A realistic gift guide for homeschooled preschoolers under $100

I don’t know about you but, every time I search for a gift guide for my kids I find bookoos of blog posts by bloggers who are playing the affiliate game. And it drives me nuts.

You know the game… They find the most expensive version of a toy or educational gizmo and share it with an affiliate link to make as much money as they can when someone clicks to buy.

I get it. Affiliate links are amazing, especially for mamas who are trying to run a blog (it can get expensive!) And when I do see something I want, I like to buy through an affiliate link because it doesn’t cost anything extra and I can support a fellow mama I’ve grown to love!

But when you start capitalizing on the desire I have to buy something for my kids by only sharing the most expensive gadgets you can find… It makes me not want to shop through your links.

So, as I’ve been shopping and browsing, I’ve found a few things I really love for my pre-schooler and I wanted to share them with you.

Here’s the fun part.

I’ll post the link to the item WITH and without my affiliate link. I’m not bashing affiliate links, but the whole mission of this blog is to bring the REAL back to the interwebs. Affiliate links are GREAT when they’re used in an honest, real way and not just to make the biggest buck you can make.

My kids literally have every one of these items mentioned – and genuinely love them.

Without further ado… Let’s get on with the realistic gift guide for homeschooled preschoolers!

Ever look at a gift guide and think, "They just want my money!"?? This is a realistic guide full of homeschool pre-k stuff that's affordable and fun!

We are obsessed with these tiny markers from Crayola! They’re the same size around as a traditional marker, but they’re shorter and perfect for little hands! Even the baby loves them (okay, he’s one. ha!)

This is one of our go-to read-aloud books, especially when it’s Lily’s turn to read! But, fair warning… If you’re looking for a “quiet-time” type of book… This is not it.

We do most of our work on this table. Both the boys will sit at it or we will close the legs and use it on the floor. Either way… It’s a great little table set!

Grandma got an easel for the boys and they love it! I love that it’s chalk, dry erase, AND paint! It’s not huge, either. So it won’t take up much space in your school room – or (let’s just be honest) family room! I can’t find the exact model on Amazon (she got it at a local school supply store), but this one is pretty darn close!

Oh! And if you get the easel or if your kids already have one, you need these paint cups! Grandma found these as well, but holy moly they have saved my sanity!! I HAD to put these on the gift guide!

One of the focus points I wanted for Ian as we began our homeschool preschool journey was holding his pencil correctly. It drives me nuts to see Elementary school kids holding their pencils like they’re two. That’s totally correctable and is probably a lot more comfortable for them too! So I got these pencil grips for him and never looked back! He LOVES them! I wish I could find bigger ones to fit on markers, pens, and bigger pencils. He doesn’t like to write without them! So great!

Ps. I didn’t believe in the “Ticonderoga Movement” until about two years ago. But I was absolutely missing out! I considered getting some for Ian because he wouldn’t press hard enough on the paper with a pencil to actually see the lines he was drawing. I had heard Ticonderoga’s are darker without the extra pressure, so I grabbed a box of My First Ticonderoga’s and fell in love! Of course, we went back for the regular size because of the pencil grip issues – But these are GREAT either way!

| Related: I’ve contributed $6,000 to our family this year as a stay-at-home mom

Ian absolutely LOVES “My First” books. And I love that they’re helping him with things like strategy, thinking, and counting! His favorite is this My First Dot-to-Dot book! He will sit and do this for hours if I let him! He gets so proud when he finishes one all by himself! Such a sweet kid!

I’ve gotten a couple of workbooks (although workbooks aren’t my favorite thing at this age) and because they’re so expensive I hate using the pages haha. Not to mention, at Ian’s age (3 at the time, now 4), doing a worksheet once doesn’t really allow him to grasp whatever it’s trying to teach him. So I found these dry erase pockets and they have been a game-changer! I tear out a letter of the week page (or whatever we want to do more than once) and pop it in one of these! Hang it on the fridge or use it on the table with a dry erase marker and complete the page over and over again! So fun!

And if you’re wondering… This is our favorite “workbook”. It covers every subject – so it takes up less space in our homeschool nook. And the price isn’t horrible! There are a ton of great books out there though! Browse and see what will be best for you and your babies!

I’ve read that reading poetry is great for preschoolers, so I found this book that we will start adding to our school day routine after Christmas. It’s such a cute book full of poems!

Ian loves to cut with scissors. All-day, every day. But the typical “safety scissors” suck. He ends up having to cut through a paper more than once just to get it to cut. And sometimes just gives up and tears it haha. These are requested in public school for early elementary age kiddos, so I thought I’d give them a shot. They are great! They have a blunt tip, cut really well, and come in a few different colors! Plus, I love that they come with the scissor cover!

And if you have a kid that loves to cut, you can’t go wrong with getting tons of construction paper! Simple gift guide addition, huh? We just picked up a huge pack like this at our local craft store (I had a coupon!) It’ll last at least a week… maybe two 😉

If you’re feeling extra generous or just want the absolute perfect gift for a homeschooled preschooler, consider this smart globe. Now, hear me out. I was skeptical, but even my 12-year-old loves this! There are games and facts and trivia questions for all ages on this globe and Ian loves that he gets to use a rocket to click on things! We actually have this version, but it’s out of stock at the moment. The first version I linked is a really great comp! However, take some time and search around – there are others out there! Just read reviews first! You can NOT go wrong with this gift!

These were another gift from grandma! Ian loves to build with these! They’re so fun! We like to put triangles together to make squares and circles. And smaller squares to make larger squares. But his favorite thing to build is a rocket! Yes… He built it all by himself!

Technically, these books start at Kindergarten level – but they are SO fun! We love to focus on cutting, pasting, and coloring when we complete these books. You can definitely pick and choose what pages you complete and how you complete them, but it’s so neat that you can create a mini-book with them in the end!

I remember painting with water as a kid, so I was so excited to find these for my babies! They’re great for read-aloud time or when you just want a few minutes to yourself (no mess, haha)!

Underestimating a simple activity like this is so easy. So I knew I needed to add it to the gift guide! The ABC cards make it fun and interactive to create letters! And the Stix last forever! You can peel and stick and bend and straighten and twist and mix for hours! So fun!

As a kid, my MagnaDoodle went everywhere I can remember. Ha! I found tiny ones at Wal-Mart for traveling and Ian loves to write his letters on them! So I’m adding this O.G. Magna Doodle to his Christmas gift list so that he can do even more fun with it! It’s even got the original looking stampers!! I’m feeling so nostalgic!

Last, but not least… This farm sorting game. We began our homeschool preschool journey with this simple game and Ian loved being able to sort and add and subtract with it! This is definitely a fun little activity to keep their brains busy while they play! I definitely recommend keeping it as a school-time only game though. He BEGGED to play it constantly and when I let him play it alone, most of the pieces never came back XD #keepingitreal

Ever look at a gift guide and think, "They just want my money!"?? This is a realistic guide full of homeschool pre-k stuff that's affordable and fun!

| Related: Our shift into becoming a homeschool family

As promised, here’s everything in this gift guide linked without an affiliate attachment. I stand behind all of these items as being great gifts, with or without the few cents I’d make on an affiliate sale. However, since it not any extra for you, I hope you’d consider buying through the links above if you’re going to buy anything 🙂 I’d be so grateful!


I hope you’ll come back and let me know which items from the gift guide you got for the little homeschooled preschooler in your life! And if you have other items that would fit in that category that you love, let me know!

I’m always looking for more fun to add to our day! 🙂

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