Whitefield Academy Blog
Christmas Gifts You Won’t Regret 2019
Sometimes as parents we get excited about fulfilling a Christmas gift wish for our kids without a thought of what the aftermath will entail. Oh, these lights and sounds miiiight get annoying after awhile. Oh, I spent a whole bunch on this, and it’s going to be discarded two days later.
To help us avoid these regrets, students, parents and teachers at Whitefield Academy have worked together to create our second annual Christmas Gifts You Won’t Regret Giving List. This list is for all ages and all interests. It’s low-tech and we like it that way.
Jump In ($14.99, 7+)
If you have a kiddo wanting to try out video games but you’re a non-gaming family, then this might be a good compromise. This fun brain-bender has 60 different challenges for kids to solve. The company has a bunch of other games for younger kids (Three Little Piggies, 3+) and older kids (Walls and Warriors, 8+).
Kanoodle, Jr. ($12.97, 4-7)
Another great brain-bender for younger kids, this one comes in an easy-to-pack case that you can pull out in waiting rooms or the church foyer when mom is talking too long after the service. This one starts out easy and then works its way up to pretty difficult.
Kanoodle ($9.79, 7-Adult)
This game comes with over 200 challenges ranging from basic to super difficult. It comes in a neat little traveling case too! You’ll be much happier if your teenager is hunched over the kitchen table working on these puzzles than with his nose stuck to a screen.
Screwball Scramble ($17.54, 5+)
This multi-player maze game was such a huge hit at our school’s summer camp that there came a time when it had to be removed because the crowds around the game got so large. Your whole family will love honing their skills, competing to get the marble from one side of the maze to the other.
Photosynthesis ($29.99; 8+)
One of the more beautiful strategy games we’ve seen, Photosynthesis comes with the review from a Whitefield teacher that “everything about it is fantastic.” This game works with 2 to 4 players and is a great way to get a little foliage into an otherwise bleak and bare winter.
Forbidden Island ($14; 10+)
This one is a little bit different than the other games on here because it’s a cooperative game. Two to four players work together to collect the treasures before the island sinks beneath you! Fun one to encourage teamwork rather than competition.
Dutch Blitz ($15.79; 8+)
A vonderful goot game! Dutch Blitz is a fun, fast-paced game that you can play for 5 minutes or 5 hours! We dare you not to get competitive. Just be sure to clear any breakable items from your kitchen table when Dutch Blitz is being played. Be sure to buy the expansion pack if you want to play with more than four people.
Axis and Allies ($18.69, 12+)
Just in case Kansas City loses power again this winter, your family needs to be prepared with, yes, lots of firewood but also a really good board game. Axis and Allies is a classic for 2-5 players. It’s perfect for long winter days when older kids are home on break and need something fun to do together.
Monopoly Deal ($7.33, 8+)
Is real Monopoly a little too emotional for your family? Are tears shed as mom is slowly worn down over three hours of play? Well then Monopoly Deal is for you! It just takes 15 minutes and you get all the fun that real Monopoly has to offer.
Just for Fun
Inflatable Lounger ($32.98, 10+)
Remember those blow up chairs that were really popular in the 90s? Well this lounger is like their cool millennial cousin. Just whisk it through the air a few times and it blows up! You can even float around on water on it. Let all the air out and it packs small enough to fit in a backpack.
Portable Ping Pong Set ($19.99, 7+)
Love the idea of an indoor ping pong table but hate the thought of the space it will take up? Now you can turn your kitchen table into a temporary ping pong table with this portable table tennis set!
Stomp Rocket ($17.99; 5+)
While these stomp rockets are fun, they’re even more fun when you make your own rockets! The Adler Planetarium in Chicago had a paper rocket making station set up this summer with these stomp rocket blasters. It was so much fun to see how altering your rocket could change how high it flew!
Hammock ($13.99; 8+)
Whether your kiddo will be hanging this up in the backyard or in his dorm room next year, a hammock is a versatile and fun item for a teen to have.
Magnetic Beads ($13.99; 3+)
These teeny tiny magnetic beads are a fun desktop activity. Build all different kinds of things or just play with them in your palm.
Roller Skates or Blades ($29.98; 4+)
Make those skating parties end in fewer tears with a little practice in the basement this winter. You can go the skate route or switch over to roller blades.
Tinker Crate ($19.95, 9-16)
Whether you chose to do a monthly subscription or just a one time purchase, your future engineer will enjoy following the directions to make different contraptions. Is your kiddo more interested in geography? Grab Atlas Crate. Have a younger innovator? Get Kiwi Crate. And if you’re still looking for a gift for your tinkering husband, try out Eureka Crate.
Erin Condren Planner ($37, 13+)
These completely customizable planners are very popular with students and make staying organized fun! There are a bunch of different options, even ones for younger kids!
Letter Board ($19.95, 8+)
These letter boards are so fun for teens and older kids to hang in their rooms. They can add special quotes or seasonal phrases.
Arts and Crafts
Blank Comic Book ($6.19, 5+)
Have an aspiring comic book writer, someone who loves super heroes, or just a kid with a huge imagination? Let them try out their stories and illustrations in their very own comic book!
Blick Studio Brush Markers ($12.99+; 10+)
These markers came on special recommendation for upper schoolers from our art teacher. With two different tips and stunning colors, these brush markers are a must have for any artist’s at-home studio.
Scratch Art ($7.99; 2-10)
Not knowing what colors will appear always makes drawing more exciting. Doodling on a big stack of these scratch art sheets is a fun way to spend some time at the kitchen table.
Pop Snap Bead Jewelry ($18.33; 4-10)
These beads are fun, easy and reusable. They’ve also been a big hit with Whitefield students during babysitting events at school. Just snap them together to make necklaces, bracelets and rings, and pop them apart when you’re done!
Craft Supplies ($23.99; 3-10)
A giant box of craft supplies can be one of the best ways to capture a kid’s imagination. Grab one of these ready-made kits or put your own together with a quick trip to Hobby Lobby.
Giant Coloring Poster ($10.99; 3+)
A coloring page this size will entertain the whole family for hours. This one even covers geography, so they might learn something while they’re coloring!
Gel Crayons ($15.96; 3+)
If you haven’t tried gel crayons yet, you are missing out. They are kind of like a mix between oil pastels, markers, and crayons. They write smoothly and brightly on paper but they can also be used on mirrors or windows!
WWI and WWII Sticker Books ($10.58; 7+)
These are great sticker books packed full of WWI and WWII info, maps, and 100 stickers.
The Oregon Trail: Choose Your Own Adventure ($13.64; 7-10)
Ever shoot too many buffalo to carry home? What about having to make the tough decision of whether or not to ford the river? Now your kids (Or you! No judgement!) can experience the thrill of the original Oregon Trail computer game in four choose your own adventure books! Just be prepared to answer the question, “What’s dysentery?”
Mercy Watson Box Set ($5.73; 5-9)
If your family hasn’t met Mercy Watson yet, you are in for a treat! This porcine wonder is hilarious! This series has fun and colorful pictures and short chapters for younger readers. If you have really young kiddos, try out A Piglet Named Mercy, or if you have older readers (7+) try out the just as funny longer chapter books based on Mercy Watson minor characters, Tales from Deckawoo Drive.
Letters from Father Christmas ($15.61; all ages)
This one might not be a huge hit as a gift, but it’s definitely a great tradition to start. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, wrote one letter each year to his children from Father Christmas. This hardback book beautifully chronicles those letters with high quality color images of each letter and stunning copies of his hand painted images. Your whole family will love following along with Father Christmas and his polar bear and all the mischief that ensues.
The Way Things Work Now ($23.48; 8+)
If you have an aspiring engineer or just a kid who always wants to know how something works, this is a great and colorful book.
Mistakes That Worked ($9.49; 4+)
This is the BEST book! It walks kids through 40 different inventions and how they were mistakes that worked! From chocolate chip cookies to velcro, this book is chock-full of fun information.
Playing Cards ($2.79; 5+)
When the 4th graders were asked what to add to this list, playing cards was one of their first choices. Grab a standard deck or spend a few more dollars on a unique design. Our fourth graders love carrying them around in their backpacks for a spare moment of free time in the classroom.
WikkiStix ($2.98; 2-10)
These wax coated pieces of yard are flexible yet also sticky and stable, allowing kids to make different designs over and over again. Whether it’s spelling their name or making a 3-D model of their sister, younger kids will really enjoy pulling out these Wikkistix over and over again.
Sneaker Balls ($4.99; 12+)
Have some stinky tennis shoes or gym bags? Then everyone in your family will be delighted for your older child to receive these in their stocking!
Flashlights ($14.99 for 6; all ages)
Get the whole fam bam flashlights! Perfect for flashlight tag, reading at night, or hunkering down in a tornado drill!
Book Darts ($8.69; 8+)
This tin of book darts is a great little stocking stuffer for the readers in your family. Whether they hate folding down pages or need to keep track of a lot of different spots in a book, your readers will love these!
Lettermate ($7.99; 10+)
Have a letter writer in the family? Or maybe someone who loves fun lettering? This is a great tool! Line it up on envelopes for beautiful addressing.
Shakespearean Insult Bandages ($8.33; 12+)
These Shakespearean Insult Bandages will make any scratch feel better.
Crossword Puzzles ($6.98; 16+)
Zoom through (or plod through…depending on your skill level) a host of Monday NY Times crosswords!
Revolutionary War Figurines ($14.99; 6+)
Have a little history buff? Grab a couple of tubes of these great Revolutionary War figurines. They even have the British side.