non-electronic gifts for the kids…or yourself…to beat the stay-at-home blues!

Every year I gather ideas for non-electronic gifts during the holiday season.

Those lists are always available through the tab at the top of the blog if now seems like a good time to revisit them.

Today I’m posting a few suggestions focusing on kids ages 8 and up.
Maybe a child in your household or a friend cooped up elsewhere could use a pick-me-up like these.

Starting with a few books from our pals at Klutz:

klutz movie

Lego Make Your-Own-Movie
Learn to make stop-motion movies with Legos and a smartphone, tablet, or computer.  Once you’ve got the hang of it, the sky will be the limit.

klutz gadgets

Lego Gadgets
This comes with all the Legos you need to build 11 rad, working gadgets.

klutz soap

Make Your Own Soap
Because if there ever was a time when this would be the go-to activity 🙂

Moving on to kids who like creative writing or journaling.
Your best friend is Keri Smith. Here are three of her creations:

imaginary world

The Imaginary World Of…
Follow the possibility-laden directions and dream up an utterly-novel world of your own.

wreck this journal

Wreck This Journal
The book that started it all.  Quirky, deliciously-renegade instructions that blow the walls down and hopefully unleash new, creative ways of thinking.

finish this book

Finish This Book
An off-beat journal inviting you to become the author. Includes Secret Intelligence Training exercises.  Cool, huh?

For kids wanting to dabble in arts and crafts:

embroidery kit

A darling embroidered fox kit
Kiriki Press has lots more embroidery kits for folks who aren’t complete beginners as well. Just follow the link.

rug hooking kit

Fish Rug Hooking Kit
Not the loopy, latch-hook yarn kind, but the more traditional style.  Makes a cool 10×8 piece.

paint this book

Paint This Book! Watercolor for the Artistically Undiscovered
Includes paints, brush, and nice watercolor paper, plus friendly instructions from Thacher Hurd to free you from art-fear and get you painting.

Puzzles to while away the hours:


The United States
1000 pieces and maybe it will make you feel like school is happening.  However, if this particular puzzle is not your fave, Mudpuppy has gobs more really great choices at this same web site so follow the link and explore.

dot to dot

Dot-to-Dot Challengers
These enormous dot-to-dots are ridiculously fun and take a bit of time to complete. Great boredom-buster. There are quite a few volumes from this author.

How about some new games?
Here are a few that only require 2 players and are playable by kids around ages 8 and up.


A classic strategy game for two.

forbidden island

Forbidden Island
A cooperative game our family has played and enjoyed, for 2-5 players.

sleeping queens

Sleeping Queens
Fun, easy card game for 2-5 players.

playing cards

40+ Card Games
I also found this great site with instructions for gobs of card games you can play with just a regular ol’ deck of playing cards, so if you don’t want to spend the bucks on a new game right now, check it out.

I hope you and your kids can find lots of satisfying, creative, happy ways to fill the days at home!