Whether for the approaching holidays or a child’s birthday, gift giving suggestions for grandparents, family, and friends can be challenging. Instead of one more toy added to the overflowing accumulation of treasures our children already own, the gift of an experience or an educational gift that is fun and engaging could be just the answer. This guide was created from the many great suggestions shared by Arizona homeschool parents in a recent online discussion about gift giving for their children.
MEMBERSHIPS OR TICKETS
Family memberships to some of your favorite spots can be a great way to enhance your homeschool adventure and provide a way for grandma and grandpa to invest in your children’s education, too! Below are some Arizona membership or one-time adventure suggestions. Also, how about a National Parks Pass, tickets to a live theater or puppet show, or movie tickets? For Christmas, family tickets to a local production of The Nutcracker or The Polar Express Train Ride in Northern Arizona are sure to make great holiday memories!
Metro Phoenix Area
- Arizona Museum of Natural History (Mesa)
- Arizona Science Center (Phoenix)
- Butterfly Wonderland (Scottsdale)
- Children’s Museum of Phoenix (Phoenix)
- Dolphinaris (Scottsdale)
- Great Arizona Puppet Theater (Phoenix)
- I.D.E.A. Museum (Mesa)
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center (Tempe)
- Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix)
- OdySea Aquarium (Scottsdale)
- Phoenix Zoo (Phoenix)
- Pueblo Grande Museum (Phoenix)
- SEALIFE Arizona Aquarium (Tempe)
Metro Tucson Area
- Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson)
- Children’s Museum Tucson (Tucson and Oro Valley)
- International Wildlife Museum (Tucson)
- Pima Air and Space Museum (Tucson)
- Reid Park Zoo (Tucson)
- Bearizona (Williams)
- Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary (Prescott)
- Out of Africa Wildlife Park (Camp Verde)
- The Polar Express Train Ride (Williams)
Subscription items are gifts that keep on giving! What child wouldn’t look forward to receiving something in the mail each month? From magazines and books to hands-on projects, these are some tried and treasured ideas from families.
- Chirp, chickaDEE, and Owl Magazines
- ChopChop Cooking Magazine
- Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr. Magazines
- Cricket Magazine
- Highlights, Hello, and High Five
- National Geographic Kids/Little Kids
- Ranger Rick Magazines
- StoryBox, AdventureBox, DiscoveryBox Magazines
- Zoobies, Zoobooks, Zootles, and Zoodinos Magazines
- Highlights – Which Way USA, Top Secret Adventures, PuzzleMania, Hidden Pictures, and more
- Lollipop Book Club
- Reading Bug Box
Ranging in subject matter from art and history to STEM and cooking, there are a number of fantastic monthly kits to which you can subscribe, providing your kids with a great hands-on learning project delivered to your home just for them! Check out these options!
- Groovy Lab in a Box (STEM)
- History Unboxed (History)
- KidStir (Cooking)
- Kiwi Crate, Tinker Crate, Koala Crate, Cricket Crate, Doodle Crate (STEM, Art)
- Little Passports – A Global Adventure (Geography, Science)
- My EduCrate (Creativity, Innovation)
- Raddish Kids (Cooking)
AUDIO & VIDEO COLLECTIONS
Many favorite book series can be purchased on audio, such as Sugar Creek Gang, The Narnia Series, and Boxcar Children. Your children will enjoy listening to them again and again. Families also recommended a number of great adventure stories and theater productions.
- Adventures in Odyssey
- Brinkman Adventures
- Focus on the Family Radio Theatre
- Greathall Productions
- Heirloom Audio
- Jonathan Park Adventures
Video collections your kids will want to watch over again include titles like Liberty Kids, Little House on the Prairie, The Sugar Creek Gang, Wild Kratts, Veggie Tales, 3-2-1 Penguins, Drive Thru History, and Adventures in Odyssey.
Let’s face it, kids do need some imaginative and creative play time and sometimes grandparents just want ideas for good old-fashioned fun! There are classic items that have stood the test of time as well as newer inventions that can be used for endless fun.
- Marble Run
- Keva Planks
- Kapla Bricks
- Lincoln Logs
- Bug kits (butterfly tents, ant farms, lady bug domes, roly-poly farms)
- Gardening kits (Hydroponic farm kits, microgreen kits)
- Chemistry and Physics Lab
- Weather station
- Rock or mineral kits
Other fun ideas offered up were durable Melissa and Doug brand wooden toys and puzzles, Playmobile, Breyer, board games, and outdoor toys.
LESSONS & MORE
The options for homeschoolers to take art, music, sewing, and dance classes are limitless, but a homeschool family’s budget for those things is not. If you have a child particularly interested in taking a class such as these, a grandparent might be willing to pay for a semester or even a year of classes so your child can decide if that activity is something he or she may want to pursue long-term!
For the oldest children, you can never go wrong with recommending cash or gift cards to a bookstore and favorite coffee shop, slipped into a card with an invitation to accompany them on the outing. Time together can be the most precious gift of all!
Did you know you can support the work of AFHE every time you shop at Amazon at no extra cost to you? Go to smile.amazon.com and select Arizona Families for Home Education as your charity and Amazon will send a donation to AFHE.