Strategic Ways to Use YouTube in Your Homeschool

Strategic Ways to Use YouTube in Your Homeschool

The best hack I’ve learned as a first year homeschool mom is to use Youtube. I know screens can get a bad rep a lot of the time. However, I find that when I am strategic with YouTube, I get so much bang for my buck (as well as the kids!). With the help of other homeschool mamas, here is a list of strategic ways you can use Youtube in your Homeschool (without any guilt!).

Travel the World

Our Social Studies curriculum has us traveling the world this year. We study maps, read books, and write about a specific country each week. We also log on to Nat Geo Kids’ YouTube channel to see if there are any related videos, which there typically are. National Geographic has a whole series where siblings explore and experience various countries and cultures. These videos are my kids’ favorite part of the week. They love learning about a new country through the eyes of other kids.

Read Alouds

Did you know that there are quite possibly thousands of read alouds on YouTube? Seriously. This one surprised me, but it’s true. If you are wanting to read a particular book, but your library doesn’t have it, check YouTube. It’s most likely there. There is everything from Charlotte’s Web to The Very Hungry Caterpillar to everything in between. I’ve even found some less popular books that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. This is a great way to incorporate more books in your kids’ daily routine, especially if you have a reluctant reader. (You can read more tips on helping your child learn to love books here)

Get Moving

Between the pandemic and winter, it’s safe to say that we are all spending a lot of time inside our homes. When we have a lot of pent up wiggles, we turn on YouTube to move our bodies. If you need something active, GoNoodle and Koo Koo Kangaroo are great options, especially if you need a quick brain break. If you are looking for something more focused, you can’t go wrong with Cosmic Kids Yoga. My kids even like to lay out towels like yoga mats.

Entertaining the Toddler

I know. I know. But look, there is no (absolutely zero) shame in using the tools you have in ways your family needs. Youtube has WONDERFUL resources to teach and entertain toddlers, because sometimes you need to go teach a math lesson or make lunches or just go to the bathroom by yourself. Did you know that the super popular Cocomelon was a Youtube channel before it was on Netflix? It was even previously called ABC Kids TV. Super Simple Songs legit taught my youngest his letters and numbers (#noshame). We’ve also recently discovered Bounce Patrol, which my three year old really seems to enjoy.

Animal Studies

It is so common for elementary aged children to have a strong interest in animals. A great way to foster this love of animals, the earth, and the environment is to watch some videos. BBC Earth has a wonderful channel about all things animals. There are so many videos where you see animals up close in their natural habitat. I love that BBC Earth also always encourages taking care of our planet. And of course, it’s easy to do a search of a particular animal, but I do recommend previewing these first. Did you see my Instagram reel (@intentionally_well_blog) of my feelings when my kids wanted to learn more about the anaconda? Yeah….I don’t like snakes.

Art Class

I’ve shared before that art isn’t really my thing. I kind of forget to plan for it, and I am not crafty. Enter YouTube to save the day for my girls who really enjoy drawing. We love Art for Kids Hub for teaching us all how to draw cute little cartoon-y things. You can also do things like explore the Louvre! How cool is that?

I think that is my most favorite thing with using Youtube in our homeschool. We get to learn and explore places and interests that we wouldn’t really have access to otherwise. The concept that I want my kids to internalize most this school year is that we live in a vast world full of interesting people and places. YouTube has given us a window into this world in a wonderful way. Use it mama, unashamed and guilt free! If you are already using Youtube, what are your favorite videos and channels? Let me know in the comments below. And as always, like and share this post if you enjoyed it.

Fun Activities for Kids to Beat Winter Blues

Fun Activities for Kids to Beat Winter Blues

Have the winter blues set in for you and your kids? I get it. February is often the hardest winter month. It’s usually the coldest and dreariest. Here are some fun winter activities you can do to shake things up and fight the winter blues.

Get Messy

It’s time to let go and get out the paint and the glitter. That’s right; I said it. Get out the glitter. Pulling out the messy arts and crafts will feel special and exciting for your kids. My middle child made a rainbow tree FULL of glitter the other day. She was so so proud of her creation. Yes, there was a messy table to clean up, but seeing her joy made up for it. It also gave me an opportunity to teach her how to properly clean up messy crafts. This means that next time, she can be more independent with her activity. I find that the more independent my kids can be with clean up, the more likely I am to say yes to these things.

Epic Obstacle Course

Obstacle Courses are usually mentioned as a winter activity, and there’s good reason for that. They are a lot of fun, and the provide a lot of gross motor movement in small spaces. But honestly, often kids will only do them for a short while. What if you elevated your obstacle course? Let it span multiple rooms in your house. Have you kids try to complete the course walking and crawling backwards. Set a timer to see how many times they can complete the course in a given time. Can the do it blindfolded? The possibilities are endless! To get the most bang for your buck (as in get the most pent up energy out), have your kids switch gross motor movements quickly. For example, go from crawling through a tunnel to hopping. To top off your epic obstacle course, have your kids do one last run, then surprise them with a favorite snack at the end.

Bake All the Yummy Things

Baking with kids can be stress inducing. Same for me friend. But it is always a hit, and you get to eat something yummy at the end. It’s really a win for all when you look at it like that. One hack I found for making cooking with my kids less stressful for me is to cook with one child at a time. Instead of having them all three squishing in around the bowl, I divide up the tasks. For example, when making cookies one child gets to mix the wet ingredients, another child gets to combine the dry ingredients, and the last child gets to scoop out the dough onto the baking sheet. Baking this way is more manageable for me, which in turn makes me want to do it more often.

Go for a Walk

Yep. Get outside and go for a walk. I know it’s cold. I know it’s dreary. Go for a walk anyways. Layer up (tank top, long sleeve shirt, sweater, coat, hat) and spend at least fifteen minutes outside. I promise you it will help with the winter blues. There is something magical about that col crisp air that snaps you out of the brain fog. When you get back, warm up with some hot chocolate.

One of the hardest things for me, during this time of the year, is finding motivation to do the things. I hope these ideas encourage you to take simple but intentional action to fight the winter blues, not only for yourself but also your kids. If you are looking for ideas on how to utilize your indoor space in a more intentional way, check out my post about Living in Zones. What are you favorite winter activities? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, like and share this post if you enjoyed it.

Adjust the Process Not the Goal

Adjust the Process Not the Goal

It’s mid-February, and I bet those goals you made at the beginning of the year seem like distant a memory. I get it. We all start out with such good intentions, but life happens. I want to encourage you to think back to those goals. The goals that you were so excited to take action on. Instead of accepting defeat or getting discouraged, let’s adjust the process of reaching the goal.

Adjust Your Time Line

I can speak with authority on having to adjust the time line of reaching my goals. Everything inevitably takes longer than I think it should. Don’t look at changing your time line as a negative. Look at it as having better insight into what it’s going to take to accomplish your goal, and a healthy understanding on what you are capable of accomplishing on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Adjust Your Steps

Sometimes we need adjust the steps to meeting our initial goals by adjusting the steps to meet them. For example, you might have a goal to organize your home. Once you start this, you realize that you really need to focus on decluttering instead. In this circumstance you’re having to break your goal down into more specific steps. You realize that you can’t organize things the way you want to without decluttering first. In this example, we added steps to our process, but you might need to take some steps away. A couple of years ago, I wanted to improve my baking skills (anyone else get super inspired by The Great British Bake Off??). I thought that I couldn’t start practicing my baking until I had certain baking pans and other kitchen tools. It was freeing when I realized that I could cross off purchasing those things off my list and simply start with what I had.

Adjust Your Definition of Success

It’s easy to have a picture of what we think success looks like. The comparison trap can easily come into play here. Your success might not look like someone else’s. I think this is especially true if you have a fitness goal. We are often enticed to compare ourselves to others, when in reality our goals and our processes are so individualistic. I love the quotes from Lara Casey (www.laracasey.com) that say “little by little’ and “progress over perfection”. There is something so powerful when you take a step back and say, “I made progress! It might not look like what I thought it would, but I’m closer to my goal that I was.” That is worth celebrating!

It’s easy to make goals (you can read more about my 2021 goals here: https://intentionallywell.org/2021/01/01/word-of-the-year/), but it can be hard to stick to them. It can be hard to persevere when things don’t pan out exactly how we think they will. But friend, I want to encourage you. I want to encourage you to adjust the process of your worthy goals for this year instead of accepting failure and tossing them out the window.

How to Love Your Neighbor in 2021

How to Love Your Neighbor in 2021

How to love your neighbor well in 2021 can be tricky. I mean, we are still in a pandemic and the country is so divided over so many things. February is a great time to focus on others. There’s Valentine’s Day on the 14th, and a few days later is World Kindness Day on February 17th. I know I can speak for all of us when I say we can all appreciate a little extra love in this crazy world. Here are some simple and easy ways to love your neighbor this month.

Send Some Happy Mail

Don’t you just love getting something in the mail besides bills? We ALL do! Send a letter (vintage style, ha) or a postcard to a friend or loved one. Let it be a surprise. This past week, my kids made postcards (we used this kit) to mail to their friends. They had so much fun and talked about sweet memories they have with those whom they were creating for. I plan to mail my own little notes of encouragement too. Parenting is hard. Parenting during a pandemic is hard. Parenting during the winter during a pandemic is ridiculous. Send some unexpected love. It will fill your heart as well!

Everyone Loves Coffee

You know coffee is basically life for moms. Show a friend or even a stranger some love by paying for their Starbucks. The Starbucks app makes it really easy to send someone a gift card. Also, paying for the person behind you in the drive-thru line has the potential to make someone’s day or even week! When you pay for someone’s coffee order in the drive-thru, it will often set off basically a coffee love chain where people continue to pay for the person behind them for quite some time. That’s pretty cool!

Your Actual Neighbor

Loving those in our closest sphere of influence can be so powerful. That includes people who actually live next to us. I know I have been guilty of not knowing my neighbors before. Falling into that isolation really doesn’t benefit anyone. If that is you, it’s okay! Now is the perfect time to reach out. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway one morning, make them some banana bread (or the star of the pandemic – sourdough bread), bring their newspaper to their front door so they don’t have to walk to go get it, or offer to take their dog on a walk. There are so many little things we can do to make a difference in someone’s day.

I think so many of us had such high expectations for 2021. Like we thought the end of 2020 would just cause all the big things to just evaporate. Well maybe not quite so dramatic, but we hoped to at least to have turned a corner. For some people, things have gotten better. But for many, things are mostly the same. Pandemic fatigue is strong. Moms are all struggling. I know I definitely have hard days.

I know none of the things listed above are super revolutionary. But sometimes we just need to be reminded of the simple every day things that can make such a difference for others. I think the middle of winter during the month of love is perfect time to show friends and strangers alike a little extra love, kindness, and grace in a tangible way. How are you going to love your neighbor this Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments. And, as always, please like, share, and subscribe if you enjoyed this post.

We’ve Made Some Homeschool Changes

We’ve Made Some Homeschool Changes

That’s right. Our homeschool got a few changes and upgrades since we started our year last July. I think that’s my favorite thing about homeschooling. It’s okay and even encouraged to make adjustments to our schooling when we need to. I find it so freeing!

Language Arts

The first big homeschool change we made this semester was switching our Language Arts curriculum. Last semester, we used Abeka. You can read all about my initial review of this program here. Even though I quickly realized we wouldn’t stick with Abeka long-term, my plan was to finish the books I bought. However, we couldn’t even do that. The workbooks started moving too fast for my kids, and no one was having a good time. So, I made the decision to go ahead and toss it out earlier than expected.

What did we switch to you ask? Logic of English. We are LOVING it! Loving it, I tell you. My kids get so excited to do language arts every day. They love the multi sensory approach to each lesson. I made the decision to start with Foundations A, which honestly is way below their current reading level. But, LOE teaches things differently than Abeka. We needed to learn how LOE teaches. Plus, did you learn about broad sounds when you were in school?? I sure didn’t! Did you know the letter “i” makes FOUR different sounds, and there are rules for each one? Me either! I had to memorize so much when I learned how to read. It turns out, there are more logical (ha, see what I did there?) rules to reading than I thought. So, starting with Foundations A has filled in any gaps my kids (or I) had.

Hymn Study

The second big change we’ve made to our homeschool isn’t switching curriculums; it’s adding in a whole new subject. We started a hymn study. As you know, my husband is in vocational ministry. We are active in our non-denominational church. However, my husband and I grew up in more traditional churches. We grew up singing the hymns that have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. I wanted my kids to learn these holy songs. There is something so inspiring about singing the words to a song that have united Christians of generations past and present. I wanted my kids hide these songs in their heart just as I have done.

As far as hymn studies, it turns out there are a lot of good options. All unique in their own way. I ended up choosing the curriculum by Not Consumed. This is a unit study program. And out of all the choices, I decided on this one because it had many songs that I personally love. The parent enjoying the material being taught is an important component of homeschooling. This study also teaches the child to play the hymn on a tin whistle (basically a recorder), which has been so fun. We are learning one hymn a month, and we just finished our first one – It Is Well.

Attitude and Pace

The last change we’ve implemented is my overall attitude on the pace of our homeschool. I’m realizing that it is okay if we don’t hit every single subject every single day. I’m continuing to learn that homeschooling does not need to look anything like traditional public school. That there are a million ways for kids to learn. That allowing time to play IS allowing time to learn in an organic fashion. I am dropping the weight of the pressure I put on myself a little each week. Yes, I make plans (I am loving this EC lesson planner), but it’s pretty rare that I check off every single little thing. And that’s just fine by me. I know my kids are learning and growing. Not just academically also emotionally and spiritually as well.

So tell me, whether you homeschool or not, how is the year going for you kids? Let me know in the comments below. As always, if you liked this post, please like and subscribe to be the first to see new posts!

Daniel Fast: My Thoughts and Experience

Daniel Fast: My Thoughts and Experience

Yep, I did thing this January. I did the Daniel fast. First, let’s back up. Every year, our church begins January with 21 days of prayer and fasting. We believe it is a way to put God first for the coming year and reset and focus our spiritual lives after the busyness of the holidays. We have prayer services each morning, and it really is a wonderful and holy time. Fasting is not a requirement during these 21 days, but it is encouraged.

So, what is fasting anyways? The dictionary defines fasting as abstaining from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance. There are lots of ways to do it as well. You can give up certain food groups (sugar and caffeine are popular choices) for a period of time, or one can decide to not eat meals during a certain times of the day. Disclaimer: please check with your health care provider before starting any type of food fast. In a broader sense, fasting can be expanded to other areas of our lives. Social media, the news cycle, etc. There are lot of things we can decide to cut out for an intentional purpose.

I’ve been participating in 21 days of prayer and fasting during the month of January for about eight years now. However, for the past seven years, I have either been pregnant or breastfeeding. Doing a strict food fast was out of the question. So, I fasted other things like coffee, Facebook, and sweets. However, I was neither pregnant nor breastfeeding this year, so I was excited to go all in and do a true fast.

Now that we know what a fast is and why I participated in one, let’s talk about the Daniel fast. Daniel is a prophet in Jewish and Christian culture. The Old Testament of the Christian Bible contains the book of Daniel, which gives the account of Daniel, who was a Jew exiled to Babylon. I am not a religious scholar, so I am not going to go into much detail about the entire book. But in the first chapter, Daniel is being held captive. He refuses to eat the Babylonian food, as it was not prepared according to the Jewish law. Daniel commits to only eating fruits and vegetables for a period of time while focusing on praying to God. This is the basis for the modern interpretation of the Daniel fast. No animal products, no sugar, no caffeine, no leavened bread, and no processed food for (typically) 21 days.

So, how did it go?

Overall, I am so glad I did the Daniel fast! I learned so much about myself. My relationship with the Lord grew deeper. I gained confidence and clarity in what He is calling me to do during this season of my life. Physically, the fast was not nearly as difficult as I anticipated. Well, minus that intense caffeine withdrawal, but that only lasted about three days. I kicked the sugar cravings that had a hold on me (ahem….nightly bowl of ice cream). I also lost a little bit of weight (SOOOO not the goal with this fast, please hear me on that), which was nice because my pants were a little tight after the holidays.

Was I hungry? Yes, sometimes I was. I think it’s a given that you will have periods of hunger after cutting out major food groups you are used to eating. But the hunger was not all consuming or difficult to deal with. I ate plenty of yummy foods and learned that bean burgers can be pretty tasty. I utilized this wonderful cookbook all throughout the fast.

Did I do the fast perfectly? No, I didn’t. But that isn’t the point when fasting for a spiritual purpose. The point is a person’s heart. Their motivation. Their reverence for the process. These are all areas of growth and maturity that can blossom when stretched. I want to know. Have you ever fasted before? How did it go?

Word of the Year

Word of the Year

New Year’s resolutions have been fading out of fashion over the last several years. It’s no wonder. They’re often daunting, overwhelming, and by mid-February only a distant memory. My biggest gripe with resolutions is that usually they’re made without much thought. What’s taken its place, though, is the all mighty Word of the Year. And it is mighty in my opinion. Having a word or short phase to continually refer back to for the entire year is a great way to bring focus and intention to the mundane of every day life.

NURTURE was my word for 2020. I had several areas of my life that needing tending to grow and further mature. Things I nurtured were my spiritual life, my marriage, relationships with my children, my love for the outdoors, and so on. It was a wonderful word. I had it posted on my bathroom mirror for the entire year. On the hard days, because we all have hard days, I would see it right there in front of me. It quickly reminded me of the things that matter most, and it made it easy to let go of all the excess. Having a word of the year grounded me amongst all the chaos that was 2020.

When picking a word of the year, I want you to consider a few things. Firstly, don’t rush it. Pray and meditate on the things that went well and the things that didn’t in 2020. How does it make you feel? What things do you want to change? Secondly, choose a verb. A verb will inspire action. It will make you focus on forward grace-filled progress. Lastly, when ideas start coming to mind, take time to look up definitions and synonyms. It’s likely that google will help you find an even more purposeful word or phrase for your hopes of 2021. Sit with your word for a few days before you commit. How does it make you feel? Hopefully not overwhelmed! The goal is to feel refreshed, motivated, and inspired.

On that note, I am so excited to share my word of the year for 2021:

EXPAND

I know that I nurtured good things in 2020. When working on my goals for 2021, one thing kept coming up. I want to expand on things that have already been planted. I want to expand my theological knowledge. I want to expand my physical fitness. I want to expand this blog. And so many other things. It’s perfect for where I’m at in my life, and I am so excited.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a word, I wanted to share this resource from Cultivate What Matters. (If you have followed me for at least 5 minutes, you know I love this company.) You will find suggestions on their site, and they also provide wallpaper for your phone with your word. I screen shot (shotted???) the blank floral pattern, then edited in my word, expand. I will have this be my wallpaper on my phone for the year. I cannot wait for you to share your word of the year! Drop it down in the comments below. And as always, if you enjoyed this post, please like and share, as it’s a simple way to support this little space of mine. Much love, and Happy New Year!!!

It’s Time to Edit Our To-Do List

It’s Time to Edit Our To-Do List

2020 has been weird and hard and heartbreaking and all the things. There’s no way to beat around the bush or sugar coat it. The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy and glad tidings, but this year many of us are grieving or struggling financially or feeling burned out or all of the above. I see you. I hear you. And I am here to encourage you.

Take a couple of deep breaths, mama. When you exhale, let it go. Let go of your expectations of what this holiday season will be like. Let’s agree to leave some wiggle room in our schedules. Let’s agree to take it day by day. There. Does that take some of the pressure off? I hope it does. Speaking of plans, lets take a look at our holiday to do lists. I’m not talking about the practical things that are non-negotiable. I’m talking about that holiday baking that you do every single year. I’m talking about the 17 Christmas movies are a must watch. I’m talking about the five course dinner that you typically serve on Christmas day. Those things. Things that you might really enjoy but maybe won’t or shouldn’t happen this year.

It is okay to not do all the things. It is ok to cross things off your holiday to do list because you don’t have the capacity to get them done this year. This isn’t a lesson just for 2020. I actually learned this truth last year. There wasn’t one specific thing that was going on in my 2019 life, but I was feeling SO spread thin by the beginning of December. A lot of little things added up, and I was just DONE before it even started. The holiday season felt like some gigantic mountain I was going to be forced to climb. That’s when I realized that’s not how I wanted to spend my time. I am worthy of enjoying the Christmas season just as much as my kids and the rest of my family. I made the decision. I crossed something off my list. Something big. I decided that we wouldn’t celebrate Advent nightly in our home. I know what you’re thinking. “But Emily, isn’t your husband a pastor?” Yes, yes he is. What I realized (thanks to the Holy Spirit) was that I am not responsible for my kids’ relationship to God. Yes, I am responsible for guiding them, but their salvation isn’t going to come down to one Advent season. And so, I crossed it off. IT WAS FREEING! I was able to enjoy the holiday season with my family without feeling like I was in servitude to them.

This year has been really interesting. It has really made us focus on what really matters. What really matters to you? What fills your cup during this time? What brings your family joy? By crossing off the things that don’t really matter, we can make room for this things that do. One thing that I am excited to make room for is decorating gingerbread houses. But here’s the kicker, because I’ve crossed some things off, I am planning on making the gingerbread myself. This is something that I have wanted to do for years but haven’t been able to because of being distracted by other things. What matters most to us, this year, is that our family feels peaceful and bonded. Every activity is put through that filter. If it doesn’t meet that basic criteria, then it’s crossed off the list.

What are you crossing off your list this year? Are you adding anything to it? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and share if you enjoyed this post. Happy Holidays!!

Self Care is Basic

Self Care is Basic

Alright. Enough is enough. It is time that we stop apologizing for being actual humans. We are not machines, people! We need rest. We need a break. When I say self care is basic, I mean self care is a basic human need. It is not indulgent. It is not spoiling yourself. It is taking time to for your mental and physical self intentionally. Of course, anything can be twisted and warped into something its not supposed to be, and self care isn’t any different. But I am not talking about that here. I am talking about intentionally taking time for yourself, so you can be the best you.

I remember when I first became a stay at home mom. I had visions of a 1950’s housewife, who spent her days cooking three meals a day for her family in her always immaculate house. You know what those moms did? They had their babies either in a play pin, propped in front of the TV, or being watched by hired help. When I realized my vision was a fallacy, I realized what undue pressure I was putting on myself. I was driving myself mad trying to live up to these lofty expectations that were completely self imposed. Hear me, sweet friend. It is not a thing to have a perfect house and perfect peaceful children all the time. It’s just not. And that is okay! It’s time that we look at our selves and our lives through a realistic lens.

What am I reasonably capable of in a given day? What would be nice to accomplish but isn’t a necessity? What do I need to do to take care of myself today, so I am starting with a full cup tomorrow. There is nothing worse than feeling like we are running on empty. I see this all the time, especially with new moms. We have visions of what we will be like as mothers, and sometimes reality doesn’t match. For example, it wasn’t until I had three kids that I realized that I get overstimulated by excess noise. When I get overstimulated, I get….short tempered and shouty (I may have just made that word up). So, I know that is something I need to mitigate. If my kids are being loud, I might need to take a beat and go upstairs where it’s quiet for a bit. I might (*gasp*) even need to scroll on my phone for a few minutes to feel like I’ve separated a little. Then, I am better able to come back to reality and not be frustrated and shouty with my kids.

Here me, mama. Taking time for yourself is not detracting something from you family. It is investing in them. Because a better you is a better wife and a better mother. So, if you’re looking for permission to take that break, I am giving it to you. If you are needing someone to tell you to let the laundry sit there this time, so you can take a much needed nap, I’m telling you. There will ALWAYS be something that needs to be done. Our lists are never completely checked off. There will always be something else to do. But that doesn’t mean you have to give in to this pressure of getting it all done perfectly. Take a beat. Take a breath. Take a nap.

The Best 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids 8 and Under

Here are my top picks for gifts that are not only budget friendly, but will also grow with your kids. This post contains some affiliate links, which helps support this space with no added cost to you. Happy shopping and happy holiday!

These blocks are so great and can be used by any age to make simple or complicated structures.

This customizable stuffed animal was such a favorite with each of my kids when they were young toddlers.

The perfect gift for your emerging authors and illustrators. Have your kids write and illustrate their own book, then send it off to be professionally made into a real hardcover book!

Have your little mermaid snuggle up in this cozy blanket all winter long.

Put on a show with this fun set of puppets.

Bilibos are an open-ended toy that can be used in so many fun ways. We also use our as “wiggle seats” during homeschooling.

These On the Go Craft Kits are perfect stocking stuffers! They are perfect for screen free entertainment in the car, if you’re traveling this holiday season.

My 6 year old received this face painting kit for her birthday, and it has been a favorite for all 3 of my kids. I love it because it washes off SO easily and doesn’t stain.

I cannot tell you enough how much my kids love these books. They are cute and sweet stories that actually teach our kids about the scientific method in a fun and engaging way.

This fun toddler scooter will be under the tree for my 3 year old this year! I love how it has two wheels in the front to help with balance. 

Slime, slime, and more slime. Need I say more? Seriously, though, I like how this kit contains ready made magnetic slime, which was showcased on Emily’s Wonder Lab.

Did you know triangle crayons help teach proper grip? These Jumbo Triangle Crayons are great for little hands.

Do you have a fashionista like I do? My 6 year old received this jewelry making kit last year, and she still plays with it at least once a week. 

My 8 year old has become very interested in origami over the last several months. I plan on getting her this set. I really like how the paper is double-sided. 

This fairy garden is growing in my kitchen this very moment. The kids had such a fun time creating it, and now we are watching the grass grow. They can hardly wait to string the included lights for a special and unique night light. 

There’s a reason Tinker Toys are such a classic.

I’m not the crafty mom, and that is why I love all in one craft kits. Look at how stinkin’ cute this robot craft kit is!

Get your kids outside and moving without the clean up of Nerf guns with this Laser X laser tagging game.

Who doesn’t want to cuddle up with Baby Yoda from Mandalorian on Disney +. This 8″ plush Yoda is perfect for your little Star Wars fan.

Harry Potter is as popular now as it was ever. This Room of Requirement LEGO Set is so fun but not overly complicated to assemble.

There you go! I hope you found some fun things your kids will love. A special thanks to my dear friend, Meredith, for her contribution to this gift guide.