I know it’s a little early to be thinking about Christmas shopping, and I am definitely not one of those people who gets all of their shopping done well in advance of the holiday. In fact, I’ve been known to be very thankful that Hallmark is open on Christmas Eve. However, I know some of you are far more responsible than I am and get all the shopping done early, so I’m sharing this post now.
I originally posted these ideas back in 2016 and decided it was about time I revisited them as I’ve found a few more things to add and other things that needed to be updated. So today, I’m sharing this updated version with more gift ideas for the Charlotte Mason homeschooling family.
I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas shopping. I love the idea of thinking of and coming up with gifts for my nearest and dearest, but on the other hand, I hate actually having to go somewhere and shop, especially this time of year. In recent years, I’ve begun to rely more and more on online shopping as I can even use it with many of my local stores that allow local pick-up in-store. If you’re like me and find holiday shopping as well, I highly encourage you to look into this option!
And now on to the ideas!
As an overall mention in this category, one of my favorite websites for nature-themed gifts, toys, games, etc. for children is Imagine Childhood. They offer heirloom-quality products mostly made from natural materials. We have ordered several things from them over the years that have withstood the abuse of both kids and have been beautiful objects to have in our home.
If you want to attract bees to your yard, especially if you have any kind of flowers, vegetables, or fruits growing, this Mason Bee House Kit would be perfect. My kids are fond of finding random bugs in our yard or on nature walks and taking them home to keep as pets, so these Kritter Keepers have been invaluable to us over the years. On that note, during the late summer, we’ve grown butterflies using the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden, and it’s been a huge hit with both kids (though better for warmer times of the year as you release the butterflies after they’ve emerged from their chrysalids)!
Several years ago, I posted about the Smokey the Bear Nature Posters we were able to pick up for free from a local National Forest Service Office, and we loved them. If you’re not able to get your hands on any of those or prefer a different style, there are also these beautiful posters for butterflies, ornamental flowers, owls, insects, and wildflowers that would be the perfect decor for a homeschool area.
Another popular mode of brightening the homeschool walls has been gift wrap from Cavallini Papers & Co. You can use these great magnetic wall-hanging kits, but I think these would also look great framed or just hung as posters. I particularly like the birds and feathers, national parks, the celestial chart, and the phases of the moon prints.
Handicrafts are definitely an area where I have struggled to actually get them into our days. I’ve discovered that pre-made kits can be beneficial in this area!
I picked up this Lap Loom several years ago for my son’s preschool curriculum, and it has gotten quite a bit of use over the last several years. I also got this Potholder Loom for my daughter so she could loom along as well. This Beginner’s Weaving Loom also looks beautiful.
There are also a few other kits to make little Flower Fairies and Sprites (perfect for making a gift for a younger sibling!), as well as all kinds of Crafting Kits to make other little friends to give to others. I think these Felted Fox or Felted Owl kits would be perfect for older kids.
My daughter enjoyed this Needlepoint Kit which we got for her a few years ago for Christmas, and includes three projects to make coasters or decorations and a bookmark. And for some homemade house decor, your kids can contribute to the household with this Rug Hooking Kit.
One thing my son has expressed interest in is woodburning, and I think this Creative Woodburning Kit that comes with the pen, wood, and patterns would be perfect for getting him started. His mechanical side would also really like this Make Your Own Music Box Kit.
Both kids enjoy helping me in the kitchen from time to time, and this Le Petit Chef and Finger Guard would be an excellent way to teach knife skills. In the past, we’ve used these little plastic knives for them that have done well over the years and are perfect for younger children.
I know another popular thing in some of my Charlotte Mason groups has been soap carving for younger children who aren’t quite ready for wood carving, and this Soap Carving Kit would be a perfect way to get started. This Carve-A-Stamp Kit would be a great way to make homemade gifts for others.
My stepmother makes beautiful baskets that she hangs all over her house. I think this would be an excellent activity for a child, especially since the finished product is so useful but also beautiful. These Basket Making Kits look like a great way to begin this handicraft, especially the pine needle version, which my son has had his eye on for a while.
Art creation has always been an enjoyable activity in our house. In the past, we’ve used this Watercolor Paper and these Watercolor Paints, which both kids have enjoyed a lot. We also like these Watercolor Brushes, but we’ve used these Kindergarten/Preschool Paint Brushes in the past. It’s also been fun to send some of their watercolor creations to family members, and these little Watercolor Postcards would make that so easy.
From a purely aesthetic aspect, I LOVE these Colored Twig Pencils (my son likes to sharpen these with his wood carving knife). I got a few twig pencils through a subscription box several years ago, and the kids love using them now. There are also these Watercolor Pencils that are good for using when you’re out in nature, and can later add water to them. On that note, these Nature Diaries are very handy for bringing on a nature hike and make great stocking stuffers!
When I was in school, I had to take a lot of art classes. One of the techniques I loved getting to know was drawing with charcoal, and these Natural Charcoal Pencils would be a great way to introduce your kids to this method of sketching.
If you’re looking for some art to hang on your walls that offers inspiration all year long, I offer Charlotte Mason quotes in my shop!
One of the biggest-hit items in our house over the years for the learning of technology, and one that I’ve mentioned many, many times, is Snap Circuits. Our son got his first set when he was six and now has a pretty extensive collection.
As he got older, Snap Circuits gave birth to his wanting to learn more about robots, so we got him this little Edison Robot that allows him to code and works with his LEGO.
If you have a child interested in geology, some of these Large Rock Specimens might be fun for them to add to their collections. My kids also appreciate being able to identify their rocks, and these Rock and Mineral Study Kits have been beneficial in that area. Both kids have also had a Rock Tumbler on their wishlists for quite a while.
Charlotte Mason Quote Items
In my house, T-shirts and sweatshirts are a homeschooling mom’s uniform. The looser and softer, the better! These hoodies and tees are perfect for staying in and reading books or going out on nature hikes for both mom and the kids!
I start every day with a mug of tea, and I know that coffee is the lifeblood of many homeschooling moms. With these Charlotte Mason quote mugs, you can add a little inspiration to your daily cuppa and a little beauty to your school table.
A sturdy tote bag is always handy to lug around all of those books, and this one is exceptionally well-made. Or, add some beauty to the walls of the homeschool room with printable or shipped-to-you Charlotte Mason and nature quote designs!
Finally, what would a Charlotte Mason-themed Christmas post be without at least a few books? 🙂 There are many excellent Charlotte Mason-themed books out there to help you with your homeschool endeavors (For the Children’s Sake [an absolute must if you want an introduction to this philosophy], A Charlotte Mason Companion, and Consider This are a few that I’ve either read or want to read), but this list is primarily “fun” books either for kids or for mothers to enjoy a little mother culture. 🙂
At the very tippy top of this list is definitely the Puffin in Bloom Books from Rifle Paper Co. (one of my very favorite companies) and Puffin Books. This gorgeous set includes Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Little Women, and A Little Princess. Anna Bond at Rifle Paper Co. also illustrated an edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that isn’t included in this set. It’s larger and slightly more expensive, but completely worth the added cost. If you have the extra money in your book budget, you can also splurge on something from the beautiful Folio Society (a website where I often sit and drool).
Puffin Books is putting out some other lovely books. Some of my favorites are the Puffin Classics Deluxe Collection, which includes A Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows, and Peter Pan. I also love their Clothbound Classics, which I’ve been slowly collecting over the years. They offer a few sets that have a reasonable price point considering how many books they contain, including collections by Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Love and Friendship) and Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, Hard Times, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House, and A Tale of Two Cities).
Ever since I discovered how much John Muir had to do with the founding of the National Parks, I’ve been fascinated by his writings. This Wilderness Box Set is simple but beautiful and would be a great addition to any nature lover’s collection.
I can see myself referring to this list in years to come as the kids get older, but for now, I can dream. 🙂
Let me know what I’m missing!