All right guys, this is the one I had the most requests for! Next up is our Homeschool Mama Gift Guide. Enjoy!
For the Babies (0-12 months):
1) Sarah’s Silks. This is my go to baby gift- especially the teethers. They are so lovely, soft and a perfect early sensory experience.
2) The softest swaddle blankets. My boys loved these.
3) A bead grasper from Grimm’s Speil and Holz
4) A Bella baby terry cloth doll. These are small and sweet and soft, perfect for little hands!
5) Music by Elizabeth Mitchell. We love “You are My Little Bird,” “Sunny Day,” and a Christmas album called “The Sounding Joy.” And, of course, my most favorite music album for babies OF ALL TIME 🙂 “Hidden in my Heart.”
6) Beautiful Poetry and Stories recorded by Jim Weiss. The more beautiful words babies are exposed to-the better!
For Toddlers (1-2/3)
1) Grimm’s Spiel & Holz Wooden Stacker is an heirloom quality toy that is incredibly beautiful and well made.
2) Grimm’s Spiel & Holz Nesting Bowls are equally wonderful for this developmental age.
3) HABA’s First board games. We love this sweet collection of first board games for littles, especially those that are mentally ready for “bigger things” but not quite there emotionally. Most of these games are appropriate for ages 2+
4) A sweet percussion station for children to experiment with. We loved handing our kids instruments and turning up tunes for them to jam out with. They developed a special fondness for many different forms of Brazilian music.
5) One of the best things I ever did as a Mom was say YES every single time one of my toddler said “me do it” or ” I help Mama.” They were never discouraged from helping, in fact, I went out of my way to involve them and praise them even if it meant more work for me later. These days my kids do a large share of the chores around here and its a huge blessing to our whole family. A great way to encourage littles is to give them child sized tools. (Remember this is a great gift for a child in that precious little “me do it” phase. Please don’t buy your 12 year old a broom for Christmas with the hopes that they’ll love it and skip off to do chores).
6) I always love to give a gift that says to my child “I trust you to be responsible with the next big thing. I believe you are capable and smart and able.” Now what this item is varies from child to child. My children have received everything from plants to pets to knives. For a child this young maybe the next big step is a toddler bed or a balance bike or a small square of the yard that belongs to THEM and they can use it to grow a veggie garden or make a fairy garden, the point is the gift relays a powerful message just in time for the new year.
7) Wooden animals. We love the Holtziger brand best and purchased most of ours from Padilly.
Homegrown Preschoolers (3+)
1)The Homegrown Preschooler Curriculum! (obvs!) Now just to clarify. There is a wonderful BOOK called “The Homegrown Preschooler” by Lesli Richards and Kathy Lee and its WONDERFUL. I love it and use it often. Then there is their curriculum called “A Year of Playing Skillfully” which is my favorite of all time. (Read this, this and this). If I were to buy this curriculum for Christmas I would set a bunch of the activities up under the tree for my kids to play with right away. Right now Homegrown Preschooler is offering $20 off their curriculum along with the free ebook, 2 sets of water beads, a free sensory kit. Huzzah! P.S. They also have an awesome 12 Days of Christmas thing going down on their Instagram and Facebook page so check it out!
2) An art basket stocked with jumbo brushes, funky brushes , shape sponges, no spill cups, do a dot markers, color diffusing paper and your favorite washable non toxic paints.
3) Sensory Bin tools! Fine Motor Tools, Water Beads, or separated by color if you have one of those kiddos! (Always, always, always make sure the beads you buy are NON TOXIC and safe for play, vase fillers at the Dollar Tree will burn your child). Jumbo tweezers, stacking cups, water play cups and safari toobs (We always get our at Michaels with their weekly coupons!)
5) Set up a play area in your backyard full of natural materials like river stones, rocks, tree stumps and sticks. You can find great tree trimmings on the side of the road on Saturday afternoons. A nice big tonka truck or two would be a nice touch!
6) Alphabet Tracing Board From Jennifer. All orders at this shop will not arrive before Christmas due to high volume orders.
7) A Big Box of Dress Up Clothes
Beautiful wings and fairytale cloaks from Bella Luna Toys or Magic Cabin are always a great option. Or a simple trip to a thrift store for odds and ends can go a very long way!
10) A Space to Call Their Own. It can be a nice multi-use table or a beat up old coffee table. Push it up against a corner and decorate with Cavallini paper from Paper Source or odds and ends from places like Tanglewood Hollow or Mirus Toys or Twig and Moth.