Knock, knock! It’s November here! Yes, yes, where did the year ago, etc. But you’ll have to face facts sooner or later: it’s officially THAT time of year now. Time to start making lists, working on your handmade creations or browsing catalogues. If it’s Christmas gift ideas for book lovers you’re after, I’ll be sharing plenty of suggestions here in the weeks ahead.
Last year, I reviewed lots of Christmas books for kids, and all those suggestions are still worth adding to your stocking. This year, I’m going to change it up a bit by showcasing book-related products for the whole family. I’m starting with the little ones today.
Got your pen and paper handy? Let’s go!
Bookish Christmas gift ideas for little kids
My first suggestion is a set of Story Stones. These can be used in a variety of ways to stimulate oral storytelling, memory skills or written literacy and would make unique gifts for kids of most ages, really. Here’s just a few examples of what you can do with them….
- Draw a stone or two ‘out of a hat’ and tell or write a story based on the image.
- Put the stones in a line and create a story based on the sequence.
- Use the stones as a memory game: look at them for a few minutes then cover them up and see if you can recall all the pictures.
- Challenge older kids to use as many of the stones – and related words – in a sentence, or paragraph, as they can.
- Take a traditional story (knight-saves-princess or pirate-finds-treasures chest) and subvert it by swapping the stones around. Knight saves tree and pirate finds a dragon!
When they’ve written a story, your child will want to share it with the world! A Dear Little Letterbox is a cute bedroom decor idea that doubles as a postbox for letters, stories and drawings of every style or purpose. Children can post their stories for you to read the next day, send a request to Santa or the Easter Bunny, send a letter to Grandma in another city or just get something off their chest if they’re feeling stressed. Whatever they choose to write down, they’ll be working on their literacy, storytelling and handwriting skills as they go.
Another sweet trend I’ve come across lately in Christmas gifts for babies and toddlers is matching books with a memorable toy or game; not necessarily pairing the book with a matching toy, but rather, something influenced by the book.
For example, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of my favourite books ever! As a gift, why not match it with a junior gardening set, some colourful play food, or kinetic sand for ‘cooking’? This makes the book more memorable and the gift timeless, as the toy can be used for imaginative play with or without the story.
Along the same lines, I love these adorable Machi cityscapes. You could turn a beloved book into a beautiful gift set with one of these! Match your London set with a book from the Paddington series, Peter Pan, a version of ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ or a quirky book about the royals like A Royal Fairytale? Or choose Paris and pair it with a Madeline or Eloise story. Children can draw any route or features they like on the blackboard base then set up the city buildings to create their own imaginative city visit.
Obviously I think books are among the loveliest gifts you can give at this time of year. But if you want to try something unique, personal and educational, try thinking ‘outside the book’ for toys and games that can extend your child’s reading experience.
*PS. This is not a sponsored post. All the items featured here are available at Sweet Elephants. But they are not paying me to say that, I just think their stuff is really cute!