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Every year I get asked around the holidays or when kids birthdays are coming up…”What should I get them for a gift?”
Although I do love finding items that fit a bookish theme and creating DIY baskets of goodies for kids; I also love clicking “Buy Now” and have it appear on my doorstep with a smile on the side of the box. 😉
So, here is that list; a Bookish Gift Ideas list including BOTH books we love & toys that we recommend…paired together to make the ultimate gift for that special child in your life.
1. “The Good Egg” by Jory John & Coogam’s’ Color and Shape Matching Eggs. “The Good Egg” is a fantastic story that is part of an impressive series of books you won’t want to miss. This one is all about self-care. These eggs are a perfect pairing; stored in an adorably realistic egg carton each of the dozen eggs opens up to reveal a shape/color. A great gift of color matching, shape recognition, fine motor work, pretend play, and more!
2. “It’s an Orange Aardvark!” by Michael Hall & Skoolzy’s Peg Board Set. “It’s an Orange Aardvark” is a morbidly hilarious book that is sure to bring tons of laughter while reinforcing all the colors of the rainbow. This Peg Board Set is a favorite of kids of all ages. It may seem simple but I assure you I have yet to meet a kid that wasn’t a fan. The gift of color sorting, color recognition, fine motor work, and pretend play (those pegs often turn into birthday candles) which incorporates communication skills, oral motor work (blowing out the candles), and more!
3. “Huff & Puff” by Claudia Rueda & Fisher-Price’s Piggy Bank. “Huff & Puff” is a unique spin on the classic “Three Little Pigs” story. It has a surprisingly kindhearted ending that is sure to be a hit! This Piggy Bank is fun in a variety of ways. Kids can listen to the piggy sing & count. Great for color recognition, color sorting, animal recognition (there are farm animals depicted on each “coin”, counting, fine motor work, open/close (the door), and more! TIP: when it gets really easy for them to place the coins into the bank, try turning the bank so the opening is vertical instead of horizontal! This gift also promotes wrist rotation which is more of a challenge and will help them with with completing puzzles.
4. “Blue Chicken” by Deborah Freedman & Peaceable Kingdom’s Count Your Chickens Board Game. “Blue Chicken” is a fun book about a chick who accidentally bumps into the paint making a mess out of the drawing set on the table that they are characters in. Count Your Chickens is a fun cooperative game where kids learn to work together to win together! They must spin the spinner and help get the baby chicks back in the coop by the time the Mama chicken gets to the finish line! The gifts of learning to count, matching, turn taking, following directions, social interaction, working together, and more!
5. “Potato Joe” by Keith Baker & Playskool’s Mr. Potato Head. “Potato Joe” is a silly book that rhymes throughout about fruits and vegetables having fun in the garden. Mr. Potato Head remains a classic favorite of kids. The gift of body awareness, learning body parts, fine motor work, communication skills, pretend play and more!
6. “Bunnies on the Go: Getting from Place to Place” by Rick Walton & Melissa & Doug’s Vehicles Wooden Chunky Puzzle. “Bunnies on the Go: Getting from Place to Place” is a great rhyming story that follows a bunny family on vacation using almost every type of transportation imaginable. This Wooden Chunky Puzzle is awesome. The pieces are easy to handle with a nice weight to them. They can be used for pretend play too because they can stand up on their own. TIP: For extra fun after completing the puzzle turn the board over and use it as a ramp to slide the pieces down! The gift of fine motor work, matching objects to pictures, vehicle sound recognition, and more!
7. “The Feelings Book” by Todd Parr & Todd Parr’s Feelings Flash Cards. “The Feelings Book” is just one of the many wonderful books by author/illustrator Todd Parr. This book captures relatable situations and the emotions they evoke. The Feelings Flash Cards are a great companion to the book allowing children to have a more hands on experience with the illustrations. They can be particularly helpful for children with limited communication skills to communicate their feelings. The gift of communication skills, identifying and regulating emotions, understanding social cues, and more!
8. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle & Learning Resources’ Snap-N-Learn Shape Butterflies. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is a classic story of the life of a butterfly with gorgeous illustrations and simple text. These Snap-N-Learn Shape Butterflies are a wonderful hands on way to bring the story to life. Each jar contains the parts to make five completed butterflies. First push the head and body together, then find the matching shaped wings and place them on to turn the caterpillar into a butterfly. The gift of fine motor work, communication skills, pretend play, shape recognition, color identification and more!
9. “How to Catch a Star” by Oliver Jeffers & Playskool’s Shape Sorter. “How to Catch a Star” is an imaginative story of a little boy determined to reach the stars. The clever ending makes it a must read. This shape sorter is an old favorite. I prefer this particular version because it has holes on each side but only three holes per side, the opening is not so obvious (which is helpful for little one who only want to dump the shapes back in lol), and it can grow with your child. TIP: I choose the circle, square and triangle to begin with and hide the rest. Once they master these shapes that will fit into the sorter without too much twisting and turning they can take on more complex shapes. The gift of fine motor work, color recognition, shape recognition, communication skills, problem solving and more!
10. “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae & Melissa & Doug’s Safari Wooden Chunky Puzzle. “Giraffes Can’t Dance” is a fun book that reminds kids dance to their own beat and be themselves. This Wooden Chunky Puzzle is awesome. The pieces are easy to handle with a nice weight to them. They can be used for pretend play too because they can stand up on their own. TIP: For extra fun after completing the puzzle turn the board over and use it as a ramp to slide the pieces down! The gift of fine motor work, matching objects to pictures, animal sound recognition, and more!
11. “April Foolishness” by Teresa Bateman & ALEX Toys’ Little Hands String a Farm. “April Foolishness” is a silly book that highlights April fools day while Grandma and the kids play a prank on Grandpa. This farm animal string toy is a nice alternative to the typical beads. The gift of fine motor work, animal sound recognition, counting, pretend play, and more!
12. “Naughty Little Monkeys” by Jim Aylesworth & Lakeshore Learnings’ Linking Letter Monkeys. “Naughty Little Monkeys” is an alphabetical tale that shows a mischievous monkey for every letter of the alphabet complete with each having a name that starts with that letter on their shirt! This linking letter monkey jar is an obvious pairing that is sure to please. The gift of letter recognition, early spelling, color identification, color sorting, fine motor work, pretend play, and more!
13. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr. & ThinkFun’s Roll and Play Game for Toddlers. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” is a classic for a reason. Easy rhythmic text with
simple illustrations highlighting an animal and color on each page, its a favorite of kids everywhere. This roll and play game is a great game to expand their learning. Each card has a color and topic ranging from color identification to following simple directions. The gift of turn taking, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, communication skills, social interactions, and more!
14. “Bunnies!!!” by Kevan Atteberry & SmartGames’ Bunny Peek a Boo Puzzle Game. “Bunnies” was my daughters favorite book for quite some time. Very simple text and adorable illustrations make this hilarious tale a book that will be well read. Bunny peek a boo puzzle game is a beginner logic game for young ones whose wooden pieces can also be used for open ended play when they’re older. The gift of problem solving, following directions, spatial awareness, pretend play, and more!
15. “Tap the Magic Tree” by Christie Matheson & PlanToys’ Stacking Tree. “Tap the Magic Tree” is a fun interactive book that asks the reader to help take the tree though all the seasons by tapping, tilting, shaking and more. This stacking tree is a great extension of the book where children can engage with a tree that rocks and balances as each ombre piece is added on. The gift of fine motor work, focus, eye hand coordination, pretend play and more!
16. “What Makes a Rainbow?” by Betty Ann Schwartz & Fisher Price’s Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups. “What Makes a Rainbow?” is a beautiful book about a curious little bunny who wants to know what makes a rainbow. Each page depicts a new character that helps him understand the answer. This stack and roll cup toy is an awesome. You can stack the rounded cups in size order or turn them into several balls, or nest them into one big ball and it even comes with a smaller rattle ball that can be hidden inside. The gift of color recognition, counting, nesting, stacking, rolling, fine motor work, reciprocal play, and more!
17. “I’m a Frog!” by Mo Willems & LVEA’s Spinning Gears Garden Stacker. “I’m a Frog!” is a funny book that is part of an amazing series by Mo Willems featuring Piggy and Gerald. The Elephant and Piggie books are great for beginner readers and they use a ton of sight words. But aside from that they are truly hilarious. This spinning gears garden stacker is a unique toy that incorporates spinning gears and pegs that slide onto two poles in many different variations. The gift of fine motor work, eye hand coordination, problem solving, and more!
18. “Scaredy Squirrel” by Mélanie Watt & Educational Insights’ Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game. “Scaredy Squirrel” is an interesting book about a squirrel who is afraid of everything. Dedicated to his rigid routine and not wanting to take any chances he realizes that sometimes change is inevitable and it might not be as bad as you imagine. This sneaky snarky squirrel game is a whimsical board game where each player spins the spinner, gathers that color acorn for their color coded tree trunk and whoever gets all the colors first wins. The gift of fine motor work (kids pick up the tiny acorns with the squirrel tongs!), color recognition, color matching, turn taking, social interactions, following directions, and more!
19. “Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon & ALEX Toys’ Little Hands Giant Spike on a Bike Puzzle. “Duck on a Bike” is a funny book about well, a duck on a bike, and all of the other farm animals reacting to seeing such an unusual sight. This floor puzzle is a great way to expand the concept of the book even further as kids put together the image of a dinosaur on a bike. The gift of problem solving, fine motor work, communication skills, and more!
20. “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell & Melissa & Doug’s Animal Rescue Shape Sorting Truck. “Dear Zoo” is an oldie but a goodie. The main character writes to the zoo requesting a pet but throughout the story as the reader lifts the flaps, he finds a reason it just isn’t right, until the end. This animal rescue shape sorting truck is the perfect match to imagine you’re delivering the animals seen in the story to and from the characters house. *Tip: save the inside box that comes inside the truck & add velcro to it & the animal pieces for even better shape sorting and a way to see the animals as the truck zooms by! The gift of fine motor work, gross motor work, reciprocal play, animal sound recognition, communication skills, pretend play, and more!
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