Tools, Not Toys!

When we select gifts for our kids, we try to go for “tools” and not toys. We set out to do just that for Christmas.

I firmly believe a child’s main job is to play. As a homeschool mom, I want that playtime to be an opportunity to learn, create, grow, and have fun. With an ever increasing focus on electronics and gizmos that mostly just entertain a child, it can be a challenge to find a tool over a toy.

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You can’t live in the Pacific Northwest without proper snow “tools.” Or, in Little Bears case, proper seating for present opening 🙂
Magoo needed a new library bag and I added my sense of humor.
Magoo needed a new library bag and I added my sense of humor.

This year we added to our legos, puzzles, games and beloved books!! Magoo’s special gift was a self powered race track, Columbo’s was a camera, and Little Bear’s was a big girl bike with training wheels.

It's truly amazing where the imagination can take you on a bouncy ball.
It’s truly amazing where the imagination can take you on a bouncy ball.
Columbo with his new camera.
Columbo with his new camera.

(Magoo’s hysterical library bag, and Columbo’s t-shirt were ordered at Great Products. I ordered bags and t-shirts for all the kids, and definitely see more purchases in our future. I’m calling them our field trip t-shirts 🙂 )

Magoo aka "Stud" with his new beginning snowboard. Columbo took the pic with his new camera.
Magoo aka “Stud” with his new beginner snowboard. Columbo took the pic with his new camera.
Little Bear with new dress up clothes. Pic by Columbo :)
Little Bear with new dress up clothes. Pic by Columbo 🙂
The boys setting up the self powered race track.
The boys setting up the self powered race track.

I’m not against electronics. There is a time and place for a competitive family games of Wii sports (this mom totally rules!), we enjoy a weekly family movie night with popcorn, and the computer is a great research tool. This years family gift came in the form of a tablet. Although I’m still figuring out how to get to all those amazing educational apps that I plan to add to our classroom time, the kids have been enjoying Angry Birds, Amazing Alex, and Bad Piggies.

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While Magoo might be  trying to figure out how to squeeze dad out of some evening tablet time, Columbo is out of sight recording his earlier weather findings to track exactly when he can safely order ants for his new ant farm.

Although dad is back to work, we are taking a fun week off from homeschool to play. New games to play, new books to read, and a new race track to show how mom continues to rule. 😉 (Mom disclaimer: I have full editing/deleting authority on any and all of Columbo’s pictures!!)

What great “tools” do you choose for your kids? Are you taking a break to play?

0 Comments

  1. Absolutely. We tend to go a little overboard every year (even when we swear that THIS year we won’t, lol) but part of that is because I see the potential for educational enrichment in so many things. Someone in our family got my son mostly books and apologized for it because she said she wasn’t sure what else to do — I was like, are you kidding!? They’re my favorite of all his gifts!

  2. Love the customized library bag and shirt! Such a fun and creative idea. My 3 yr old got a leapster explorer so he can play his own now and doesn’t have to borrow sissy’s 🙂 The games are very educational – helping him with coordination, following directions, and lots of Pre-K skills, but I limit how much time they can play them. And yes, we’re taking a break too to play and relax and have fun together. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    1. We researched those Terri and liked them. We have an older v-smile that the boys used when they were that age. Little Bear uses it now. If we didn’t have that we would have considered a leapster explorer for her. She turned 4 not long ago so is working on those same pre-k skills 🙂 Enjoy your time off, and have a blessed New Year!

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