Living The Life Kit & 2020 Holiday Gift Guide!

2020 and “Living The Life” sound a bit like “Trump” and “Biden.” Can 2020 and “Living The Life” coexist? Sounds like polar opposites. There’s a story behind this. Jude, our middle child, only son, 8-year old body of fiery energy, at this very moment, has a hand-me-down tote resting beneath his bed. His crate is pre-loaded with:

 

  • Heatable slippers
  • 100% Polyester Owl bathrobe
  • The last five magazines from the lego club
  • Chewing Gum
  • A tethered copy of “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”

 

Two weeks ago, I walked through the living room to see Jude’s self-care “kit” in action! My 3rd grader set up camp upon the couch with warm slippers, robe, gum, and lego magazines!

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Living THE LIFE!!!

He calls this his “Living The Life Kit.”
Equal parts hilarious and wise.

 

So, in dedication to Jude, I christen the 2020 Holiday gift guide with a “Living the Life Kit!” (Original Version) followed up with “Living The Life Kit” (Extra-Chill Version)! Along with this, I’ve included books, purely mathematical gifts, and random and fun ideas. Hopefully, this gives you some great ideas for your loved ones!

 

LIVING THE LIFE KIT (ORIGINAL VERSION)

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2020’s been rough. Time for self-care!

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  1. Slippers – A wilder pair: Yeti or Bigfoot Paw Slippers! or Skysole Fleece
  2. The Robe from Bagno Milano, Made of 100% Turkish Cotton.
  3. The Gum – Fantastic Fruit from “Treehugger Bubble gum” 
  4. Tote – I just love this 100% recycled bike tube backpack from Recover Brands! or a less expensive option
  5. (Not-pictured) Lego Magazine Subscription (FREE!)

 

LIVING THE LIFE KIT (SUPER-CHILL VERSION, INCLUDES EVERYTHING IN THE ORIGINAL, PLUS A FEW UPGRADES)

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Level up!

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  1. Let’s associate self-care, relaxation with being Made for Math! I love this Pillow.
  2. Beautifully aesthetic Mindfulness Cards by Little Renegades “designed to empower young kids with…awareness, gratitude…we hope to embolden their inherent capacity for calm…available to them at all times.” The watercolor illustrations are wonderful, so good!
  3. Cork Mat – “Every peaceful warrior needs a little space to find stillness, confidence, and joy in the present moment.”
  4. Buddha Boards – another tool to help live in the moment. Take a bamboo brush and paint with water. I’m relaxed just watching the demo.

 

GAMES

 

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  1. Board games are a central part of our family flow! Games like Kingdomino and Splendor
    activate multiplication, addition, and subtraction fluency A trio of greats recommended from our math specialists include:
  2. Tenzi
  3. Quixx
  4. Vintage Yahtzee

 

RANDOM/FUN

 

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  1. Dress up a pickle.
  2. Just in case! “Who gives a crap toilet paper” checks all the boxes! Bare necessities! Pandemic necessity, subscription, hilarious, and RECYCLED! Suitable for “the world, good for people, and good for your bum.”
  3. Roller sticky notes. Paint your ideas on paper!
  4. Emoji Erasers. So much of our math is on dry erase boards. This is a goofy spice to the erasing portion!
  5. (Not-pictured) Late addition! The awesome Parkoo ERASABLE Gel pens with assorted colors.

 

PURELY MATHEMATICAL!

 

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  1. Cloth Social Distance facemask – Yes! From the BobaTeeshop on Etsy. for kids and adults
  2. I love these high-quality birch plywood base 10 blocks, birch hardwood numbers, and manipulatives – Gorgeous, craftsmanship. Math can be aesthetically pleasing!
  3. PRIME CLIMB. – This is another Made For Math Specialists’ favorite! Perfect for pre-teens and teens, that involves multiplication, division, factorization, and prime number concepts.
  4. Made for Math Ceramic Mug! With the affirming, “I am made for math” and a splash of color.

 

BOOKS/WORDS FOR BIGGER PEOPLE:

 

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  1. Parents, educators, you got this! Affirmations that are deep and hilarious.
  2. Dyscalculia: from Science to Education
  3. What are you feeling? Humor + Emotional Intelligence!
  4. A beautiful print from one of my favorite poets. Just in case you need a reminder of your precious life!

 

BOOKS/WORDS FOR SMALLER PEOPLE:

 

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  1. I love these journals for kids, helping children develop robust social-emotional learning (SEL) and growth mindset skills and the beautifully designed tween version, science-based journal
  2. Embrace Imperfection: What to do when Mistakes Make you Quake
  3. Only three words, but powerful
  4. Which one doesn’t Belong? A better shapes book!

 

“Living The Life” in 2020 may sound out of place. Making the best of a rough year doesn’t. I hope you’ve found some ideas or items that you love and can pass along! Happy Holidays!

 

MFM Authors

Matthew Lyda

Matthew Lyda

Multisensory Math Specialist

Matthew is a Blue Belt in Shotokan Karate, a happy husband, wilderness lover, drummer, and a voracious reader! He works with students one:one as well as in group classes.