Think back to when you were young. What comes to mind? As memories of epic toys and old friends surface, you’re likely to remember something else — the books you read. No matter what your interests and hobbies were, chances are you had a favorite story. Whether it was going on an interplanetary journey with the Little Prince, reading about the selflessness of the Giving Tree, or witnessing Matilda develop her indomitable powers, the tales we read as children take root in our hearts for a lifetime.
If you’re a parent or have special youngsters in your life, you’ll know it’s too easy to get lost in the flurry of cutting-edge electronics and trendy toys when birthdays and holidays roll around. But if you’re looking for something that never needs batteries, can travel anywhere, and will delight and inspire, then you can’t go wrong with a good book.
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why books make the best gift for kids.
1. They Open Up Little Minds
There are endless educational benefits that children get from reading. Whether they be long or short, stories for kids do more than just help them develop cognitive skills. They stimulate their imaginations and expand their understanding of the world. Reading literature helps kids build up their emotional intelligence since stories have the power to show them what moral and emotional development looks like. When they read about a character who has to make a hard choice, they witness invaluable skills in action.
Children’s books can also:
- teach kids about their cultural heritage
- introduce them to new places
- encourage creativity
- promote deep thought
- start discussions
- expand vocabulary
- nurture imagination
And so much more!
2. Stories Bring People Together
Reading to your child is priceless. No matter what goes on during the day — the good and the bad — when you read together the negativity melts away. By making it a consistent routine, you get a chance to slow down and connect. The snuggles and bonding time alone are worth it, but studies also show that listening to stories helps promote cognitive development in kids. It’s linked to decreased aggression as well, thanks to new words that help little ones communicate big feelings.
This special time also allows you to bring your favorite books into the mix. Use them to open up discussions about your childhood, grandma and grandpa, and how you feel about the characters and plot. Not only will this help your child relate to you even more, but you’ll be passing along treasured memories, too.
3. They Are As Special As Your Child
Kids are unique individuals with big personalities and a variety of interests, and there’s a whole world of books out there to suit them. Whether they love sports, monsters, or trains, there are stories for kids of every stripe. When reading about subjects that interest them, children are that much more likely to pay attention.
You can also choose books that align with certain milestones and experiences, like the first day of school or a sleepover. Using these relatable stories, you can make connections to the real world. For example:
- She plays soccer, like you!
- He seems nervous about starting school. How did you feel on your first day?
- There’s a turtle in this story. What do we know about turtles?
- Look at all those trees — they remind me of the park we play in.
- The mom in this story has brown eyes. What color are mine?
The opportunities really are endless.
4. They Can Be Read Again and Again
How many times have you brought home a present to your child’s awe and delight, only to see it languishing away under the bed a week later? Such is the fate of many a toy, but stories can be revisited over and over. Each time your child reads a book, they’ll get something new out of it.
As he or she gets older, they can revisit the tale and see how they’ve grown and if their opinions have changed. Is there a little sibling in the house? Encourage your oldest to read their favorite story to their little sister or brother. This provides a great way to bond while they both learn valuable skills. It’s a win-win!
5. They Can Be Given A Personal Touch
When children see themselves in a story, it helps them become readers for life. That’s because they’re more apt to retain information about characters they relate to. This helps them become better, more confident readers, which results in more reading!
Did you know that some books are customizable? These personalized children’s books can make your kid the hero of the story by including their picture, name, and other details that weave them into the plot. Reading a book with these features can help harness your child’s attention to self, boosting their confidence and sense of belonging in the process. It also helps with language acquisition.
When you combine classic children's books with personalized stories, it allows kids to learn about their own identity, discover the world around them, and develop empathy and curiosity. By giving a book to a child, you’re not only contributing to a lifetime love of literature, you’re also passing along a gift they’re likely to treasure forever.