Giving the Gift of Art: Art of the Month Club

*Some links are affiliate links; see full disclosure below*

My eight-year-old wanted to give gifts to many of the special people in his life, and he had been saving up his money to be able to purchase gifts. However, he is eight, so his budget was still limited. He wanted to be able to do something special, but that didn’t cost a fortune.

We discussed it, looked at his budget, and designed a fun idea that would be special and inexpensive.

What is the Art of the Month Club?

He created Benjamin’s art of the month club. You could title it whatever you wanted and choose the frequency that works for you, but the idea is that they would be getting new art once a month.

We found artwork frames that are easy to open, add new artwork, and store the older painting. We purchased ours from Michaels Craft Store, but you can also find similar ones on Amazon.

(I did realize after purchasing that I was going to need to get some bigger paper to fit well into the frame, and I was able to get these pads relatively inexpensively.)

Benjamin loves doing paintings with chalk pastels or acrylics and often gives them away. This idea allowed him to gift art in a way that made them easy to display and store.

He used one of the beautiful nativity chalk pastel lessons from Nana at to put into the frames. Then we typed up a paper that explained to the recipient that each month for the next year, they would receive a new painting from Benjamin.

With the frames he gave them, they can simply open the frame and put the new picture on top of the old one. Super simple and easy, even for those with strength or motor skills issues.

With our You Are An Artist Membership, Benjamin has access to hundreds of different lessons and can choose a new painting each month that goes with the season, a holiday, or just something he thinks the recipient will enjoy.

Other Art Gift Ideas

Benjamin gave these to both sets of grandparents. Since he gifted it to the pair, he had a meaningful Christmas gift for two people for about $15. He also chose some simple document frames from the dollar tree to put paintings in for some other relatives and neighbors whom he was gifting just one picture.

While we used this idea for Christmas gifts, it would work great for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or a birthday.

He loves creating and sharing his creations, and the people in his life enjoy seeing his art and knowing he was thinking about him when he did his paintings.

If you are looking for even more ideas for gifting art, you can check out this post about The Art of Kindness.

Do you use any artwork for your gifts? I would love to hear other ideas for sharing your art with those you love.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library, you will get a link and password to the library; we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you updated on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always, I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in, and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried, you don’t want to miss this sale!

This Celebration Bundle is a great deal, and you can use code: schoolinswag to get an extra 10% off! There are over 60 products to add fun and celebration to your homeschool throughout the year.

My favorite fitness program has a new membership. Fit2B Lite offers a few great workouts that change every month for an even lower monthly rate. You can try this program out right now for less than $4 a month, and you get a free 7-day trial. It is a great way to get started on your new fitness goals without the overwhelm of hundreds of workouts to choose from.

Feeding the Hobbits or Homeschool Snacks

The Review Crew is talking about homeschool snacks this week and I wanted to share a few of our favorite healthy snack ideas. I don’t know if we read too much Tolkien or if it is just being at home all day, but my children eat like hobbits.

They want three meals and lots of snacks. So it is important to me to have easy, healthy, and inexpensive options available.

*Some links are affiliate links, see disclosure below for more information*

Healthy Homeschool Snacks

I have learned that if I keep the healthy homeschool snacks easily available and the treats not as easily accessible it is easier to make sure that we are eating a healthy diet. We all enjoy the occasional cookie or brownie but I try to mostly make those homemade so that they aren’t always around.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and Vegetables tend to make great healthy snacks but can sometimes be expensive. I have found that I can keep it inexpensive by choosing fruit that is currently in season, growing some of our own, or using vegetables like carrot sticks that are almost always inexpensive at our local grocery store.

Right now we are enjoying all of the fresh strawberries! Our local u-pick has them for only $1.35 a pound. They are so sweet and tasty, but also full of vitamins.

If you want to make vegetables more exciting you can add a dip or make them into shapes. We sometimes give them a variety and they can make their own creations before eating them.


When children are growing, they can often need extra protein and it is a great way to keep them full a little longer. My children love beef jerky and it is great for being easy and nutritious but it can get expensive.

For cheaper high protein options, we like boiled eggs, peanut butter balls, cheese sticks, or mixed nuts. I have also found that by using Ibotta, I can often get really good deals on protein bars.

For those days when they are extra hungry between meals, these tuna kits are a great snack. They are more that what we would often eat for a snack, but packed with protein.

Salty Snacks

Buying chips and snacks in bulk packaging is often the cheapest way to go. We especially love buying big bags of popcorn kernels that the children can pop in the air popper.

 However, I have found that if I buy the individual serving sizes it makes portion control a lot easier. It also makes it easier to bring snacks on the go. To get a better deal on snacks like Veggie Chips, Apple Straws, and popcorn bags, I like to use Amazon Subscribe and Save.

The newest favorite in our house are these Simply Cheetos! We love that they don’t have dyes and are healthier than the regular version but very tasty!

Tell Us More!

Do your children seem to always want a snack? What are your favorite snacks?

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Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Fit2B is having a great Mother’s Day sale! I highly recommend them as an excellent fitness program and they are tummy safe!


Up to 75% off Science and STEM from Evan Moor!

FREE Month of Kindle Unlimited: I have been using this for my own pleasure reading as well as books for my son and daughter and really enjoying it.

PhotoSnack for Your Special Events!

Erin Smile_2
Our beautiful graduate!

I’m a very busy mom this month. Numerous special events coming up at church, out of town visitors coming, our daughter’s graduation to plan, VBS to organize…the list goes on. I want to tell you about my journey to the land of Slide Show Happiness!

I wanted to put together a little slide show for our daughter’s graduation party. I started gathering photos…hunting through Facebook albums, scouring various folders on my computer, editing, formatting, downloading. All very time consuming things. Then came the equally time consuming quest to find a tool to help me put together this slide show…I’d never done one before. **Cue the ominous music.**

I experimented with downloading programs (and then uninstalling them) in what seemed like an endless, disappointing cycle. Why couldn’t I find a tool that was reasonable, had the features I wanted, and didn’t require a manual and an associate’s degree to get it to work?

After the last attempt, I decided to search one more option, called PhotoSnack. I’d never heard of it before, but I liked it immediately. All I had to do was plug in my email address, and I was ready to play with all the tools and options.

I selected a title and description for my project. I found it was super easy to download photos, either by clicking the “Browse” button, or dragging and dropping.

snack2I just had to click and drag photos to rearrange. On the Customize screen, I chose what type of template I wanted…how I wanted the presentation to look when moving from one image to the next. I chose “Simple Fade.”

snack3Next, I selected a color as background (nice patterns and textures are also available). I could include my own background music or choose from those offered on the site. All of this is tweakable, to get it just right.

snack4The free version of the tool allows you to make a presentation with 15 photos, and you can share your final product on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are the packages they offer:

snack1You can check out examples here.  You can “Like” their Facebook page here for special discounts and contests!

In addition to the slide show tool, look at this extensive list of other “Snack Apps” which are available! This is literally your “one stop shop” for online, easy to use apps, for sure!

snackappsI don’t have a lot of time to play with all these wonderful options at present, but I did go explore snackwebsites and “pretend” I was setting up a blog. It was very intuitive, with immediate response time, and I had this set up in less than ten minutes:

snackblogPretty neat! You really need to go explore this site!

My graduation slide presentation was very easy to put together, and it has a nice, personal feel to it. Inside of an hour, I had everything customized the way I wanted it. I showed it to our daughter, and she just sat there, hugging the laptop, grinning from ear to ear. It was an effortless gift of time and thoughtful organization to me…to her, it was a loving journey of her life, capturing precious memories that can be shared with all the special people at her celebration.

Thank you, PhotoSnack!

Charlotte Mason Freebies

cmIf you are a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, or have heard the name but are unfamiliar with this approach, Old Schoolhouse Magazine has plenty to offer:

Who is Charlotte Mason? What is copywork? What are nature studies?  What is art study? What is literature-based math? What is twaddle? What are living books? You will find out all about this gentle teaching approach at this week’s freebie links!

I use the Ambleside Online curriculum mentioned here.  They’ve done a great job of organizing and providing links for many of the books free online.  I have also found the “Charlotte Mason Companion” to be helpful.  Just click on the image to follow a link to

Hope these are a blessing to you.