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Best Baby Gifts to Raise a Reader

Updated on October 30, 2014

A new baby--what gift shall I give the new parents?

The arrival of a new baby in your circle of friends or family is a very special event. While it's fun to buy the cute little outfits, blankets and toys as gifts, my favorite gift for a new baby is a book. And it's so easy to add a matching plush character from the book, making your gift extra special. You can buy these as sets (more expensive) or buy them separately yourself to create your gift (less expensive and more fun!)

In working as a children's librarian, I would sometimes get this question from a parent: "When should I start reading to my child?" Pairing a picture book with a colorful plush toy or puppet as a baby gift is an easy way to get the PARENTS interested in reading the book and interacting with the baby through the story.

Put together your own gift set! - A picture book AND a matching plush character or puppet

Just to get you started, I'll use the picture book character Skippyjon Jones as an example. I recently stocked up on the books and plush characters at Kohl's through their Kohl's Cares for Kids program at only $5 per item. These are such a bargain and are top quality. Kohl's donates 100% of the proceeds to support kids' health and education programs in communities across the nation.

Some of the other picture books and characters featured through the Kohl's Cares program are: Dr. Seuss, with the Cat in the Hat, Horton and the Lorax; Clifford the Big Red Dog; The Velveteen Rabbit; Winnie the Pooh, with Eeyore and Tigger; Eric Carle and the grouchy ladybug.....and so, so many more! Even after the Kohl's promotion is over, you can often find these items online at reasonable prices.

Skippyjon Jones
Skippyjon Jones

Put together a gift pack with a copy of this book and either/or the Skippyjon Jones hand puppet and the plush bee.

 
Skippyjon Jones 14" Hand Puppet by Merry Makers
Skippyjon Jones 14" Hand Puppet by Merry Makers

Perfect to use with any of the Skippyjon Jones books.

 

Storysacks from Amazon - Story Extenders

This is a gift that the family can enjoy with their child over the years. Storysacks usually include the book (which sets the theme), an audio version of the book, a puppet of the lead character, plus various other story extenders, all easily stored away in a large colorful cloth bag, secured with a drawstring. Well worth the price!

Princess and the Dragon Storysack

Princess and the Dragon Storysack
Princess and the Dragon Storysack

Such a fun and quirky fairy tale! Everything is packed up in a large, colorful cotton bag--includes the book, a cd of the book, a game, character masks and top-quality hand puppets of the Princess and the Dragon. .

 

How to Read Out Loud With Your Preschooler - ScholasticParents

Baby Board Books from Amazon - ....because babies experience books by putting them in their mouths!

Boynton's Greatest Hits: Volume 1/Blue Hat, Green Hat; A to Z; Moo, Baa, La La La!; Doggies (Boynton Board Books)
Boynton's Greatest Hits: Volume 1/Blue Hat, Green Hat; A to Z; Moo, Baa, La La La!; Doggies (Boynton Board Books)

If you don't know Sandra Boynton's hilarious brand of silliness, you need to get this set NOW! Four board books boxed for gift-giving.

 

Don't underestimate your baby!

You may think because they're not talking yet, there's no point in reading to them. But by reading to them, you're giving them an invaluable headstart in early literacy, plus they love having you close and hearing your voice as you read and explain the story to them.

The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books by Dr. Seuss (Bright & Early Board Books(TM))
The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books by Dr. Seuss (Bright & Early Board Books(TM))

Four classic Dr. Seuss titles, packaged in a cute blue box with handle.

 

Comments on Best Baby Gifts to Raise a Reader?

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    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      What a lovely lens. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I think it is lots more fun to give books at a baby shower instead of something that is the same as everyone else (bibs and rattles).