Best blocks and play structures for open ended creative play.
Gift guide for artistic kids (and adults). I’ve steered away from arty kits towards more open ended high quality materials and interesting toys with an artistic twist.
Best educational math, science, STEM toy gift guide.
Toys to keep kids active this winter and all during the year. This gift guide includes tricycles, pogos, sleds, luge sleds and more.
These toys, books, games and devices help make reading fun. They make great birthday gifts too!
I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.
My brother-in-law turned me on to the Golden Apple Toy Awards, from GreatSchools, which are really great educational but fun toys vetted by kids, parents and teachers. I added a few more time-tested toys that we’ve used over and over for the last decade at my house.
Dragons and aliens and dinosaurs, oh my! And for girls, there are interesting slightly mischieveous girls to meet as well as cousins who are really sweet. Short chapter book series can often have repetitive plot lines about nothing or language that is neither rich nor interesting. There is something special about each of these book series for the child AND the adult reading along.
Every summer I stress out about what books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future. This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multi-cultural books. What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school. I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library!
I found this list of math apps from TouchReviews.net that I didn’t know about. You know me, I love math and apps so it’s a match made in heaven particularly if my kids will play them thinking that it’s fun. And one day, when I review enough great math apps, I will do a Top 10: Math App list of my own!
Gift Ideas for Mother-in-Law (MIL) and Father-in-Law (FIL)
My mother-in-law, like my own mother, is easy to shop for because they are both became artists after they retired and are quite talented and even selling their work and/or getting commissions! Gifting around a hobby is always an easy option but … what if your in laws don’t have hobbies that lend themselves to gifts? Read more…
Personalized Gifts for Teachers, Friends, and Relatives
My favorite small indulgence is a beautiful personalized return address stamper that has lasted for years from Fine Stationary. It’s the star of my Personalized Gifts from last year and when I gifted it to teachers, they also really appreciated it.
Kids’ art also makes a great personalized gifts for grandparents when you turn it into pendants, cuff links, dish towels and coasters!
I like the idea of personalized gifts but you do have to plan ahead since it can take a few weeks to receive.
Kids Make Gift Ideas
My idea for kids making gifts for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles is clove fruit — clove apples, clove oranges, clove clementines, clove kumquats, and clove lady apples. We tackled this craft project last year and found that it wasn’t too difficult though it takes longer than you’d think. This year we will try smaller fruit like lady apples and kumquats! Keep in mind too that you don’t have to cover the fruit entirely in cloves and it will still smell nice and look pretty. Read more…
Homemade Granola for Neighbors & Teachers
Capability:Mom and I are teaming up for the third year to update our 12 Days of Shopping series meant to help you during your holiday shopping. We put our heads together to think of everyone we need to buy or make a gift for and then researched and wracked our brains to come up with gift ideas.
Holiday Gift Ideas: 12 Days of Ideas for Everyone On Your List
Capability:Mom and I are on our third year of the joint posting on the 12 Days of Shopping. Starting tomorrow, we will be co-posting on a variety of gift ideas for everyone on our list. She takes one category and I take the other: Read more…
Book Gift List for Kids, Moms and Dads
Shopping for books as gifts is my very favorite holiday errand. In years past, I just gifted small piles of books to everyone on my list. My favorite is to match up a picture book for an adult — it works great as teacher and principal gifts!
How about you? Do you give a lot of books as holiday gifts? Read more…
The Dad Checklist: To Teach Your Kids Practical Skills
Before my neighbor Jeff renovated his house, I used to see him outside in his breezeway working with saw horses and power tools. I think he was crafting fine furniture which is an unusual skill for a Harvard man (though there is a deluxe and highly underutilized wood shop in the basement of the Science Center at Harvard). Read more…
Roller Coaster Physics for Kids is Fun!
I wish I had been introduced to physics at a young age in a way that made it fun. I learned physics, painfully, in high school and struggled through pre-med physics in college. I never got an intuitive sense of physics and my impression was that it was a formula to be memorized and calculated. Read more…