Gift Ideas

Simple Teacher Gift Card Idea + Printable

School is about out for the summer and what a year it has been.  Our teachers have been hard at work navigating teaching our students online, in person and everything in between.  So, as we wrap up the year I have a simple teacher gift idea to say thank you.

Having been a teacher myself, I know the time and effort they put inside and outside of the classroom! Seriously, they are with our kids for more waking hours than we are most days!

It’s so important to thank our teachers for all they have done for our kiddos all year long.  Next week, is teacher appreciation week and it’s almost the end of the year so I have a super simple gift idea for you today and a FREE printable!

You know I love simple, this is so simple.  Like print, tape and send to school easy!  Perfect for this crazy time of year.

The Gift Teachers Really Want

Let me let you in on a little secret, teachers get A LOT of coffee mugs and candy!  I know it might not feel as personal but gift cards are a fan favorite.  They spend so much of their personal income on classroom supplies, a gift card is a fun treat.  Include a hand-written note, those mean the world and don’t cost a dime!

Restaurant Gift Card Printable

Today I have a little printable to go along with a gift card to a restaurant of your choice.  Most teachers do their fair share of lunch duty and get a very short lunch period.  For them, going out in the summer is extra special.

Simply save this graphic to your computer by right-clicking (make sure to keep the .jpg).  You can also find the pin icon in the top left-hand corner so you can pin for later use.
Open up the file on your computer and prepare to print as shown in the above picture!
In the printing options choose 4 copies per page.  This makes sure the graphic is just the right size.  If you choose 6, 9 or more copies per page, the graphic will be much too small.

I suggest printing your cards on plain white card stock for extra durability.  Once printed, you just have to cut them out.  If you want your child to write their teacher a note, simply have them write it on the back of the card before affixing the gift card!

Assemble the Gift Card & Printable

You can attach the gift card with a circle of tape, rubber cement or photo squares.  My gift card came in a pack that already had the sticky dots so I simply unstuck it from the card and on to my card with no need for additional adhesive.

Your teacher is sure to remember you and be so thankful for a fun, yummy lunch this summer on you!  They don’t get to go out to lunch very much during the school year.

A Hand-written Note

If you want to go the extra mile, write a letter to your teacher or have your student. Those notes mean so much and will be the perfect personal touch to the gift card!

Get the FREE Teacher Gift Printable by clicking here!

A Simple Gesture To Say Thanks

Take the opportunity to thank your children’s teacher for all they have done!  You can mail it to the school or even their home address.  I know they will appreciate the gesture!

You Might Also Like –

Teacher Appreciation Week Ideas

Summer Bucket List + Simple Summer Activities

Simple Summer Water Activities

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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20+ Best Gifts for Tween Boys

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Is it just me or the older kids get the less they play with toys and the harder it is to find presents that won’t just collect dust in a closet!  I hate that!  So, in an effort to help all gift-givers out, I rounded up the ultimate gift guide for boys ages 6-12 with over 20 ideas that tween boys will love!  We have all of these and LOVE them!

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Boys Ages 8-10

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1 – Air Hog Drone

Try out a drone with less investment for your young aviator.  Air Hog has lots of cool options from airplanes to helicopters and drones!

2 – Rocket Copters

My parents picked these rocket copters up for my kids and everyone played with these.  They are especially fun at dusk because they light up!  This is perfect for a little gift for a friend’s party or stocking stuffer!

3 – Street Hockey Set

This set comes with two sizes of hockey sticks to be played in a basement or outdoors.

4 – Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag

We played this with friends and it was so fun!  Do you remember playing kick the can as a kid?  This is a fun nighttime activity, who doesn’t love things that glow in the dark!  You could even use it as a party theme!

5- Blue Race Track

You stick the suction cup to any window or door, then create a track of your choice.  Add pillows to make hills.  Raise it up to make the cars go faster!  Then roll it up and stow it away!  Find the blue track here.

6 – Hoverboard or Electric Scooter

Solon got an electric scooter  and it was a fun upgrade from the power wheels of his youth!  He loves to ride it and so do I ;)!

Of course now my kids want hoverboards, we got this one.  A great price and so far it’s held up great.

7 – Joke Book

Boys love to tell jokes and riddles.  Just the other night at Solon’s birthday party the boys were taking turns telling jokes and riddles.  This book is a great option.

8 – Books

Dav Pilkey Books

Dav Pilkey has perfected the art of boy humor in his books.  The new Dog Man series is a great addition to his Captain Underpants series!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid books

This is another great series for a boy, especially reluctant readers!  You can also get the recorded book version so they can listen to it.  There are also movies now too!  Find the first 4 books in the series here.

Adventure Bible

If your son is ready for a bible upgrade from the favorite Jesus Storybook Bible, the Adventure Bible comes highly recommended.  It includes the full Bible text plus helpful points and devotions throughout the book.  It’s also full of graphics to help them get started reading the bible.

9 – Favorite Sports Team Apparel

Kids love to sport their favorite team whether that’s a t-shirt, a cozy fleece blanket, baseball hat or knit hat.  Amazon has all team accessories for your gift recipient’s favorite team.  Find team apparel ideas here.

10 – Harry Potter Series

Solon and I have loved reading the Harry Potter series together every night before bed.  It’s a fun activity for just the two of us and the books are so good!  We follow up reading each book by watching the movie together!

You might also like this post with 17 more book ideas for fans of Harry Potter.

11 – Lego Sets

There is a Lego set for every tween boy on your wishlist.  From the Harry Potter lovers to Star Wars lovers.  Check out all these Lego City Sets and Harry Potter Sets.

12 – Basketball Plays Clipboard

Do you have a son who loves to play basketball and dream up plays?  A basketball clipboard is a perfect way for them to dream and play when they don’t have access to the hoop!

13 – Football, Baseball & Basketball Cards

Football cards make a great add-on to a birthday gift, birthday goodie bag gift, stocking stuffer or fun treat.  They can trade players with their friends to collect their favorite teams and players.  My husband kept his so now my son and husband have a combined collection!

14 – Flag Football Set

We used this set for Solon’s 9th birthday.  He loves to play flag football so its perfect for family matches to friend play dates! Don’t forget the pylons!  Create a football field in your own yard with these movable weighted pylons.  Get your set here.

15 – Score Keeper

Whether you have a soccer game, football game or basketball game going on.  You need to know the score.  Your sports lover will love this.  get your set here.

15 – Sports Illustrated for Kids Magazine Subscription

A magazine subscription is a great way to get more non-fiction reading into your boy’s hands plus who doesn’t love the gift that keeps on giving.  I ordered this for Solon but there is some lead time of 6-8 weeks before the first magazine arrives.

16 – Magna-tiles

If you have not invested in a set of these, you need to!  Across the board, these are our most used toy in the house for any age level.

17 – FitBit

I was super skeptical when Solon asked for a FitBit a year ago but he still wears it daily and he strives to beat his previous fitness goals!  It’s still one of his favorite things and he has been super responsible for taking care of it.  Amazon has lots of replacement band options as well!

18 – Snap Circuit RC Rover Set

Snap circuits are so much fun and can be made to do so many different things when you snap together the circuits by following the instructions.  This is a great new set that can be snapped together to make a working RC rover among lots of other things!

19 – Bluetooth Ear Buds

My kids love to listen to music.  Ear pods are very popular these days but if you are looking for a more cost effective pair that look similar, try these.  They have thousands of 5 star reviews.

20 – Echo Dot

An echo dot is the perfect wireless speaker for the next impromptu dance party for your tween girl.  It also works great as an intercom when you need to talk to her in her room.

21 – Jousting Set

We just found this jousting set and gifted it to a friend and now after playing with it, our son wants one of his own.  Perfect for kids of all ages.  Get your set here.

20+ Gifts for all the tween and elementary-aged boys on your wishlist!

So, there you have it 21 tried and true fan favorites around our house!  What recommendations do you have?  Another holiday is always just around the corner so I am always looking for new ideas!

Need help organizing your holiday gift lists?

You Might Also Like These Gift Guides…

Advent Calendar Ideas for Every Age

Awesome Books for the Reluctant Boy Reader

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Advent Calendar Gift Guide + More

Tis’ the season to start thinking about Christmas!  Today, I wanted to share a fun tradition we love, advent calendars.  Every year my mom gets each of my kids an advent calendar based on their interests.  Luckily, retailers have caught on to advent calendars and there are more options than ever.  Now’s the time to pick some up and they have some great options on Amazon!


Advent Activities for the Whole Family

If you are looking for an advent calendar for the whole family, try the Simple Purposeful Living Advent Activities Kit.  The kit comes with 43 pre-printed, perforated ideas for you to stick in a jar or your own felt advent calendar.  Enjoy the holiday season one day and one activity at a time with your family.  Buy yours here.


Advent Calendars for Toddlers

Little People Advent Calendar (find it here)

Playmobil 1, 2, 3 Christmas on the Farm Advent Calendar (find it here)

VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Advent Calendar (find it here)

Schleich Farm Animal Advent Calendar (find it here)

Advent Calendars for Preschoolers

Paw Patrol Advent Calendar (find it here)

Disney Jr. & Friends Advent Calendar (find it here)

Thomas & Friends Fisher-Price Advent Calendar (find it here)

Hot Wheels Advent Calendar (find it here)

Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas Wooden Advent Calendar Tree (find it here)

Barbie Dreamtopia Advent Calendar (find it here)

Play-Doh Advent Calendar (find it here)

Crayola Countdown to Christmas Activity Advent Calendar (find it here)

Cry Babies Magic Tears Ruthie Advent Calendar (find it here)

Dinosaur Figurines Advent Calendar (find it here)


Advent Calendars for School-Aged Children

Lego City Advent Calendar (find it here)

Playmobil Royal Ball Advent Calendar (find it here)

Playmobil Santa’s Workshop Advent Calendar (find it here)

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar (find it here)

Lego Friends Advent Calendar (find it here)

Lego Harry Potter Advent Calendar (find it here)

Squishy Advent Calendar (find it here)

Charm Bracelet Advent Calendar (find it here)



Deliver Your Advent Calendar in a Special Way

If you have an Elf on the Shelf, your elf could bring an advent calendar on December 1st!  Advent Calendars make great gifts and help you enjoy and celebrate the Christmas season every single day!

Need Help Organizing Your Christmas Lists?


Before you go, here are a few posts I have shared to help you prepare for the Holidays –

10 Things To Do Now For Christmas

5 Tips To Keep You Sane This Christmas

Best Toddler and Preschool Toys Gift Guide



Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Mother’s Day Gifts That Mean the Most

On Mother’s Day last year, I heard whispers and bounding feet as they headed down to the kitchen to concoct some sort of yummy breakfast.  It was no surprise, as the kids the night before told me under no uncertain terms to not get out of bed.  When my husband, opened the door I was greeted with the biggest grins and a tray complete with homemade cards, scrambled eggs and toast.

They could hardly contain their excitement, mom mom mom do you love it? Do you like it?  Then, I opened each card with greetings like you are the best mom in the world from Solon to I love Mom, the only thing Vera knew how to write independently to a chicken scratch meant to signify some sweet sentiment from and daughters

Those are the same memories I remember from my childhood.  My sister and I worked tirelessly in the basement kitchen to mix coffee grounds straight into the water, not knowing you had to brew it or that my mom would have preferred a Diet Coke to our acidic concoction!

Then, we climbed the 3 flights of stairs in our townhome to deliver the delectable brown drink to her bedside, waking her from a sound sleep to let her know how much we loved her.

Little did I know as a child, that those sweet, thoughtful gestures are the very “gifts” moms want.  There’s nothing better than a hand-written note affirming that you are in fact “the best mom in the whole wide world” For one moment, the mom guilt subsides and maybe, just maybe you aren’t failing at all.

If all else fails, and you feel like you need to do a little something in addition to a sweet note, I asked on social media what it is that moms really want for Mother’s Day and they delivered some great ideas!  I concur!  I have divided up the ideas into categories. You can get creative and create a certificate or coupon or just have to take care of the task!  Flowers and their favorite treat never hurt either!



Remember, above all else the sentiments you share and the memories you make really mean the most.  Several commenters said they really just wished for one more Mother’s Day with their child or their own mother or the chance to celebrate Mother’s Day.  It puts things into perspective!

It’s easy to focus on the gifts and making it perfect but truly what makes it so special is the fact that we can celebrate the gift of motherhood.

May you all have a blessed Mother’s Day and for those aching to be mother’s, I am praying for you today too.  I know this day can be especially bittersweet for those grieving children, mothers and the chance to become a mother!



You might enjoy these two stories on motherhood –

Finding Hope in the Pain of Infertility

From Loss to High-Risk Pregnancy

10 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

A Letter of Encouragement To The Mom of Little Kids


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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DIY Grandmother Gift

What do you get a Grandma for Mother’s Day?  Well you make her a modern-artsy gnome for her gnome garden of course.  And did my children ever have fun. They did such a nice job cooperating and painting, I might buy 1 million more!  They were so focused and proud of their hard work.  I asked Solon what he thought Grandma would say and he said, “she will say I love it so much, great job!” and since we gave it to her early, we know that is exactly what she said.

She has to poly him to weather the weather.  In addition to this little “art” installation, I also treated mom to a mom-daughter shopping date. I hired a babysitter and away we went but then she treated me so not sure if that counts???  I did treat to frozen yogurt but then she treated to dinner….hmm….well we had fun and we showered her with love….Happy Mother’s Day Mom to the mom that taught me how to be a mom! I owe you so much.  I now know just how much you love me! THANKS!

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