Raise both hands if the last thing you want for the holidays is MORE STUFF!!!
For those of us attempting to minimize our homes and our homeschools, the thought of holiday gift-receiving can be frustrating. So in light of that emotional response to stress, why not suggest to family and friends to give a gift that can be cherished forever – memories! And what better way to make lifelong memories than with the gift of an experience.
Below are five experiences for homeschoolers that would make great gifts this holiday season.
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Class or Lessons
A class or series of lessons for homeschoolers make great gifts. They can help create lasting memories, provide a sense of togetherness if it’s a family class, and be tailored to each person or family’s interests!
Give loved ones the opportunity to learn new skills in the kitchen with a cooking class. They’ll have fun learning something new, plus they’ll have some delicious food at the end of it all! You can find cooking classes in person and online.
Here are a few resources that can help you introduce cooking at home:
Coding is a creative way for kids to express their ideas and thoughts and improve problem-solving skills. With the ever-growing importance of technology, it’s no wonder that coding has become so valuable in today’s society!
Coding can be an intimidating subject to teach for many parents. However, with the help of some easy-to-use websites and courses for kids, families will have no problem getting started!
As always, I recommend taking local classes to help support your community, but here are a few great resources that you may find helpful when introducing your child to programming:
Sports are an excellent way for kids to stay active and make friends. It’s not just the physical benefits that keep them interested in sports, but it also helps them with leadership skills and builds confidence! Children and families participating in sports will build strong muscles while improving cardiovascular endurance, benefiting their long-term health.
Introducing children to music is one of the best gifts you can give them. Learning an instrument not only helps train their brain for things like patience and focus, but it will also bring joy when they play their favorite songs! Be sure to search for local music teachers when considering purchasing lessons, and many of them offer virtual classes as well.
Some online experiences include:
Dance is more than just a fun activity for kids; it’s essential in their development. Dance keeps them moving and healthy, but it also improves balance. Dance has been shown to increase cognitive skillsets like memory and attention spans – something we all need these days with our constantly distracted world (especially us parents!)
The ability to learn a second language is essential for the future. Research shows that children proficient in another language excel at problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening skills. Learning a foreign language also improves memory and concentration with time spent learning this skill!
Our favorite experiences include:
Art is a beautiful outlet for both children and adults, providing them with opportunities to express their creativity and emotions.
Some of our favorite online experiences include:
Memberships can be a fantastic holiday gift for homeschool families and friends. Why? Because memberships to places like zoos, museums, and botanical gardens offer a wide variety of educational experiences for kids of all ages!
An annual zoo or aquarium membership can be an excellent gift for a family who loves animals. These memberships usually offer free parking and other discounts, which can add up if you visit these places often.
A museum membership is another great way to gift an experience. Museum memberships can be purchased for institutions both large and small, and many offer reciprocal benefits to the members allowing them to visit other museums for free. This makes it easy for the recipient to explore new places without paying admission every time.
Botanical gardens are the perfect place for people who enjoy exploring nature. These green spaces devote their resources to studying plants and conservation, and docents are often overjoyed to share their knowledge about plants.
Tickets can be a great gift option for homeschoolers too!
Ticketing to the theater, concert, or sporting event is another way you could show your appreciation. You might also want to choose movies as an alternative since it’s more affordable than most other forms of entertainment these days.
Theater tickets make for an intimate and memorable gift, especially when the play is meaningful to both the giver and the recipient. Gift certificates are also available, making it easy for your theater-loving friend or family member to pick a date that works for them.
A concert is an unforgettable event, so why not share one with someone special? Concert tickets are always popular as gifts, and it’s the perfect way to spend time with loved ones!
Another excellent option for experiences is tickets to a sporting event. This gift can be enjoyable for sports fans and folks who may have never experienced a live sporting event before.
Movies are a great experience to gift because they’re affordable and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Plus, you can always watch the film together! Gift certificates make it easy for your loved ones to choose a movie that they’ll enjoy.
Another option is to purchase a subscription service such as:
Annual & Season Passes
Entry fees can get expensive for those that frequent amusement parks, national parks, and more, so it makes economic sense to purchase an annual or season pass to their favorite destinations.
National Park Pass
With a pass, families can explore more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Whether it’s for hiking or camping at national parks and wildlife refuges or paying day-use fees on forest service land, an entrance pass is a guaranteed ticket to adventure.
State Park Pass
State Park passes are another great option to get outdoors. Many states offer a reduced or free entrance fee for those with state park passes, which is a great way to explore more of your home.
An amusement park can be a lot of fun, but the cost of admission can add up quickly. That’s why an annual pass is an excellent gift for those who love going to these parks. It gives them unlimited access to their favorite destination!
Volunteer or Thoughtful Donation
When it comes to finding a gift for the homeschool family in your life, why not give the gift of giving? Donations or volunteering for their favorite charities and causes close to their hearts are sure to be appreciated and can have a significant impact.
One great way to volunteer or donate is through animal rescue organizations. These groups help take care of animals who need homes, whether they’ve been abandoned or rescued from bad situations. They also educate people about conservation efforts or responsible pet ownership.
Donating money is always helpful, or you could provide items such as food, blankets, or toys for the animals.
Another great way to volunteer or donate is by giving to your local food bank. These organizations work hard to collect and distribute food to those who need it most. They also offer nutrition education and assistance with applying for government benefits.
There are many ways you can help a food bank. You can donate money, time, or goods like canned foods or hygiene products.
When there’s a natural disaster, relief agencies swing into action to help those affected. These agencies rely on donations from individuals and organizations to continue their essential work.
Donating money is always the most helpful, but there are other ways you can help. You could donate goods like clothing, diapers, or baby formula.
Many hospitals rely on donations from individuals and organizations to provide comfort and cheer to patients. These donations can be in the form of money to purchase toys and books for the pediatric unit, or they can include handmade goods like quilts, blankets, beanies, socks, and mittens.
You could also choose to support a specific hospital department, such as the pediatric unit or the oncology ward.
Another great way to donate is through education programs and charities. These organizations work hard to provide educational opportunities to those who would not otherwise have access.
There are many ways you can donate to an education charity. You can give money, goods, or your time by volunteering. You could also choose to support a specific type of education, such as literacy programs or STEM education.
Give the gift of experiences this holiday season! Whether it’s a sporting event, an annual pass, or a cooking class – any one of these gifts is guaranteed to put a smile on your loved one’s face and provide lots of special memories.
As you can see, there are many different options for gifting experiences! As homeschoolers, we know that learning doesn’t always occur around the kitchen table. Sometimes the best lessons happen when we get out of the house and try something new! What better way to show your loved ones how much you care than by giving them an experience they’ll never forget?
What experience would you like to give your family and friends this holiday season? Share in the comments below!
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.