Friday, October 26, 2012

10 Christmas Gift Ideas & Stocking Stuffers

I despise clutter.  Toys that are not played with are clutter.  They lay around, take up space and need to look organized.  In the past I have bought for the sake of buying and having a HUGE presentation under my tree...then I realized that I really don't want my girls to get caught up in that aspect of Christmas...although I guess there is a part of me that is happy they will remember walking out on Christmas morning to PILES of gifts.  But now I try to keep it simple.  I observe what my girls enjoy doing and buy accordingly.

Here are our favorite gifts that will be used for years to come and probably passed down to their kids:

1.  Citiblocs - these are a less expensive version of Keva or Kapla blocks, but they are the EXACT same thing.  We love them.  They are all exactly the same size and weight and with them you can build all kinds of things from ramps to towers to arches.
citiblocs are great for teaching many things

2.  Good Quality Art Supplies - we've learned the hard way that the better quality art supplies are usually worth the money, especially paint brushes.  Cancel cable, give your kids art supplies and set them free!

3.  GeoSafari Digital Recording Lab - we don't actually own this yet, but my friend Karen suggested it and it sounds super cool!  Kids get to play around with circuitry and record their voices and sound effects.

4.  Snap Circuits - we do own this and we LOVE it!  I was not sure how much my girls would use it--they can't get enough of it!  We started with a small kit and added on to it.  We all enjoy seeing how things will work and altering things to see if a different configuration will work the way we think it will.

5.  Digital Camera/Camcorder/editing software - my girls use these for stop animation or to make videos with friends.  They use their ipods and ipads for this, too, but they say they feel more "official" with the cameras and I like that the software they use to edit is not quite as easy as the ipod software (don't get my wrong, I love IG and ipod/pad apps as much as the next girl, but I like that my kids are learning video and photo editing software).

6.  Legos - no explanation needed--hours of fun and creativity!

7.  Tikatok Gift Certificate - my girls got these last year and I still need to write a review.  Basically, this is AWESOME!  Kids can write a story and illustrate it, mail it in and have it bound into a high quality book.

8.  K'nex - my girls have made ferris wheels and catapults and all kinds of things with these.

9.  Games

10.  School Desks & Chalk/whiteboard - we bought two old metal school desks from a Catholic school that was closing and a whiteboard and my girls have spent DAYS playing school.

Stocking Stuffer ideas:

I hate to put a lot of candy in the stockings.  We always have so much junk in the house around the holidays, anyway.
  • body washes, shampoos
  • nail polish (girls)
  • gloves, mittens
  • toothbrushes
  • dental floss
  • fashion/entertainment magazine
  • fancy pens
  • itunes gift cards
  • hair clips for girls