Please Pardon the Dust

I am having my blog transferred over to a self-hosted site. (Yay!!) I am so excited, because I will be able to customize my site in order to help you find those fantastic free resources a bit easier. I’m sure I’ll have some trial and error as I figure out how to get everything working smoothly, so please just ignore any craziness you might see over the next few days!

It’s a Great Week for Thanksgiving Funschool

I rounded up some of my favorite Thanksgiving posts to help you add a little Funschool to your week!

thanksgiving mad libs
Thanksgiving Mad Libs

Free Thanksgiving Unit Studies
21 Free Thanksgiving Unit Studies

The Old Lady's Thanksgiving Dinner
The Old Lady’s Thanksgiving Dinner

free thanksgiving preschool packs
Free Thanksgiving Activity Packs for Preschoolers

Share a Little Thanksgiving Joy
Give Thanks Cards for Random Acts of Kindness

a turkey for thanksgiving
Activities for A Turkey for Thanksgiving

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Books

funschool give thanks to the lord
Funschool: Give Thanks to the Lord

funschool easy as pie
Funschool: Easy as Pie

funschool a little popcorny
Funschool: A Little (Pop)Corny

Thanksgiving Activities to Encourage Gratititude
Thanksgiving Activities to Encourage Gratitude

free thanksgiving planners
Free Thanksgiving Planners

November Assigment Sheets
November Assignment Sheets


Gift Ideas for Your Minecraft Fanatic

This post contains affiliate links.

Minecraft Gift Guide

Minecraft is the Great Motivator for a couple of my kids. They know that schoolwork and chores have to be done in order to play. And compared to most of the other video games they own, I really don’t mind them playing because it encourages creativity and cooperation. They like to hang out on the Skrafty Homeschool Server, and have even taken a class. Hopefully, this list will make it easier to shop for your Minecraft Fanatic!

p.s. Minecraft toys are a hot item this year, especially the Lego sets – they are already limiting them to two per person. I would suggest purchasing soon if they are at the top of your child’s list.

p.p.s. We own the torch and it is really cool!!

Minecraft Gear

{Minecraft Gear}

Blue Diamond Sword & Pickaxe // Wall Torch // Steve & Creeper Masks // Light-up Redstone Ore // Light-up Diamond Ore // Complete Handbook Collection

Minecraft Legos

{Minecraft Legos}

The Village // The Farm // The Cave // The First Night // The Nether // Micro World // Micro World – The End // Crafting Box // The Ender Dragon // The Mine

Minecraft Toys

{Minecraft Toys}

Diamond Steve Figure // Mini Vinyl Figure Set // Baby Cow Plush // Baby Sheep Plush // Magnet Sheets

Minecraft Papercraft

{Minecraft Papercraft}

Animal Mobs // Overworld // Hostile Mobs // Shelter // Minecart // Utility Pack // Snow Set  

Minecraft Clothing

{Minecraft Clothing}

Creeper Hoodie // Career Opportunities T-Shirt // Animal Totem T-Shirt // Periodic Table T-Shirt // Diamond Hoodie // Gamer Socks // Creepers Gonna Creep Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Minecraft Accessories

{Minecraft Accessories}

 Pixel Sunglasses // Diamond Dangle Earrings // Ironsword Belt // Treasure Chest Wallet // Creeper Wallet // Diamond Crafting Hat // Phone Cases (several choices) // Creeper Mug

Minecraft Stocking Stuffers

{Minecraft Stocking Stuffers}

Lanyard // Pickaxe Stylus // Baby Animals Stickers // Pin Pack // Note Cube // Ornament Set // Cookie Cutters // 2015 Wall Calendar // Animal Toys


Visit the rest of the iHomeschool Network Gift Guides


You might also be interested in these:

Docotr Who Gift Guide
{Doctor Who Gift Guide}

Gifts Ideas for a Pretend Play Home
{Gift Ideas for a Pretend Play Home}


A Magical Winter Wonderland

This post contains affiliate links.

Create a Winter Wonderland

It is a December tradition in our family to spend an evening creating snowflakes. We gluestick them on windows, doors, and mirrors (the glue washes right off). Last year, we used them to create a Magical Winter Wonderland over our kitchen bar. It was beautiful and I can’t wait to create another one this year!

Our Winter Wonderland Supply List:

First things first – make the snowflakes! To keep the frustration level down, I pre-fold a ton of paper for the younger crew. That way, they can jump right in to the cutting fun. We use some free snowflake patterns as a guide because otherwise our snowflakes all end up looking pretty much the same.  Paper edger crafts scissors are an easy way to give your snowflakes a fancy touch.

string the lights

Next step – string up the lights. I used Command Strips mini clear hooks to attach my strand of lights to the ceiling. You could also use pushpins or small cuphook screws. I think this would look great with icicle lights, but just use whatever you have on hand.

snowflake garlands

Now for the fun part – creating the wonderland!  There is no right or wrong way, just use your imagination. We taped our paper snowflakes directly onto the strand of lights. The glittery plastic snowflakes have a loop that we carefully hung over a bulb. We even crafted some teeny tiny snowflakes out of the paper scraps and popped them onto a few of the lights. To top it off, I glued together a few paper chains.

strings of snowflakes

Once we had our base constructed, we added a few more details to fluff it up a bit. The strings of iridescent pearls were draped throughout. Using the needle and thread, I ran a gather stitch down the middle of the tulle circles and pulled the thread until it formed a little tulle puff. I also spaced out some cotton balls onto a long length of thread – just run the needle right through the middle.

magical wonderland

We turned the lights down and enjoyed the breathtaking sight. We loved it so much, and had so much fun, that I think we might go a little crazy with it this year. Stay tuned for our results!

{Pin It}

Magical Winter Wonderland

These Festive Family Bloggers are sharing Festive Family Fun:

FREE Printable Nativity Puppets for Kids @ Happy and Blessed Home

Family Made Christmas Card @ Hand Made Kids Art

Sensory Survival Tips for Holiday Parties @ Lemon Lime Adventures

Fun Christmas Traditions to Start with Your Family @ Bare Feet on the Dashboard

Festive Family Drinks @ Peace But Not Quiet

Holiday Baking with Kids @ Gypsy Road School

A Magical Winter Wonderland @ Are We There Yet?

In Defense of Elf on the Shelf @ Still Playing School

Hot Chocolate Playdough @ Fireflies and Mud Pies

DIY Christmas Eve Box @ Adventures of Adam

Ten Tips for Christmas Caroling with Kids @ She Lives Free

{Follow Festive Family Holiday on Pinterest}

Festive Giveaway

christmas giveaway {Enter the Festive Family Giveaway}

 The Festive Family Holiday Hop Schedule

Festive Family Holiday Hop


Doctor Who Gift Guide for Your Favorite Whovian {$500 Giveaway}

This post contains affiliate links.

Docotr Who Gift Guide

This Doctor Who Gift Guide was approved by my teenage daughters. :D My girls, and their friends, are major Doctor Who fans. Every once in a while I will walk up on a conversation and, thinking it is about real life, wonder WHAT IN THE WORLD?! Then I realize they are quoting Doctor Who, and it suddenly all makes sense. I hope this list makes it easy to shop for your favorite Whovian!

Need some Christmas cash to go along with the gift guide? My bloggy friends and I want to share our Christmas Blessing, so enter the spectacular $500 Paypal or $100 Amazon Giveaway at the end of this post. Check off some names on your Christmas list with their helpful Gift Guides!

Doctor Who Games
{Doctor Who Games}

TARDIS Yahtzee // Dalek Yahtzee // Monopoly // Trivial Pursuit //  Risk // Lenticular Chess // TARDIS Tumbling Towers Game

Doctor Who Toys
{Doctor Who Toys & Collectibles}

 Eleventh Doctor Mr. Potato Head // Gold Dalek Mr. Potato Head // The Eleven Doctors Micro-Figure Set // Monsters Multi-Pack // TARDIS Mini Construction Playset // 11 Doctors Collector Set // Personalize Your Own Sonic Screwdriver Set

Doctor Who Office & School
{Doctor Who Office & School}

Sticky Notes // TARDIS USB Hub  // Journal of Impossible Things & Sonic Screwdriver Pen // TARDIS Travel Mug // 2015 Poster Calendar // TARDIS iPad Cases // Doctor Who Phone Cases (several styles)

Doctor Who Wearables
{Doctor Who Wearables}

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Pendant Necklace // Fourth Doctor Scarf // TARDIS Leggings // TARDIS Charm Necklace // Sonic Screwdriver Earrings // TARDIS Knee Socks // TARDIS Starry Night Messenger Bag // Vortex Watch

Doctor Who for the Home
{Doctor Who for the Home}

Salt & Pepper Shakers // TARDIS Silicone Mold // Cookie Cutters // TARDIS Apron // Sonic Screwdriver Pizza Cutter // Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook // TARDIS Teapot // TARDIS Tea Infuser // TARDIS Mug // Vinyl Wall Decal // TARDIS Duvet Set // His & Hers Pillowcases // Sonic Screwdriver Universal Remote Control

Doctor Who Stocking Stuffers
{Doctor Who Stocking Stuffers}

Mad Libs  // Bookmarks  // Sonic Screwdriver Mini Flashlight // Guitar Picks // TARDIS Pen // Car Magnet // Waiting  for a Mad Man Button // TARDIS Emergency Fund Keyring // Sonic Screwdriver Toothbrush

Doctor Who Christmas
{Doctor Who Christmas}

 TARDIS Lights // TARDIS Starry Night Stocking // Christmas Tree Set // TARDIS Ornament // Weeping Angel Ornament // Gingerbread TARDIS T-Shirt // Villians Ugly Christmas Sweatshirt // Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol // Wrapping Paper // TARDIS Water Globe

{Check out these Fabulous Gift Guides}


Christmas Blessings Giveaway date 500x500

{Christmas Blessings Giveaway}

We are so excited to bless two people with some Christmas Cash through our Christmas Blessings Giveaway! Enter to win $500 in Paypal Cash, or a $100 Amazon gc. Giveaway ends November 23rd.

christmas giveaway

{Enter the Christmas Blessings Giveaway}

You might also enjoy my Pretend Play Home Gift Guide

Gifts Ideas for a Pretend Play Home


Celebrating November {Subscriber Freebie}

Oh dearie me!! I completely forgot to post this month’s printables! This month has been a bit hectic, can you tell? Good thing I shared the Thanksgiving Countdown at the beginning of the month. I am so sorry to leave you hanging!

There is no fancy contents page – you would never get it if I took the time to do that! The files will be at the bottom of the next email, which I will schedule to go out ASAP. Not a subscriber? Sign up here.

The Contents:

  • Pecan Pie Muffins – an easy but delicious recipe to make with your kids
  • November Nature Observation Calendar – write or draw observations each day & keep as a record to compare with next year (this can also be used for a regular calendar)
  • Doxology Printable
  • Count Your Blessings Printable
  • A Thanksgiving to God, for his House Prayer

November Contents 1

  • A Good Thanksgiving Poem & Writing Page
  • Thanksgiving Time Poem and Writing Page
  • A Thanksgiving Basket Story

November Content 2

Vintage Prints:

November Content 3

The Celebrating November set is free for my email newsletter subscribers**. The link for the file will be at the bottom of every post update email. Not a subscriber? Sign up today! For best results, make sure your printer is set to borderless or whole page. I recommend printing on cardstock.

**Please note: Some of you are receiving my posts in your email because you follow my blog through WordPress. This is an option offered by WordPress and is not the same as my email newsletters. If you do not see freebie download buttons at the bottom of your emails, please unsubscribe from the WordPress emails and sign up through my newsletter link.


Gift Ideas for a Pretend Play Home

This post contains affiliate links.

Gifts Ideas for a Pretend Play Home

Pretend Play Home gifts have really withstood the test of time in our family. The “must have” toys of the season seem to amuse my kiddos for a few weeks, and then they are right back to cooking dinner in the play kitchen. 

I’ve created a Room-by-Room Pretend Play Home Gift Guide to help you pick some items that will be played with for years to come. I am highlighting a few of my favorites, and then linking to a more comprehensive toy list for each category.


KidKraft gets my vote for all-around best play kitchens. They have several styles, but this cranberry retro kitchen is my favorite.

kidkraft cranberry kitchen

The Little Tikes Splish Splash Sink & Stove is a great option for a small budget or small space. The sink really holds water.

splish splash sink

The Fisher-Price Servin’ Surprises Kitchen & Table does double duty.

servin surprises

The Little Tikes Cook N Grow Kitchen can be reconfigured as your child gets taller.

cook and grow toddler   cook and grow

Want a full kitchen? Go with the KidKraft Corner Kitchen.

 kidkraft corner kitchen

See the complete Pretend Play Kitchen Gift Guide

Laundry Room

Tackle that laundry pile with the KidKraft Laundry Set.

kidkraft laundry

Get the wrinkles out with an Olden Days Wood Toy Iron.

wooden iron

You can really put the kids to work with this Dust, Sweep & Mop Set.

sweep mop

Our little ones loved pretend vacuuming with their Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaner.

dirt devil

See the complete Pretend Play Laundry Room Gift Guide


This Rose Doll Bed is fit for a Princess.

rose doll bed

You can store the doll clothes underneath this Canopied Doll Crib.

canopy doll bed

Take all the dolls for a walk with a Triple Doll Stroller.

triple stroller

See the complete Pretend Play Nursery Gift Guide


The Step2 Deluxe Workshop has a working shop light.

shop light

The Melissa & Doug Wooden Project Workbench comes with blueprints & parts to make a robot and several vehicles.

wooden project bench

The Wonderworld Little Tool Box is a classic that is sure to be played with for years.

wooden toolbox

This Wooden Toolbox Trolley Set has magnets on the side to keep you tools in place.

magnetic tool trolley

See the complete Workshop Gift Guide


A Mud Pie Kitchen!

mud pie kitchen

Pot up some plants at the Little Tikes Garden Table.

garden table

Keep your plants healthy in a little Greenthumb Greenhouse.


After a hard day of yard work, cook up a burger on your Get Out ‘n Grill Set.


See the complete Outdoors Gift Guide

I would love to know if your kiddos have as much fun with pretend play sets as mine have over the years. Do you have a set that has stood the test of time? 

I’m not going to post pictures for them, but I have some more Play Home gift guides that you might like:

This guide is part of the Holiday Gift Guides for Kids. Need more gift ideas? Over 75 moms are sharing their favorites.

gift guides for kids

{Gift Guides for Kids Pinterest Board}

Free Snowflake Patterns & Templates

 Free Snowflake Patterns and Templates

Our family has a little snowflake party every year around the first of December. The supplies are simple: white copy paper and scissors. We fold and snip, then ooooooh and aaaaaah at the beautiful creations. The floor looks like we had a blizzard! 

The easiest way to display the snowflakes is to gluestick them to the windows. They come off easily and cleanup just requires a towel and some warm water. Last year we used our snowflakes to create a Winter Wonderland. It was so pretty!! 

Create a Winter Wonderland

We like to use these free templates for our snowflakes, because they tend to all start looking the same if we just freehand it. Have fun crafting a snowstorm with your family!


Page & pages of Paper Snowflake Patterns

butterfly snowflake

Snowflake Templates


Snowflake Templates

elaborate snowflake

Elaborate Snowflake Pattern Ideas


Simple Snowflake Patterns for younger kids

dr who

Dr Whoflakes


Star Wars Snowflakes

snowflake ballerinas

Snowflake Ballerinas


Frozen Snowflakes

3D  Snowflakes

3D Spiral Snowflakes

felt snowflake banner

Felt Snowflake Banner


Do a little Snowflake Funschool this Christmas:

funschool let it snow

These Festive Family Bloggers are sharing Festive Activities for Kids:

FREE Printable Thanksgiving Day Cards and Gifts Kids Can Make @ Happy and Blessed Home

7 Christmas Toddler Play Activities @ Adventures of Adam

DIY Snowflakes Garland @ La Cite’ des Vents

Lego Christmas Activities @ Gypsy Road School

Create Time Capsule Christmas Ornaments with Kids @ Bare Feet on the Dashboard

Outdoor Christmas Tree @ Peace But Not Quiet

Snowflake Template Roundup @ Are We There Yet?

Christmas Light Family Scavenger Hunt and Bingo @ ALLterNATIVElearning

{Follow Festive Family Holiday on Pinterest}

Festive Giveaway

christmas giveaway {Enter the Festive Family Giveaway}

 The Festive Family Holiday Hop Schedule

Festive Family Holiday Hop


Heirloom Advent Calendars

This post contains affiliate links.

Heirloom Advent Calendars

There is a beautiful Advent House in the Christmas Vacation movie that has captivated me for years. (Note: It is NOT a family-friendly movie!) I love the way the warm lights shine through all the little windows as they are opened in the countdown to Christmas.

That house is crazy expensive, but an advent calendar doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be considered an heirloom. It just has to have value to YOUR family. Something that gets your kids all excited as it is pulled out of the box year after year.

For my family, that item is a hanging fabric Christmas tree with 24 pockets and a little stuffed Santa. I think I got it at the thrift store for $2. They take turns moving the Santa each day. My teenagers are just as eager to participate as the younger kids because it is tradition. They know that the Advent tree will be there every year, and they enjoy the shared memories.

I’ve put together a list of Heirloom Advent Calendar ideas. At the end of the list is a FREE option, and a link to several more advent calendars. If you don’t already have one, consider starting this new tradition with your family. Build the anticipation and wonder as it gets closer and closer to celebrating the day that a little baby came into the world and changed everything!

nativity advent wall calendar

Nativity Advent Wall Calendar

magentic nativity advent calendar

Magnetic Nativity Advent Calendar

white tree advent

White Tree Advent Calendar

house advent calendar

Christmas House Advent Calendar

little people nativity advent

Little People Advent Wall Calendar

tree advent

Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

skating party

Skating Party Advent Calendar

bethlehem calendar

O Little Town of Bethlehem Foldout Advent Calendar

{Make Your Own}

must be santa kit

Must Be Santa Felt Applique KIT

santa felt kit

Santa Felt Applique KIT

unfinished advent tree

Unfinished Advent Tree

3D Countdown

3D Countdown Drawers

square boxes

Square Boxes Advent Calendar

See my entire list of Christmas Advent Countdown Calendars

{FREE Nativity Advent Calendar}

If purchasing an advent calendar is not an option, I have a Free Printable Nativity Set that includes a countdown. You could also bring out one new piece a day as you tell the story all the way to Christmas Day.

Countdown to Christmas

{Follow My Advent Pinterest Board}

These Festive Family Bloggers are sharing Gifts for the Season:

Festive Family Holiday Gift Guide Favorites ~ Gifts for Everyone on Your List

DIY Toddler Play Activity Gift Box @Adventures of Adam

Ten Things from Germany as Christmas Presents @ La Cite’ des Vents

Ten Things from France as Christmas Presents @ La Cite’ des Vents

Easy Gifts Kids Can Make @ Hand Made Kids Art

Stocking Stuffer Ideas @ Crystal’s Tiny Treasures

Green Gifts for Crunchy Mamas @ All Done Monkey

Gift Guide for Montessori Homeschoolers @ Living Montessori Now

Gift Guide – Birth to 18 Months @ ALLterNATIVElearning

The Ultimate Yoga for Kids Gift Guide @ Kids Yoga Stories

Simple Stocking Stuffers @ Peace But Not Quiet

Gift Guide for Promoting Healthy Development @ The Inspired Treehouse

Tips for Sustainable Gift Giving @ Multicultural Kid Blogs

ALEX Toys Holiday Gift Guide @ Still Playing School

Best Gifts for a One-Year-Old @ Adventure in a Box

Gifts that Help Kids with Independence @ Sugar Aunts

Grandparent Gifts Kids Can Make @ The Chaos and the Clutter

25 Heartwarming Christmas Books @ Fireflies and Mudpies

Heirloom Advent Calendars @ Are We There Yet?

{Follow Festive Family Holiday on Pinterest}

Festive Giveaway

christmas giveaway {Enter the Festive Family Giveaway}

 The Festive Family Holiday Hop Schedule

Festive Family Holiday Hop


Creative Christmas Pinterest Boards

20 Pinterest Boards for a Creative Christmas

Pinterest is the first place I go to look for crafts ideas, recipes to try, and gifts to make. I put a call out to some blogging buddies for their Creative Christmas Boards, and want to share a few of them here with you! 

{This is one of my Christmas Pinterest Boards}

{The Best Christmas Crafts, Food & Activities}

{Christmas Joy}

{Christmas Ideas}

{Christmas - Crafts}

{Christmas Theme}

{Christmas - Kid Activites & Traditions}

{Christmas - Homemade Gifts}

{More Than A Holiday}

{Christmas – Festive Food}

{Melk, The Christmsa Monkey - Elf on the Shelf Alternative}

{Holiday :: Christmas - Around the World}

{Christmas Is For Kids}

{Christmas - Photo Ideas}

{It’s the most wonderful time of the year!}

{Advent: Hope, Preparation, Joy, Love, Christ}

{Christmas for Boys}


{Christmas - Nativity Activities}

 {Christmas Crafts for Kids}


These Festive Family Bloggers are sharing Creative Christmas Ideas:

Fifteen Easy Christmas Crafts You CAN Make @ Bare Feet on the Dashboard

Christmas Art Projects for Kids @ Hand Made Kids Art

Seven Simple Lego Gifts Your Kids Can Make @ Lemon Lime Adventures

Simple Things to Put in Clear Plastic Ornaments @ P is for Preschooler

Paper Winter Village @ Planet Smarty Pants

Christmas Countdown with Wooden Blocks @ Adventure in a Box

Pinecone Angels @ Peace But Not Quiet

Fine Motor Christmas Crafts, Activities, & Games for Kids @ Still Playing School

Healthy Holiday Baking @ Gypsy Road School

Bottle Cap Christmas Craft @ Sugar Aunts

Five Things Kids Can Make from Old Christmas Cards @ The Chaos and the Clutter

Creative Christmas @ In the Playroom

Creative Christmas Pinterest Boards @ Are We There Yet?

Transitioning to a MAKE-YOUR-OWN Christmas Tradition @ Multicultural Kid Blogs

Holiday Fun and a $1,800 Giveaway @ Happy and Blessed Home

{Follow Festive Family Holiday on Pinterest}

Festive Giveaway

christmas giveaway {Enter the Festive Family Giveaway}

 The Festive Family Holiday Hop Schedule

Festive Family Holiday Hop