Gifts That Make a Difference

With the ever pressing holidays growing near parents are busy doing lots of shopping for the holidays. Here are a few ideas you can use to give a gift that will last long after the holidays are over. Children lose interest in toys quickly, especially toys that inspire no creativity. Give them a gift they can enjoy long after the holidays and kindle a new passion they can carry throughout their lives.

1. Books. We give our children books at every occasion. They are each building their own library from little on. Once they move out on their own they will have a nice collection of books that they can treasure and share for generations. Be sure to choose classics, books the child will never tire of reading and if you have the choice of hardback or paper back why not opt for the hardback? It’s worth it and it will last much longer. My 7 year-old son is carrying around and reading daily from the 594 page A Child’s History of the World by Virgil Hillyer. The size of the book did not discourage this young reader. In fact he is enjoying the exciting stories that are presented in a grandfather narrative form. We never grow too old for a good book.

2. Natural Toys and Crafts. Search for toys that are well built. It would be better to buy a few well built toys rather than a pile of cheap toys that will quickly break or be forgotten. Search for toys that build skill or help teach a life skill. Boys like Legos and blocks, magnifying glasses, binoculars, tools, bug catchers, painting, drawing, wooden swords and shields, wooden boats and trains, musical instruments, balls and bats. Girls like dolls, dishes, dress up, blocks, knitting, painting, coloring, candle making,  flower pressing, musical instruments and games.

For younger children, here are two resources: http://www.novanatural.com and http://www.musicforlittlepeople.com

3. Kits and Art Supplies. Expose your children to all mediums of art. You don’t have to be an artist to do so. Check your local bookseller for fabulous kits to introduce arts such as sewing sock animals, knitting, Chinese brush painting, watercolor painting, acrylics painting, pottery, drawing, paper arts and much more. A trip to your local art supply store and you can find a world of many things to try. Don’t just leave it up to the kids. Join in the fun. I’ve had some of the most enjoyable and rewarding times spent doing art with my children. It’s so much fun to get right in there with them and create. You don’t have to be good at it, just enjoy it. We all should be doing a little something creative everyday. http://www.dickblick.com

4. Gift Cards to Art Classes and Lessons. Find local art classes or places where your child can take lessons from a professional or expert artist. Sign up for a few months so the child can gain proficiency. As a parent take the class together to make it more meaningful.

5. Take a Trip. Celebrate by taking a trip either far, far away or locally. Explore something new. What can you learn? What can you share? Make it a theme birthday or holiday around your chosen location. Be sure to take lots of pictures because this will be a memory of a lifetime. My children still talk about the birthday celebration in California. We are thinking about taking a trip to the snow for Christmas.

Enjoy your holiday and birthday celebrations. This is where many of your memories are created so be sure to make them special focusing on the love for each other.

About Donna Vail (59 Posts)

Donna Vail is an education-parenting specialist, coach, mompreneur, homeschooling mother of six children, author and founder of An Inspired Education. She helps families create a lifestyle of true freedom by balancing education, work and life through self-education, entrepreneurship and inspiration. She is a highly sought after consultant for her successful guidance and resources that enable parents to let go of traditional parenting and education models, creating a lifestyle of learning where the whole family flourishes. Donna consults families around the world who all repeatedly express their restored confidence in homeschooling, parenting and personal development. In 1995 when homeschooling was little known to the masses, Donna traded in her daily commute to the office, to work from home and homeschool her children. For the last 17 years, she has successfully homeschooled her children and now through her writing, speaking, workshops, special programs and private consults coaches parents around the world to success in their homeschools. Her passion for education excellence has her constantly researching and developing new ways to support and nurture children. She lives an Inspired Education with her husband and children in Plano, Texas. Connect with Donna and access her wealth of resources at her website: An Inspired Education.


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  1. 1

    Great post Donna, people who know me, know that a good book will always be well received by me. :-)