With the holiday season right around the corner, I may be stating the obvious — but, a great way to get kids to read is to give them books as presents. This is something that weÂ have done for our own kids, and it’s actually a legacy passed down from my parents who gave me books for presents as a child. (Books weren’t our only presents, but the holiday season always included a gift of a book, or two.)
While books might not seem exciting enough to be a gift to some people, I guess that I was enough ofÂ a bookworm to really look forward to getting books at the holidays. (Come to think of it, relatives still give me books as gifts and I still look forward to receiving them.)
I can remember being questioned by some acquaintances when we bought our then infant daughter some books.
“Why are you getting those?” They asked. “It will be years before she can read them.” (Little did they realize that we would read to her almost every night for several years.)
If presented the right way, I think books can be an exciting gift for most children. Here are some gift book suggestions, based on age.
- For Babies and Toddlers.Â Look for sturdy board books or washable cloth books that can be wiped off or laundered.
- For Older Toddlers and Preschoolers. Look for picture books. Many picture books now come as a boxed set with a plush animal. I see nothing wrong with that.
- For Preschoolers and Early Elementary. Look for longer picture books, or easy readers that they can read themselves. My kids enjoyed receiving books that included a cassette tape recording of the story.
- For Elementary Children. Look for classic children’s tales as well as books based on popular culture (such as movie or TV characters). This is a good time to introduce nonfiction books such as biographies and informative books about history or science. You can also get books that contain instructions for crafts or games.
- For Junior High Children. There are many novels and book series geared towards young adults. There are also longer classics that can be read.Â Junior high kids may continue to enjoy biographies and other nonfiction books.
- For High School Children. At this age,Â most children can read adult classic and popular books. (Be sure to check books carefully to see that the material is appropriate for the child.)
This is part one of a two part series. Next week I’ll list some specific suggestions under each age grouping.
Do you give books as gifts? Why, or why not? What were your favorites as a child?
Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved