October 30, 2013

Gifts That Get Kids Reading!

As a teacher, I'd often get asked about certain 'kid products' and whether or not they had any educational value. Now that I'm also a parent, I am always on the search for a fun toy or gift that will help my children develop healthy bodies and minds. 

I decided to put together a list of toys that encourage kids to learn, grow, and explore the world around them (and boy, did I have fun choosing my top ones!). 

Each week, I will share one of these lists:

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*** Click on the links to see current prices and customer reviews.

1.Read All About Me!- I used to love to create my own books. I'd come up with the stories and painstakingly draw illustration to match. Then I'd make my parents read them. Over. And Over. And Over. This fun gift can give you that joy too ;) It's a complete book kit where your child is the star!

2. Write Me a Story Books- This series of picture books comes with images, but not words. Kids are encouraged to use the blank pages and included stickers to create their own version of the story.

3. Choose-Your-Own-Adventure BooksY Do you remember these from your childhood? Well, they are back! I love these updated versions that allow kids to decide how the story plays out by choosing which directions a character will go. I read these books over and over because every new combination of choice resulted in a completely different book!

4. Anna Banana Jump Roping BookPair this book with a brand-spankin' new jumprope and you've got the perfect gift: one that encourages reading and being active! This book teaches a bunch of new rhymes to say and play when your kids are jumping rope.

5.Huggle Pod SwingsI already introduced you to these fun swings here, but I thought they would also make a great place to curl up and read a good book.

6. Highlights MagazineOh my! I loved getting this magazine in the mail every month! I remember checking the mailbox for it every day to see if it had arrived. My brother got Ranger Rick (which I loved just as much!). I was excited to see that they also have a version for preschoolers called High Five and one for toddlers called Highlights Hello. Needless to say, these went straight on my kids' Christmas lists!

7. Sparkle StoriesThis is a monthly subscription to an online audio story site for kids. They create the cutest stories that you can download and listen to in the car, doctor's office, or as a nice way to end the day as a family. My favorite ones are their Martin and Sylvia series. Sign up for their newsletter to receive free downloads from time to time!

8. My Own MailboxThis gift not only encourages reading, but writing and creating as well! Get one for each child in your house and you'll have letters flying back and forth before you know it.

9. Create-Your-Own Book KitsHere's another great open-ended gift that encourages reading, writing, and creating all in one!

10. Reading Canopy FortWhat little girl wouldn't love her own cozy place to read- inside or out?! Just hang, throw down some soft pillows, and you've got an instant reading oasis!

Check out the rest of this series for more great toy and gift ideas that are teacher recommended:

Toys That Get Kids Outside!
Toys That Get Kids Moving!
Toys That Get Kids Thinking!
Toys That Get Kids Creating!
Toys That Get Kids Reading!
Toys That Get Kids Imagining!
Toys That Get Kids Exploring!

Many of you are teachers or parents...do you have a toy you'd recommend that encourages reading?

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