Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mom Faves Holiday Giveaway

Mom Faves multi-brand holiday giveaway and gift ideas - Mommy Scene 

We know moms work hard to make Christmas special for their families. This Mom Faves Holiday Giveaway coordinated by Mommy Scene features great gift ideas to keep moms healthy, happy, pampered, and moisturized! One lucky winner will win them all! Giveaway ends December 18th, 2016.

Mom Faves Prize List

Full Details
Aurorae Printed Yoga Mat
How to Raise Great Kids - 101 Fun & Easy Ideas
Moon Valley Organics Herbal Heal Gift Set: Herbal Heal, Moon Melt Lotion Bar, Herbal Lip Balm
Signs.com Custom Canvas 12" x 12" print
Duo Diary Health Journal
Revelae Kids Yummi Pouch Cloth Snack Bags
CiPU Diaper Bag in Heather Grey
Paperless Post 1,000 coins (Retail Value $90)
The Picket Fence $50 gift certificate

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene, sponsored by the participating brands, and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. 1 winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway page after the giveaway ends on December 18, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand. Have fun and good luck!


Mommy Scene Blog Street Team

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get Your Little Nature Lover the Perfect Book This Holiday Season!

             You know where you can pretty much never go wrong as far as presents for kids goes? Books! Better yet, do you know a little nature lover? It's the perfect time of year to snuggle up with a book (or two or three!) and I have the perfect gift ideas from Dawn Publications new fall releases!


Octopus Escapes Again!
Written & Illustrated By Laurie Ellen Angus

As most of Dawn Publications books are, this was educational, but in a fun way. It couldn't have gotten here at a better time either as we have been studying the ocean for school and Myka gets a weird obsession with octopi whenever they happen to come up. (Let's just say the recent viewing of the new Finding Dory movie has reignited that flame some.)

As gross as I personally think they are, even I found Octopus Escapes Again! informative as well as fun to read aloud to my 4 year old. We learned about all of the cool things octopus are capable of as we went along a journey with one little octopus on her quest for a meal. I loved that there wasn't too much text, so my easily distracted kid didn't get bored, but it still covers the “basics” of octopi, like how they squirt ink to get away from predators (as well as use camouflage), can release tentacles if they do get caught (and grow them back!), and fit into really tight spots since they lack bones!

As always, there is further information and activities after the story, including parts of an octopus and more info on the other animals encountered in the story. Octopus Escapes Again! is recommended for ages 4-10.



A Moon of My Own
Written By Jennifer Rustgi
Illustrated By Ashley White

Ok. I have to admit that I didn't care for this title the first time we read it. I really don't know why. I think I was expecting something else...But I don't know what. We reread it again recently and I actually enjoyed it this time. Somehow, my super forgetful child, actually remembered parts of it too from only reading it once before, so I'll take that as a sign she likes it as well. (Plus, what kid isn't fascinated by the moon?)

This is a fun little story that travels through the moon's phases and around the world. Double educational value! It presents the perfect opportunity to talk about moon phases and what really happens when the moon “disappears”. Also, you get to “visit” different landmarks around the world, such as the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Barrier Reef, and more. (More info on each in the back, of course.)

What really struck me about this book was the illustrations. They're beautiful! Yes, it's a lot of shadows and silhouettes, but the sky and moon in each picture are very vivid. You'll just have to see for yourself.

A Moon of My Own is also recommended for ages 4-10. You can learn more about the moon (also includes activities), find where each landmark mentioned in the story is located on a world map, and more in the back.



Over in the Grasslands On an African Savanna
Written By Marianne Berkes
Illustrated By Jill Dubin

I can't say enough good things about the “Over in the” series from Dawn Pub. In fact, I've beat it into the ground in previous reviews, so I won't beat it to death this time. They are always fun read-alouds for little ones with the rhyming and repetition throughout the story. The illustrations are always interesting too. (Again, one of those things you just have to see for yourself.) If I remember right, I believe they pictures are made up of different types of paper. It's a lot fancier and more intricate than it sounds and makes for lovely visuals!

I love this series as well because young children get to learn more about animals they might only know about from the zoo. (Or never heard of at all! I'm not ashamed to admit I have come across a few in other stories that I had never heard of in all my 29 years.) Other than what you would expect in Over in the Grasslands..., such as giraffes and elephants, you also encounter jackals, hornbills, aardvarks, and more.

Over in the Grasslands On an African Savanna is suggested for 3-8 year old children. After the story, you can find more info on the creatures in the story, as well as some others not mentioned, activity suggestions from both the author and illustrator, and more. 
 
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

ABC Blockology Giveaway

3 Winners! ABC Blockology Customized Wooden Block Set Giveaway! $75 TRV!

Sponsored By: ABC Blockology

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

* 3 Winners Will Receive

Their Choice of (up to) 10 Customized Wooden Blocks! 

$75 TRV Giveaway!

ABC Blockology not only makes cute wooden blocks to commemorate your baby’s name, baby shower, christening and birth announcements, but they are also great for other special occasions too! They would be a wonderful way to mark an anniversary, engagement, proposal, make a cute birthday prop, and so much more! If you have a special occasion, ABC Blockology has you covered! Click here to read Love, Mrs. Mommy's full ABC Blockology review! 
 
Open to continental US entries and must be 18+ to enter!
Giveaway Dates ~ 12/6 12:01 AM EST through 12/23 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received blocks from ABC Blockology at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fall Homesteading Chores


             Hey folks! I'm sure you've noticed the homesteading updates and posts have been few and far between lately. Things have slowed down a bit in regards to that around here. With the gardens being finished, we have moved on to some “winterizing” projects for the animals (and the house, in a way) and still have tons we need to do!


             Our biggest project (which, admittedly, I didn't really help with besides moving the pig himself) was setting up Mr.Bruce's winter lodgings. He's hanging out in the garden by the house now. It's smaller than his old area, but we this is the first time we've let him run around freely outside of his “baby pen”, so technically he has a lot more room to run around now.
             We're using him to eat our leftover veggies, root up our garden, and get it ready for next year. He's done a surprisingly (scarily) good job of it so far. He's only been there a few weeks and most of it has been rooted up already! 

He's eating cheese I left out on the counter over night. Oops. Fun fact: Guinea Hogs can eat anything but salt and chocolate. Some of them are allergic to chocolate, others are not, but there's no way to know unless they try it! Needless to say, we'll steer clear of the salty stuff and chocolate just to be safe. ;)

             Even though it hasn't even been that cold out so far, I have to admit it's nice having him close to the house too so I don't have to deal with unscrewing the hose when I need to use the shorter end for the chickens, having to walk back there, blah blah blah...Especially if I forget something! He's getting spoiled even more now that it's easier to remember to take scraps to him. ;) No garbage disposal? No problem! Mr.Bruce is happy to eat (most) things you might have for him! (So long as it's not rotten, of course.)
             He seems to be a much happier piggy now, no surprise. More room to run around, nicer house (thanks to my father in-law helping my hubby build it), more treats, more attention. What's not to love, right?
             We're also experimenting with how well a tarp works over the big window in the chicken coop, but I didn't get a picture of that as the weather was nasty the day I wrote this. I don't think it's going to work well, but we'll see. Better than nothing for now, I guess. At least it's less drafty. Worried about it keeping too much moisture in, though.

 The yard is going to look like sh!t, but it's not like we ever get visitors besides our parents, so who cares, right?

             Speaking of moisture, we have some major, MAJOR issues with this in/under/around our house as well. Problem is, there's multiple aspects that need taken care of which equals more money, of course. I won't go into lots of details, but basically we need all new gutters and to regrade (? not sure that's the word I'm looking for) the hill behind our house to take care of the moisture issues around and under the house...So then we can replace the rest of the floors (subfloor and all) that we weren't required to fix before we moved in last year. We are getting a lot of soft spots popping up and it makes me worry. A lot.
             Anywho, as a temporary way to at least help matters, John did clean the gutters out this weekend while I dug a small drainage trench to help with the water running down the slope behind the house. I need to at least make it a little deeper, but I'm glad I actually got it started because it rained practically all day the day after. Oh. And I raked the leaves away from the house. Again. (Always with the Godforsaken leaves!) Luckily, they were pretty close to the compost pile (although it sure didn't feel that close trying to rake wet leaves!), so I was thankful for that.

             What have you been doing around the house or yard to prepare for winter?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fodeez Frames Giveaway

Sponsored By: Fodeez

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

A Multi-Pack & 3-Pack of Colorable 4x6 Frames! A $35 RV

Fodeez Frames are especially awesome if you have a stainless steel or wooden-front refrigerator, as nothing sticks to that except tape, until now! Fodeez Frames brings back the ability to proudly display your children’s artwork, photos, doodles and more, on surfaces where you once couldn’t. Other great uses are; for posting monthly school schedules, grocery lists, and anything else you want to remember or keep track of. Click here to read Love, Mrs. Mommy's full Fodeez review! 
 
Open To US and Canada entries! Must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 12/4 12:01 AM EST through 12/18 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received Fodeez Frames at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Baby Memory Book & Sticker Set Giveaway (10 Winners!)

10 WINNERS! Ronica Baby Memory Book & Sticker Set Bundle Giveaway! $595 TRV!!
(this post contains affiliate links)

Sponsored By: Ronica

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

** 10 WINNERS Will Receive: ** 

A Baby Memory Book & Set of 32 Baby Monthly Stickers!

First 5 winners drawn will receive the brand new book & sticker design set (items on the left). 
Second set of 5 winners will receive the original book & sticker design set (items on the right).
Totaling $595 in prizes!!
Ronica’s mission is to make recording baby memories simple for busy parents. We all know that as soon as that new, sweet baby is put in your arms, your life gets a whole lot busier! Free time? What’s that?! But, thanks to Ronica, you won’t spend a lot of time documenting all your precious moments… you can spend more time making them! Click here to read Love, Mrs. Mommy's full Ronica review! 
 
Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 12/1 9:00 AM EST through 12/15 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received a Ronica Baby Memory Book & Sticker Set at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned review. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Family Volunteer Day


             Hey folks! I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, like I'm sure many of you do as well, but you know what one thing I do like about it is? The events! It seems a bit “stalker-y” on Facebook's part to me, but I like when I get notifications that “So and so is interested in such and such event” or when I happen to get suggestions for local events pop up on the right hand side. Why? Because I wouldn't have known about them otherwise! Plus, it's handy for people like me who still aren't very familiar with an area, but want to get out and do things. Anyways...
             I recently came across a volunteer event for families. Even though I am kind of a grinch, I do enjoy volunteering, though haven't done much for a long time. But, that's a different story for a different post. ;) Anyhow, not only did I find out about Family Volunteer Day at the community center in the next biggest town over, but I also discovered that there is a volunteer network in Bloomington as well!
             I loved the idea of getting Myka involved in this and the projects sounded fun to me as well. There were different stations and yes, there were things even younger kids like Myka could do, which I thought was nice. The stations included making feral cat houses, bagging apples for a food pantry, decorating place mats for Meals on Wheels, making lap blankets for retirement home residents, and putting together care kits for a women and children halfway house. (Not sure that's the right term. It's for those trying to get away from violent households.)
             Unfortunately, we didn't get to stay as long as I would have liked because my husband decided to tag along at the last minute and there were a lot more people there than I expected. (Have I mention he has severe crowd anxiety?) Plus, we got there a bit late because we forgot the kids' bag and had to turn around (I know. You would think that would be something I would remember without a second thought by now!) and a couple of the stations had already ran out of materials to make their items! Not that that's a bad thing, though, right? Anyhow, here are a few pictures I was able to snap of our experience. :)

I was especially impressed and surprised that she didn't want to take anything home with us, let alone even mention it!



All of the cat boxes were finished, but Myka got to help finish one and decorate it.

             Do you ever volunteer with your kids? I actually hosted a “play date” of sorts with my moms group earlier this week making Christmas cards for local nursing home residents, so stay tuned for a post on that soon too!
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn
Thinking Outside The Pot

Monday, November 28, 2016

Benefits of Practicing Yoga with Kids


             Hey folks! Let me ask you yoga lovers out there a crazy question: Have you ever thought about practicing yoga with your kids? I know what you're thinking. “Um, no. My kid would NOT stay still long enough for that!” or “No way. That's my time.” I get it, I do, but hear me out. What if you don't have the time and/or money to make it to a yoga class outside the home? Or, have you ever even thought that maybe, just maybe, your tot could benefit from yoga as well?
             I'm not a seasoned yoga practitioner by any means. I started doing yoga around this time last year when I was pregnant with my second daughter and have done it sporadically since she was born. Try as I might to distract her, my older daughter, who is 4 now, has always shown an interest whenever I pop the yoga video in. Sometimes she pays attention for most of the routine, sometimes she only lasts for 5 or 10 minutes before devolving into a crazy person trying to climb underneath me during downward facing dog. But, I have noticed a few positive, reoccurring things when she does yoga with me, which I have included in my list below, and I'm hoping after reading this post you might give practicing yoga with your kids a chance too!

Can NOT for the life of me remember what this "pose" is referred to as right now! It's on my beloved prenatal yoga video; the one where you bend over one leg with your arms outstretched, lift up in the center, then bend over the other leg, repeat...Help me out, here! ;)

*You both get to relax. Ok. So depending on your child's age and attention span, you may not be able to relax as fully as you would by yourself, but desperate times call for desperate measures, amiright? Plus, if your kid is a little bit of a spaz like mine, it will do him/her some good to have some down time and it should...

*Help kids to focus. Every kid is different and no, if you have younger children, they will most likely not pay attention the whole time, but I have been amazed by how much Myka focuses when we do yoga together. She gets really into it sometimes. And some days, it's like she's a completely different child!

*You get to spend quality time together. I know, I know. Yoga is supposed to be about being still and focusing inward, but, no matter how “intuned” your kid is, chances are they will talk at some point. Take this opportunity to help them with their positions/postures and talk about what's been going on in your and his/her day.

I love the idea of doing yoga together as spending quality time especially if you have other kids and may not otherwise get a chance to spend as much time with the one you are doing yoga with. This can be especially true of siblings that have younger or older siblings. Having a special time set aside for just them when either the baby is napping or the older kids are at school is important!

(Butterfly Pose-Baddha Konasana)

*You can make it fun and somewhat educational by incorporating animal poses. Chances are if you have a child that you are trying to do yoga with, they are too young to be going to school yet or you're planning on homeschooling etc. If they're a bit reluctant about the whole yoga thing or you just need/want to make it more interesting one day, including animal poses is always fun! What little one doesn't love animals? We use a nature-based, homeschool preschool curriculum sometimes and I have noticed that at least a few units use animal yoga poses and Myka always loves doing them!

*You and your little one get to learn something new together. In today's society, I feel like this is something rare. However, in my opinion, I feel like learning together will provide a bonding experience that you are both more likely to remember AND that you will likely remember more of what you are learning together!

*You are promoting good habits in both yourself and your child. Practicing yoga together provides the perfect opportunity to teach your children why it's important (and ok, contrary to popular belief by some!) to take “quiet, personal time” out of the day for themselves. This is especially true if you or your children happen to be introverts. We need time to recharge! Yoga may be just the thing you and/or your child need to get through the day without becoming grouchy!

             Do you do/have you done yoga with your children? Did I leave any important benefits out in my list? I'd love to hear your stories and suggestions in the comments below! 

Thinking Outside The Pot
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Kidtasticly Awesome Giveaway

Sponsored By:  

Safety TatPlayMonsterPeek Bags, The Memory Thief by Bryce Moore, PoGO Potty PandaMood-Lights, Nature's Bakery, FodeezeKylie's Crochet CornerABC Questions by Christine CruzLogic Products, and Simply Merino 

Hosted By: 

Love, Mrs. Mommy

Co-Hosted By: InezbyDesign and Heartfully Heather

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive Over $363 worth of goodies!!

Plus, 6 out of the 12 prizes are Winner's Choice! Details are listed under the descriptions...

Safety Tat

For nearly a decade, Safety Tat has been America’s leading choice for ensuring safe returns. Their proven, award-winning temp-tattoo and labeling solutions not only provide a fun level of security for your little ones, but peace of mind for Moms and Dads as well. And SafetyTat offers a wide range of flexible products to fit your needs for literally any occasion. Winner can choose any 6-pack of write-on tats, a $10.99 RV!

PlayMonster

PlayMonster is a toy and game company, championing the power of play by creating quality toys and games for children, adults and families. They are the perfect combination of playful and professional, and true play experts, because they understand play for all ages! Winner will receive a Glow To Sleep Musical Soother, a $49.99 RV! Check out my review here!

Peek Bags

Peek Bags are designed and made by a mom who has two kids of her own. Peek Bags are quality bags that have an adorable “peek” section in the front, so that you know exactly what’s inside without having to open it. These bags come in three sizes; Small, Medium, and Large and have fourteen colors to chose from! Wonderful for mixing and matching to create the perfect storage set for your home. Winner will receive an Assorted Peek Pack in their choice of either girl or boy colors, a $18.00 RV! Check out my review here!

The Memory Thief by Bryce Moore

After witnessing another one of their parents’ public fights, twin brother and sister Benji and Kelly wander off at the local county fair. Benji runs into a group of bullies and escapes into a tent called The Memory Emporium, where he meets a strange old man inside named Louis. The old man shows him a magically vivid memory of a fighter pilot, in the hopes of getting Benji to pay to see other memories Louis has collected from people over the years. Benji quickly realizes the ability to take memories could help his parents stop fighting with each other, and he asks Louis to teach him how to become a Memory Thief. But Louis isn’t the only person with the ability to show and manipulate memories. There’s also the mysterious Genevieve, a Memory Thief with much more nefarious motives. Benji learns how to manipulate memories himself, but having that power comes at a cost to his family, and possibly to his own mind as well. Genevieve’s powers get out of control, as she steals more and more memories from people in town – including Benji’s sister, Kelly. Benji must learn to use this newfound power, as he is the only one able to stop Genevieve. Winner will receive a hardcopy of the book, a $16.99 RV!

PoGO Potty Panda

PoGO’s Positive Potty Training System has three parts: PoGO Panda, PoGO Potty Panda Children’s Book, PoGO’s Potty Stickers. All three were designed to be incorporated into a comprehensive potty training approach, “Positive Potty Training,” that Dr. Maria utilized successfully with her own children. Positive Potty Training centers around the principle of positive reinforcement aimed at fostering a child’s self-esteem and self-efficacy. Positive Potty Training is also designed to minimize the occurrence of power struggles in the potty training experience. Winner will receive a PoGO Potty Panda Training System, a $39.99 RV!

Mood-Lights

See your room in a new Light! Hand-painted Mood-Lights cast the painted image and colors onto surrounding surfaces! Each is an original one-of-a-kind, which projects its unique painting in Light onto whatever the Light hits. Winner will receive a $55.00 credit to their Etsy shop to pick out any item of their choosing!

Nature's Bakery 

​Nature’s Bakery is a snacks and food brand that supports health conscious living and active lifestyles, with their 4 pinnacles of achieving balance - nature, activity, nutrition and community. They lead with delicious, thoughtfully crafted ingredients that are perfect for on-the-go snacks that people can feel better about eating. They take that extra step to create foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan and Kosher Certified, because they care. Proudly, they offer a delicious family of Stone Ground Whole Wheat Fig Bars, Gluten Free Ancient Grains Fig Bars and Double Chocolate Brownie bars that everyone can enjoy and benefit from. Winner will receive Six 6-packs of Fig Bars (flavors of their choosing), a Nature’s Bakery Big Truck Hat, Camelbak Waterbottle, and Lanyard! A $64 RV!
Fodeez offers high value products at affordable prices to keep you organized, on time and remind you what's important. In 2006, Fodeez creator upgraded her refrigerator and found that the prime place to display her kids' photos and artwork, as well as the area she used to keep track of their busy schedules, was gone. Magnets won't stick, tape will damage the surface, and she found herself on a quest. That's how Fodeez® Frames came to be. Winner will receive 2 sets of 3 4x6 Colorable Adhesive Frames / Dry Erase Boards with Markers, a $29.98 TRV! 
Kylie is a creative mama who loves to make and design new items for the entire family. She specializes in unique, boutique baby photo props, but she can't resist trying to make something for everyone, whether it be your sports fan dad, comic book loving brother, princess sister, or your fashionable mother. She is always open to custom requests, and there is a little love in every stitch! Winner will receive their choice of size and style, custom-made hat, a $30 RV!
In ABC Questions, Beverly is starting her first year of school. One of Beverly’s first lessons is the alphabet, and she has lots of amusing questions about the ABCs. Readers can join Beverly as she asks her ABC questions, and learn along the way. ABC Questions is intended for early learners ages 3-6 years old. Winner will receive a copy of ABC Questions, a $12.99 RV! Check out my review here!
Logic Products is now a mom-approved lifestyle brand that fully discloses all ingredients in every product. Logic Products are made in the U.S.A. using plant and mineral derived ingredients. Their eco-friendly product lines include; Natural HomeLogic, TotLogic, BarkLogic and LiceLogic and are available nationwide. They guarantee their products to be safe and effective so you can focus on what’s really important, your family. Winner will receive any one product of their choice up to a $16.95 RV!
They are a small family who is passionate about educating others about the amazing qualities of Merino wool. They wanted to dress their children in the best possible fabric, and therefore Simply Merino was started. Their range is very simple, as they wanted the natural qualities of the Merino wool to speak for themselves. The gowns and sleepers are wonderfully comfortable for infants and babies. And the two-piece sets they've designed can easily be worn as pajamas, thermal wear, or even as separates. It's an easy material to care for; simply wash and dry. Winner will receive a Merino Wool Hat in their choice of size and color, a $19.00 RV!

Open To US - Must be 18+ to enter 
Giveaway Dates ~ 11/26 12:01 AM EST through 12/15 11:59 PM EST Good Luck!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received items at no cost to facilitate the above-mentioned reviews. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to reply before a new winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ultimate Gift Guide for Builders

What kid doesn't love building, at least at some point in their childhood? Whether it be blocks of some sort, natural materials outdoors, such as branches and leaves to build makeshift forts, or complicated erector sets, it seems most children, boys and girls alike, are drawn to creating things with their own two hands. And no wonder: It's enjoyable and many children (and adults!) learn by "doing" and interacting with items. 
If you're looking for the perfect gift for the young builder in your life this holiday season, be sure to check out this gift guide from Educents! 

 Finding the right holiday gift can be a struggle. Rather than leaving you to a google rabbit hole or a bunch of recommendations to sift through, I've pulled together a one-stop shop filled with meaningful gifts for the tinkerers in your life...Whether they're 3 or 83. In this gift guide, you'll find:
  • classic blocks reinvigorated
  • gifts for mechanical tinkerers
  • super cool robot kits
  • gifts for computer savvy kids

Building Blocks 2.0

Rubbablox

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Tiny builders, start here! These soft tactile blocks are great for truly little littles to learn on. Made of natural rubber foam, they are squishy but perfect for building. They’re colorful and durable and fit together easily. Children can create a variety of shapes and structures! Using imagination and coordination, young children work on spatial, fine and gross motor skills. For kids who need sensory input, the tactile stimulation provided by this toy is fantastic. And while we're thinking about giving, it's also important to think about responsible buying. This is a green product, made in India at a fair trade factory using premium quality, child-safe materials. The surface is 100% nylon and wipes clean, making it perfect for little chewers! “My husband is quite the handyman. I purchased these for my son (and a different set for my daughter), to encourage their interest in making/building things and in fixing things. So far, I have a new a bird feeder and a bat house. Yah!” ~ Gail R - Teacher

Magformers Challenger Set

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The unmatched magnetic building set. Talk about STEAM! Perfect for large families and ambitious builders, the Challenger set encourages kids to explore magnetic construction through modular play. Magformers believes it is vital for children to develop through creativity and constructional play. This set does not disappoint. You'll find a variety of magnetic shapes in this set, both Rainbow and XL cruiser pieces so that children can design and build ideas from both lines including the ‘magic ball’ and super fast XL roadster. This set makes a great addition to a math or art curriculum, that's super hands - on. Children of all ages can build and create together making it a great social gift set.

Tegu Blocks: 40-Piece Magnetic Wooden Set

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Building blocks 2.0! Tegu blocks are finely crafted with magnets embedded so kids can build multiple structures form various shapes. Like Rubbablox,Tegu is made from eco-friendly material (in this case wood) and comes in a variety of color schemes to suit preference and mood. Honduras and named after the capital city Tegucigalpa. Kids defy gravity and push their imagination in previously unseen ways. No instruction manuals or electronics; just toys that demand imagination and inspire limitless creativity across all ages. Tegu Blocks are bringing back open, creative play with style - right in time! This makes a great gift because it unlocks a child’s mind through innovative play. The pieces are small enough to be portable. “I believe this is an AMAZING product. Something amazing happens when kids use their hands and imagination to create.” ~ Harvey S “Bought these for my 6 year old grandson for Christmas and we now call his creations ‘the work of a City Planner.’ The different shapes and structures take on the look of city skylines with random items like trees, bridges, etc. Geometry was never so much fun.” ~Deborah F - Homeschooler, Teacher “My first reaction was "these are pricey!" but they were highly recommended to me so I gave it a go. Now I can tell they will be loved for years. My 3 year old loves stacking them and clicking them together and a part. I even have fun playing with these and I'm an adult. They are high quality and the colors are great. ~ Summer H - Homeschooler, Parent, Teacher

The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book

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 Packed with step-by-step instructions for 15 charming builds, The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is the perfect family activity this holiday season! It's one part coffee table for adults, and two parts instruction book kids of all ages. With The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book as their guide, kids make classic globe and barrel ornaments, all out of LEGO! Other possible creations include original gingerbread houses, a merry Santa, arcade cabinets, and so much more! This makes a perfect gift for the child who already owns tons of LEGO blocks but is always looking for inspirational building ideas.

Magformers Math Activity Set

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 Math comes to life with this awesome set! Put some STEAM in your holiday plans! This math activity set stimulates learning through magnetic construction and creation. Activities in the set utilize the always attracting magnets to solve math problems such as patterns, addition and subtraction, and 2D nets to 3D structures. Perfect for the visual-spatial learner who loves math puzzles. Use the 50 page math book included to layout Magformers shapes and complete the mathematical challenges! The set contains 12 different geometric shapes including squares and triangles, rectangles and trapezoids through to the super squares and triangles.

Mechanical Masterminds

Tool Set 10-Piece Child Size

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Realistic building for young builders! This set makes a great gift for children who love to help parents and grandparents in the workshop. Encourage children to spend valuable imagination time learning new skills with this 10-piece set tool set. It includes screwdrivers, hammer, handsaw, bar clamp, file, tape measure, ruler, safety goggles, and tool belt. Work and play are intertwined with building activities that are challenging, educational, and - most importantly, fun! The tool designs are authentic so children can make-believe they are true woodworkers.

Toobeez Building 57 Piece Connector Set

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Ages 7 to 10 Build big connections! Kids work together to literally make bridges, obstacle courses - anything they imagine. Start fun-filled construction with just three simple steps: connect, twist, and create. Toobeez Original Building Kit is a life-sized construction toy. Unlike regular blocks, this kit comes with interlocking tubes and spheres that can be linked to create structures right out of kids' imagination. They can construct anything from a doll house, a helicopter, lemonade stand or a pirate ship. Just connect and twist the tube into the connector spheres. It’s a great set to be used indoors for forts as well as outdoors for lawn activities. This set makes a lasting gift because it promotes creativity and inspires imagination with unlimited building possibilities. Adults won’t be able to resist creating with their kids!

ROBOTIC PROFESSORS

14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot Kit

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 The 14-in-1 Educational Solar Robot kit is the recipient of the "Best Green Products Award 2013" from Dr Toy and Creative Child Magazine has anointed it with "Top Toy of the Year Award" and "Kids Product of the Year Award." It's the coolest and greenest robot on the planet! This robot can be transformed into 14 different robot modes which include a multitude of comical and functional movements. The user can easily change from a Wagging-Tail Dog to Running Beetle to Walking Crab to Surfer to Speedster to Zombie Chaser! It's super versatile, too - there are parts that make the robot move on land and water. Like an amphibian! This a great gift for more advanced robot aficionados. “Excellent resource for my Middle School STEAM students. Anything robotic is extremely appealing and interesting to them so this was a big set!!! Great resource, highly recommend it.” ~ Faith B., Teacher “We purchased this for our just-turned-9 year old's birthday. He loves it! It's a nice size and there are so many things you can do with it! It comes with about 200 pieces and a thick instruction manual on how to make 14 different bots. Of course, the limit is your imagination and I'm excited to see how many things my son can come up with!” ~ Celena M “Fun and educational. I like the snap together concept and the ability to take apart and reassemble multiple times. A very good price for all that you get.” ~ Martha M

Magformers Walking Robot Set

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 Build a 3D bot! This makes a creative and thinking gift for the child fascinated by robots. Young innovators will click, connect, and create with the NEW Magformers 45 piece Walking Robot set! Kids will love following along with the step-by-step idea booklet to discover the possibilities of the colorful Walking Robot Set. Eight walking characters are built using the STEAM engine block and walking accessories! Building with Magformers encourages children to use their imagination and show their creativity while developing skills and knowledge critical to their development success. Magformers uses high quality “always attracting” magnetic technology that provides endless constructional play.  

Mand Labs KIT-1: The Coolest DIY Kit for Fun Learning in Electronics

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An electrifying gift! This kit is perfect for the budding electrician looking to be stimulated by simple but intriguing experiments. Mand Labs KIT-1 is one of the coolest Educational Electronics Kit that you will ever find. With their powerful step by step visual instructions, teens can create a variety of fascinating electricity and electronic projects. They will be able to understand how real world electronic component works, test laws of physics, gain technical skills and have fun. Watch out, Nobel! The best part is that the kit is all-in-one. It comes with all requisite parts and tools for making 50+ projects and venturing further into electronics, books for theoretical reference, learning and making videos, troubleshooting guide, and an award winning package design that opens up into a personalized workstation. Note: This is a safe kit.

Computer-Meets-Builder

Beginning Architecture eCourse 1-3

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Audio visual meets real world building. This is an online e-course of Beginning Architecture with 25+ architecture lessons providing the early fundamentals of structures, home design, and zoo design. Kids use things laying around the house like paper, popsicle sticks, straws, paper plates, and pipe cleaners along with learned methods to design their own homes! Each lesson concentrates on designing and personalizing a specific room of their homes, structures or zoos. By the end of the course, students will have designed a home specific to their personal tastes and will have built various designs. This course provides more specific architectural challenges for students who are interested in playing with and learning about architecture and some interior design, making it a great holiday gift!

Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS, and Wordpress

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Teens will have a blast learning how to make their own website with the help of this fun, illustrated introduction to the basics of website-building. Mix creativity with real world empowerment. The awesome cartoon guide will help teens learn the basics and pretty soon, they'll have a website all their own to show off to all their friends. Readers learn how to use HTML tags, make their own site shine with CSS, customize Wordpress to fit their needs, and choose a company to host the site. They also get advice on things like how to pick a good domain name - and those of you in the blogging sphere know that's no joke! Help kids stop dreaming of their perfect website and start making it!