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Best Holiday Ideas to “unplug” your child!

Baby, it’s cold outside…so let’s find some alternative ways for your child to play inside….”INDEPENDENTLY

Why as parents do we feel like we have to play with our children at all times. Playing independently is crucial to a child’s development. It encourages them to use their imagination, and occupy themselves. Encouraging your children to play on their own can be a win-win situation for everyone. 

Want your kids to be happy doing something other than video games, TV, computers? Then you’ve come to the right place! Seriously, there are amazing choices to get them to “unplug!” Wouldn’t you love to increase their brain power? Wouldn’t you love to keep them busy with independent play? Well get ready to be blown away! I have some great choices for you. I know that I constantly brainstorm with my husband to think up ideas for the coolest things our grandchildren can build and learn about.

Do you remember the game called Simon? My kids had it when they were little! Pull it out to be rediscovered by the kids on a rainy day. They always rise to the challenge and although it’s not silent, it sure keeps them occupied. And I know they are stretching their memory and attention skills..




This is a great holiday gift! Who is out and about during wintertime? Shine a light behind the pages and discover a natural winter world full of surprises! To this I would add an adorable little stuffed animal and put it in a little tote bag. Don’t forget the flashlight ? you need for these books!

We all know a book is the best gift you can give a child, and I encourage everyone to give a child at least one book this holiday season. I’m a strong believer of encouraging literacy and I love to give gifts that encourage lifelong reading habits. I’ve chosen a variety of items—some traditional and some snazzy—that will support literacy skills in your kids. These are also gifts that will encourage reluctant readers, and help them to view reading in a positive, fun light and not something that must be accompanied by a reading log!  As a retired teacher I love to promote literacy and pretend play to spark the imaginations of all ages! I’ve tried to add links to make it easy for you.


One of my favorite gifts to put together as a special present for a child is to choose an inspiring picture book and then find a coordinating toy or activity. One special book is called a ”Shine A Light” book that can be found here! 




This book is easy…just add some garden tools, a little carry-all to put them in, a flashlight, add this book, and Voila! The perfect spring/summer birthday gift!

This past year I gave my granddaughter a subscription box of the month,  Little Passports is good for kids who want something different , But…as it turned out I got One that was a bit to old for her. Epic fail Grammie! ? Their focus, as you might guess, is on geography. I also think Little Passports would be great for homeschoolers. They has subscription boxes for three different age levels:, one of the things I like best about subscription boxes is that they include everything you need!!! No more hunting around for materials and trying to figure out what project to do with the kids. They are absolutely perfect for Grandparents like me who want to spend time with their grandkids on tinker-y type projects but are just a wee bit lazy. (No shame it that!) If that sounds like you then one of these boxes might just become your favorite gift for kids, too. There’s something to suit kids of all ages and interests! Click on the links and images below to learn more about each subscription box service. (Note: Some links and images are affiliate links.) I love Kiwi Crates. They are creative, enriching, and so convenient since it all comes in the crate! They have crates for all ages though the one’s for your littles will definitely need you. Ok, so I know I said ”independent” but this one was to good to pass up!


How about bookmarks? Give them construction paper, scissors, crayons, & glue and let them have joy & happiness creating something. Or colored pencils and drawing paper?

A little clamp on mini light and turn the lights off and they’ll think….awesome!

How to Catch a Star from the marvelous author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers is about a boy who dreams up ways to catch hold of his very own star. Kids can catch their own stars and place their very own glow-in the dark constellations on their ceiling. What preschooler doesn’t want to fall asleep under the stars every night. Magical!

You can find it on Amazon!


Like reading, going to the theater is another favorite of mine! It exposes kids to new stories and expands their imaginations. The social act of watching a show teaches some social skills, not to mention the special time spent with a beloved grown-up. So investigate the children’s theater options in your area and buy tickets–or better yet, season tickets– to a show! I’m going to explore our local theatre community and see what’s playing.

Another great idea for a gift is a Yoga mat, leotard, (for a girl) little bag, and let them pretend play! I recently came across KIDS YOGA CARDS! They can practice the different types of moves that the cards show. There are lots of choices of yoga cards available for children to play with independently or as a family. I love Eric Carle! I love

“Giraffes can bend their necks, monkeys can wave their hands, and donkeys can kick their legs. And so can you! Throughout this interactive board book, the animals of From Head to Toe invite young readers to copy their antics as they play.

Through Carle’s vibrant collages and simple instructions, children will learn the importance of listening, exercising, and taking on a new challenge. Join the giraffes, monkeys, donkeys, seals, and more for a frolicking, fun adventure!”

Lego’s we’re always a favorite when my kids were little. They would play endlessly for hours all by themselves. Sometimes I would quietly check on them because I couldn’t believe they were so engaged! You can find them At http://Amazon.com. 

Don’t forget the old faithful train sets! My boys had an electric one and a wooden set called Brio which we saved for our grandchildren!  

Need more ideas to encourage creative, independent play? Sign up for my newsletter for monthly creative ideas for your child! 

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