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Get your holiday shopping out of the way with great gifts for the entire family! This post contains links to all my gift guides, as well as my Must Have Products page. More content will be added throughout the holiday season, so check back regularly! As always, many of the products I recommend are ones we use in our own home, and love (if there is a product we haven't used, I always make selections based on overall product rating, brand, and a review of the product's details).
The Gift Guide Roundup!
1. 10 Great Toddler Toys - Toys my child loves, and your's will, too!
2.Stocking Stuffers (and small gifts) for Toddlers and Preschoolers - This post contains both Christmas and Hanukkah gifts and books!
3. 3 Types of Bath Toys Your Toddler Will Love - These bath toys make for amazing gifts for your toddler, or an addition to a baby registry.
4. Great Nonfiction Reads for Dog Parents - Get the dog lover in your life a book they will love! These are some of my favorite nonfiction books about dogs (mostly...).
5. Fishing Themed Toys and Books - Does your child love the ocean? Is your family big into fishing? These ocean and fish themed books and toys make for great additions!
6. Gifts for Her - Great gifts for the woman in your life. Home spa and self care products, clothing, accessories, and much more!
7. Gifts for Him - These gifts are sure to impress, and with top ratings (and an enthusiastic recommendation from my husband), you will have no problem finding the perfect gift for the guy in your life!
8. Top Rated Gifts for Kids - These 4+ Star gifts (almost all are 4.5 and higher) for kids of all ages are sure to impress!
9. Holiday Deals on Amazon - Find the latest deals on Amazon here!
Nothing on this list striking your interest? Check out my Must Have Products page for tons of recommendations for craft materials, organizational items, decor, books, toys, and much more!
And be sure to check back regularly for more additions to this list! Coming soon: Budget Gifts, The Best Gifts for Book Lovers, and more!
Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can learn more about my participation in this program here.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, check out these great books and activities! They are perfect for both homeschooling families, and those just looking for themed activities.
Classic Handprint Turkey
If you grew up in the United States, you almost certainly have memories of doing handprint turkeys around Thanksgiving. The concept is simple; trace your hand, then add a beak and some legs. Voila! You have a turkey!
As a mommy blogger, of course I have to give my own take on the project!
The core concept remains the same, but I've added a few flairs of my own. Here is my take on the classic handprint turkey craft!
What you will need:
How to make your turkeys:
And that's it! Want to elaborate on this activity, or dress it up some? Try these great modifications:
No subscription needed for these great coloring pages!
Create a family gratitude list or journal! You can do this in several ways. One is to use a nice journal or notebook, and add entries each day with what each family member is grateful for. Younger children can add drawings to the book. Another option is to create a scrapbook of collages with what each family member is grateful for. An alternate form of this activity is to have your child create a gratitude collage by printing pictures of things that symbolize what they are grateful for, and gluing them on paper. Older children can also add captions or printed words to their collages. Finally, you can also use my gratitude journal printables and put them in a binder using page protectors or just a 3 hole punch.
If you are a newsletter subscriber, be sure to check out the Thanksgiving folder for some great new printables! Included are some velcro activities (I used them to make a Thanksgiving binder book game; you can get instructions on how to make one here), a counting worksheet, and gratitude journaling pages for the entire family!
Great Read: I am Thankful
I am Thankful is a new seasonal favorite in our home this year (both me and my child love it!). Featuring a diverse cast of characters, this relatable story discusses the many things children may experience as Thanksgiving traditions, and the many things (and people) they may be grateful for. The book also contains a variety of activities you can do.
Other Highly Rated Thanksgiving Books Your Child Might Like!
Create Your Own Parade Floats
Using materials of your choice (boxes, plastic bottles, paper, pom poms, sequins, toys, balloons, etc.), create parade floats and put on your own Thanksgiving Parade around the house!
Baking is one of my favorite activities to do as a family, and Thanksgiving baking is no different. Check out some of my favorite recipes, or use your own!
I'll be sharing even more soon!
Even More Ideas!
I love this turkey building activity from Beary Sweet Home. There are also tons of recommendations for other activities, books, and printables!
I also love this turkey weaving activity from The Growing Creatives (you can also find it pinned on my Pinterest).
You can also find a bunch of great activities on Amazon. Here are a few highly rated options your kids may love!
Want even more ideas? Be sure to check out my Pinterest account! I have tons of Thanksgiving and autumn ideas from other bloggers across a number of different boards. And stay tuned to my blog; I will be adding more activities soon!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can learn more about my participation in this program here.
For our homeschooling letter W theme, I picked the seasonally appropriate word 'witch'. And what better book to celebrate Halloween and discuss the concept of witches than 'Room on the Broom'. This adorable picture book discusses the themes of kindness and friendship, as a witch is helped by a series of new pals, who she (in return) allows to join her and her cat on their adventures. But that is just the start of how these new friends help one another on a particularly stormy autumn evening! I'll not give spoiler, but I will provide you access to some of the awesome activities I developed (or in some cases, collected) just for this book!
Room on the Broom Velcro Activity
As you read the book, you can use this velcro activity to help children track what is happening in the story. Have your child pick out the appropriate pieces, removing them or adding them to the velcro board. The activity is a great, hands on, visual aid for comprehension.
You can find this activity in my free subscriber's resource library.
Room on the Broom Videos
My little one has been enjoying watching this cute Room on the Broom cartoon on YouTube. It pairs imagery with the classic book text, read out loud.
A second fun version reads the book outloud as a song, with video graphics!
Witch Themed Coloring Pages; Letter W Coloring Page
I'm making a few of these pages available for immediate download. The rest are available in my subscriber's only resource library.
For immediate download:
And for those who have subscribed to the library, check out the newest addition to coloring pages! The letter W page is already uploaded there.
Witch Matching Velcro Activity
Another subscriber's resource library exclusive, I added this activity to my busy book for independent play and learning. Simple laminate two copies, cut out the shapes from one copy, and add velcro to make your own. You can also have your child color the pages prior to laminating (for extra fun).
Witch's Hat Craft
What you'll need:
This activity is super simple! Just cut out a witch's had shape (use the stencil below)- use one plate/piece of paper for the triangle shape, and one to make a flattened oval. Glue them into the shape of a hat, and then decorate!
If you want to make a band, simple place the hat on your child's forehead, use the paper or twine and measure the circumference, and then tie or glue to the hat! Make sure to leave room for your child to pull the hat on and off, though.
Magical Mud Sensory Play
Making magical mud is easy. It is just ooblek! If you've not made it before, the recipe is easy, and uses ingredients you probably already have in house:
That's it! You'll need a 2:1 ratio, so 1 cup of cornstarch for 1/2 cup of water (or whatever sized batch you'd like)
Want to make it extra 'muddy'? Just add food dye; you'll want to add all the colors to make a nice, gunky, brown color.
Then, let your kids play! If you'd like, you can let them cover animals in the ooblek, too (just like the animals cover themselves in mud in the book).
The great thing about ooblek is it really does seem magical. Defying the boundary between solids and liquids, this amazing activity is bound to get your kids thinking.
Witch's Brew Sensory Play
This one isn't my activity, but head over to Tot School Resources for their Spooky Witch's Brew Science Experiment. It is a perfect complement to my Room on the Broom activities!
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The winter holidays will be here before you know it, and if you are like me, you sometimes need a bit of inspiration to come up with great stocking stuffers for children who are a bit young for small trinkets (many small toys contain choking hazards for toddlers!). I remember googling, trying to find great lists of creative gift ideas for my toddler. This year, I am sharing my little one's favorite small toys, perfect for stocking stuffers or Hanukkah presents (if you do smaller gifts each evening), as well as ideas from friends, family, and based on high ratings!
You'll surely be able to find something your toddler will love on this list!
Disclaimer: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can read more about my participation in this program here.
From Our Home
We have another Eric Carle puzzle set by this same brand, and my little one loves it! I wasn't able to find the version we have, but these are quite similar!
These bath toys make tubby time fun and educational! My child absolutely loves the letters and numbers, and I found that Munchkin makes an animal shape version, too!
This puzzle has been a staple in my home for months. It is a great educational toy, and like all Melissa and Doug products, is of great quality.
This monkey is soft and adorable! One of my toddler's favorite stuffed toys, I'm sure your little one will love it as much as mine does!
Daniel Tiger is a TV favorite in our home, and this trolley keeps my child busy long after the TV is off. It has a pull back and go feature that your toddler is sure to love.
Want even more awesome Daniel Tiger characters? We also have O the Owl, though not any of the other friends. Here are some other sets:
Some Favorite Toddler Board Books from Our Home
My little one is a bookworm, so I'd have to do multiple posts to share his entire library. But here are a few great options my little one loves, and yours will, too!
Loved by Friends, Family, and My Classroom
These are toys and books I love, but that we don't have at our home. My friends' children and my students have loved them, and your children are sure to love them, too!
Highly Rated Toys on Amazon
The options above just not quite right? Here are some other great stocking stuffers that come from great brands and are highly rated on Amazon. I've found that bath toys are one of the best stocking stuffer options, and most are water play safe!
Highly Rated Holiday Board Books* on Amazon
*Mostly! There are a few that aren't board books, but looked too good not to share.
Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko
Okay, so this one isn't a board book, but it looked too good not to share!
Be sure to share this with anyone shopping for a toddler this holiday season!
Disclaimer: This post contains links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program helps support this blog and has no added cost or strings attached for you. Click here to learn more.
What kid doesn’t love a dirt cup? And just in time for beach season, here is a perfect take on this classic dessert. Use the ingredients and instructions below, or just get creative and have fun!
What you will need:
Click on images to view product pages. We've not used these items in our own home, but they have great reviews on Amazon and would be great additions to this project.
You may also like the following products for this activity:
Click on images to view product pages. We've not used these items purchased from Amazon in our own home, but they have great reviews on Amazon and would be great additions to this project.
In three easy steps your child can create this adorable and delicious beach themed dessert.
MAKE IT EDUCATIONAL!
Many readers already know baking is educational. Measuring helps teach fractions and fine motor skills. Baking helps teach sequences, following steps, highlights cause and effect, and for older children, gives the opportunity to practice reading skills.
So, to use the sand cup activity as a homeschool activity, simply have your children help with baking!
You can use prompts below as a guide, and tailor them to your child's academic level:
1. Read the instructions. What is the first step?
2. First we pour 'x'. What comes next?
3. We need [1/2 cup] of [sugar]. Let's look at the bottom number (the denominator). How many parts make a whole in this fraction? (Answer = 2).
4. What temperature do we need to set the oven at? What do you think would happen if we set it higher? Lower?
5. Let's use the food dye to make new colors! What color do you think yellow and blue would make? What about red and blue? What would happen if we added more [red/blue/yellow/green] to this?
6. The recipe says to bake for 30 minutes? 30 minutes is how much of an hour? (Answer: 1/2 Hour). What if we baked for 15 minute? How many parts of an hour would that be (Answer: 1/4)? How many parts of 30 minutes is 15 minutes? (Answer 15/30, 1/2, etc.).
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Planning a first birthday party, a general kids birthday party, or looking for new fun activities? This post has ALL of that, and MORE.
Above: Image of a menu card with a fishing pole and three bobbers. Menu reads "Goldfish, Swedish fish candy, Pretzel "Fishing" Rod, Lifesaver/Gummy Ring Life Preservers, Sand Cups, Veggie Rods with Dip.
Be sure to check out the following cake topper options on Amazon to recreate the looks above! Just click on the images to navigate to the product pages.
Above: Clickable image link for cake topper; It is a brown "The Big One" sign with a green fish clipped to it.
Above: Clickable image link for a cake topper. It has two sticks (each topped with a bobber) with colorful fish hanging from a line, and a brown sign in the middle that say "The Big One" and has fish and a bobber on it.
Above: Memory Cards. These cards have a blue border and a white center with the shape of a wave. The top of the card has a fishing pole with a yellow and red fish, and three bobbers. It also has a section to write the birthday child's name. The bottom of the card has a section for guests to write their names.
Above: Memory Poster. The poster has a blue border and a white center with the shape of a wave. The top of the card has a fishing pole with a yellow and red fish, and three bobbers. It also says "The Big One" in red and a space to write the birthday child's name.
Above: Clickable image showing red and white bobbers available for purchase from Amazon (accessible text link available in the above section)
Above: Printable bobber tags.
Above: Clickable image that brings you to the Amazon Product page for a banner that says "The Big One". The banner has four fish (red, yellow, green, and blue) and three bobbers, each with a single word (the, big, and one). Click here to view product page
Above: Printable poster available in the Big One Printables Kit. Poster says "The Big One" in red in the center of the image. The top right includes a fishing pole and a single bobber. Blue fish are shown in the center. Three bobbers are located in the bottom left corner.
THANK YOU BAGS AND CARDS
We gave out goodie bags (available in the nautical themed first birthday kit here) containing candy, as well as letting our guests bring home their own fish (see below for the product we purchased).
You can also use the bobber tags from the printables kit and/or the printable thank you notes. Either use a hole puncher and ribbon to affix the tags to the bags, or handwrite thank you messages on the notes for your child to mail/give to your guests.
Above: Three images showing three different thank you card options.
The top thank you card has a blue border, says thank you in red at the top, has a fishing pole and three bobbers in the top left corner, and has a square in the center that says "Insert Picture Here". The background is white with light blue fish. The bottom left thank you card has a blue border, says thank you in red at the top, has a fishing pole and three bobbers in the top left corner, and has a background that is white with light blue fish. The background is white with light blue fish. The bottom right thank you card has a blue border, says thank you in red in the center, has a fishing pole and three bobbers in the top left corner, and has a background that is white with light blue fish.
We ordered an adorable Big One onesie and a crown from Amazon. And, the choices turned out adorable, if I do say so myself!
Taking this theme beyond the party: Resources and links to fun and educational thematic content
Be sure to check out the following content:
And coming very soon.... Literacy Kits!
The Big One - Printables Kit
- 4 different bobber tag/photo banner options.
- 1 "The Big One" Poster
- 1 Memory Template Card for Guests to Fill Out
- 1 Memory Poster for Guests to Paste Bobber Tags with Memories On
- 1 Menu Card - Blank
- 1 Menu Card - Filled with Sample Menu
- 3 Thank You Card Options
- 1 Pin the Tail on The Fish Set (1 poster, 2 pages of tails)
- 6 Pages of Photo Booth Props/Decorations
- 1 Page of Multisized Fish Tags
- 1 Decorate Your Own Fish Template
- 2 Pages of Fish for Decorations or Fishing Activity
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Find more recipes, product recommendations, activities, and more!
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Crafts For Adults
Evidence Based Parenting
Kids Culinary Activities
Middle School Years
Teal Pumpkin Project
Trick Or Treat
Westchester County Moms