Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Holiday gifts for kids and teachers from National Geographic Kids [Review & Giveaway]

Let's think about school and the upcoming holidays......

As one who worked in schools for many years, I know the cycle of holiday breaks and I know how students and their parents look forward to these days. Teachers, too! And part of the Christmas holidays is the "gift for teacher" that many families lovingly bestow on their child's classroom teacher.

Most often, these are trinkets and gifts designed for a teacher. We've all seen them in the stores and the teachers usually have a host of them already in their possession. Not that they they don't appreciate your loving gift, but sometimes something a bit more useful is more appreciated.

Have you ever thought of a new book for the classroom bookshelf? All elementary and most middle school teachers have a bookshelf and teacher's own funds usually purchase these books. And the teachers (and students in the class) absolutely love it when a good, quality, fun, and educational book is added. That's where National Geographic fits in so nicely. They have an absolute plethora of wonderful books from which you may choose. Below are just a few that you might want to consider......

They are fun, visually stunning, totally engrossing AND educational (but don't tell kids that last part!).  Here's a brief rundown of a few of the titles  and book covers:

Weird But True! Christmas: 300 Festive Facts to Light Up the Holidays — (ages 8-12, 208 pages)
The PERFECT stocking stuffer! Ready for some totally festive facts? Even Christmas can be weird -- it's true! Did you know that Santa's reindeer are probably all female? Or that artificial snow can be made from seaweed? Or that "Jingle Bells" was the first Christmas carol sung in space? Every kid will ho ho ho when they unwrap this book that is chocked full of the most random and fascinating facts about their most favorite holiday.
My thoughts: This is cute. Lots of fun, silly, interesting little bits of information that will entertain kids during Christmas and other times as well. 

Ultimate Dinopedia - (ages 7-10, 296 pages) Attention dinosaur fanatics! This is a big, gift-worthy hardcover that is also the most complete and comprehensive dinosaur reference ever. Although these amazing creatures roamed the Earth ages ago, new dinosaur discoveries are still being made today.  The new edition includes favorites, like the fierce T-rex and the gentle Brontosaurus, plus audacious new finds, like the Anzu, Kosmoceratops, and Yi. Every dino profile is colorfully illustrated and features descriptions of when they roamed the Earth, how they lived, what they ate, and more. There are more than 600 dinos featured in all, including 10 profiles of recently discovered dinosaurs and new entries in the Dino Dictionary. Reports from paleontologists present the latest news and insights from the field.
My thoughts: Another great and interesting book about the species "dinosaur" from the good folks at National Geographic Kids. What was really surprising to me is the huge chart/ table of dinosaurs by name and where they are located. I had no idea there were so many types. 

Bet You Didn’t Know: Fascinating, Far-Out, Fun-tastic Facts - (ages 8-12, 192 pages) “...the whole outing is really tailor-made for dipping and flipping at random....A bodacious wellspring of random knowledge."— Starred review, Kirkus Reviews. BIG, packed with gorgeous photos and illustrations and guaranteed to keep kids occupied for hours and hours, Bet You Didn’t Know is the perfect holiday gift for the fact-lover or for your kid’s favorite teacher’s classroom. Did you know that the first stop signs were black and white? Or that a litter of kittens is called a kindle? Or that butterflies can see more colors than humans can?  Based on a favorite department in Nat Geo Kids magazine, this book is overflowing with fascinating facts, silly stats, and catchy little knowledge nuggets in all kinds of cool categories, from astronomy and sea creatures to revolutions and breakfast. Special features include Extreme Weirdness, Strange Places, Wacky World, and more.
My thoughts: Attention span a wee bit short sometimes? Still you can engage the mind and learn fun and interesting stuff with a book like Bet you didn't know! National Geographic Kids has another slam-dunk with this one.

Just Joking Jumbo — (ages 7-10, 288 pages)  What do you get when you have 1,000 giant jokes and 1,000 funny photos?  A stocking stuffer that adds up to some seriously big laughs! If you have a budding stand up comedian on your list this year - this is the perfect book for them.  Knock-knocks, puns, riddles, tongue-twisters, photos of silly situations and even the craziest info about the history of funny business - it’s all here!
My thoughts: Who ever thought joking around could be fun and tweaked with learning as well? Got 'cha! National Geo Kids, of course. Sprinkled throughout are little bits of information that sneak in unawares. Kind of fun to learn this way.
Hey, Baby! A Collection of Pictures, Poems and Stories from Nature’s Nursery - (all ages, 192 pages) Sweet dreams are made of this! Join National Geographic Kids on a trip around the globe to celebrate nature's nursery.This collection of stunning photography of wee ones of the wild world will inspire, awe and awww. With dynamic profiles, clever poems, time-tested folktales, amazing rescue stories, and unlikely animal friendships, this book will be a favorite with sleepy little ones, new parents and moms-to-be. Featuring everything from wobbly baby bison to teeny turtles, mini-monkeys to fluffy foxes, this is the perfect keepsake book for the baby animal lover in us all.
My thoughts: As always, the babies get our warm fuzzy on and bring joy and smiles to all of us. Learning about these sweet little ones - and such a variety of critters - is such fun. Engaging for any age.
1st Place = Choice of 3 of these books
2nd Place = Remaining 2 books
Begins November 15
ENDS December  1 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies of these books to facilitate this spotlight/review. Any opinions expressed are solely my own and are freely given. Books provided by National Geographic Kids.


  1. I am pretty new at this teacher gift thing but Im thinking this year of doing the pan holder/mixer/cookie mix idea OR a straw cup with a cute phrase on it!!

  2. "What do you think is a good gift to give a teacher at Christmas? "

    1. A three-ring binder.
    2. A leather journal where he or she can write down the events of the day.

  3. I think the best thing to give a teacher is a bunch of classroom supplies. I know some may say that it is not a gift for the teacher, but for the school. However, so very many teachers dip into their own pockets during the school year and pay for classroom supplies themselves. Maybe ask what is most needed too.
    I would say the second best thing for a teacher would be something like chocolates or a fruit basket. I'm sure by the end of their careers, their cabinets are full of World's Best Teacher cups and their Christmas trees are full of teacher ornaments. Do they really need another?

  4. You can't go wrong with a gift card to Starbucks or Body Shop.

  5. I think teachers would enjoy gift cards or cards with money charged to them. They already have 100 cups and glasses.

  6. I've got a grandson that would enjoy the dinosaur book! I'll have to look into that one. Thanks so much for sharing at our Party in Your PJs link party.

  7. Gift cards or cookie/muffin/dips mixes.

  8. Our daughter is a teacher and she loves insulated mugs, books, and anything home made! Thanks for the super giveaway opportunity.

  9. It really depends on the teacher, but I think a massage gift certificate is a great idea or gift card to a place you know he/she likes to frequent like Starbucks, etc.

  10. I think gift cards are a great option,especially for places like Amazon or Target.I also think a heartfelt letter from the student is a great idea.My son loves to write to his teachers and tell them how awesome they are and to thank them for all they do. Courtney Hennagir on rafflecopter.

  11. gift cards are always on my list. HOWEVER, with that said. I am giving honey from the hive my son helped with and jam from a jamerry that makes its jam from wine and from a local brewery.

  12. Amazon gift card & Safeway gift card would be my choice.

  13. 1. The best gift to give a teacher at Christmas is a general use gift card for Amazon, Target, etc.
    2. Books or specific items the teacher has requested for her classroom - like wipe off markers for the white board or even copy paper - could make a welcome gift. Supplies sometimes run out in the second half of the year.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  14. You could get them a gift card. They could buy supplies for the classroom with it or something for themselves. You could also get them something that fits their personality. We all like different things and need different stuff. So try to get to know what they like. You could also get your child to make them a handmade gift like an ornament or something to remember their student by.

  15. It's hard to go wrong with a giftcard. We have given food gifts- jar of jelly, honey, fruit. The kids always add a card they have made.

  16. 1. a gift card to a massage/salon/manicure place
    2. a gift card to a place that sells school supplies, since teachers usually have to pay for some of their own classroom supplies

  17. "What do you think is a good gift to give a teacher at Christmas? "

    1. A gift card
    2. A food gift basket

  18. I typically don’t give teacher Christmas gifts. I’m weird; I always feel like if I do, then maybe I’m being a suck-up. lol I like to wait until the last week of the school year and then give a gift. My top picks are 1. gift cards for food/drink 2. organizational gifts for the classroom.


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