gift guide for children

Gift giving is so much fun! Whether it's something homemade, thoughtful, practical, or silly, sometimes searching for that perfect gift can be just as rewarding as seeing that special person open what you've found. We've compiled a list of items we think would be useful to any homeschool family on your list. Our shelves are full of these items and we love them all. 

preschool board games

I've talked before about how often we use puzzles in our homeschool, and today I wanted to share another fun tool that is quickly becoming a kiddo favorite at our house - boxed games! Yep, I've been challenged to quite a few rounds of ...

montessori multiplication board printable

We purchased a Multiplication Board a few months back, and really enjoy using it. The kiddos use it for multiplication practice, but also for fine motor work. Quality Montessori materials are worth the investment, but can be a little overwhelming to your homeschool budget. Check out our printable...

diy montessori place value mat

Hands on math is the best kind of math. That's one of the reasons I love Montessori so much. Kiddos put down the pencils and use all sorts of interesting objects to absorb math concepts. Using a large mat made learning place value a cinch. Here are a few super easy DIY instructions so you can make your own.

flight homeschool unit

One of our favorite people to learn about is Amelia Earhart. Her life story is filled with courage, determination, and grit. All things we admire. We will be celebrating her birthday on July 24th and have prepped with a unit study about flight. Check out all the ways we explored things that fly!

gross motor math using pedometer

I've always found pedometers to be motivating when it comes to fitness goals. They are a little reminder of what you've accomplished (or still need to!) in a day. We invested in some fairly inexpensive pedometers for the whole family hoping that these little accessories would help with motivating the kiddos, too. It's working! Better yet, we've even found ways to use the pedometer for learning.

wordless picture books

Picture books without words are great for inspiring original stories and creative thought. Kiddos use their noggins to fill in their own stories to match with the pictures provided. My daughter pointed out that kiddos see most books as wordless until they are able to read. They see the letters, but they don't know what they mean, so they just ignore them and "read" the story from the pictures anyway. We've gathered a list of wordless books that spark storytime inspiration for us.

preschool anatomy surgery pretend play

I may have even out-weirded myself in this activity. When you ask your husband to help you fill a human torso mannequin with JELL-O and toy human organs so the kids can pretend they are surgeons, it may be time for some self-evaluation. Of course, it's true love when your husband doesn't bat an eye and actually suggests ideas to improve the process. We are weirdos meant for each other. The kiddos weren't shocked with this one and have asked to repeat the activity multiple times. Who knew a human torso mannequin could bring a family so close...

best alphabet books for preschoolers

Alphabet books are the best. Regularly we hunt through the shelves of the local library looking for new titles that celebrate letters. Once we've fallen for a book we usually end up adding it to our home library. Today, we have gathered our Top 26 Alphabet Books for your review.

insect and bug unit study homeschool

Insects are fascinating. Did you know that a bug is a type of insect? I always thought that bug was the overreaching term for insect, but I was wrong. What makes an insect a bug is the type of mouth it has. Where did I learn this important piece of information you might ask? An encyclopedia? Try again. A consult with an entomologist? Nope. The Internet? Nota. It was from...

cutout farm animals in playdough

Springtime means adorable baby farm animals. Our mama and babe farm animal puzzles are so cute it hurts. They are great beginner spelling puzzles and an awesome way to learn about farm animals. Download our FREE Farm Animal Spelling Puzzles NOW! Be sure to check out our Explore More section below to download our complete Preschool Farm Animal printable pack for FREE. Happy Spring!

free art lessons for kids using colored glue

Free art lessons are the best. The web is filled with great resources including our new fave - Dick Blick Art Lessons! Blick Art has been a hot spot for us over the years. We shopped there often when Mr. eager Ed was an art student, and now we enjoy taking the kiddos. Our oldest is especially into art and she loves getting the Blick catalogs in the mail. We've started budgeting in monthly ...

backyard kids archaeological dig pretend play

We are listening to The Story of the World on CD and are so digging it! I ordered the companion Activity Book and am so glad I did. It is full of review questions, additional reading references, maps, coloring pages, and awesome activities to go along with each chapter. We borrowed the archaeological dig concept from the book, but expanded it for a few days worth of archaeological adventure. Let's dig in!

scholastic reading club box of books doorstep

Did you know that homeschoolers can sign up for the Scholastic Reading Club? YES! You can and it's amazing! We've been members since October last year and love it. There is nothing better than a big box of books arriving on your doorstep. This month, our order was filled with books about insects. Fly Guy anyone? If you haven't checked out Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold...

hands-on learning math uncle goose groovie blocks

Math is a popular subject around our house; especially with our five year old. Just last night Mr. eager Ed went in to tell her it was lights out for bedtime, and she was writing out addition problems in her notepad. Warms my heart. We use Singapore Math and Life of Fred, but also mix in a lot of hands-on math experiences in our homeschool. With her help, I've gathered a list of our current fave hands-on math resources.

pink balance beam DIY

Activity number seven of Fitness in February brings a DIY balance beam. We had to fancify it a little, but it really is a simple piece of equipment that keeps kiddos active and can be used indoors and out. Our balance beam was under $15 and took us all on a Home Depot outing. Good times!

roses are pink audiobook on cd

I've always loved listening to talk radio and my phone is filled with podcasts. There is something about listening for news/entertainment/etc. that has always stuck with me. I still read and watch things, but listening allows me to really immerse myself in the information. It also allows me to make dinner or walk the dog at the same time. We use audiobooks often in our homeschool and on car trips. With the right narration, the kiddos can get really caught up in a story and often ask to continue listening throughout the day.

kid size shopping cart ball races

Welcome to stop number six on our Fitness in February series! Today is ball races! Seriously, these plastic balls (aka play or pit balls) are tons of fun. They are tucked into every nook and cranny of my house. The kiddos keep coming up with different ways to play with them. The babe loves them the most. He usually has one in each and hand and is eyeing a third trying to figure out how to get it to his mouth. We've gathered a list of six ways to conduct a ball race...

melissa and doug yellow and black puzzle pieces preschool

We LOVE puzzles. A treasured tradition for many holidays, is coming together as a family and putting a large puzzle together. They play a big part in our homeschool as well. We pull out a puzzle a minimum of three times a week. Puzzles focus and relax us, but more importantly they bring us together.

sight word charades graphic

Playing charades with kiddos is quite entertaining. They strive to express themselves without using words and that's no small feat when you're five. Testing their sight word recall is an added bonus in this version of the game. We've included a sight word game card printable so you can play, too. Enjoy!

child playing crawling soccer

I totally confused the kiddos on this one. They loved the idea of playing soccer indoors, but quickly gave me puzzled looks when I told them they could use their hands. "But mama, coach says no hands during soccer!" Oops! I went with the explanation that this type of soccer is completely different then the soccer they play outdoors. That indoor soccer must be played while crawling, with a tiny soccer ball, and that you could use your hands while playing. This gives an extra challenge and saves me from replacing the glass windows in the...

DIY french vocabulary cards

We are learning French as a family (in hopes of future travels) and are always looking for ways to expand our vocabulary. This idea came to us when we were combing through home magazines for a collage. Our three year old was saying the names of all the things she was cutting out and we expanded on this by gluing the pictures onto cards and writing the word in French.

mini red and pink scrolls in glass bottle

We are learning Dolch pre-primer sight words at our house and are always looking for ways to test our kiddos. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we decided to incorporate a little pink and red with our messages in a bottle activity for sight word practice. Kiddos can shake and shout to their heart's content. Warning: You will be singing that...

animal x-rays

Buying or taking the time to make a lightbox for your kiddos is a great investment. They won't use it everyday, but on days when you want something a little extra special, it's the perfect thing. We found these animal x-rays to be super special!

painted solar system

Adults and kiddos alike will enjoy studying and putting together this model solar system. Be creative and paint the planets colors you see fit. Explore NASA's website and learn facts about our solar system. Tons of great pictures, videos, and interactive tools. There is an awesome kids section that includes games, coloring, and puzzles.

orange flower

A garden nursery is such an enthralling place to take kiddos. The smell of soil, flowers, and seedlings is intoxicating. Kiddos will be captivated by all the colors and types of plants. Study the names and requirements for each. We typically wander the aisles debating over which plant needs to come home with us. We usually end up with ten.

black spiral journal and colored pencils

Journaling is a essential part of our homeschool. It takes many forms, and often doesn't include any words. It's a time to be still. Just having a small book or stash of paper where kiddos can pen their thoughts or feelings through notes and pictures is all you need. That and some fancy colored pencils or markers. Oh, and a comfy bean bag chair. Maybe a glass of water.