Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Great Gifts to give- that use more than just your thumbs!

Birthday and Christmas presents use to be so fun!
One year great-grandma sent my boys this gift.

I was touched by how thoughtful this gift was. (Grandma's are wonderful, GREAT-grandma's are inspired!) This was before I ever thought about book clubs for my boys. This probably was the first seed planted in my mind-- the importance of helping children connect to books and stories by adding a "hands on" element.

When my boys were little- they wanted toys! Things to extend their imagination. Now they want "toys"- that require no imagination, thought or effort. (Smart phones and Play Station games etc..)

When I heard my sons talk about their Christmas wish lists, I was getting depressed a little. But I am always up for a challenge. So I challenged myself to "think outside the (x)box" this year for Christmas.

I want to inspire my boys again- to use their brains and their imagination! lol

So I set the hook and bait......
Yesterday I brought home a simple electricity kit. ($20) (I thought it would be great for our family and also to use in my Kindergarten Prep.)

 This is a great kit- worth every penny. It comes with a story book that teaches simple principles and ideas about electricity. The kit is geared for 5-10 year olds. It has experiments they can do! Real circuits they can create to generate a pinwheel, a light, a buzzer and more.

After spending the day with this kit, my 14 year old and 16 year old said, "Okay- where's next step up kit? The ones for teenagers??"

I found this book and a kit at MAKER that has all the wires and electronics you need to do half of the activities in the book. (They sell a kit with the electronics for the other half of the activities.) I said, "Gee I don't know, (wink/wink) the kit for your age is a little over a $100." Both my teenagers said, "We need it!" (I was thinking: Is this officially on your wish list??)

They took the bait!
I know my kids, YOUR kids are interested in so much MORE than video games, cell phones, social media.
They want and crave REAL experiences. Hands on learning- things that will build their confidence and inspire their minds.

So take the challenge this season. I am sure your kids already have plenty of access to computer games and media. Think outside the (x)box.

Come back and visit often, I will be posting great toys, games, and activities that will inspire.

Feel free to click on images in my posts of books and toys- they will link you to the actual sites where you can purchase them. I am an affiliate with, I get a small "tip" for referring people to buy from their site. But other sites, like I have no affiliation with.