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Mariel’s Picks 2012 ~ Gift Ideas for Families

This post is for those times when you are giving a ‘family gift’ OR if  you just want some fun gifts to give your own family!

Let’s get started…

Of course, board, card, or dice games are always a great gift because there are so many good ones out there, and new ones coming out all the time!  One of my kid’s favorites, that just happens to be super cheap, is the game LCR.  Every time we have family night, they want to play that.  Instead of using the included chips, we all play with .75 cents and the winner gets to keep the pot.  They’re pretty excited to win a few bucks.  They would also be plenty happy to play with candy. :)  It’s a dice game that is fun for the whole family.  Every one of my kids can play (we help the youngest two, but my 6 year old can handle her own.)

I’ve also heard and read great thing about the game, Monopoly Deal.  My good friend has a house full of teenagers.  They regularly get together with their friends and stay up late playing this game.  The rules are fairly easy (recommended for ages 8 and up), and it’s MUCH faster than playing the standard Monopoly (hugely important to me.)  It gets great reviews on Amazon!

I think the book, ‘What the World Eats‘ could spark some great family discussions and could lead to some interesting and fun meals.  The book goes through many countries, showing what a week’s worth of groceries looks like, and the cost.  It gives a background on a family from each country, foods that are popular in the country, and even has some recipes.  Want to bundle it with something else??  How about a plate/dish of something all-American (assuming you live in the U.S.)…maybe a plate of chocoloate chip cookies or an apple or cream pie.

You could also pair the book with a kitchen tool that the whole family would enjoy, like a Belgian Flip Waffle Maker or one of Amazon’s best selling Stovetop Popcorn Poppers.

I love watching inspirational movies with my family.  Not only is it refreshing watch a show without swearing or inappropriate garbage, but it’s neat to use the time to foster teaching moments with my kids.  I loved the movie Courageous, which focuses on sacrifice for the family, the importance of a father, and the preciousness of life.  I think I mentioned it in a Father’s Day post (speaking of which, it would also be a great present for men.)  Yes, you’ve seen better acting…but, very rarely will you see a show with a great lesson to learn, like this one.

Because we liked Courageous so much, I’m anxious to see some of the other inspirational (Christian-based) movies from the same makers.  I’ve heard amazing things about the movie Facing the Giants and Flywheel.  Any family movie would be great paired with popcorn bowl, filled with homemade treats or all the supplies needed to make a killer batch of popcorn.

One of the best things for a healthy family is good communication, and a fun way to encourage that is with this great product, Table Topics Family.  It’s an acrylic box, filled with question cards…perfect for starting conversations at the dinner table, or really anywhere you want.  I have a book, similar to this, that I like to keep in the car for traveling.  It keeps the kids thinking and the husband awake.  I’m always struggling to keep the kids at the table for a few more minutes.  The second they’re done eating, they’re antsy to get back to playing.  It would be fun to have something like this to keep everyone around a little longer (and make all that dinner-prep work seem more worth it!)

My sister-in-law always has fun gift ideas.  This year she is making marshmallow guns for all the cousins that are getting together for Christmas.  She’s going to paint/write the name of each kid on a gun to avoid any conflict.  Have you ever played with one of those things??  They’re way fun, and you can shoot marshmallows sooo far.  My kids sell them every year at a local 4th of July fair.  They are always the biggest hit and sell out so quickly.  They’re pretty simple to make, as long as you have a saw to cut the pipe with.  Plus, they’re super cheap!  These would make a perfect family gift or a fun thing to keep stocked at Grandma’s house. A while back, I shared this tutorial: How to Make a Marshmallow Gun.

Lastly, I know my kids would be forever grateful for another bin of their (and my) favorite lollipops, Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops.  I gave away some of these, not too long ago, in my ‘favorite things’ gift basket.  They’re so yummy!  They are all natural, made with real fruit extracts.  They literally taste like real fruit.  Mmmmm…  You could also bundle this with a family movie or a board game.

There you have it! Hope that helps you with some gift ideas for families. :)

For more gift ideas for families, check out these posts:

Gifts for Families
Gifts for the Whole Family (or someone else’s family)

For more gift ideas for EVERYONE on your list, check out my Gift Idea Central, where I store all gift ideas shared on this blog.

You’ll find more of Mariel’s Picks 2012 next week (stocking stuffers, neighbor gifts, gifts for babies/preggo, gag gifts…)

See you there!



Owner & Author at Or so she says...
Mariel (mahr-eeee-elle) is a mother to six, wife to one. Loves homeschooling, golfing, cupcakes, traveling, cuddling, non-fiction books, gardening, James Taylor, and family time. This is her blog. Enjoy!

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