Barefoot Christmas

November 1, 2023

Every year we find the coolest gift buys to celebrate Christmas while keeping the theme with our current rhythm. So, if you’re looking for ways to incorporate what you’re learning at Forest School with your holiday gift buying, then this post is for you. We’ve broken it down by age group to make it easy and almost every gift has an educational aspect so you could even use them for school.

For Preschoolers:

We didn’t want to leave out the littles! We made a list of fun learning toys so they can explore Rhythm Water alongside of their older siblings. Preschoolers and toddlers can engage their senses with these picks – all of which will play a role in your child’s development. Sensory play helps build nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which can ultimately help your child complete more complex tasks.

We love these colorful twisted eyedroppers that make experimenting irresistible even for the youngest Barefooters. Kids squeeze the bulb and learn about the physical properties of water while building their hand muscles at the same time.

Lakeshore Design & Build Water Blocks is a great toy for water play. The blocks float and they also stick together in the water which makes it easy to design and build structures while bathing or swimming.

These Color Mixing Water Blocks come in different shapes and colors. Children can put the blocks together to learn new colors and experiment with color theory as they place blocks on top of one another to see what new color they can create.

This exciting Mellisa & Doug paint-with-water coloring book set includes six different pads, each with reusable pages and a refillable water pen. Simply use the pen to color in each scene – details and vibrant colors appear with every stroke! Then let the page dry to erase the pictures and fill it in again and again.

This Kid’s Sensory Table with tubs is a great present for any child who loves sensory play. The table is made of pine wood, and the tubs are made of quality plastic, reliable and sturdy, not easy to break, which can hold water and sand or any other natural find. It is sure to provide hours of fun.

A perfect addition to the sensory table would be this Dew Drops Ocean Explorer Set. It has ocean-colored water beads and 26 ocean animal toys to play with. It’s a fun combo that will be sure to keep your kids busy for hours.

These mini aquariums each come with two fish and a seemingly magical twist. Add water to the aquarium and the little fishies grow up to 5 TIMES their size in just three days. Every set comes with three aquariums for triple the fun and curiosity.

This waterfall maze wall features single or double-sided designs for installing water parts for your little Barefooter to create different STEM waterfall games. This sensory table comes with abundant accessories including beach sand tools and water play toys, suitable for sand and/or water play. Perfect for multiple kids’ – indoors or out.

These award-winning puzzles are designed to eliminate frustration and boost confidence. The 12 mini, logical puzzles feature self-correcting joints and fun sea animals to help children correctly match pairs. Complete with a smooth edge design, making it safe for little hands, Saving Water is the perfect first puzzle set for babies & toddlers.

Elementary Age Gifts:

Our picks for this age group all involve creativity, focus, and imagination. Creative arts, imaginative play, and crafts allow children to fully immerse themselves in experiences. These gifts do just that – but of course, they all were chosen because of their additional element of fun. 

If you are looking for a new fidget toy, these water beads bean bags are perfect. Firm but squeezable, they’re amazing for sensory and tactile stimulation, especially for kids with ADD/ADHD, OCD, autism, or high anxiety levels. They feature six different, vivid faces, colors, and six shapes with different “feelings” to attract children. They are sure to play for a long time. These toys help promote a sense of calm, reduce stress/anxiety, and increase your child’s focus/attention.

Have you heard of Hydro Pet Eggs? Set up the light-up habitat, pour in some water, add the HydroEggs with some HydroGrub, and watch your new instant pet hatch, grow, and swim! Your Barefooter will be able to enjoy your very own pets happily swimming around your tank for months as they grow, mature, and have children of their own. The whole process is sure fun to study and watch.

If you have an artsy kiddo, check out this magical Glow in the Dark Shell Paint Kit.  Kids can paint and decorate natural sea shells by using the included craft supplies, unleashing their creativity, and creating truly unique and eye-catching ‘glowing’ sea shell designs.

This VATOS water park waterway is a great outdoor toy that is sure to keep any child’s imagination running. This unique water-building toy has 39 pieces of blocks that children can use to assemble waterways and learn how water moves. It’s perfect for your engineers and architects.

This Underwater Sand Art Kit is complete with multiple fun-filled options for creativity. Kids will love filling the decorative bottles with colorful play sand, mixing layer upon layer to create an eye-popping pattern in these ocean-themed bottles.

This fun Sand Art Kit has 16 different templates to create framable sand art. Kids peel off shapes from each picture, pour our colored sand onto the exposed sticky surface, brush excess sand; and PRESTO – an instant masterpiece!

The Chifafortoo puzzle depicts over 30 species and 100 animals; such as octopuses, whales, sharks, dolphins, turtles, and corals. Barefooters can learn and explore marine animals and plants through this puzzle. Bright and colorful prints give you visual impact and as a bonus, it comes with a poster and fun carrying case.

Let your nature lovers bring their passion for the outdoors indoors with the LEGO Friends Forest Waterfall camping adventure set. Kids can play like they are exploring the woods with their friends at BU. Comprising a pretty waterfall scene, this forest toy comes with LEGO Friends; Andrea, and Olivia, and a toy squirrel figure for roleplay fun, plus cool details such as the squirrel’s pine treehouse, to inspire creative, open-ended storytelling.

First introduced in the 1970s, Waterworks is the original leaky pipe card game filled with wet and wild fun! The first player to complete their own pipeline from valve to spout by connecting pipe cards in between wins! But beware! Other players are trying to ruin your best-laid plans by placing “leaky” pipes on top of your good pipes. If you’re quick enough to repair leaks, make detours, and complete your pipeline, you’ll win the game. Each game comes with two decks of cards, eight metal wrenches, and illustrated rules. It is recommended for 2-4 players ages 8 and up.

Guess 10 Underwater Animals: Divide yourselves up in teams, or play one-on-one, ask up to 10 questions to guess the underwater animal on the Game Card!! Is the animal a mammal? Does it have a shell? Can you be the first player to win 7 Game Cards?

Middle School Picks:

Our middle school gift ideas all theme around critical thinking and fun. Barefooters this age are really learning to problem solve, think outside the box, be creative, and analyze things. These gifts help them do just that but also include play and hands-on fun at the same time. 

This ocean jigsaw puzzle “for adults and families” features an original and beautiful dolphin and sea turtle design that offers vibrant colors and features a wide variety of marine life for your Barefooter to observe. Studies have shown that doing jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. The act of putting the pieces of a puzzle together requires concentration and improves short-term memory and problem-solving.

People of all ages enjoy looking at aquariums and watching fish glide gracefully through the water. If your middle schooler has been asking for a pet, this is a great time to get them a fish. Aside from being beautiful, owning an aquarium with fish can be relaxing, rewarding, and a great conversation piece all at the same time. This 6-gallon Fish Tank is perfect for a beginner wanting a small fish. It has LED Lighting with 7 colors, an internal power filter, and a 45GPH flow rate.

Waterfall Park is the re-edition of Chinatown, the well-known negotiation game. The goal of the game is to trade and exchange attractions to build the biggest amusement park in the world. The particularity of this park is that it is built vertically on huge towers, in the middle of the ocean.

This DIY water wheel is made of premium material, which can withstand long-lasting use. It comes with a simple structure, which offers Barefooters the opportunity to build it on their own.

Have your Barefooter build their very own ship in a bottle! These kits come with pre-shaped wooden parts, a clear glass bottle, a simulated brass nameplate, rigging, as well as illustrations and instructions on getting started. It’s challenging! Are they up for it? There are two different choices; the USS Constitution if you want to take a historical approach or a Pirate Ship, just for fun.

Get ready for endless holiday cheer with the ULTIMATE Skip Ball! This hot new water toy is perfect for reducing screen time and getting kids to play outdoors. Whether at the beach or pool, this toy is guaranteed to bring endless hours of entertainment to friends and family.

This ocean-style jewelry kit contains various beading accessories and tools to perfectly satisfy your jewelry-creating needs. It is perfect for making necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings, chokers, and other jewelry designs. It’s also suitable for cellphone, scrapbook, handbag, and purse decorations.

If you are looking for a fun light for your Barefooters room, check out this Fantasy Jellyfish Lamp. It is so fun to watch with 7 different colors and makes a fun addition to any room.

If you have a budding scientist, this Clean Water Science Kit is perfect, especially for those with an interest in chemistry and the environment. It is a personal desalination kit that demonstrates the scientific way to extract salt from seawater. The kit contains a plastic filter system, active carbon, sand, rock, and filter paper.

High School Gifts:

Your older kids will love being included with water-themed gifts too. All of these can be done independently and promote the opportunity for kids to practice practical, hands-on application of what we are learning this year. Some of these gifts might even be great fun for you too! 

The book, Hidden Messages in Water has the potential to transform your worldview. Using high-speed photography, Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. The implications of this research create a new awareness of how we can positively impact the earth and our personal health. It is an amazing addition to any home library and comes in many formats including CD and Kindle.

This 1000-piece shark puzzle “for adults” features 27 brilliant and famous shark pictures from around the world. It also comes with an exquisite packing box and a double-sided poster. The front of the poster helps you complete the puzzle and the back is introduction info all about sharks. Bonus: it is made with nontoxic ink.

Unleash your creative side through the tranquility that art brings. Create a beautiful Pond Lotus Leaf Frog with this adult paint-by-number kit. For older Barefooters, it is a piece of art that can relieve stress, relax, and improve concentration. It comes with a numbered canvas, three acrylic paint strips, and paint brushes.

This sea turtle-stained glass diamond painting kit is so beautiful. Diamond painting not only can regulate emotions, reduce stress, and enhance self-confidence and perseverance; it can also perfectly decorate your home. The set is made of high-quality canvas and rhinestones, printed in high definition, is environmentally friendly, and waterproof. The pattern itself has a sticky bottom and plastic protective film.

We are obsessed with this Turtle Moss Art Kit. A unique new craft kit based on the paint-by-numbers method of instruction – but using naturally preserved moss instead of paint. The kit comes with a pre-shaped and drawn canvas template, packs of three colors, naturally preserved reindeer moss, glue, and full written and online instructions to enable your Barefooter to make this wonderful piece of moss wall art just like the professionals. When it’s complete, there are adhesive wall mounting tags to enable you to display it.

Fishing in Spring Art Set by Van Gogh is a 16×20 inch Linen Canvas, acrylic DIY number painting kit. It is perfect for learning with and about a famous artist. This oil painting by numbers kit offers all the basic painting skills, a sense of accomplishment, and amusement. It also would make a great artist study activity, perfect for Rhythm Water.

The best sports to get close to nature are water sports. Paddleboarding is great for relaxing and relieving anxiety. Take this inflatable paddle board from backyard ponds to the great lakes or from the gulf to anywhere water flows. It is perfect for water fun, fitness, or any observing interesting things on the water. It comes with a hand pump, backpack, waterproof bag, and leash.

The Asko Brave 4 action waterproof camera is perfect for shooting videos and photos. It has a 5x zoom feature and even comes with a remote. It features 4K/30fps, 2K/30fps, and 1080P/60FPS video resolution and 20MP photos, enabling you to take incredible photos and ultra HD videos. It clearly records the beauty and wonders in life! It features a built-in smart gyroscope for anti-shaking and image stabilization. Sharing & editing videos is also easy with the free downloadable app. You can use it on your phone or tablet and connect it through the camera’s Wi-Fi signal. The HDMI port even allows you to connect it to a television.

Recreate the magnificence of San Francisco architecture with this awesome LEGO Architecture San Francisco Skyline Collection model. We chose this to go because of week 12 – BRIDGE BUILDING. This LEGO brick collectible features a selection of the city’s iconic attractions and landmarks, including the famous “painted ladies” buildings, 555 California Street, the Transamerica Pyramid, Salesforce Tower, Coit Tower, Fort Point, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island. A blue-tiled baseplate representing the Golden Gate strait and a San Francisco nameplate add the finishing touch to this amazing city model.

Disclosure: Barefoot Univerisity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn revenue by advertising and linking items to Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, Barefoot University will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.