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The Best Gifts

The Best Gifts

Being a lifelong bookworm, I have always treasured books and think of them as the most awesome gifts to give to others. What I've found, though, is when looking for birthday presents for our children's friends … we tend to overlook the book. The latest gadgets, toys, clothing, or collectibles are what draw the most "ooohs and ahhhs" during the party, correct? Well, not necessarily. Read on for some pretty cool gift ideas that include literature as the main attraction.


A favorite gift idea that has always gone over well is the pairing of a quality children's book with a toy or item that relates to the story. For example, choose a Hardy Boys mystery and a nice pair of binoculars. Pair an Angelina Ballerina book with a ballet bag. A book about Harry Houdini with some magic tricks or a story about protecting animals and an Adopt-A-Whale sponsor certificate would be fun. A children's cookbook with the ingredients for a recipe or Charlie & The Chocolate Factory with a sampling of candies would be exciting to receive. The possibilities are unlimited!


A book tower is made up of several books of different sizes. Wrap each book separately in different wrapping paper. Stack the books with the largest on the bottom and tie them all together with ribbon. A nice bookmark and colorful bow complete the presentation.


The Reading House is all about literary experiences: activities that incorporate reading into everyday life. The following gift packages encourage children to make reading a habit that they will enjoy on a regular basis.

  • The Book Fort Present - Children love building forts and spending time in them. A wonderful daily reading routine is for young children to read inside a fort they built themselves. Craft a gift for a reader that includes a book, a sheet with a funky design or color, and a pillow or blanket. Make sure to include a sign that indicates these are supplies for a reading fort. Get creative with the wording on your sign. Examples such as "Joey's Radical Reading Fort" or "Hannah's Book House – Keep Out!" are signs that learners can hang on their forts.
  • The Story Picnic Present – Who doesn't enjoy a picnic? Indoors or outdoors, a story picnic can heighten a child's interest and excitement about daily reading time. Combine a book, basket, tablecloth, plastic dishes and some peanut butter and jelly for a gift that will be used again and again.
  • The Book vs. Movie Present – Is there a movie currently in theaters that was based off of children's or teen's literature? Place the book, a movie gift card, theater candy, and microwave popcorn in a popcorn box. (Popcorn boxes or containers can be found in most party stores.) At a later date, ask the learner what he or she liked more: the movie or the book.


When all else fails, a book store gift card and reading tote is a gift that gives children the most freedom to choose the exact book that interests them.

It's fun to brainstorm all of the ways that literature gifts can be used to excite children to want to read more. Please share your ideas in the comments section or on Twitter to @ReadingRoutines with #LitGifts. I look forward to hearing from you!

"A book is a gift you can open again and again."

~ Garrison Keillor

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