Last year, per request, I did my best to create some gift idea lists. For some reason it isn’t easy for me! We really limit what comes through our door. This year, I decided that I would copy some of my ideas from last year and then expand a bit. I think I’ll do two posts, saving books for the second post.
For the kids:
I think that Keva maple planks are the single most played with toys that we own, and I say this having had them for over five years. I can’t say enough good things about these very simple blocks that appeal to a very wide range of ages. The ones that I linked to are actually made in the U.S.!
A close second would be wooden train tracks and trains. I don’t have the set that I linked to here, but they look like a really good value. I bought all of ours about ten years ago when Seth was a toddler. Now Silas is playing with them and the older boys will still sit down and build tracks as well.
Pattern blocks are really popular with my kids. We have had this set of Parqeutry blocks since Seth was preschool age, and each child since him has loved it.
If I had to name the item most played with by my girls it would have to be play silks. They are always in use it seems.
Silas recently spent his long saved birthday money on this little crossbow after playing with it at a friend’s house. It is very well made, and he is having a lot of fun with it.
I like these beeswax crayons that seem to be holding up better than other (more expensive) beeswax stick crayons I have tried, although the sturdiest beeswax crayons for younger kids are the Stockmar blocks.
This screw block activity set is great for preschool aged kids. Silas really likes it.
Orchard is probably my favorite game to play with kids 9(ish) and under. My older boys more recently have been loving Ticket To Ride. Favorite card games include Art Close Up cards, Rat-A-Tat-Cat, and Mille Bornes. Shut the Box has seen lots of play time over the years as well.
My little girls love these Little House Paper Dolls.
I bought Jonny this Bocce Set for his birthday and he and the boys love playing together.
When the weather is cold, my older boys typically get interested in coin roll hunting. Seth likes to search through nickels the most, the other two like pennies. Boxes of coins would make great gifts, especially if you were already planning on giving money to the recipient.
My older boys all enjoy metal detecting and we highly recommend the Garrett – ACE 250.
Job rides around on his Wheely Bug everyday!
For the knitter:
For the knitter, I always recommend a Yarn swift (I have that one in walnut and like supporting this family business) and yarn ball winder (I don’t have this model, but I can’t recommend the one I have b/c Jonny has had to rebuild it several times. Were I to buy a new one, I would purchase the one I have linked to here.) This yarn ball winder is also available in this shop.
This set of square double points is on my wishlist. My hands get sore and tired when knitting small circular objects, and I would love to try the square needles! I would like to try this set of interchangeable needles as well.
Practical gifts for adults (my favorite kind!):
I have the midsize wooden drying rack from Homestead Drying Racks and absolutely love it. Ours is in daily use, mainly for drying wool items and other things that don’t go in the dryer. It is really well made and sturdy. Silas climbs on it like a jungle gym. My only problem is that even with the midsize rack, I don’t have a great place to store it, because it is really big!
A dehydrator! Here’s a little excerpt from an older blog post: I sometimes get a little fixated on a specific food, usually something that someone else has cooked and shared with me. That happened recently when my friend Sarah brought me a jar of cranberry granola. And of course it wasn’t ordinary granola. It was made with lacto fermented cranberry relish and then dehydrated. So it’s not like I could just throw some together myself. There was special equipment and time involved. I thought about it for a few days, and then I decided that I had to order the “special equipment” myself. I ordered a Pickl-It jar to make the cranberry relish in, and a dehydrator.
Living in a small house with lots of people, I love this white noise machine.
This is the perfect time of year to give the One Line a Day Journal.
Though I was skeptical at first, I found my Kindle Paperwhite to be really useful, especially when nursing the baby at night. Sadly, mine appears to have been stolen out of my purse at a store earlier this week.
Jonny says that the best gift I’ve ever bought for him is this Leatherman.
For kids (and adults!) who like to collect things, and would like an inexpensive way to display them, I recommend riker mounts. This is what we store our nicest shark’s teeth in along with some of our other fossils. We order ours here.
I’ll work on a book list over the weekend!