A Homeschooler’s Early Childhood Gift Guide

Ultimate Early Childhood Christmas Gift Guide

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used}

I get asked a lot how I acquired so many fabulous early learning toys for my children.  One of the most helpful methods was by adding them to gift wish lists!  My parents and my in-laws were gracious and often bought learning toys for birthdays and Christmas!  Today I have an extensive Early Childhood Gift Guide for those of you hoping to stock your homeschool space with great learning tools for your young children. Any questions – leave me a comment and I will do my best to help!

Click on the graphics to see prices and links!

Alphabet Toys


lauri abc puzzle   Alphatales    lauri alphabet puzzleAlphabet Counstruction Set  Alphabet Soup CansLauri Alphabet Stackers    Puzzle Boards ABC    Sequence Letters


Numbers and Counting Toys

71JfIWn4qvL._SL1000_Lauri Number Puzzle Boards71vt7HH53nL._SL1000_LR Pop CountingLR Number PopsiclesNumber puzzlesLR Muffin Tin   LR Number Construction


Colors & Shapes

Beginner Pattern BlocksShape Bean Bagsmagnetic pattern blocksLearning Resources Counters Giveaway from www.1plus1plus1equals1.netLR Cookie Shapes   LR Color Pie Shape Puzzle  


Building Toys

City Blocks  Magneatos Stacking Pegs SetInterloxCandy ConstructionFoam BlocksStraws and Connectors 705 pieces  Wedgits  Link n Learn


Grow with You Games & Toys

Many of these would technically be geared towards elementary aged kids, not tots or preschoolers BUT don’t overlook these!  These provided tons of fun during our Tot School years and are toys and games my kids STILL play with!  We used the pieces for color sorting, building, fine motor work, and all sorts of other things!


BlokusCitiblocsQwirkleZoobs 1

Suspendwho lives where


Gross Motor Fun

Many of these are featured in our Blessed with Boundless Energy post, you can read why we recommend these there!

Balance BallBalance pods Balance Boardplasmacar DiskSONY DSC                       Waliki the Jumping BullGonge See Saw


DVD Sets

These are great DVD sets to begin collecting when your children are young!  My daughter is 6 and LOVES all of these!

    whats-in-the-bibleLiberty's KidsFriends and Heroes DVDs


Want even more gift ideas?  See our complete list of gift recommendations here! See direct links to our specific lists for toddlers, preschoolers and more!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids


Here’s direct links to the gift idea posts we shared last year featuring my son and daughter’s favorites at age 5 & 8

Gift Ideas for 5 Year Olds  Gift Ideas for 8 Year Olds

Life of Fred Beginning Readers Giveaway & Discount Code

Life of Fred Beginning Readers Giveaway

{disclaimer ~ Educents is a blog sponsor and provided our books for review}

Educents is the first online marketplace forhomeschool_ad300x2501 educational products. In just 2 years we’ve saved homeschoolers & parents over $20 million on much-needed educational products and resources for their students. We hope we can help you discover and save BIG on all the educational products you deserve! Discover thousands of educational items at the absolute BEST price available all at your finger tips!

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We have recently fallen in love with a new set of books thanks to Educents. They kindly sent us Life of Fred Beginning Readers Set #1 for this review and these books couldn’t have come at a better time! 

My daughter, who is in 1st Grade, began Life of Fred Math this year and recently finished up Apples.  She LOVES { I mean really loves} it.  When I showed her the stack of reading books all about her beloved Fred and Kingie, she squealed with joy!  She immediately asked to read them and could read them independently!

Life of Fred Readers -0537


Here’s a video I made of Ladybug reading a couple of the books aloud.  She was reading each book for the first time, you can hear her natural giggles and see her point out things in the books.  She is thoroughly engaged mostly because she had already developed a love for these characters thanks to her Life of Fred Math.


If you are using Life of Fred math with your young child, I highly recommend looking at these books.  I honestly had no idea how she would react to these but her joy far exceeded any expectations I had!  She honestly just loves them!

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I have even caught my boys picking them up and reading them.  The books, of course, are too easy for my 4th and 8th grader, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy them too!  The Life of Fred Beginning Readers are recommended for ages 4 and up, and I would say a target age range is K-2.  A child who already loves Fred and Kingie will probably love these books the most, because they expand on the stories shared in the math books.

Life of Fred Beginning Readers -0927


Educents is giving an exclusive discount to all 1+1+1=1 readers and fans!

Save an EXTRA 10% off your entire shopping cart

when you use code 1P10 at checkout!

Educents Discount Code



One of you is going to WIN the entire 18 book set, an $85.99 value!!  I am so excited!

Life of Fred Beginning Readers Giveaway 2

Enter to win the Award-Winning Life of Fred Beginning Readers Series! Kids already love the Life of Fred stories, now they can read more stories to develop their reading skills with the Life of Fred Readers Series.  The set is made up of all 18 books that your little learner will ask to read over and over again!  $85.99 value.

Enter to win using Rafflecopter below.  Giveaway is open to US and Canada and ends November 22, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tot School Gathering Place Week 148

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! Gather together here, gather ideas from other blogs, share your own ideas on your own blog. Browse around at the other posts linked up, leave a few comments if you have time, and be sure to check back to see if your blog was featured!

Each week we will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Remember, provide a link back to Tot School Gathering Place within your post that you link up, so you can be considered for the feature! {disclaimer ~ affiliate links used in this post}


Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away! The weeks seem to be flying by! We’ve started doing a few Thanksgiving themed things (check the blog!) and the kids are getting excited! What things have you been doing to get ready for Thanksgiving? Don’t forget to share your ideas with us by linking them up to the Gathering Place! We’d love to see what you’re up to!

Are you looking for an interesting art project for your Tot? Check out the neat idea that Mama Swapna from The Practical Mom put together for her Tot. It could make for some creative wrapping paper for the upcoming holidays!11082015 The Practical Mom

With the earlier setting of the sun it is a lot easier to take our Tots out to see the stars! Do you have a star gazer in your house? If so, take a look over at SmartE PartE to see the many different space themed Tot Trays that Mama Kristin put together for Tot E!11082015 SmartE PartE

V was the letter of the week over at The Elliot Edition! Take a look at all the different activities that Mama Crystal and her Tot worked on throughout the week! Maybe your Tot would enjoy them as well!

11082015 The Elliott Edition

Were you featured? You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional! Tot School Feature

<center><a href="http://bit.ly/W32RDO" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src="http://bit.ly/13tsB2r"/ ></a></center>

Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?


See the Tot School webpage here!

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Tot School Ideas on Pinterest.

Thanksgiving Q Tip Printables  Thanksgiving Preschool Pack

 Are you NEW or have never been featured? Read this! Basics: write a specific post about what you did with your tot, link up the permalink from your post, link back to Tot School within that post, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).

Printable Thanksgiving Placemats for Kids

Printable Thanksgiving Activity Placemats for Kids

Need something simple and fun to make the kids feel special on Thanksgiving?  These printable Thanksgiving activity placemats are a simple solution!  Three different choices!

One is an activity mat…trace the turkey, draw your favorite meal, color the Pilgrim and Native American, and more!

Printable Thanksgiving Placemat for Kids


Another is a coloring placemat…

Printable Thanksgiving Placemat for Kids


And finally, one with adorable Thanksgiving owls and a large blank place to write or draw what you are thankful for!

Printable Thanksgiving Placemat for Kids

Download your Free Thanksgiving Placemats here!

We have LOADS more free Thanksgiving fun for you!  Here’s some of our favorites…

Thanksgiving Doodle Coloring Pages FB

Just-Color-Thanksgiving10 Thanksgiving-Q-Tip-Printables9

Turkey-Songs5 Thanksgiving-Preschool-Fun6 Thanksgiving-Preschool-Pack7


Owl Opposites Memory

Recently we shared our first two sets of Owl Opposites printables, a set of opposites flashcards and a set of mix and match printables. We have a series of printables featuring our Owl Opposites friends coming, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any!

Owl Opposites Memory Game Printables

Today  I have a set of owl opposites Memory game cards for you! My daughter LOVES these! Before playing memory with them, I had her match them all up so she knew which cards went together.  This might be confusing for younger kids since the matches don’t look alike, but are opposites!

Owl Opposites Memory -0550

After I made sure she knew them all, we played!

Owl Opposites Memory -0570

Owl Opposites Memory -0573


Want your cards smaller? See how to scale down a PDF file here to print multiple per page.

Opposites are a great thing to expose young children to, choose a few if you have a toddler or preschooler and add more as they are mastered. Don’t bring them all out at once, gradually build up! We have many more owl opposites activities coming soon, so you’ll get many more ideas on how to have fun teaching opposites!

Download your free Owl Opposites Memory here! 

Owl Opposites memory

Grab the Owl Opposites Flashcards here and Owl Opposites Mix & Match here!

Owl-Opposites-Flashcards41 Owl-Opposites-Mix-and-Match3