If you’re ready to refresh your bookshelf at home, books make wonderful gifts at any age! You may know exactly what your children like to read, but if their interests are changing quickly or you have other kids on your list—we’re here to help. Books can be educational, while also being fun and engaging. The biggest goal is to make sure the reader connects with the subject matter. And choosing from a sea of endless options can sometimes feel tricky!
We have five simple things to consider when making your selections:
- Find out what they’re interested in. Interests may change often, but the most memorable books tap into a child’s natural curiosities. Is the infant really into animals and sounds? Is the toddler fascinated with colors? Does the preschooler enjoy learning the alphabet in sign language? Is the tween keen on superheroes? Finding a book that supports the child’s interests will help encourage them to read. If you’re unsure, pick books that align with current favorites or hobbies. Some of the best books are simply stories or topics the child can relate to.
- Consider the age of the child. Books are often labeled with an age recommendation, but not always! If you’re struggling to determine if it’s the right choice, open it up or view a sample online with these questions in mind: Is the subject matter appropriate? Are the words too easy or too difficult? Is the child ready to learn about this topic? Younger children tend to enjoy pictures and bold colors, while school-age children prefer books with standard story structures and familiar words.
- Consider multicultural books. Books about the child’s culture (or other cultures) provide rich ways to build trust and respect. These types of books help give children a better understanding of their own ancestry and heritage and allow for meaningful conversations about traditions. Multicultural books showcase unique views all around the world to help encourage knowledge, awareness, and understanding.
- Share a favorite childhood book of your own! Including memorable books from when you were a child can be fun! Classic stories can help the child connect to the gift giver, as well as help school-age children compare similarities and differences between then and now. It can also help create a new tradition among family members or friend groups.
- Consider trending, bestsellers, or award-winning titles. Still at a loss for which book to choose? Look at various lists giving accolades to published children’s books. The American Library Association hands out several notable awards, including the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Award, or Geisel Award. You can search by specific topic, year, etc. No matter what, you know you’ll be getting high-quality suggestions.
Books will always make great gifts for any occasion. Reading helps with the development of cognitive and vocabulary skills, enhances curiosity and concentration, and so much more! Enjoy the search and see the benefits unfold, just as the stories do.