in my purse. This More Origami pack is compact and packed with creative tasks. This set of dual tip markers is fantastic for creating art, practicing calligraphy, or anything else a creative kiddo might want to try with both brush and precision tips!

      

Stocking Stuffers to Stretch the Brain

My engineer-minded kiddos have most of these items and have gotten years of play out of them. These stocking stuffers are more than toys, they’re challenges, games, or in the case of my son and the speed cubes, obsessions. Kanoodle is a fantastic item to keep for on the go entertainment, and one of the items I always suggest for gifted kiddo gifts. The Cat Stax and Dog Pile bundle is a fun twist on tanagrams and has the added bonus of being a game! This Domino Cube is novel enough to draw your kiddos in, and challenging enough to keep them hooked. A puzzle book like The Best Brain Teasers is always a great stocking stuffer, perfect to keep in the car or a backpack. Did you know that there is more than one kind of Rubik’s cube? This set of 5 speed cubes is a good start to collecting all of the variations, each with their own unique algorithms. Another fun and compact challenge to is this Foldology pack, requiring kids to really wrinkle their brains and use creativity. 

      

STEM Stocking Stuffers

These stocking stuffers come with a little more instruction, but they’re easy and educational for kids. This balloon helicopter doubles as a fun party favor while teaching a bit of physics. Don’t let the age rage on these bath pipes fool you, they’re fun for all ages! Grab a few sets of them and see how much more fun bath time can become, or just use them to trick your kiddos into the bath! Tenzi is a fun gift that the whole family can enjoy, like these fraction and decimal dominoes. I can’t tell you how much I would have loved one of these digital bookmarks when I was growing up, but it may be a good thing I didn’t have a lock picking set, which is a surprisingly well-loved gift among the engineer-minded kiddos! 

      

Don’t fill those stocking with cheap knick knacks and filler candy this year, make them just as exciting as what waits beneath the tree. These stocking stuffers do double duty as both fun gifts and educational tools, so you’ll feel just as good about giving them as your kids will about receiving them. Be sure to share some of your favorite stocking stuffers in the comments, and happy shopping!

stocking stuffers for gifted kids

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Great Geography Games to Czech Out

great geography games to czech out

Geography, quite frankly, is where it’s at. *pause for laughter*  In all seriousness, geography is a cornerstone of learning about the world around us, but isn’t always something fun to study. Simply memorizing where places are and an interesting geological feature about each place just really isn’t that engaging. Gameschooling is a long-time family favorite it our homeschool, and it’s a perfect fit for studying geography! Check out some of these great geography games that help make learning a little more fun, and the world a little smaller. 

 geography games

US Geography Games

A classic game (and the much-loved book) The Scrambled States of America Game is as educational as it is fun! 10 Days in the USA challenges players to plan trips from state to state, and United States Geography Bingo is pretty self-explanatory but plenty of fun. You could take the United States Memory Matching Card Game on the road with you, or take a pretend road trip with Race Across the USA. To get the whole family in on the fun, plan a few nights with the American Trivia Family Edition!

      

World Geography Games 

The whole world opens up when we learn about the world around us, and games like The World Game are perfect for those competitive learners who can’t quite travel the globe. Mapominoes Africa is part of a great series of dominoes that teach the geography of all the continents, just as Ticket to Ride: Asia is part of an enormously fun and beloved game series that explores the countries through various games and expansion packs. Explore the World, Continent Race, and Globe Runner are all wonderful games that add the element of competitiveness and excitement as players learn about the world in a race to win the game. 

      

Games for Young Learners

Geography isn’t just for big kids! With games like Little Passports Where To? and Wild Kratts Race Around the World Game, planning trips around the world is more fun than overwhelming. Tools like the United States magnetic puzzle, an Our World jumbo puzzle, or this Seek and Find Around the World book are perfect for younger siblings or little learners to begin familiarizing themselves with the great wide world. And as part of the great Ticket to Ride series, there’s a fantastic version for younger players, Ticket to Ride: First Journey.

      

Geography can be a lot of fun to study, especially when including games. Try adding in international snacks, history, music, and all the culture you can gather to really help build deeper connections to the places you learn about in your homeschool. There are so many ways to learn, why not have a little fun while you’re at it?

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Not Knowing Everything Makes Me a Better Homeschool Parent

not knowing everything makes me a better homeschool parent

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, I’m sure. Usually it means that 20% of the people in an organization do 80% of the work, but it means something different to a homeschool mom. To homeschool parents it may represent the 80% of people who declare they could never homeschool compared to the 20% of people […]

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Fun Language Arts Additions

fun language arts additions

As a writer, I don’t hate language arts. While I didn’t always know this was what I’d do, I was always engaged during language arts class and had a deep love for reading, writing, and, to my friends’ dismay, correcting grammar. But having always been so comfortable with language and writing, it can sometimes slip my mind that not all of my kiddos are naturally strong or drawn to it. In fact, some of my kiddos are bored by it.

Maybe you’ve got a bookworm whose love of words bleeds over into a comfort with language arts. Maybe you’ve got a reluctant writer or a kiddo who is in such a hurry to get their thoughts out that they can’t be bothered to worry about spelling. Maybe you’ve got a twice-exceptional kiddo working through a language-based learning difference. Whoever you have in your homeschool, language arts doesn’t have to be a chore, a bore, or a battle. Check out these fun resources and tools I’ve found to help add some smiles while studying similes! 

 language arts

Fun to Write

Writing seems to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it subjects with school-aged kiddos. Sadly, many more of them seem to lean more towards the “hate it” camp. Some of these resources are so fun that they could be seen as downright tricking your kiddo into writing, but we’ll keep that between us. Revolting Writing, while full of potty humor and gross-out writing prompts, keeps kids engaged by teaching vocabulary words that make them giggle and providing scenarios they’ll want to write, if for nothing else than the humor. Once Upon a Pancake and Finish This Book are like beefed-up Mad Libs, providing a structure and encouraging the child to create a fleshed-out story on their own. Of course, Mad Libs themselves are a fun way to play with language and review the parts of speech. Encourage your kiddos to get creative with their descriptions and story-telling with blank comic book strips, too! Equal parts writing and keepsake, the Q&A a Day Journal is a fantastic way to start every day with writing that’s meaningful. 

      

Fun to Play

We’re big fans of gameschooling in our homeschool. Adding in an element of fun or competition always seems to draw in the most reluctant learner! Boggle is a classic game to help practice and build spelling skills, and reading comprehension dice are an active and engaging way to discuss the books you read together. Metaphors, similes, adjectives, prepositions… the Figurative Language in a Jar and Grammar in a Jar games are easy and travel-friendly ways to practice elements of language arts that don’t always show up in fun ways. No homeschool is complete without Story Cubes, which are fantastic for creative writing prompts and imaginative story telling. One of my favorite aspects of language arts is learning synonyms, which can be practiced with games like Don’t Say It!, where players must think of alternative words… or else! 

      

Fun to Read

Explore and understand punctuation with books like Eats, Shoots, & Leaves, Semicolons, Cupcakes, and Cucumbers, or Twenty-Odd Ducks, that take black and white grammar rules and turn them into colorful, memorable stories. If you’re diving into classic literature, check out Guinea Pig Classics for a fun synopsis, like this version of Pride and Prejudice told with captivating cavies! Language arts is about so much more than just memorizing rules, it’s about learning to enjoy words and stories. Ella Minnow Pea is one of those stories, using brilliant language and techniques to enthrall readers and deepen a love for what can be done with language. If You Were an Antonym is another fun story, using pictures and examples to explain just what an opposite word is!

      

Language arts may seem dull, what with all the rules and red lines, but at the heart of it all is creativity – the ability to rearrange a finite number of characters into infinite words and stories. I know not everyone will join me in my natural enthusiasm for it, but these resources are sure to sway more than a few reluctant kiddos. 

language arts

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