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OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

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    #16
    Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

    A treasured Christmas present we received a few years ago, which is loved by the entire family, is a reproduction of a marble chaser my husband's grandfather had as a child. It is a simple wooden toy that never gets old to play with and is enjoyed by kids (and adults) of all ages. It does result in finding marbles all over the house and must be put up during school time because the noise drives me crazy.
    Anne

    2020/2021
    DD 8 - 3M with Prima Latina
    DD 6 - MP core 1st grade
    DS 4 - along for the ride

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      #17
      Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

      We took our entire Christmas pot and put it in savings for a trip abroad to come. I think it'll take 1.5 years to save for it, but hopefully it will allow my youngest to mature a bit and perhaps remember it. Anyways, we've had fun making suggestions when relatives ask for gift ideas for the kids.

      My 8 yo girl has been sent a MadLibs book (Best of 50 Years), some cute Usborne books: sticker dolly dressing fashion designer weddings & a fashion designer pad, space mazes, DoaWK The Meltdown, a personalized beach towel from PBK, a Christmas hair bow, a Christmas dress and Mary Janes.

      My 5 yo was gifted a 15 pk of Disney Cars minis and the race track. My brother sent Baffin snow boots because even though it's the south, the last 5 years have brought some record snowfall (12"). My little guy even used them today with our flurries that didn't stick. My mom, who teaches my kids music, got them season's tickets and a pair of drumsticks.

      I usually get them beautiful Hammonds candy canes and a little toy elf that poops jellybeans. We have a candy snowball launcher from last year I thought about refilling with white jellybeans from Trader Joe's.
      Mama of 2, teacher of 3
      SY 22/23
      6A, teaching TFL & CC Chreia/Maxim w/ Elementary Greek Year One
      MP2

      Completed MPK, MP1, MP2, 3A, 4A, 5A
      SC B, SC C, SC1 (Phonics/Math)

      Comment


        #18
        Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

        Originally posted by makinmemories
        This is a great question. We have also noticed that as the kids get older it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with gifts that are worth it.

        I think I’ve mentioned it before but we always have wild success with a big box of paintballs and slingshots. We also like archery, so bows and arrows are always fun and gets them outside.

        My oldest quite literally becomes whoever he is currently reading about so a good costume to wear always brings a smile to his face. Last year it was a simple Roman soldier hat. We’ve also done knights armor and of course swords. A few years ago we got them the, “Armor of God,” knight set (Rainbow Resource) and even though they have outgrown it, they still play with it and make it work. It also solidified the meaning for the sword, breastplate, helmet, etc. <3

        Earlier this year we were introduced to the game Settlers of Catan. Everyone really enjoyed it and they will spend about 2 hours playing it with friends. It’s really an interesting game to play and once you master one phase you can expand on it so this Christmas we are adding Cities and Knights. I think that it will be a big hit.

        I have thought about putting the Latin version of a children’s book in their stocking just for giggles. I’ve seen Quomodo Invidiosulus nomine Grinchus Christi natalem Abrogaverit and Abor Alma. Being completely ignorant of if they are good translations or not, I have hesitated.

        I hope you get your glass cake stand and dome. I'm going for a double belgian waffle maker!
        Oooh! Let's talk about this paintballs and slingshots gift. My boys would be over the moon. Did you create targets, or let them shoot each other? I'm envisioning a pouch of some sort to hold the paintballs? Most importantly: DOES THE PAINT WASH OUT?

        We have Catan Jr that was gifted to us, and we LOVE it. I prefer the junior version of these, because, I don't have 2 hours to play a game. #keepingitreal
        Plans for 2022-23

        Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

        DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
        DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
        DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
        DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
        DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
        DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

        Comment


          #19
          Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

          Originally posted by howiecram View Post
          We do not Catan (jr or regular, but we love the jr version of a ticket to ride.
          Ticket to Ride Jr is on sale on Amazon. I'm thinking about buying it. I sent it to my mom, but not sure if she pulled the trigger.
          Plans for 2022-23

          Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

          DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
          DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
          DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
          DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
          DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
          DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

          Comment


            #20
            Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

            Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
            Settlers of Katan is a great game. Buckle down for a long session when you get it out and figure out how to play. Playing is much more fun that figuring it out. Does anyone have the junior version? Thinking of getting that for little guy who often gets excluded from the older kid games. 😔
            AHHHHH! We LOVE the Catan Jr. It was gifted to us over the summer, and we just pulled it out a few weeks ago. We adore it.
            Maeve (6) and Daniel (4) do play it, with help for Daniel.

            For games with which I am unfamiliar, I google, "How to play XYZ". There's usually a YT video that pops up in search.
            Plans for 2022-23

            Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

            DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
            DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
            DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
            DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
            DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
            DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

            Comment


              #21
              Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

              Originally posted by Nerdmom View Post
              Our go-to ideas are books, board games, handicrafts, stem stuff, music stuff, and outdoors stuff.

              We do a lot of camping, so individual toiletries bags made the cut this year (exciting, I know. You can stop drooling now).

              Merit badge kits (workbook + needed materials). New violin stuff (rosin, a new bow, a music dictionary). I mean c'mon, Christmas is sounding exhilarating around here, isn't it? Mom even gets some new garage shelves (woohoo!).

              Also, STEM stuff that doesn't make the curriculum. Robot kit, snap circuits, electronic paper airplane kit...

              Latchhook, coloring, woodburning, calligraphy, woodworking have all made the cut at some point.

              Really though, our Christmas standard has been mostly practical stuff, and one or two really exciting things (inflatable kayaks for the family! Shhhh! Don't tell!). It has worked well so far!

              Hope that gets the creative juices flowing for your own family!
              I want to hear more about this ---
              Merit badge kits --- let's chat. My husband was exploring the idea of spearheading a Trail Life troop, but that's going to have to wait, due to family issues. I want to know what you're doing with these merit badges.

              Woodworking --- are these independant kits for your children?

              And please, someone explain to me why snap circuits always top the list? I'm not seeing it. (meaning, I don't understand the appeal)
              Plans for 2022-23

              Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

              DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
              DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
              DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
              DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
              DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
              DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

              Comment


                #22
                Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                Originally posted by Angela View Post
                My kids are into Extreme Dot to Dot, origami kits and paper, and any kind of science or art kit. I like these kinds of things that they can work on quietly and individually when we need them to.

                I'm driving my relatives crazy. So far I've been offered a Nintendo and electronic Super Hero readers, both of which I've declined in favor of more wholesome (IMO) activities. I don't think my MIL was impressed when I asked for a set of the Primary Phonics readers, and I know those won't be as exciting to open. I'm trying to keep a balance of purely "fun" and more practical/ educational types of gifts. So, she's getting the 5 year old the readers and also a nice set of Star Wars Legos.

                It's so exciting to have fun toys to open, but honestly, how many of our kids need more of that stuff around? I already feel like my boys' bedroom is overflowing with toys that rarely get used. And I hate feeding that present greed that is so easy to get this time of year. But on the other hand, I love to delight my kids and lavish good things on them in celebration of the greatest Giver and Gift of all! It is a hard line to walk...
                I have already purchased quite a bit --- but I found lots of deals, on things I knew my kids would enjoy. Honestly. Fox Trot books for 0.50 at a local library sale. (I bought ALL they had) Professor Noggin games were on sale -- so I bought Human Body, Ancient World, and others that I can't remember. If I think I've gone overboard, I can always keep some things back for birthdays. My kids (the bigs especially) don't ask for much. So, I revel in finding things I know they will use and enjoy.
                Plans for 2022-23

                Year 12 of homeschooling with MP

                DD1 - 27 - college grad, bakery owner
                DD2 - 16 - 11th grade - HLS Cottage School - online classes, looking at dual credit - equestrian and theatre
                DS3 - 14 -7A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
                DS4 -14 - 7A Cottage School -soccer/tennis -auditory processing disorder
                DD5 - 10- 5A, Cottage School - inattentive ADHD - equestrian and tumbling
                DS6 - 9 - MP 1 - home with momma

                Comment


                  #23
                  Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                  Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post

                  And please, someone explain to me why snap circuits always top the list? I'm not seeing it. (meaning, I don't understand the appeal)
                  I personally don't get the appeal, but my older 2 boys love them. They play with them like they play with their Legos. My oldest is a rule follower and has so much fun going through all the projects in the manual. He can spend hours doing the projects. My 5 year old is a creator and loves to make different things happen with the circuits and then I get to oooh and ahhh over his creation.
                  Central Ohio

                  2021-2022
                  5th year homeschooling - 5th year MP user
                  DS 10 - MP 5A
                  DS 8 - MP 2
                  DS 5 - MP K

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                    Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
                    I want to hear more about this ---
                    Merit badge kits --- let's chat. My husband was exploring the idea of spearheading a Trail Life troop, but that's going to have to wait, due to family issues. I want to know what you're doing with these merit badges.

                    Woodworking --- are these independant kits for your children?
                    Scouts is a long family tradition, so we're in it for the long haul (ie- til all the boys make Eagle). The Christmas before our boys cross over from cub scouts to boy scouts, we get a zipper binder and organize all the rank requirements, eagle required merit-badges requirements, and some elective merit badge requirements of our choice. They have clear protective pockets for important papers and blue cards (what they use to keep track of progress on each merit badge). I also collect letters to them from some of the older eagle scouts in the family.

                    That year, they generally also get some "big gift" related to a merit badge we think they'll be interested in. Last year, my son got a bugle. This year, my crafty kid will get a woodcarving kit - the merit badge booklet, a decent case of woodcarving tools like this, and some wood pieces to carve).

                    They're also getting the Basketry merit badge stuff (the booklet, and the materials to make the 3 required baskets), and Fly Fishing (a fly fishing rod and what not...). Other ideas might include Aviation (with a model airplane kit, ticket to an aviation museum, etc), Bird Study (binoculars, notebook for bird journal, bird field maps), Insect Study (insect board kit), Radio (ham radio set), etc.

                    Most of the merit badges require some stuff. I just try to get the stuff together and make it look like fun. Voila, Christmas present They're going to need it anyway. If I can pawn it off as a Christmas present, AND they're excited about it, all the better!

                    HTH!
                    Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys, teacher at St. Dominic Latin (FFL, TFL, 4FL, Traditional Logic 1&2), Memoria College student

                    2021-2022
                    9th grade - a mix of MPOA, Vita Beata, Lukeion, and AOPS
                    8th grade - 8M with modifications
                    4th grade - 4A

                    "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                      Amanda,
                      I'm seeing a little side business here for you (or for your kids!). Those "kits" would sell. Just throwing that out there--
                      Festina lentē,
                      Jessica P

                      '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
                      DS Hillsdale College freshman
                      DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
                      DD 8th • HLN & Home
                      DS 5th • HLN & Home
                      Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

                      Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
                      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                        You're very kind, Jessica. I'll give it some thought. At this point, it's a matter of time vs. money balance. (Isn't it always?)
                        Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys, teacher at St. Dominic Latin (FFL, TFL, 4FL, Traditional Logic 1&2), Memoria College student

                        2021-2022
                        9th grade - a mix of MPOA, Vita Beata, Lukeion, and AOPS
                        8th grade - 8M with modifications
                        4th grade - 4A

                        "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                          Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
                          And please, someone explain to me why snap circuits always top the list? I'm not seeing it. (meaning, I don't understand the appeal)
                          I don't know, I don't understand it either, but my son (8) got a set for his 5th birthday and they're one of the most played with toys we own. I think it's the cause and effect thing. If I do x can I get y? We now have had several Christmases and birthdays to add in different kits, and I think he has the basic one as well as a glow in the dark / light show one and a 3D one. He usually uses the book for ideas, but adds his own take on it. On everyone's birthday he makes a circuit that will sing Happy Birthday, but they have to do something to set it off.

                          It does take a lot of batteries. I am sure I am being overly dramatic, but I feel like he is always asking for more batteries for it. They're just AA though, so not the expensive ones.
                          ~Michelle

                          DD 13 (MP 8 - 4FL and Ref/Con through MPOA)
                          DS 11 (MP 6 w/MPOA)
                          DS 5 - MP K (My first Kindergartner with MP!!!)
                          DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                            Originally posted by 3Blessings View Post
                            I am sure I am being overly dramatic, but I feel like he is always asking for more batteries for it. They're just AA though, so not the expensive ones.
                            Have you ever looked into rechargeable batteries? I use them and they have more than paid for themselves in terms of how many times I've recharged them.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                              I’m thinking my crew will each get their own deck of cards, hopefully via Shutterfly-type service with a pic special to each child.
                              Regards, Hollie Hoped for 2021/22: DD 2003 - 12; MPOA Austen Lit, Henle I, Senior Thesis DS 2004 - 12; MPOA Tolkien Lit, Christian Latin DS 2006- 9; VideoText Algebra, MPOA: 4FL, HS Comp I DD 2007 - 9, MPOA Common Topic; CTC Math DD 2008- 8A/9; MPOA Henle 1, Common Topic; CTC Math DD 2011 - Core 5 DS 2015- cruising through K over summer, 1st grade in Fall DS 2020 - learning and teaching every day! Using MP complete since 2016-17; bits and pieces for many years previous

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                                Originally posted by makinmemories
                                We love snap circuits too and I feel you on the Happy Birthday tune! I would definitely go the rechargeable battery route. They also have an AC adapter for the snap circuits so you can plug it in and not worry about batteries. I agree, they pay for themselves quickly! We bought one and really like it!
                                I didn't realize there was an AC adapter. That might be a cool stocking stuffer. I need to get some rechargeable batteries. I'm sure it would wind up making sense down the road, we don't have a ton of things that take batteries, but every little bit helps!
                                ~Michelle

                                DD 13 (MP 8 - 4FL and Ref/Con through MPOA)
                                DS 11 (MP 6 w/MPOA)
                                DS 5 - MP K (My first Kindergartner with MP!!!)
                                DD 2 - Board Books and Chaos

                                Comment

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