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Christmas

Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Eye Spy Printable

Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Eye Spy Printable

One thing many families love to do during the holiday seasons is drive around and look at Christmas lights. You might even go to a place where you can drive or walk through many light displays. You can add some extra fun in with this FREE Printable Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt.

Our family LOVES to stroll through the Christmas decorations sections of all our local stores. It’s so much fun to see what’s new and shiny, slowly adding to our collection.

Each year towards the end of October we gear up to prepare the front of our house for Christmas. However, we don’t turn them on until Thanksgiving weekend. (Since we live in a colder climate, we like to get our lights up when the weather is still manageable!)

Ideas for using this Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt

There are many fun ways to use this list, below are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • You can use one list as a family. Either head out in a car or walk a neighborhood and play Eye Spy together to find the items on the list.
  • Or each person gets their own list and silently fills it out. This too can be done via car or a walk.
  • Invite other families to join in! Go out in teams with an agreed upon¬† time limit and see which team gets the most points.
  • We actually used this one year over the course of a month while watching Christmas movies. Simply enjoy watching your favorite Christmas movies and see how many of these you can spot in the process! Click the images below to find tons of Christmas movie suggestions!

Christmas Movie Lineups from Starts At Eight. Here is a collection of Christmas Movie Lineups from all your favorite major network channels such as Hallmark, Netflix, AMC, Lifetime, Amazon Prime and more! View schedules, previews, summaries and more!25 Days of Christmas Movies from Starts At Eight. This is a great list of 25 Christmas movies to enjoy with your family. Plus a FREE Printable List!

Setting some Rules

You may want to set up some guidelines to keep everyone on the same page.

For instance:

  • If taking off in vehicles you’ll want to be sure the driver is doing just that, driving. And encourage everyone to follow all traffic rules.
  • If heading out for a walk you want to be sure younger children stay with a buddy at all times.
  • Then you might want to consider whether or not you can earn only one point per house or if you can get multiple points from one house? It doesn‚Äôt matter which way you do it, except that everyone needs to follow the same rule.
  • Along those same lines, if you can get multiples per house, will you allow multiples per item?
  • If you want to add an element of proof to the hunt there are a few ways to go about it. Consider taking photos of each element, maybe even have a team member in some of them! Or have teams write down the address where each item was found. If you’re doing the hunt while watching Christmas movies, write down the movie where you found each item.¬†

Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Printables

What’s Included?

There are two Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Printables in this pack. One for older participants and one for the younger ones! 

BONUS!! As a bonus there are also multiple Christmas Light BINGO Boards.

A total of 14 printable pages!

1. Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Printable – Adults

The main Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Printable includes over 30 items to keep your eyes peeled for! Everything from various trees to Santa, different colored lights, specific characters and more!

2. Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Printable – Young Children

I also created a smaller Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Printable for smaller children that includes and image of each item.

3. BONUS!! Christmas Light Bingo Boards

I have also included some Bingo Boards with the Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Printable words and images. There are 6 variations of each one!

 

These can offer a whole level of fun and competitiveness to your Christmas Eye Spy games! Use them on the road or a walk, and even with Christmas movie viewing!

I recommend printing these out on card stock for durability and you might even consider laminating them (or putting them in these plastic sheets) and using dry erase markers to mark what you spy!

=) =)  GET YOUR FREE CHRISTMAS LIGHT SCAVENGER HUNT PRINTABLES HERE!   (= (=

More Christmas Fun

The 25 Books of Christmas from Starts At Eight. Enjoy the holiday season with 25 Days of Christmas Books. Check out our 25 choices and use the FREE Printable list to create your own!5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids from Starts At Eight. 5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments that Kids can make using 5 different types of materials. Use Popsicle sticks to create sleds and stars, yarn to create trees, stars and colorful light bulb ornaments and more!Christmas Activities Round-Up from Starts At Eight. This is a compilation of fun & educational Christmas Activities to add some holiday fun to your homeschool...movies, books, unit studies, crafts and more!Gift Giving Guides from Starts At Eight

2020 Christmas Movie Lineups – Netflix, AMC, Freeform & More!

2020 Christmas Movie Lineups – Netflix, AMC, Freeform & More!

Each and every year I look forward to checking out the Christmas Movie Lineups for the season. This year I think there are more than I have ever seen! So many of the networks are making it easy for us Christmas movie lovers to find and watch great movies by posting their Christmas Movie Lineups for the season!

I created a 25 Days of Christmas Movies list that you may want to use along the way. It contains a FREE Printable List which contains many of the movies you will find in the Christmas Movie Lineups below!

25 Days of Christmas Movies from Starts At Eight. This is a great list of 25 Christmas movies to enjoy with your family. Plus a FREE Printable List!

2020 Christmas Movie Lineups

As the Christmas Movie Lineups roll out I have been cataloging and saving all of the Christmas Movie Lineups from each of the networks. I’m happy to report that so far this year I have Amazon Prime, AMC, Freeform, Hallmark, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime, and even Netflix and Disney+!

Amazon Prime

For those of you that have Amazon Prime Memberships here are some of the Christmas movies available to you:¬†Holiday & Seasonal Movies & TV¬†The selections include Christmas greats like The Santa Clause, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Man Who Invented Christmas, Charlie Brown Christmas and more.

AMC 

Beginning in November, through Christmas Day, the month-long programming marathon will offer up more than 700 hours of holiday-themed movies, specials and family favorite films. AMC will be the exclusive home to Christmas favorites including Elf,¬†The Polar Express¬†and¬†National Lampoon‚Äôs Christmas Vacation as well as classic Christmas specials from the legendary Rankin/Bass production company, including The Year Without a Santa Claus,¬†‚ÄėTwas the Night Before Christmas,¬†Jack Frost, and Rudolph‚Äôs Shiny New Year, among many others.

Holiday Films and Family Favorites

  • 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue¬†(2012)
  • All I Want for Christmas¬†(1991)
  • Annie¬†(1982)
  • Beethoven‚Äôs Christmas Adventure¬†(2011)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory¬†(2005)
  • Christmas in Connecticut¬†(1945)
  • Christmas in Connecticut¬†(1992)
  • Christmas Story 2, A¬†(2012)
  • Christmas with the Kranks¬†(2004)
  • Dennis The Menace Christmas, A¬†(2007)
  • Elf¬†(2003)
  • Ernest Saves Christmas¬†(1988)
  • Four Christmases¬†(2008)
  • Fred Claus¬†(2007)
  • Great Christmas Light Fight, The (25 episodes)¬†(2015-2108)
  • Gremlins¬†(1984)
  • Happy Feet¬†(2006)
  • Heaven Is for Real¬†(2014)
  • Holiday to Remember, A¬†(1995)
  • Ice Age¬†(2002)
  • Jack Frost¬†(1998)
  • Joyful Noise¬†(2012)
  • Kung Fu Panda¬†(2008)
  • Last Holiday¬†(2006)
  • Legend of Frosty the Snowman¬†(2005)
  • Love the Coopers¬†(2015)
  • Mariah Carey‚Äôs All I Want for Christmas Is You¬†(2017)
  • Miracle on 34th Street¬†(1994)
  • Miracle on Christmas Lake, A¬†(2016)
  • Miracles from Heaven¬†(2016)
  • Mrs. Doubtfire¬†(1993)
  • Nanny McPhee¬†(2006)
  • National Lampoon‚Äôs Christmas Vacation¬†(1989)
  • Nativity Story, The¬†(2006)
  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles¬†(1987)
  • Polar Express, The¬†(2004)
  • Samantha: An American Girl Holiday¬†(2004)
  • Scoot & Kassie‚Äôs Christmas Adventure¬†(2013)
  • Snow Day¬†(2000)
  • Sons of Mistletoe, The¬†(2001)
  • To Grandmother‚Äôs House We Go¬†(1992)
  • Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, A¬†(2011)
  • White Christmas¬†(1954)
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory¬†(1971)
  • Wish for Christmas¬†(2016)

Specials

  • Donkey‚Äôs Caroling Christmas-tacular¬†(2011)
  • Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, The¬†(2005)
  • Frosty‚Äôs Winter Wonderland¬†(1976)
  • Twas the Night Before Christmas¬†(1974)
  • First Christmas, The: The Story of the First Christmas Snow¬†(1975)
  • Leprechauns‚Äô Christmas Gold, The¬†(1981)
  • Little Drummer Boy Book II, The¬†(1976)
  • Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey¬†(1977)
  • Merry Madagascar¬†(2009)
  • How Murray Saved Christmas¬†(2014)
  • Jack Frost¬†(1979)
  • Rudolph‚Äôs Shiny New Year¬†(1976)
  • Year Without a Santa Claus, The¬†(1974)
  • Life & Adventures of Santa Claus, The¬†(1985)
  • Pinocchio‚Äôs Christmas¬†(1980)
  • Michael Bubl√©‚Äôs Christmas in Hollywood¬†(2015)
  • Rudolph and Frosty‚Äôs Christmas in July¬†(1979)

Freeform

Freeform starts of in November with it’s Kick Off to Christmas and then in December airs 25 Days of Christmas! Stay tuned to their FB page for the 25 Days schedule!

Hallmark

There are way too many movies airing each day for me to list them all! Luckily Hallmark has done it for us! Hop over to the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas page to see a day by day list of their Christmas Movies Lineups.

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

The Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Christmas movie lineups is different from the original Hallmark Channel. That means twice the Hallmark holiday movies! Hop over the the Hallmark Movie’s & Mysteries Miracles of Christmas Schedule to see a day by day list of their Christmas movie lineup.

Lifetime & LMN Christmas Movie Lineups

Lifetime 2018 Christmas Movie Lineup

This year, Lifetime starts Christmas movies in October!¬†“It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” will air yuletide movies 24/7 all the way through Christmas.

See the Full 2020 Lifetime Christmas Movie Schedule Here

Netflix

I went straight to the source this year for all the Netflix holiday goodies! There are tons of holiday movies to be had here! From Romantic Comedies to Holiday Classics, movies for littles and movies for families there is sure to be something for you to love!

Disney+

  • Home Alone 1, 2, and 3
  • The Santa Clause 1, 2, and 3
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  • Noelle (2019) Disney Original
  • Snowglobe
  • Twas the Night
  • The Ultimate Christmas Present
  • The Mistle-Tones
  • 12 Dates of Christmas
  • Beauty and the Beast Enchanted Christmas
  • Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas
  • The Christmas Star
  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  • Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
  • Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
  • One Magic Christmas
  • Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish
  • Muppets Christmas Carol
  • Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups

Hopefully there are plenty of Christmas movies here in these Christmas movie lineups to keep you cozy and warm all season long!

More Christmas Fun

Be sure to head over and check out this Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Printable Pack I created! It’s FREE! One great way to use it is while watching Christmas movies and/or reading Christmas books.

The 25 Books of Christmas from Starts At Eight. Enjoy the holiday season with 25 Days of Christmas Books. Check out our 25 choices and use the FREE Printable list to create your own!Big Girl Cocoa - Includes Our Favorite Hot Chocolate Recipes from Starts At Eight5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids from Starts At Eight. 5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments that Kids can make using 5 different types of materials. Use Popsicle sticks to create sleds and stars, yarn to create trees, stars and colorful light bulb ornaments and more!5 Days of Christmas Books from Starts At Eight

10 Christmas Activities to Celebrate the Season

10 Christmas Activities to Celebrate the Season

Christmas is coming around again! It is our family’s favorite time of year! Tree cutting, cookie making, movie watching, hot chocolate drinking and Christmas music listening are just a few of the Christmas activities we love most!

10 Christmas Activities to Celebrate the Season

1. Advent Calendar

Each and every year my husband buys our children a chocolate advent calendar (oh, and one for me too!). It’s something we look forward to each year.

This year we bought our grandson a Lego City Advent Calendar. Because what 6 year old boy wouldn’t want to open up a little toy each day?

2. Cookies

We have favorite cookies in our family that we make every year! Here are just a few of them:

Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies from Starts At EightNo Spread Sugar Cookie Recipe from Starts At Eight

3. Books

There are so many holiday books to love! From Frosty the Snowman to Twas the Night Before Christmas and so many more!

The 5 Days of Christmas Books with Activities includes 5 classic Christmas books to read and share with your family. Each one includes related activities like writing your own song, copywork, coloring, hot chocolate recipes and so much more!

5 Days of Christmas Books from Starts At Eight

The 25 Books of Christmas is a list of 25 wonderful holiday books, along with a fun idea for surprising and sharing them with your kids!


The 25 Books of Christmas from Starts At Eight. Enjoy the holiday season with 25 Days of Christmas Books. Check out our 25 choices and use the FREE Printable list to create your own!

Here are 3 New Christmas Books to share with your kids this year!

1. The Berenstain Bears Go Christmas Caroling

In The Berenstain Bears Go Christmas Caroling, the whole Bear family is invited by the Bear Country Carolers for a round of Christmas Eve celebrations … and your whole family is invited to sing along!

2. A Very Fiona Christmas

A follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Fiona the Hippo picture book comes A Very Fiona Christmas!

It‚Äôs Fiona the hippo‚Äôs very first Christmas, and the zoo is sparkling with holiday spirit. When the adorable little hippo asks her friends, ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs Christmas?‚ÄĚ they set out to show her all the wonders and excitement of the season. With each new experience Fiona lets out a snort, wiggles her ears, and asks, ‚ÄúIs THIS Christmas?‚ÄĚ

Amidst the snow, twinkling lights, mistletoe, and stockings, Fiona ends up meeting a new friend at the zoo who helps her discover the true meaning of the holiday: Love. Snuggle up with your little ones and join Fiona and her adorable animal friends for a heartwarming holiday romp through the zoo.

3. A Christmas Gift for Santa

The Christmas story you haven’t read: What happens after Santa Claus delivers all the Christmas presents to boys and girls around the world?

Is there a gift waiting for Santa at the North Pole? Cuddle up with your little ones and follow the journey through Santa’s Workshop in search of Santa’s Christmas present.

{Thanks to Zondervan for sharing these books with me (via free review copies) so that I can not only share them with you, but with my grandson too!}

4. Movies

25 Days of Christmas Movies from Starts At Eight. This is a great list of 25 Christmas movies to enjoy with your family. Plus a FREE Printable List!

I LOVE CHRISTMAS MOVIES! There, I said it. While I love Hallmark Movies, my family is not so fond of them. However they do love movies like Elf, Home Alone, A Christmas Carol, and The Santa Claus.

It seems as though every year more and more channels and streaming services are running holiday movie line-ups.

Christmas Movie Lineups from Starts At Eight. Here is a collection of Christmas Movie Lineups from all your favorite major network channels such as Hallmark, Netflix, AMC, Lifetime, Amazon Prime and more! View schedules, previews, summaries and more!

5. Ornaments

Every year for Christmas we buy our children a new ornament. When they were younger it was often a favorite character. As they get older it may be a favorite activity, sport they play, or something we think they will love. One year they each got hand carved wood ornaments from the place we always cut our tree down.

5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids from Starts At Eight. 5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments that Kids can make using 5 different types of materials. Use Popsicle sticks to create sleds and stars, yarn to create trees, stars and colorful light bulb ornaments and more!

Another fun thing to do is make Christmas ornaments. We have done these as gifts for grandparents and coaches, as well as for residents in a nursing, or even just to have on our tree at home!

6. Crafts/Art

Paper Snowflakes

Winter Wonderland: Mixed Media Workshop from Starts At Eight

Winter Wonderland: Mixed Media Workshop

7. Gingerbread House Party

While I never find these houses to taste particularly good (even when we have made our own gingerbread for them), we do love getting together and building/decorating gingerbread houses!

I like to buy this Gingerbread Mini Village because then all the kids have a manageable sized house to create!

8. Tree Lighting or Lights Display Outing

Attending a Tree Lighting or heading out for a Christmas Lights Display outing are two Christmas activities that can get your family up and out enjoying the season, but don’t cost much money!

While I have never been to a local tree lighting ceremony, we watch the Rockefeller Christmas Lighting Special every year on tv.

We have friends that make light viewing an annual tradition. It can be so much fun to drive around and check out everyone’s lights! In our neck of the woods they put out a map of where you can find some of the best displays!

You can use this FREE Printable Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt too!

9. Donate

  • Toy Drive – Lots of places have toy drives during the holiday season. Christmas can be a hard time for so many kids and donating toys is a great way to put a smile on another child’s face. Our kids will often save their money to buy a small toy to donate. Piggy banks are always a staple means of saving, but did you know you can find and¬†compare savings accounts¬†specifically geared towards children?
  • Christmas Shoe Box Campaign – Every year in November there is a campaign called Operation Christmas Child where you can fill shoe boxes full of small toys, hygiene items, art supplies etc for kids in three different age ranges. This is something my oldest looked forward to every year when she was younger.OCC Web Banners
  • Mitten Tree – Our local libraries often have a “Mitten Tree” where people place hats and mittens on it for those in the community in need.
  • Local Food Shelf – Foodlink is a large food donation site near us and they have many locations around the country. Often local churches have food pantries or even soup kitchens, the Salvation Army or Good Will. For 10 years we organized a Neighborhood Food Drive in which we collected items to donate to Foodlink. Now we take our kids (and even participate with our local homeschool group and 4H group) to help in the warehouse at Foodlink sorting donated food.

10. Attend a Christmas Show like A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker

If you can’t afford a full scale production, consider attending a local school or dance troupe performance.

Or you can even make a special event of watching one of these at home!

11. Visit a Nursing Home and Sing Christmas Carols

Ok, ok, so I couldn’t stop at 10! Visiting a nursing home to carol is one of my favorite Christmas activities for a group. For years we did it with my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop and now we are doing it with our 4H group! You can even make ornaments or decorate cards ahead of time to hand out to the residents.

More Christmas Inspiration

Looking for more Christmas Traditions?

10 Family Christmas Traditions from Starts At Eight

Looking for gifts? 

I have TONS of gift ideas for you! Everything from games to art, Harry Potter, Battery Free, Stocking Stuffers, and more!

You can see all the gift lists here ==>> GIFT IDEAS GALORE <<==

Want to Include Christmas in Your Homeschool?

Christmas Activities Round-Up from Starts At Eight. This is a compilation of fun & educational Christmas Activities to add some holiday fun to your homeschool...movies, books, unit studies, crafts and more!

Games as Gifts: 25 Games for Kids Under 8 (No Screen Required!)

Games as Gifts: 25 Games for Kids Under 8 (No Screen Required!)

Whether as a birthday present, Easter Basket item or Christmas gift, games make awesome gifts for kids. This lists includes games for kids under 8. From preschool color and letter games, to more involved card and board games that you and your children are sure to have hours of fun playing together!

What’s even better about these games? There is NO SCREEN REQUIRED! Card, dice, and board games are a great way to get off the screens, have some fun, and maybe even learn something!

Games as Gifts: 25 Games for Kids Under 8 (NO Screens Required!) from Starts At Eight - birthdays, Easter baskets, Christmas and more! Games always make great gifts for kids. Get them off the screens and engaged in a fun game with friends and family!

If you are looking for more Games as Gifts ideas be sure to check out these other lists:

Games as Gifts: 25 Games for Kids Under 8

Card Games

Sometimes a reason little ones have trouble with card games is because they can’t hold all the cards. I highly recommend using a Little Hands Playing Card Holder¬†with card games for kids under 8. This little device makes playing card games so much easier for little hands!

Classic Card Game Set from Melissa and Doug

Includes Go Fish!, Animal Rummy, and Old Maid for ages 3+.

Kids age three and up will go ‚Äúwild‚ÄĚ for these three classic card games, with bright, whimsical, colorful animal illustrations! The set includes jumbo-sized, durable decks of Old Maid, Go Fish, and Animal Rummy, all featuring a wipe-clean surface, cardboard storage box, and detailed playing instructions.

Disney Eye Found It! from Wonder Forge

A hidden picture card game for ages 3+.

Eye Found It

Explore 12 beloved Disney realms, From Radiator Springs and Alice’s Wonderland to Peter Pan’s Never Land and Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. Be the first to find the hidden treasures to win!

Eric Carle Matching Game from Wonder Forge

A fun matching and memory game with your kids favorite Eric Carle characters! For ages 3+.

It’s the classic game of picture matching, featuring your favorite characters from The World of Eric Carle! Flip over brightly colored tiles and find pictures from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and more! What familiar faces will you see? Pick up the most matching pairs to win!.

Alphabet Slap Jack from Arizona GameCo

A Fun Preschool ABC Letter Learning Card Game for ages 4+

Alphabet Slap Jack helps your child learn their upper and lowercase ABCs while playing a fun card game. You can use the game’s upper and lowercase letter playing cards in multiple ways. You can play Alphabet SlapJack, ABC Go Fish, and Find My Letter Matching game, or use them as SMALL ABC flash cards (four fun uses for the game all in ONE single convenient poker-sized deck of playing cards. Game cards are SMALLER in size making them easier for kids to hold and play the game. 

Uno from Mattel Games

In this case I linked to the Minecraft Uno (which has a couple of special rules of it’s own!) but there are a wide range of Uno Games to choose from. Ages 7+ can enjoy hours of fun with different Uno games!

Smack it! from Arizona GameCo.

A game the entire family can enjoy – for ages 6+

This game is a twist on the classic card games of Slapjack and War. Smack it! is a fast card game with an average play time between 7 and 14 minutes. Players quickly flip their cards into a central pile and battle for the pile during challenge rounds. But stay sharp, you never know when a Smack it! card will appear sending players scrambling for a win.

Board Games

The Allowance Game from Lakeshore Learning

This fame is perfect for learning how to handle money, make change and more! For kids ages 5-11 years.

Wash the car to earn $1.30…but forget your homework and lose a turn! In this skill-building game, players race around the game board doing chores to earn their allowance…then save it or spend it on things they want. And, as children play, they learn to make change, handle money and more!

Scrabble Junior from Hasbro

A fun letter-matching game for your little one – for ages 5+. This game grows as your kids do!

This Scrabble Junior game is easy for kids to play, and lots of fun. One side of the board has you match letters to form words. The other side has you building your own words.

Hoot Owl Hoot! from Peaceable Kingdom

A cooperative game for kids ages 4+

This is a color-matching cooperative game where kids help the owls fly back to their next before the sun comes up!

Candy Land from Hasbro

A classic board game for beginners age 3+

Start down the colorful road to sweet surprises in this classic Candy Land game that features the fun illustrations and gingerbread man movers that kids love. Players draw colorful cards to guide their mover along the rainbow path to luscious locations such as Peppermint Forest, Lollipop Palace, and Licorice Lagoon! It’s such sweet fun as players race to be the first one to reach King Kandy’s Castle to win!

Picnic Spinner Game from eeBoo

For ages 3+. I have never seen this game before but they look totally fun and engaging! eeBoo has several more to chose from such as I Never Forget a Face Matching Game, Green Market Game, Fairytale Spinner Game – Collect the Elements & Tell a Story and more!

I found this Amazon Review super helpful, “We have played this game with our children since they were 2 and 4 years old. It is very high quality. The cloth picnic blanket makes it more realistic and fun. The food pieces are very well drawn and appealing. I cannot say enough good things about Eeboo and the games they make. We own many of them, including several card games. All of the pieces are extremely durable and the games are fun and have real developmental value. This game is educational in the sense that it teaches sorting, cause and effect, and decision-making. These skills are age-appropriate and really more important than academic skills for the preschooler.

The only suggestion I have is that you begin the game by giving everyone their plate right away, rather than waiting to “spin” for the plate. It’s like waiting the roll a 6 in Parcheesi. We use the plate space on the spinner as a free choice spot. When the children were very young, we made the rule that each person could only get the ants once (causes you to put a piece back). As their attention spans improved, we followed the regular rules regarding the ants.”

Educational Games

How Tall Am I? from Jax

NO READING REQUIRED! For ages 3-8.

Roll the die and stack up the parts to create a crazy character! With all the pieces in place, will your character measure up? Use the custom measuring ruler to find out. If your character is the tallest, you win!

Sequence Letter from Jax

Ages 4-7

Players sound out the letter on their card, match it to the beginning sound of the picture on the game board.¬†Each card features a letter of the alphabet in upper and lower case.¬†Colored squares on the cards and game board help with faster recognition.¬†When you have 5 of your chips in a row, you’ve got a sequence.

Hoppers from Thinkfun

This is a peg-solitaire jumping game for kids ages 5+.

Set the frogs on the pond, then jump the frogs until only one is left standing. Forty challenge cards range from easy to super hard. In this version of Hoppers, the challenges were created specifically for younger players. Start simple and grow your skills with each level.

Sum Swamp from Learning Resources

This game is a winner of 6 awards and is a fun way for kids ages 5+ to learn addition and subtraction.

Kids journey through the swamp with their math skills to guide them. Great for visual and tactile learners.

Magnetic Pattern Blocks from Melissa & Doug

This is a pattern creation set for kids ages 3+.

With a wooden play board, 120 magnets and 6 double sided magnetic cards this pattern game is great for home or travel.  Younger children will enjoy using the shapes to replicate the 12 geometric pictures included on the cards, while older children will most likely create their own mosaic patterns and pictures directly on the magnetic board.

MathDice Jr. from Thinkfun

This is a popular mental math game for ages 5 and up.

Roll the dice, combine the numbers and race to the finish line!

Other Games

Rush Hour Junior from Thinkfun

This logic and STEM game for ages 5 and up is the Junior Version of their wildly popular Rush Hour game (for ages 8 to adult).

Just like the classic Rush Hour game, you shift blocking cars and trucks out of your way to clear a path to the exit. Playing through the increasingly difficult challenges will improve logical reasoning, spatial reasoning and planning skills, all through fun gameplay.

Connect 4 from Hasbro

This classic game of connecting and blocking is for ages 6+.

Operation from Milton Bradley

This is a game of eye hand skill and coordination for ages 6+.

Be the doctor, and take turns using the tweezers to carefully remove 11 easy-grab ailments from large openings in the game tray. Be careful! Touch the side of an opening, and you’ll hear the buzzer and Cavity Sam’s nose will light up. Players take turns trying to remove wacky ailments like headphone headache, gamer’s thumb, a cranky knee and frostbite. The player who successfully removes the most ailments from Cavity Sam is the winner!

Roller Coaster Challenge from Thinkfun

A 50% Logic and 50% roller coaster building set, this game will delight users from ages 6-adult! The goal is to create a roller coaster track that will carry the car from start to finish.

Buckle up and get ready to twist and turn your mind as you attempt to solve 40 exhilarating roller coaster challenges. When you think you’ve constructed a successful ride, give your car a little push and watch it glide down the track. Your mind will bend in loops as it stretches to solve the leveled challenges. When you’re ready for a little free-form play, get creative and use the tracks to build your own elaborate gravity-defying thrill rides.

Hungry Hungry Hippos from Hasbro

Noisy but fun! A Race to champ up all the marbles! Ages 4+

Hungry Hippo and his pals are ready to join in the feeding frenzy, and when you release all the marbles onto the game base, they’ll be chomping after them! You can be Hungry Hippo, Veggie Potamus, Sweetie Potamus or Bottomless Potamus. Whichever hippo you choose, you’ll have to move fast, because if your hippo chomps the most marbles, you win!

Checkers from Continuum Games

A classic game of checkers to be played by two people ages 6+.

HiHo! Cherry-O from Hasbro

Oh how the little cherries drove me nuts! But the kids LOVED this game! A great game to help your preschoolers develop and practice basic math skills. For ages 3-6 years.

Preschoolers have so much fun picking fruit to fill their baskets, they don’t even realize they’re developing and practicing math skills such as counting, addition and subtraction! Take turns picking pretend cherries, blueberries and apples from your tree and put them in your basket. Be the first to pick all the fruit from your tree and win!

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel from Education Insights

NO READING REQUIRED! For ages 3+.

Your forest pals are hungry and need your help. Help them find their acorns in this fun and addictive toddler board game designed to teach young children about colors. The first to collect 5 acorns wins! Easy to understand and play‚ÄĒno reading required.

Gift Giving Guides Galore

For the great games about and MANY MORE check out my Games for Kids Under 8 Mega List!

Also be sure to click on the image below for tons more Gift Giving Guides!

Gift Giving Guides from Starts At Eight

 

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist

Little hands like to create colorful creations! They also tend to make BIG messes! Even so, as parents we are always seeking to encourage and support our children in their endeavors. For this reason I have created a list of a handful of the BEST Creative Gifts for the Little Artist in your life!

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist from Starts At Eight includes mess free and little hand friendly item suggestions. Paint, marker, crayon and more!

I remember when my first one was young (under the age of 2) and one of the many questions at one of our well visits was about the use of crayons. I remember acting shocked! I mean was she kidding? Giving my kid a crayon at such a young age would make a HUGE mess!

Now though, there are so many young kid friendly options as Creative Gifts for the Little Artist!

Creative Gifts for the Little Artist

Kwik Stix Thin Stix Solid Tempera Paint – Uncap, Twist, & Paint! No Water Needed! These are a mess free variation of tempera paints that dry in 90 seconds!

{Disclaimer: I was given a set of 12 Kwik Stix Thin Stix Solid Tempera Paint for review and was compensated for my time in creating this post. All my opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure for more details.}

I can’t believe how easily these glide across the page! They are like really smooth crayons! Plus they dry so quickly we could almost instantaneously wipe our hands across the page. The colors layer easily too! My 11 year old noted that these are not great for “small details” as they are fairly chunky. She found that by using the edge of them she could manage the small stuff a little better though. What they are good for is larger scale drawings, and filling spaces in with color!

I highly recommend using these with your kids for an easy mess free creative experience!

You can also pick up a 24 pack of Thin Stix at your local BJ’s for a limited time!¬† Just $19.99 (normally sold for $24.99)!

Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Markers & Paper – The markers only show up on the special Color Wonder paper! You can get blank pages, coloring pages, and even stickers!

Magic Stix Washable Markers – Want to know what is SO great about these? “They won’t dry out for 7 days with the cap off! Guaranteed!”

Twistable Scented Crayons

  • Includes cherry, orange, lemon, Apple, beach, Blueberry, grape, tropical punch, cotton candy, Licorice, coconut, root beer
  • Rich, vibrant colors to match scents
  • Never needs sharpening ‚Äď just twist for more crayon color

Jumbo Crayons – These crayons are bigger and thicker than regular crayons. “Easy to Hold, Hard to Break!”

My First Jumbo Coloring Book

  • More than 100¬†thick lined Pages
  • Easy to Color with Thick Lines
  • Perfect Coloring Book for Both Boys and Girls
  • Pictures are Printed on Single Sided Pages to Avoid Bleed Through

Color Wonder Fingerpaints

  • Clear, mess-free gel formula dries quickly
  • Smooth texture offers real finger-paint feel
  • Includes sponge for finger cleaning or switching colors
  • Color Wonder paints appear only on Color Wonder paper; not on skin, furniture or fabric

Mixed Media Art Pad – Thick, no bleed paper with a spiral binding so kids can easily use it. Also has easy removal pages.

Aqua Doodle Drawing Mat

  • Draw, trace, never make a mess.
  • This mat is easy to fold and pack.
  • A lightweight perfect travel toy or indoor toy.
  • Simple to use: Just fill the magic pen with water and draw on the magic aqua doodle mat.
  • The aqua doodle mat can be used again and again! Have fun water painting, scribbling and doodling away then watch the drawing fade away automatically!

More Gift Ideas

10+ Gifts for Horse Loving Girls
Gaming Kids Gift Guide – Novelty Items to Excite Your Game Lover
Battery Free Tween Games ~ Get Them Out of Their Phones and Into the Fun!
Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Shop Easier, Spend Less, Find Joy
Last Minute Christmas Stocking Stuffers
Easy Buys Under $30: Gifts for Teen Girls
Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft

Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft

Looking for a fun and easy Christmas Craft? Want to create a cute little basket to hold candy or treats? This Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft is a Swedish Christmas tradition. They are easy and fun to make!

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament.

Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament. from Starts At Eight

These cute paper baskets make great holders for treats to give to friends and family. They can also be hung on the Christmas tree as an ornament. Either way these are fairly simple to make and the result is a sharp looking decorative basket!

Supplies:

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament. from Starts At Eight

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament. from Starts At Eight

Directions:

  1. Print the Heart Basket Template on the number of papers you are going to use. You will need two different color sheets of card stock for each basket you make.
  2. Cut out 1 template piece from two different colored pages.
  3. Fold each template in half and cut along the 3 lines on the folded side. {To keep the printed lines from showing on your basket, unfold the paper after cutting all the lines. Then fold the paper inside out so the printed lines are on the inside.}
  4. Use a pencil to label  the tips of the 4 strips on each template. This will make it easier to follow the weaving steps. Label the template on your left side D-C-B-A and the one on your right 1-2-3-4.
  5. Place the right template under the left. Rotate to the side so you can weave them together
  6. Take Strip 1 and weave it through the loop of Strip A.
  7. Next weave Strip 1 around Strip B.
  8. Then weave Strip 1 through the loop of Strip C.
  9. Finish weaving Strip 1 by weaving it around Strip D.
  10. Slide Strip 1 up until it touches the top.
  11. Now you will weave Strip 2 around Strip A.
  12. Then weave Strip 2 through Strip B
  13. Continue by weaving Strip 2 around Strip C.
  14. Finish by weaving Strip 2 through Strip D.
  15. Slide Strip 2 up until it touches Strip 1.
  16. Weave Strip 3 like you weaved Strip 1 (See steps 5 – 10)
  17. Weave Strip 4 like you weaved Strip 2 (See steps 11 – 15)
  18. Evenly spread the strips out and erase the pencil marks.
  19. Use a piece of ribbon (we cut ours to each be 8 inches long) to make the handle by gluing the ends inside the heart basket.
  20. Once the glue is dry you can fill it with candy or treats.

Christmas Crafts: Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft Tutorial. Grab some card stock, ribbon, scissors, and glue to craft a woven heart basket or ornament. from Starts At Eight

Be sure to watch through our Swedish Woven Heart Basket Paper Craft tutorial video (below) before beginning the project yourself. Then go back and replay the video, pausing at each step and re-watching as needed.

Woven Heart Paper Craft Variations

  1. Make them with felt. You can do this by tracing the template onto the felt. You can also sew on cute accents like buttons.
  2. Cut wavy lines.
  3. Cut 4 or 5 lines for a tighter weave.
  4. Use different colors for other holidays. For example green and gold for St. Patrick’s Day or red, pink and white for Valentine’s Day, or red, white, and blue for our American patriotic holiday’s like Memorial Day or the 4th of July.
  5. Decorate with glitter or stickers.
  6. Use one solid color and one patterned piece of paper.

Christmas Around the World

We did this as part of our Christmas Around the World Unit Study from Techie Homeschool Mom. The Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study offers a fun and educational option for the holiday season. In this study you learn geography, history and facts about countries around the world, Christmas traditions around the world, and it even includes projects for each country such as this Swedish Woven Heart Paper Craft project!

Want to know more? Check out this video about the Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study!

More Christmas Fun

5 Days of Christmas Books from Starts At EightChristmas Song Favorites & Writing Your Own from Starts At EightChristmas Activities Round-Up from Starts At Eight. This is a compilation of fun & educational Christmas Activities to add some holiday fun to your homeschool...movies, books, unit studies, crafts and more!5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids from Starts At Eight. 5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments that Kids can make using 5 different types of materials. Use Popsicle sticks to create sleds and stars, yarn to create trees, stars and colorful light bulb ornaments and more!3 Fun Snowman Activities from Starts At Eight25 Days of Christmas Movies from Starts At Eight. This is a great list of 25 Christmas movies to enjoy with your family. Plus a FREE Printable List!

Easy Buys Under $30: Gifts for Teen Girls

Easy Buys Under $30: Gifts for Teen Girls

Got teen girls? How about granddaughters, nieces or Goddaughters? This is a collection of easy to access, easy to buy gifts for teen girls that will cost you $30 or less!

We are doing something new this year in our house for Christmas. I am using Categorized Gift Tags to Simplify our Christmas.  Each child will have their own wrapping paper and will get gifts in these categories: Want, Need, Wear, Read + Stocking and Santa. It is a way for me to be more focused, and spend less time stressing over holiday shopping.

Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want - Need - Wear - Read from Starts At Eight. Christmas shopping/giving can become overwhelming, over done, and over spent. Try to Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want, Need, Wear, Read.

With our kids being older, so are the kids in our extended families and friends. As I search for reasonably priced, but still fun and interesting gifts, I thought I would share some of what I found to make it easier for YOU to shop this holiday season. Also, be sure to check out for my Gifts for Teen Boys: Easy Buys Under $30!

Another fun activity for the holidays is the FREE Printable Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Pack. Hop over and download it now to get in on the fun!

Gifts for Teen Girls

Gifts for Teen Girls: Easy Buys for Under $30 from Starts At Eight: Got teen girls? Granddaughters? Nieces? This is a collection of easy to access, easy to buy gifts for teen girls for $30 or less!

Not only have a collected a bunch of great gifts for teen girls, I have also kept them under $30 so they don’t break your wallet!

  1. The Beginning of Everything
  2. Cable Knit Beanie
  3. Ombre Hair Color
  4. Ombre Hair Color Kit
  5. LED Lighted Make-Up Mirror
  6. Make-Up Kit
  7. Curling Wand
  8. Bath Bomb Set
  9. She Believed She Could Journal
  10. Q & A a Day: 3 Year Teen Journal
  11. Crystal Diamond Pens
  12. Travel Organizer for Cords and Chargers
  13. Stick-It Phone Charger Stickers
  14. Store Gift Card – Like Old Navy or Forever 21
  15. Starbucks Gift Card
  16. Blanket Scarf
  17. Onesie Pajamas
  18. Multicolored Stud Earrings
  19. Cubic Zirconia Stud Set
  20. Cell Phone Telephoto Lens Kit
  21. PopSockets
  22. Kangaroo Water Bottle

More Gift Ideas

Crafty Kids Gift Guide – Unique Gifts for the Creator in your House!
Creative Gifts for the Little Artist
Games as Gifts: 25 Games for Kids Under 8 (No Screen Required!)
Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Shop Easier, Spend Less, Find Joy
Easy Unique Handmade Gifts
Fun Family Dice Games
Gaming Kids Gift Guide – Novelty Items to Excite Your Game Lover

Gaming Kids Gift Guide – Novelty Items to Excite Your Game Lover

I have a gamer in my house. From the time he was little he has always excelled at and loved gaming. However, I don’t always want to buy more video games. Instead, I have found fun novelty items, clothing, etc. that are game related for him to enjoy! This Gaming Kids Gift Guide is a collection of clothing, trinkets, novelty items and more that will excite the game lover in your house!

This Gaming Kids Gift Guide from Starts At Eight offers a selection of unique and fun gifts that your little gamers will love! Clothing, trinkets, novelty items and more!

Gaming Kids Gift Guide

Check out this gaming kids gifts that range from our younger Minecraft players to our older Call of Duty players. Get them out of the game a little and give them one of these unique novelty gifts for gamers!

Gaming T-Shirts

This Gaming Kids Gift Guide from Starts At Eight offers a selection of unique and fun gifts that your little gamers will love! Clothing, trinkets, novelty items and more!

Wearable Accessories

This Gaming Kids Gift Guide from Starts At Eight offers a selection of unique and fun gifts that your little gamers will love! Clothing, trinkets, novelty items and more!

Ornaments

This Gaming Kids Gift Guide from Starts At Eight offers a selection of unique and fun gifts that your little gamers will love! Clothing, trinkets, novelty items and more!

Room & Wall Decor

Novelty

This Gaming Kids Gift Guide from Starts At Eight offers a selection of unique and fun gifts that your little gamers will love! Clothing, trinkets, novelty items and more!

Gaming Kids Video Game Accessories

This Gaming Kids Gift Guide from Starts At Eight offers a selection of unique and fun gifts that your little gamers will love! Clothing, trinkets, novelty items and more!

More Gift Ideas

100 Stocking Stuffers for Teens
Gift Giving Ideas Round-Up
10+ Gifts for Horse Loving Girls
Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Shop Easier, Spend Less, Find Joy
20 Fun Educational Games To Play With Your Kids
Creative Gifts for the Little Artist
Ultimate List of Non Toy Gift Ideas ~ Maximize the Memories

Ultimate List of Non Toy Gift Ideas ~ Maximize the Memories

Give the gift of memories, of time spent, of experiences had. They will last longer than any toy you will ever give! These Non Toy Gift Ideas will get you on your way to reducing the clutter and maximizing the memories!
The Ultimate List of Non Toy Gift Ideas from Starts At Eight. Maximize the memories with activity gifts like ice skating or sewing classes, board games, gift cards and family trips and more!

Ultimate List of Non Toy Gift Ideas

It is that time of year where family is asking for gift suggestions for the kids. I know with my children being older it can be hard because so many of the things they want are so expensive. When they were little it was hard because we had SO many toys already!

If you feel like you have enough toys, or you would just like to mix it up some and get something different, then this list of non toy gift ideas is for you!

Activities

  • Museum
  • Zoo
  • Acquarium
  • Amusement Park
  • Aviary
  • Butterfly Conservatory
  • Jump (trampoline) Clubs
  • Laser Tag
  • Ice Skating
  • Ski Passes
  • Theater Performance
  • Ballet (The Nutcracker perhaps?)
  • Movies
  • Bowling
  • Roller Skating
  • Mini-Golf
  • Sporting Event (basketball, football, hockey, soccer, tennis, etc)
  • Disney on Ice
  • Music Concert
  • Chuck E Cheese
  • Dave and Buster’s
  • Video Arcade
  • Zip Lining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Batting Cage
  • Go Kart Racing

Larger Experiences

  • Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Train Ride
  • Ice Skating in Rockefeller Center (this is one we did while already in NYC that my daughter and I loved)
  • Horse & Buggy Ride (Central Park?)
  • Helicopter Ride
  • Spa Getaway (even for a short day to do mani/pedis)
  • Special Dinner Out & Activity (our kids have loved going to Hibachi type places or Melting Pot for fondue)

Classes/Lessons

  • Swimming
  • Gymnastics
  • Ninja Warrier
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Karate
  • Ice Skating
  • Skiing
  • Dance
  • Horseback Riding
  • Musical instrument
  • Pottery
  • Art
  • Crafting such as sewing or knitting (places like JoAnn’s and Micheal’s often offer opportunities like this)

Family Trips

As a family you might choose to forgo the traditional gift giving and plan a fun excursion instead!

  • Hotel with an Indoor Water Park
  • Disney/MGM
  • Historical Trips (Washington D.C.,¬† Mt. Rushmore, NYC, etc)
  • Camping
  • Road Trip (to visit family or friends or to see designated sights)
  • Beach Trip
  • Any Overnight Hotel Stay

To go along with your trips you could give things that are needed like bathing suits for the beach, or camping gear for camping.

Physical Gifts (Non Toy Gift Ideas)

  • Scrapbooking Supplies
  • Memory/Photo Book
  • Journal
  • Book
  • Non-Battery Games
  • DVDs
  • Music CDs or gift cards like iTunes so they can download music they love
  • Craft Supplies
  • Science Kits
  • Magic Kit
  • Telescope
  • Microscope
  • Binoculars
  • Art Supplies
  • Pets (my daughter got her horse for Christmas – a little early – this year) but you could do small animals too. A couple of years ago we had “Santa” bring a cage with supplies and a note that she would be going to the store to choose her own guinea pig.
  • Supplies for existing pets – fun treats and trinkets for their most beloved animals.
  • Camera
  • Watch
  • Flashlight
  • Nightstand Charging Stations/Radio
  • Sled/snowboard snow brick makers or other winter outdoor accessories
  • Bike
  • Scooter
  • Trampoline (one year my mother gave 2 of my children a joint gift of a trampoline – it was the BEST PURCHASE EVER!)
  • New Bedding (my kids have loved getting themed sheet sets like Buffalo Bills, horses, favorite character, etc.
  • Clothing that is a theme favorite ie. t-shirts, hats, gloves, socks with things like favorite sports team, their sport, horses, characters like Harry Potter, etc.

Gift Cards

I know people don’t often like to give these, but I can tell you that as non toy gift ideas go, my kids LOVE getting gift cards for the places they love.

You can give gift cards or certificates for many of the activity places above, as well as gift cards for food, clothing, and toy places.

  • Starbucks/Tim Horton’s/Dunkin Donuts
  • Favorite Restaurant
  • Target
  • Amazon
  • Toys R Us
  • Playstation
  • Xbox
  • iTunes

Simplifying Christmas

Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want - Need - Wear - Read from Starts At Eight. Christmas shopping/giving can become overwhelming, over done, and over spent. Try to Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want, Need, Wear, Read.

Something else to consider this Christmas is slimming down and making it easier. This year I am really cutting out a ton of holiday stress by using Categorized Gift Tags.  That means buying less, and having each thing be more purposeful and meaningful.

More Gift Ideas

Easy Buys Under $30: Gifts for Teen Girls
Battery Free Tween Games ~ Get Them Out of Their Phones and Into the Fun!
Ultimate List of Non Toy Gift Ideas ~ Maximize the Memories
Easy Unique Handmade Gifts
Gift Giving Ideas Round-Up
30+ Fantastic Harry Potter Gift Ideas
Gifts for Teen Boys: Easy Buys Under $30

Gifts for Teen Boys: Easy Buys Under $30

Does having to come up with a gift for the teen boy in your life cause you stress? Are you looking for inspired gifts for teen boys? Trying to come up with something new and exciting for the teen boy in your life? You have come to the right place!

Easy Buys Under $30: Gifts for Teen Boys from Starts At Eight. Pick up something meaningful, enjoyable, and wallet friendly for the teen boy in your life!

We are doing something new this year in our house for Christmas. I am using Categorized Gift Tags to Simplify our Christmas.  Each child will have their own wrapping paper and will get gifts in these categories: Want, Need, Wear, Read + Stocking and Santa. It is a way for me to be more focused, and spend less time stressing over holiday shopping.

Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want - Need - Wear - Read from Starts At Eight. Christmas shopping/giving can become overwhelming, over done, and over spent. Try to Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want, Need, Wear, Read.

With our kids being older, so are the kids in our extended families and friends. As I search for reasonably priced, but still fun and interesting gifts, I thought I would share some of what I found to make it easier for YOU to shop this holiday season. Also, check out for my Gifts for Teen Girls: Easy Buys Under $30!

Another fun activity for the holidays is the FREE Printable Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt Pack. Hop over and download it now to get in on the fun!

Gifts for Teen Boys

Not only have a collected a bunch of great gifts for teen boys, I have also kept them under $30 so they don’t break your wallet!

  1. The Kane Chronicles: The Complete Series by Rick Riordan.
  2. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner. This¬†science fiction series draws you in right from the start. Thirty teenage boys trapped in the center of a maze, with no idea as to where they are or why. Worst of all, none of the boys have any memories of their life before they got there! The first and second books,¬†The Maze Runner¬†and¬†The Scorch Trials, are now major motion pictures, with the third‚ÄĒThe Death Cure‚ÄĒcoming to theaters in 2018.
  3. The Settlers of Catan Рa board game in which the players assume the roles of settles, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players are awarded points as their settlements grow; the first to reach a set number of points, typically 10, is the winner. The game also has many expansions and variations (all vary in price).
  4. Old Spice Gift Set – These holiday packs offer a variety of Old Spice products in a fun gift pack.
  5. Adidas Moves Cologne РEau De Toilette Spray
  6. Apple/iTunes Gift Card – These are great for kids who want to add music, games and apps to their Apple devices.
  7. Food/Restaurant Gift Card – Applebees, Panera, Red Robin, Subway, Starbucks…the possibilities are endless!
  8. Star Wars Vinyl Wall Clock – These are super neat clocks made from vinyl records! They have all different themes from Beauty and the Beast to Batman, Harry Potter, The Walking Dead.
  9. Charging Cord – I don’t know about in your house, but charging cables are a hot commodity! Our kids love getting cords of different colors so they can distinguish theirs from other people’s
  10. Phone Case – A rugged or custom phone case is a great way to protect their phone, and offer up some of their own style!
  11. Nike String Backpack – Nike Heritage Gymsack Lightweight Bag 100% Nylon
  12. Tools – Having basic tools (and even more expensive and complex ones when the interest or need arises), and knowing how to use them, can open up a world of freedom and exploration.
  13. Survival Bracelet – Paracord Survival Bracelet – Hiking multi tool, emergency whistle, compass for hiking, Camp Fire Starter 5 in 1 Set
  14. Bean Bag Chair – This Big Joe chair is great for gaming, studying and more. Has built in handles to make it easy to move around!
  15. Candy – My kids – boys and girls alike – always love getting candy. It’s their own, and their favorite.
  16. Candy Machine – Consider buying some bulk candy and this Triple Candy Machine!
  17. Novelty T-Shirts – Novelty t-shirts are both fun and practical.
  18. Money Soap – This is kind of a cool idea! There is actual cash inside each bar of soap!
  19. Color Changing Room LED Lights – Let them spice up their room or game room with these remote controlled, color changing, LED light strips
  20. Socks – Each of my kids have favorite socks. They make great gifts each year for Christmas! Maybe it’s a style like Nike Elite, or a favorite sports team like the Buffalo Bills or the Yankees!
  21. CamKit Smartphone Photography Accessories – Help your son take awesome photos with this add on kit! Tripod, multiple lenses and remote to make their cell phone into a high end camera!
  22. Winter Pom Pom Hat – These are NFL but you can get any sport, team or novelty (like Harry Potter)

More Gift Ideas

Last Minute Christmas Stocking Stuffers
Gifts for the Science Curious Child
10+ Gifts for Horse Loving Girls
100 Stocking Stuffers for Teens
Gaming Kids Gift Guide – Novelty Items to Excite Your Game Lover
Creative Gifts for the Little Artist
Christmas Activities – Add some holiday fun to your homeschool!

Christmas Activities – Add some holiday fun to your homeschool!

On November 2nd my children were already asking to get the Christmas decorations out! It is a super fun, festive, family time of year around here. It can be a great time to put aside our formal school work and include both fun and educational Christmas Activities in our days instead!

Christmas Activities Round-Up from Starts At Eight. This is a compilation of fun & educational Christmas Activities to add some holiday fun to your homeschool...movies, books, unit studies, crafts and more!

Christmas Activities

I have compiled a collection of Christmas actives from hands-on things like making gifts or ornaments to educational unit and book studies. Some are great single day Christmas activities, some are curl up on the couch and read or watch Christmas activities, and some are even add a little formal learning to your day types of Christmas activities. Anyway you slice it there should be something for everyone here!

Books

A Book and a Big Idea: Winter & Christmas – This is a collection of 18 different books with corresponding activities!

The Legend of the Candy Cane – Read The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg and put together this FREE lapbook!

Little House Book Club Activities - Christmas from Starts At Eight

Little House Book Club Activities ~ Christmas РIt is a great time of year to read A Little House Christmas and do some of the activities in the book.

Christmas Tapestry – A FREE Printable study using the book Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco

Gingerbread Man - Printables, Activities, and More! from Starts At Eight

Gingerbread Man Book & a Big Idea¬†– “You can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man.”¬†A much loved children’s book with FREE Printables and activities to accompany it!

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey and Activity Ideas – Read The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski and try your hand at some carving.

The 25 Books of Christmas from Starts At Eight. Enjoy the holiday season with 25 Days of Christmas Books. Check out our 25 choices and use the FREE Printable list to create your own!

25 Days of Christmas Books – 25 days in December, 25 different books to enjoy!

Lines of Time for ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – This is a favorite activity of ours. It is a fun way to piece the story together while helping with reading comprehension, narration, memory, and more.

Pockets of Time for Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House #29) – Pockets are another fun way to work with stories. Kids will sort, cut, sequence, and more. You can purchase the book Christmas in Camelot to go with this fun activity.

The Nutcracker РChristmas read aloud with TONS of  literature extension activities!

Activities

25 Days of Christmas Movies from Starts At Eight. This is a great list of 25 Christmas movies to enjoy with your family. Plus a FREE Printable List!

25 Days of Christmas Movies РCurl up and watch some movies! Includes a FREE Printable List.

Christmas Nature Study: A Red, Green and White Walk – A great way to get up and get out with a purpose during the holiday season!

5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids from Starts At Eight. 5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments that Kids can make using 5 different types of materials. Use Popsicle sticks to create sleds and stars, yarn to create trees, stars and colorful light bulb ornaments and more!

5 Days of DIY Ornaments for Kids – Do 1 or do 5! Here are some great ornaments your kids can make for your tree or as gifts for friends and family.

FREE Christmas Word Search Puzzles – Two Christmas word search puzzle – one secular and one Biblical.

5 Days of Christmas Books from Starts At Eight

5 Days of Christmas Books with Activities Р5 different books and TONS of different printables and activities

5 Holiday Foods From Around the World – Make 5 different fun items like Gingerbread houses, pavlova, mochi and more!

Winter Wonderland: Mixed Media Workshop from Starts At Eight

Winter Wonderland Mixed Media Workshop РWinter/Christmas themed art that makes great decorations and gifts.

Hands-On Activities for Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree – Make mouse ornament or Ice cream cone tree.

A Simple Start in Christmas Chalk Pastels from Starts At Eight

Christmas Chalk Pastels – Another great means of adding holiday cheer and art at the same time.

Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt – Use this printable scavenger hunt to drive around your areas in search of Christmas lights and decorations. To make it even more fun, invite friends and make it a competition!

Choosing Charity for Christmas - Operation Christmas Child from Starts At Eight

Choosing Charity for Christmas – Operation Christmas Child – Teach your kids to think about others by engaging them in filling a shoe box for a child in need.

Easy Carol of the Bells for Piano – Got a piano? Learn to play this easy version of Carol of the Bells this holiday season.

Christmas Acrostic Poems from Starts At Eight

Christmas Acrostic Poems – Create your own Christmas Acrostic poem with this FREE Printable template and a few simple supplies you probably already have around the house.

Christmas Lapbook with Study Guide –¬†Learn about the birth of Jesus, discover family traditions, compete with Christmas trivia, answer questions about Santa’s reindeer, decorate a gingerbread man, make food for the reindeer to sprinkle on your lawn, write a letter to Santa and much, much more! This lapbook is 3 folders chock full of Christmas surprise! The instructions are color-coded so that it is easy to assemble

Unit Studies

Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study –¬†Celebrate Christmas around the world by learning about 10 countries and their¬†Christmas traditions. Create hands-on and digital projects
and prepare an ethnic Christmas feast.

Study Christmas Carols with Squilt –¬†There are currently two volumes of¬†SQUILT Christmas Carols. Each volume contains five lessons. Each lesson includes in-depth coverage of one Christmas Carol. Your children will learn about the history behind the carol and will listen to several versions. As they do, they will discuss dynamics, rhythm, tempo, and instrumentation. Notebooking pages and supplemental activities are included as well.

Cranberry Christmas Unit Study – FREE – A whole unit based on the book Cranberry Christmas

Christmas Tree Science - Resources for Studying Conifers from Starts At Eight

Christmas Tree Science – Learn all about conifers with this fun unit study.

The Nutcracker Holiday Unit Study – Learn about the story of the ballet, the story of the E.T.A. Hoffman and Tchaikovsky, as well as music and ballet vocabulary — not to mention learning about the most famous musical selections from the ballet.

How to Build the BEST Christmas Unit Study – Ideas for including and incorporating Christmas themes into your learning.

Christmas Traditions Online Unit Study –¬†Learn about Christmas Traditions by discovering the history of Christmas and exploring Christmas traditions around the world. Choose a holiday service project. Create a graphic design project using¬†Padlet.

Christmas Unit Study – Tons of activities and games including the History of the Gingerbread Man, Advent Calendar, Make an Edible Ice Cream Christmas Tree, and so much more!

Looking for More?

You can check out my Christmas Pinterest Board where I am always pinning new Christmas related activities, books, printables, and more!

Christmas Pinterest Button

Gift Giving Guides

While you are here be sure to take a peek at all my gift giving guides!

Gift Giving Guides from Starts At Eight

Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Shop Easier, Spend Less, Find Joy

Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Shop Easier, Spend Less, Find Joy

Christmas shopping and giving can become overwhelming, over done, and over spent. I recently stumbled upon an idea for slimming down the Christmas buying that I think I can get behind. With a few modifications and a bunch of ideas I present to you this idea: Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want, Need, Wear, Read.

Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want - Need - Wear - Read from Starts At Eight. Christmas shopping/giving can become overwhelming, over done, and over spent. Try to Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags: Want, Need, Wear, Read.

It’s funny how things have a way of working themselves out. I actually saw this idea a year ago, started a post about it, and then left it to sit until this year. Since we just purchased a horse for our youngest and my husband got a new motorcycle, we were talking about how the two of them wouldn’t be getting much for Christmas as those are big items. Then I open up my blog two weeks later and find this post waiting for me to finish.

Needless to say, my Christmas just got a WHOLE LOT EASIER with this!

Simplify Christmas Using Categorized Gift Tags

1. Want

Besides the fact that my youngest just got a horse, my other kids WANT bigger ticket items this year. My problem – It’s always hard for me to not have the tree filled with presents though!

It’s time for a mindset change this year! My kids are clothed, fed, bathed, have central air, extra curricular activities throughout the year, etc. They have ENOUGH. They aren’t in real need of anything. It is ok that the tree won’t be overflowing with gifts. In fact, I think this will be a fun twist for them.

2. Need 

Like I said before, NEED is a tough one. I am not sure how much my children actually NEED, but I am sure I can come up with something! I know one year I bought themed sheets sets that would be a good thought for this!

The need could also be something to go with the want. For example, they¬†want a toy kitchen, so the need would be the plastic groceries for the kitchen – or the want would be an iPod and so the need would be an otter box for it … that type of thing.

3. Wear

This could be clothes, jewelry, accessories. In our case, each year I used to buy Christmas pjs for each kid (and husband) to wear while we opened presents. The past two years as they have gotten older (and my husband has more Christmas pj bottoms than he knows what to do with) I started buying Buffalo Bills gear for each of them as that is our team!

4. Read

I love to read, and have always encouraged my kids in this direction. They will often ask for books on their own, but I always keep my eyes and ears open for trends in the books they are enjoying so I can find something that suits them at the time.

The 25 Books of Christmas from Starts At Eight. Enjoy the holiday season with 25 Days of Christmas Books. Check out our 25 choices and use the FREE Printable list to create your own!

You could also stretch this out all year long with gift subscriptions to magazines! Maybe buy the first one off the newsstand for them to open along with a card that tells them they will be getting their next one in the mail!

Looking for book ideas? Check out my Reading List Pinterest Board for TONS of ideas!

The Printable Gift Tags that were my inspiration for this are from Thirty Hands Made Days. I also really like her suggestion of using a specific wrapping paper for each person!

The Extras

5. Stocking Stuffers

Beyond the initial 4 categories, I expanded it to include #5 & #6 because these are traditions we are not ready to give up. I always put some of their favorite candy in their stockings, along with socks (sometimes these are just their favorite plain crew socks and other times they are themed or colored or something), and usually one other small gift for each of them. Believe it or not they all look forward to the socks almost as much as the candy!

Last Minute Christmas Stocking Stuffers from Starts At Eight100 Stocking Stuffers for Teens from Starts At Eight

6. Santa Gift

My youngest is 11 and we finally gave up the ghost on the Santa thing, but none of my kids wanted to give up having something to open on Christmas morning so they asked if I could just keep aside a present I might already buy and hold it as their “Santa Gift” for Christmas morning. Apparently they have enjoyed the traditions we have set up in our home!

In our house we do our family Christmas on December 23rd, we have Christmas Eve with the extended family, and then Christmas morning is just their grandparents and us. It has been fun throughout the years to have Christmas stretched out a little bit!

Looking for gift ideas? Check out my Gift Giving Ideas Pinterest Board for TONS of themed ideas!

More Christmas Ideas

5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids from Starts At Eight. 5 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments that Kids can make using 5 different types of materials. Use Popsicle sticks to create sleds and stars, yarn to create trees, stars and colorful light bulb ornaments and more!10 Family Christmas Traditions from Starts At Eight25 Days of Christmas Movies from Starts At Eight. This is a great list of 25 Christmas movies to enjoy with your family. Plus a FREE Printable List!5 Days of Christmas Books from Starts At Eight

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