What Led to our Decision to Homeschool?

Why We Chose to Homeschool | from a mom of a 12 year old boy

Homeschoolers get asked this question a lot. A lot. In my experience, most of time, parents are just curious about why someone would choose such an odd lifestyle. Sometimes the looks we get make us laugh. Everything from open, gaping mouths to snarled faces are given when I tell people we are a homeschooling family. Homeschooling is not for every family, and I never judge others for their choices, but homeschooling is the right choice for us, and we love living such an outlandish and peculiar lifestyle.

  • To be honest, this is my number one answer. To be perfectly honest again, I’ve been told this is snobby, but here it goes. We believe we can give our son a more superior education than he would receive in school. I know I can teach him better than a certified classroom teacher can. I have a couple of friends who are teachers and I admire them tremendously, they do an amazing job with their classes, and are adored by their students. Regardless, no one will be invested in our son like we are. We can recognize and adapt to his needs.
  • We want to include God and the Bible in aspects of his education. We want him to learn Godly character and the spiritual foundation of our country. We want him to learn creation science, rather than have evolution forced down this throat. We believe that kids need to know both views exist, and that evolution is a theory, not fact.
  • We can spend as long as he would like on a subject that interests him. A ringing bell does not force him to stop doing something enjoyable and move onto something else. Moms, what if YOU wanted to learn to knit, or wanted to read the next chapter in a new book, or learn how to research your family tree and someone told you that you could not move onto the next knitting technique until you were a certain age, or told you that you could not read the next chapter until 1:30 when that class began, or told you that you could not research a particular family line because it was not on their syllabus.
  • Our son is a very advanced learner with intellectual abilities that go far beyond where he should be according to his age. He would not be challenged in a regular classroom and he needs to be challenged. Homeschooling gives him opportunities to live up to his potential.  At 13 years old, he is already mentally ready to begin college and we are going to start this year with online classes, dual credit and CLEP testing.
  • This goes along with the one above. We can give him individualized learning. Schools use a “one size fits all” standard curriculum. Not all children are ready to learn things at the same ages. Not all children learn in the same way. Not all children progress at the same rate.
  • We believe it is completely unnatural to expect a child, especially a boy, to sit still for hours at a time and bottle up their curiosity. Most adults cannot even do that. Kids need freedom to move and even more freedom to ask the questions that pop into their mind.
  • Homeschooling gives us the time and freedom to do what we want apart from someone else’s schedule. Unless he starts his own business, he’ll have his entire adult life to follow someone else’s schedule. Right now, we can take spur of the moment field trips, vacations, enroll in classes, and experience real hands-on learning whenever we want. We took a 4 trip to Universal in Orlando in February and it was practically empty and glorious.
  • We want our son to learn logic, critical thinking, self-direction, self-expression, and abstract thinking. He needs to experience events that will prepare him for life, not just for a job. He needs be taught how to succeed in life and relationships.
  • We want him to learn about sex and drugs from us, in an appropriate manner. We don’t want him learning about these things during free time or from a textbook.
  • Schools nowadays are dangerous! There is much to be afraid of and kids cannot properly learn in an environment in which they are afraid. Not only are schools physically dangerous, but emotional dangerous as well.
  • There is nothing healthy about the socialization that occurs in school. The majority of kids in school end up with an unhealthy need for peer approval. Cliques only teach kids to judge others on superficial qualities.

Read more posts about why homeschoolers have chosen to embark on this adventure at iHomeschool Network.

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.


How to Raise a Boy Who Loves to Read

How to Raise a Boy Who Loves to Read

A few years ago, a kid told my son that only geeks like books and that reading is stupid. Can you believe that! My son just laughed and replied with something along the lines of, “And that is why I am and always will be smarter than you.” It was snarky, but I was so proud of that comeback.

Did you know that 80% of families in the United States have not read a story together in the past year, and 42% of high school graduates will never read another book for the rest of their lives. Those really are heartbreaking statistics, but if you think those statistics are bad, they are even worse when you take girls out of the equation and tally up how much boys read.

Getting boys interested in books can be quite a challenge and one of the top questions that I receive from readers and friends is, “How did you get your son to enjoy reading so much?” Today, I am going to share some of my personal tips with you, along with the advice from some of my brilliant friends.

What I Did (and still do)

  • My son has not had a real bedtime since he was 6. He does have to go into his room at 8:30, but he can stay up as late as he wants reading.
  • Both my husband and I read to him every single day. I actually still read to him every day and he is 13.
  • There are cozy nooks all over the house, with certain themes of books and lots of pillows.
  • I leave stacks of books laying around the house, sometimes open to certain pages. This is known as strewing.
  • I made a big deal out of how special it is to just lay around the house in pajamas, reading books.
  • We take trips to the library once or twice a week.
  • To encourage a variety of books, before we got out of the car, I had my son choose a random Dewey decimal number and then we would go to aisle and select some books. He discovered some very interesting topics that he never would have dreamed of choosing on his own. This doesn’t work as well now that he practically has the system memorized.
  • I often read the first chapter or two of a new book out loud to him and then I would leave the book out and ignore it. He would usually finish it on his own.
  • I would show him the exciting trailer of a movie and then tell him we could watch the movie after we read the book. I still do this and we have a strict rule that if there is a book available, we must read the book before watching the movie.
  • We bought him a Kindle and loaded it up with eBooks.
  • We signed up for OysterBooks, which is like Netflix for books. If you sign up using my referral link, you’ll receive a $15 credit, plus I’ll get a free month!
  • We had a tournament of books.
  • Currently, my son and I often read the same book, at the same time, on our Kindles. We highly interesting sections and send quotes to each other via email. The Kindle makes it really easy to do so.
  • If there is an exact audio book available, sometimes we will listen to the audio as we read along in the book.

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The two humongous bookshelves that my husband built for me. Unfortunately, they currently do not look this clean and organized. Seeing these old photos actually motivates me to reorganize them!

What Reading Has Done for My Son

I have learned, and seen first hand, that boys do tend to gravitate toward encyclopedia type books – and that is totally fine! I have never had issues getting my son to read non-fiction, it was fiction that he was so against for awhile. However, eventually, with my encouragement and the tips above, he learned to love fiction.

He became captivated by that tiny Indian in the mysterious cupboard; angered by the injustice poured out on the boys in Holes; heartbroken by the deaths of so many soldiers in The Red Badge of Courage; motivated to explore like the Wright Family, Professor Lidenbrock, and the Hobbits; and inspired by Tyce, the paralyzed boy in Robot Wars who doesn’t let anything hold him back. Reading fiction books with great characters has many benefits for children. Harry Potter taught loyalty and courage; Jotham taught devotion to Christ; the Pevensie siblings taught forgiveness and grace; Robin Hood taught the importance of standing up for those who cannot do it for themselves; and Mrs. Frisby taught sacrifice.

Expert Advice from My Dear Friends

I am an avid reader that is married to a nonreader… Sure my brilliant husband knows how to read, but he doesn’t enjoy it. My sons enjoyed the good no-twaddle literature I made them read with school, but they would never seek out these books in their free time.  In hopes of teaching my boys that reading is fun, I purchased and checked out horribly boy friendly books like Captain Underpants! Over time and with a token incentive system (one poker chip for 30 minutes of reading can be redeemed for 30 minutes of screen time). After having read the same books over and over, they became excited about finding new books at the library. They realized that a bag of books sure make the time pass quickly when you are driving. Or waiting for appointments. For tween boys, we loved any and all books by Max Elliott Anderson. Not too long of a book and action from page 1.

Marsha Drews

I made sure to read to my sons all the time and I kept fun, boy-friendly books around. Also, they earned their screen time by reading, and got double minutes if they read out loud to a younger child. We made frequent trips to the library so they could pick out fun books, too. Both of the boys still are avid readers.

Angela Capers

My advice is to let them read what they love as much as possible. If it’s a steady diet of Calvin and Hobbes, enjoy that season: laugh with them over the antics of the characters and take delight in the story line. If reading is joyful, they’ll grow up thinking it’s a good thing, even if they don’t become adults with a stack of books next to the bed.

Kendra Fletcher

We always used interest-based books. Once I had my three boys hooked on reading (and convinced that I was a book-choosing genius) they were open to all sorts of books.

Angela DeRossett

Ever since they were little, we have had Thursday night designated as book night. When they were smaller I would read to them. As they got older, and resistant to continuing the practice, I added things that appealed to them. For example, only on Thursdays do we do special things like eat s’mores, drink hot cocoa and watermelon punch, bring pillows and blankets to the couch, etc. so that they began to look forward to it. Also, they were not allowed to put their feet on or lounge on the furniture unless it was book night. It became a game to see how much of their body they could fit into their spot. This was a fun challenge for teenage boys! And of course, they always try to top each other with the adventure in their books. I’ve become used to losing the “amazing book” game since I always read non-fiction. It just can’t compare to knights, wars, Vikings, and pirates who dance in spandex.

Amy Bayliss

Our kids always have individual quiet time from 1-3pm and they can either sleep or read. They always choose to read. I require them to check out non-fiction and biography every time we go to the library in addition to their choices, and I try to help them find good series for themselves. We also have assigned reading that isn’t dry. It’s about variety and frequency. So they read daily, have variety, and I am also helping to make it easier for them to appreciate good books and have a good selection to keep encouraging reading. Books on tape are great too

Karin Taylor

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My boys read 2 books simultaneously. 1 is free choice, within reason, but I’m pretty tolerant as long as it’s not, you know, equivalent to r-rated. The other is my choice. Each has a Kindle and a library of paper avail to them. Each has been pretty intrinsically motivated, so far.

Darcy Milder

We always have a stack of books within arm’s reach where ever we sit or stand in our house.  I made sure to have a huge collection and variety of high-interest books always available at home, and the boys could pick and choose from there. The boys always have a book along when we go somewhere, so they can fill the moments of downtime or waiting. In general, we don’t pack our family schedule too tightly and our homeschool schedule is quite relaxed, so the boys have plenty of downtime to read.

Heidi Scovel

Reading is a huge part of our home, and our school time.  I read aloud to them for a couple of hours at a time a couple times per week (nonfiction and novels), and we always have a lunch read-aloud going too.  My kids are 14 down to 7 and the oldest still loves when I read aloud.  We are a Montessori family, and so learning to read was all about phonics, hands-on activities, moveable alphabet, and other fun ways to break down words.  My youngest is the only one who doesn’t love reading, but he reads well and does so when it’s required (with minimal fuss, LOL).  I don’t make it a big deal, but the steady diet of really good literature in our home is very important.

Since the kids were little, we went to the library at least one time per week.  The are allowed 2 “junk books” and as many good quality books (nonfiction or fiction) as they want. It’s not unusual for us to have hundreds of library books in our book baskets in the living room.  I define junk books as anything pop-culture, or written as part of a formulaic series (think TV show books for preschoolers, or Diary of Wimpy Kid for older ones) or with a really poor writing style.  We talk about why it’s important to put healthy words and stories in our minds, as we put healthy things in our bodies. They sometimes are allowed junk food, so the same goes for junk books.  If it’s not a steady diet of those things, then we can enjoy the fluff on occasion.  I make sure I am always reading in front of them, or talking about books to them, and I stick to the same guidelines as they do.  Books have become such good friends to us, friends we share and will be able to reminisce about forever.

Christine Hiester

Don’t stress about it. Set them up to want to read. I talk to them about what I’m reading — and have forever. My oldest had a negative experience in first grade before we pulled him out to homeschool, and it totally soured him on reading. During that period afterwards, when he was anti-books, I read aloud often. Once he started asking me to read more and more, I actually started reading a bit less, stopping at cliff-hangers, and leaving the books where he’d be likely to pick them up to finish on his own. Now… I can’t get him to go to bed half the time because he always has his nose in a book.

Colleen Kessler

Skip school for a reading day: pizza, popcorn, pop, and a pile of great adventure books. Make it a special day full of treats and wonderful memories. I’ve yet to have a son who didn’t leap at the chance to avoid school in favor of pizza, popcorn, and pop.

Sara Dennis

Buy them books in their interest.  My boys are devouring Minecraft books right now.  Oh, and be willing to let them read comics.

Ticia Messing

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We have books in every room here, so my boys are surrounded by them at all times. I also have a rule where the kids must go to bed by a certain time *but* they can stay up reading as late as they’d like.

 – Cait Fitz

Like most young boys, my son is very active. He will sit for long periods of time to build with LEGO or work on his whip weaving skills but he has always been a reluctant reader. I’ve found that reading together and listening to audio books helps us to connect with one another as well as inspire him to discover new worlds through quality literature.

Eva Varga

When they’re first learning, don’t force reading. If they want to go through their favorite story book and just tell it from the pictures, that’s perfectly fine! It can be a real struggle to sound out every word in a full length book, so building comprehension from the pictures is great too! We want our boys to love books, not loathe them because every time they grab a book we are expecting them to read every word every time. :) Also, finding a books based off of tv shows or movies that they know and love helps a lot. We have stacks of Frozen books and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

Kaylene

My son reads for information — sports statistics, world record books, etc. He also loves to read COMICS — Peanuts, Garfield. He doesn’t enjoy so many traditional “Chapter books”, but I’m ok with that right now – because at least he is READING.

Mary Prather

Create a boy friendly environment. This means to respect the fact that because they are boys they will learn differently than girls and at a different rate. Don’t insist on the same boring readiness skills like coloring inside the lines that girls may tolerate. Embrace their need to move because boys will grow up to be men who love to read and will not always be wiggly.

Tina Robertson

It took a long time for me to get over the idea that the boys weren’t hard wired to sit completely still while listening to me read. I’ve learned to let the boys burn off their energy during story time. They’ve jumped on a mini-trampoline, played with Play-Dough, and splashed in the bathtub while listening to me read. I’m blessed that my husband loves to read, and he loves to read to our children. Over the years, he’s picked up much of the slack of nightly story times. The boys love it, and it offers them some one on one time with their dad.

Dianna Kennedy

To help my young boys develop a love of reading great books I started a book club.  Each month we read aloud a different book and then we met with a small group of friends to discuss the book and complete several related hands-on activities.  Through this process the books seemed to “come alive” for my guys and they understood how interesting and exciting books could be.  They continually say book club is one of their favorite activities.

Susan Williams

More Resources

This post is part of an iHomeschool Network linkup devoted to frequently asked questions. Visit the linkup landing page to view more expert advice on such topics as How Do I Know if My Child Is Learning?, How to Teach Middle School and High School Science, How to Handle Homeschooling Burn Out, and How to Homeschool and Still Have a Clean House! I hope you’ll be blessed by the tips you’ll receive from these posts, including mine!

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.


From Ice Storms to Palm Trees to Snow

Harry wished he had about eight more eyes. He turned his head in every direction as they walked up the street, trying to look at everything at once: the shops, the things outside them, the people doing their shopping

“Harry wished he had about eight more eyes. He turned his head in every direction as they walked up the street, trying to look at everything at once: the shops, the things outside them, the people doing their shopping.”  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1) 

We took a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando this week and that quote from Harry Potter sums up exactly how I felt walking around. Oh, the joy on my son’s face as the Hogwarts Express came down the tracks, the shock and awe as we walked through the secret jagged wall that unveiled Diagon Alley, the hilarity that ensued when we met Doc Brown from Back to the Future…it was all worth a million dollars. What a magical fun place! There is nothing like viewing the world through your child’s eyes!

magic-in-everything

Things that made me happy this week
  • Our choice of vacation time. Visiting Orlando in February was a brilliant idea, if I must say. The crowds were practically non-existent and the weather was just right. Sort of like an Ohio November.
  • Seeing elderly couples dressed in full Hogwarts gear – robes, wands, and scarves. They were just adorable!
  • The customer service and convenience of flying on Southwest Airlines. We will never choose anyone else.
  • The perks of purchasing a vacation package and staying at an on-site hotel. Complimentary water taxi, express pass that lets you skip the ride lines, free delivery back to your hotel of items you purchase in the parks, free breakfasts at the Harry Potter restaurants, and more…it is highly recommended!
  • Flying back and seeing the Ohio snow from the airplane.

snow

From around the web
  • The Kindle version of one of my son’s favorite science books is on sale right now for only $1.99! We have the hardback version and LOVE it. It is a gorgeous book!
  • How to Host a Book Club – Alicia describes, step-by-step, how she organizes a book club for her children and their friends. What fun!
  • Did you know that you can stream classic poetry readings from Harvard’s Rich Audio Archive? Over 6,000 recordings of poetry from the 20th and 21st centuries, all free!
Other books that I know you’ll love
  • Your God-Given Purpose: Finding & Fulfilling God’s Plan for Your Life  – a free ebook from my “nerd BFF” Alisha. Long before you were ever born the Lord knew you. He wrote out all of your days in His book. He created you for a specific purpose and it is a purpose that only you can fulfill. He has given you dreams and desires that will propel you toward it.

In our homeschool

There was no school this week, since we were hanging out with the Minions, Doc Brown, Captain America, Scooby Doo and Wolverine, and screaming our heads off on roller coasters. (OK, I was screaming my head off, with my eyes tightly shut and my hands death-gripping whatever I could hold onto to most of the time. They were throwing their hands up in the air and laughing at me.)

I did learn a valuable lesson this week. Be careful with your stuff. I lost my brand new $50 Harry Potter scarf somewhere in the park and I have no idea when or where. It got a little too warm to wear it and I folded it up nicely around my tiny little satchel/purse. We just finished getting pictures taken with Optimus Prime when I noticed it was gone.

Orlando-2015

Linking up with my friends Kris and Mary.

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.


Meeting Matt Smith

My son is a Doctor Who fanatic. Actually, fanatic may be an understatement. For crying out loud, we have a 6-foot tall TARDIS, 6-foot tall Cyberman, and a 5-foot tall inflatable Dalek in our living room. He has also successfully converted a dozen friends and family members into fans. It takes a die-hard fan to go that far.

My-son-and-Matt-Smith

When I found out that Matt Smith, the eleventh Doctor and my son’s favorite incarnation, was going to be in Chicago for the annual comic con, my husband and I immediately started making plans. The photo opportunity ticket was purchased just in the nick of time, because they were actually sold out the very next day. We decided to make it a 4 day trip so that we could spend time with my sister-in-law and her husband.

I hunted around the web for more fun things for kids, planned a day at the Chicago Science Museum, booked a pirate ship ride on Lake Michigan, mapped out a route to the famous American Science and Surplus Store, and then my husband said…

Hey, let’s fly.

I knew it was a good idea, but my sinking stomach screamed no. I have a deathly fear of heights and have never been on a plane. He reminded me that when we go to the United Kingdom in a few years (for our 20th anniversary) we need to fly and I need to take a few short trips before then to get used to a plane. Plus, the flight is only 45 minutes, compared to a 6 hour drive.

So I bought some plane tickets. I might have cried too.

By the way, Matt Smith was very, very nice to my son. According to his attendants, he has a no hand-shaking/no hugging rule, but he gave my son two “man hugs” and called him Doctor several times. I cannot get over the fact that my son looks so tall in that photo, because of his fez and the fact that Matt Smith bent down a bit for the photo.

clouds-from-plane

Turns out that I was afraid for nothing. The flight was a breeze and I absolutely loved it. My son sat next to the window, but I looked out the window almost the entire time. This is a photo that he took on our flight home.

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The costumes at this comic con were amazing. Here is my son with 2 Weeping Angels and a Silence, characters from Doctor Who. He felt like a celebrity for a few minutes because when he stopped to pose with these people, about 10 photographers jumped out of nowhere and took advantage of the photo opportunity.

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Here he is again with an Ood.

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From the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. This is the giant periodic table of elements, showing real life examples of all the known elements.

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The Tall Ship Windy. My son even got to help hoist the sails once we were on board. This was an amazing experience for him.

Chicago is a crazy, bustling, noisy city with non-stop traffic that made me want to hide in the hotel the entire trip. We had a lot of fun though and I am very thankful that we were able to spend so much time with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.  I miss her dearly since she moved away. I am happy that we experienced all the new adventures on the trip – first plane ride (for my son and I), first ship ride, meeting Matt Smith, a new science museum – but I am thrilled to be home.

It wasn’t until we got home that we discovered there were 22 shootings in Chicago just that weekend alone and that there are also about 2000 wild coyotes roaming the city at all hours of the day. Eeek! I love how completely fearless my sister-in-law is!

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.


DIY Minifigure Display Case

Doctor Who Character Display Case

This was a very easy father-son Saturday project. So easy that it only took a couple of hours.

What you need:

  • six craft boards – the dimensions of one piece = 1/2″ x 2″ x 36″
    • seven 14″ long pieces for the shelves.
    • two 18″ long pieces for the sides.
    • two 16″ long pieces (glued on top of each other) for the top section with Police Public Call Box on it.
    • two 10″ long pieces (glued on top of each other) for the section above that.
    • one 2″ x 3″ block of wood for the tippy top of the TARDIS.
  • nails and wood glue
  • paint – TARDIS blue
  • vinyl letters or stickers – I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the words Police Public Call Box, but you could also use stickers or paint the letters on by hand.

The characters need at least 2″ in between shelves and the TARDIS needs at least 4″.

Doctor Who Character Display Case

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.


The Ultimate and Inexpensive Minecraft Birthday Party Gift Bag

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

My son turned 12 a couple of months ago. My baby is one step closer to being a teenager. Since Minecraft is the thing among boys his age, selecting a theme for this year’s party was easy. We always host birthday parties at a local entertainment center/restaurant. It is basically a giant arcade that serves awesome food. Think a classy Chuck E. Cheese for big kids and adults. They supply everything, so I never need to decorate, bake, cook, or clean up.

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

So the only thing I ever need to do for parties is the gift bag. I try to do my best to make sure my son’s friends go home happy, without breaking the bank over goodies for 12 kids.

Total cost: $5.15 per gift bag

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

Step one: the invitations

Cost: practically nothing since all that is needed is card stock and a printer.

These cubes are all over Etsy and Ebay. You can purchase them already personalized and ready to print. I found a free printable cube and made my own. My Silhouette Cameo has a print and cut feature so I didn’t even have to cut them out by hand.  I am going to probably irritate some sellers out there, but I am going to give you mine for free, to download, edit and print on your own.

You will need to use a photo editing software such as Photoshop or Paint to edit the image and add your own text.

Download blank Minecraft invitation cube (jpg)   |   Download blank Minecraft invitation cube (Photoshop file)

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

Step two: Minecraft Creeper t-shirts

Cost: $3.89 per shirt

I am a huge fan of DIY t-shirts and am pretty much obsessed with making them. I purchased the shirts from Blank Apparel for only $2.70 each.  These are not junk either, they are soft yet durable. The black Creeper face is iron on heat transfer material, purchased from Amazon. It averages out to $1.19 per shirt for the material.

Each boy wore his Creeper shirt around the arcade. The bright green made it VERY easy to keep track of them.

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

Step three: Minecraft Creeper cups

Cost: 43-cents per cup

These cups came from the dollar store. They are nice sturdy plastic in the perfect creeper green. A pack of 3 cups was only $1. I heart our local dollar store. The black Creeper face and the name on the opposite side is sticky vinyl. Each cup used only 10-cents in material.

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

Step four: Minecraft chocolate bars

Cost: 33-cents per candy bar

Hershey bars were only 3/$1.00 at Meijer. I tried my best to find Minecraft characters online that resembled my son’s friends. That brown-haired Jonathan is Renee’s son and Trevor belongs to Colleen. I printed the characters out on regular paper to fit around a Hershey bar.

Download printable Minecraft Candy Bar Wrappers. You can edit the images to include names, or write them on after printing.

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

Step five: Minecraft TNT bunches

Cost: 25-cents per bundle

The Twizzlers were $1 per bag at the dollar store. Each bag contained enough Twizzlers to make 4 TNT bundles.

Download printable TNT label

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

Step six: Minecraft Creeper bags – a place to store everything

Cost: 25-cents per bag

The bags were also purchased at the dollar store and I thought that it was a miracle that I found so many items in Creeper green. The faces were simply black paper, glued onto the bag. The Silhouette Cameo makes things so easy.

Easy and Inexpensive Minecraft Party Gift Bags - $5.15 per bag!

Total cost: $5.15 per gift bag

 

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.