12 Creative Christmas Gifts for Kids
I’m really tired of buying toys for my kids. They have too much and only play with a portion of them because half get lost or broken or lose its value to them because if you have 40 Shopkins, and 50 Barbies how can they still have a favorite or be special?
This year, I kindly asked my relatives if they would think “out of the box” this year here’s some things we came up with. I love these and think my kids will too because some of them are interactive and some they can keep forever.
Stocking stuffers – coupons! Go all out and get them laminated. I am big on rewarding good behavior so this kind of coincides with that idea. Make ones for one-on-one dates (this is especially great if you have more than one child) or for stay up late, get out of a chore, chose a dinner, etc.
Although these are targeted towards kids, you can absolutely tailor this for your spouse or sister. Who doesn’t love shiny new box in the mail each month with new products or gadgets?
If you are looking for more traditional gifts check out:
Learning Toys Express
Whether its weight-loss or saving money for vacation, we all have goals we would like to achieve. At times, it can be overwhelming, just the thought of tackling some of these goals. Sometimes we don’t know where to start, how to start or if we will even achieve what we are setting out to do, but that shouldn’t stop you. Setting goals can help you discover what you really want. They can help build self-esteem and really give you a better picture of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Setting goals can help you in your personal life or at work. They can help in your relationships and also be useful in your finances. Without setting goals, there is no map navigating you to your main objective and trying to achieve something will become out of your reach. Without a plan, there is nothing holding you accountable. Make goals so your hard work has purpose and isn’t aimless. I find it is easier to start small. Making 30, 60 or 90 day goals can help bring down the scary intensity of our bigger, ultimate goals. For instance if you want to lose weight. Setting a goal for X amount of sizes or pounds to be dropped in 30 days. If you want to save for Christmas shopping set a 90 day goal for Christmas money. Make sure you are realistic with your goals. If you want to be a millionaire, don’t set the bar so high that you are unable to achieve it in a set amount of time. This will backfire and work against you. So start small. There are a few things you should know about setting goals. I have made a chart to help but also remember:
On to the steps:
Click here for a useful chart on Goal Setting
Family Game Night
What you will need:
Easel and/or Construction paper & Marker
Prizes from the dollar store
Games like: Apples to Apples, Scattegories, Playing cards
How to play:
Game 1- SCENE IT
Our free version of Scene it. Scene it is a great game but it is now hard to find in stores and very expensive on the internet. With my kids’ attention span, I only played a few scenes from various movies like Shrek, The Little Mermaid etc. I then asked them to identify certain characters, songs, etc. I blindfolded them or made the kids turn away from the TV and asked them to identify the movie based on sound only or other criteria.
Depending on your children's ages and how fast you came move through the movies and scenes, you may only be able to do a few rounds of this but it’s still fun. Next time I will make the questionnaire for the different movies ahead of time.
Game 2- Charades
I printed a few free sheets of Charades’ words and had my 6 year old cut them out and place in a plastic bag. For younger children, be sure to print words that have accompanying pictures. Everyone takes a few turns on guessing what they are trying to act out. Don’t worry about the logistics of the adult version, just have fun with them trying to act out a dog, or a swimmer. I found my words here: Charades
Game 3- Scattegories
This game can also be played if you don’t have the boxed version from the store. Simply make teams hand out paper and writing utensils. If you have the actual game don’t worry about rolling the die for the letter, let the kids use any letter for the categories. If you are playing without the game, you can make you own categories and set a timer yourself.
Game 4- Pictionary
Pictionary was so much fun. We used our easel and again you can print Pictionary words here. Help the younger children because even a 2 or 3 year old can participate!
I found my Pictionary words here: Pictionary
Game 5- Apples to Apples
We set the kids up to play this amongst themselves while my husband and I cleaned up and got ready for dessert. Use the Disney version and they will be able to play with little to know help. Our 2 year old was more interested in staking and grouping the cards, even playing with them on her own.
If you don't have Apples to Apples use playing cards for Go Fish or Uno or even a Matching Game would work.
Game 6- Freeze dance
We used Pandora on our TV and put on Kids Bop station. This is always fun and I’ll post video of our kids in their 4th round.
Tips: First, team up and make names for the teams.
Don’t be too heavy handed with the rules especially if your kids are young.
Encourage fun and don’t keep score or track just make sure everyone gets a turn.
We gave out prizes after the 2nd and 4th games. We also were able to serve dinner during and intermission. After the intermission we switched teams.
This was so much fun to do randomly and for no reason or special occasion. I hope to hold this as a monthly family fun night. Any suggestions on games you like to play during your family Game Night?
10 FREE or cheap activities to do with your family or spouse, TODAY.
1. Go to church. Dress up and be together. If you have young ones, some churches have a children’s mass where they go and do a bible activity.
2. Go to the library. My local library rocks. They have free activities almost every day of the week. They also offer free seminars on many topics. Some libraries have a crafting hour. With the books you check out you can have something to do when you get home too. It is also a great way to get younger kids interacting with other children.
3. Go to the beach after hours. New Jersey is one of the states that charge admission to get on most beaches. I will not comment on how I feel about this, but let’s just say I most often go to the free beaches J . At a certain time, some beaches stop taking admission payments and you a free to walk around and enjoy what God has created for us. In the midst of July & August when the temperature is through the roof it may be more enjoyable to go at a later time when the temperature has slightly cooled. There may not be any lifeguards on duty at this time. In my area there are weekly or monthly beach concerts at this time.
4. Have a picnic. I know it’s been done, but you have to feed your kids anyway you might as well do it outside on a blanket or sheet because they enjoy it so much more!
5. Volunteer. This may be a good activity to do with just you and your spouse or you and your child. You could call the township you live in to get an idea of any upcoming events they may need a hand in or the church is almost always looking for volunteers. This will give you children something great to talk about when they get back into school. It’s also very rewarding especially around the holidays.
6. Game night. This is one of my favorites. My kids are very young 6 & under so I was not exactly sure how this would play out but I have to say our first game night was a success. I will post on how to successfully run a game night soon but for now, Pictionary, charades and freeze dance are all good (and free) starts.
7. Bake from scratch. Chances are you have flour, sugar and eggs in the home at any given time. Look up some different recipes for cakes or cookies and bake with your kids. They will love getting to measure out the different ingredients.
8. Too hot to bake? Do Ice cream sundae night. This could be free if you have ice cream at home. I make a big deal out of finishing our vegetables at dinner because we are going to play ice cream shop or DIY sundaes afterwards. Put different toppings in various bowls and let the kids create their own. Crush up cookies, put out strawberries whatever you have, even warming some peanut butter up to drizzle over them. Ok that last one is my favorite.
9. Make a craft. Pull out all your crafting supplies or hit up the dollar store for some more. If you have Popsicle sticks you can make construction paper faces and glue them on here and have a little puppet show. Get creative, kids just love making things it doesn’t have to be perfect.
10. This last one isn’t free but if you call around you may be able to find coupons and a family night discount. Bowling- until recently I have never been bowling, maybe once in my life and never really enjoyed it or the thought of it. My daughter was invited to a bowling birthday party and I realized how much fun it was. Even my 2 year old bowled with us last time. The normal rate is about $15 a person. Sunday nights after 6pm it reduces to $8 a person.