Welcome to The Educating Parent Beverley Paine's archive of articles about homeschooling and unschooling written over a period of 30 plus years

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Inexpensive Gift Ideas

© Beverley Paine, Nov 1999

I can't remember a time when giving a small gift to a good friend hasn't filled me with incredible joy. There are many times a year when the giving of gifts has become a traditional and almost thoughtless procedure, done from duty more than a sense of thankfulness for the enduring friendship and company the person receiving the gift continually offers. Giving gifts was never a highlight in my upbringing, but receiving them was! As an adult I am slowly coming to undo this one sided and often selfish attitude, realising that the gift is rooted in the act of giving - more often the item or activity selected as a gift is a token, a symbol of friendship and love.

Some time ago I came across a list of wonderfully inexpensive gifts to make or find. Over the years I have found this list useful, especially for my younger friends. As I come across more ideas I add them to my list and keep it in my home educating folder, so that on the days when I am tired and unimaginative but still want to say thank you in a special way I can find just the right way of saying it! I hope you find the list useful, especially at this festive time of year!

  • packet of seeds and small terracotta pot
  • coloured pencils in a decorated recycled tin
  • biscuit cutters, small rolling pin and playdough recipe
  • basket or jar of small, similar sized pebbles from beach for counting
  • small tin with sewing needs in
  • balls of left over wool and crochet hook or knitting needles
  • make a pack of cards (for matching, happy families type games)
  • make dominoes either from plywood or stiff card - animal, clock, number
  • pretty scrunchies from silky materials
  • decorated container of all types of balloons with lid, or jar
  • packet of sparklers
  • personalised calico library or shopping bag
  • origami instructions and coloured construction paper to suit
  • small basket of interesting shells from beach (collect your own rather than buy harvested ones - that practice is causing extinctions on reefs around the world!)
  • small teddies ($1 from Cheap as Chips) with homemade clothes
  • fridge magnets made from pom poms, pipe cleaners, etc, or a boxed kit to make them
  • finger puppets or a boxed kit to make them
  • small squares of felt, cotton and odd bits of lace, etc, instructions to make finger puppets
  • bunch of flowers, or small posy
  • voucher for promised work to be done by person giving voucher!
  • snakes and ladders game, other simply made board games
  • home made paper and envelopes
  • decorated art folder
  • necklace or other jewellery made from seeds
  • bead stringing kit - collect wooden beads and add thin plastic tubing, string or thread and embroidery needle
  • a packet of material squares or useful oddments of material left over from sewing box for making dolls clothes and dressups from
  • home made playdough, in various colours, in small recycled clear plastic containers
  • a personalised stationary set using a desktop publishing program on the computer
  • a personalised calendar using a desktop publishing program on the computer
  • a photograph frame made from any materials, with or without photo
  • home made soaps, gift wrapped in cellophane in a small box or basket
  • a jar of home made or favourite sweets or biscuits tied with a ribbon
  • home made preserves in a decorated jar or container with a personalised label
  • a knitted scarf, or beanie or gloves in a neutral or favourite colour
  • a small decorated box of small, inexpensive toys or items that is sure to bring your friend a lot of joy
  • a dream catcher - decorated with leaves and feathers, small beads, etc
  • a small rag doll
  • a kit for making old fashioned clothes peg people, with every thing needed to complete them
  • small worry dolls, or a worry doll hair clip
  • a small 'treasures bag' made from exotic and luxurious material, with a drawstring.

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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.

Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

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