I love the idea of getting kids Christmas presents from just a few categories - something to wear, something to read, something they want, something they need. I don't always follow through on it, but it's a good reminder to not just get a bunch of toys they won't really play with (except to take out and set on the floor so they have to be told to clean them up). You have to look at the big picture, right?
Someone recently asked me for book recommendations for kids and so I hope this helps a little with your Christmas shopping! I'll hopefully have time later to do more in-depth review posts about some of these books, but for now I figured I'd just do a simple round-up so you can add to your collection (or forward to grandparents who need gift ideas!).
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Best Books for Little Kids (Babies to Elementary School)
I know, I know. I feel like I am always pushing books - but it's for good reason. Everyone knows that actually sitting down and reading books is best for our kids. Just having great books on the shelf that teach our kids important truths about God is an amazingly easy way to guarantee your kids get both quality time with you and quality material to absorb!
I buy my kids lots of fiction and non-fiction books second-hand, but when it comes to "Christian" books, I want to make sure I know the content is good, so I usually buy those new and that also makes them great to gift. I don't want to buy things that moralize every story, I want them to be stories that will point to Christ.
Here are some books that we have, love, and that I would recommend you have in your house too.
For babies and toddlers (but my older kids still love these):
These little $3.99 square board books that start with either "God knows..." or "Stories Jesus Told" are adorable and would make great stocking stuffers or to use in place of a card. You can tell from the picture of our books above, these get used a lot.
The Baby's Hug-a-Bible is a cute (and actually furry) book with poems by Sally Lloyd-Jones. The stories in that book go with the Rain for Roots album titled Big Stories for Little Ones so those two together would be an adorable gift for a little one. The other two I've listed here are good toddler books with very short Bible stories great for short attention spans.
For preschool and kindergartners (but could still go older and younger):
This age group contains the books we read the most and have for years in our house.
The My ABC Bible Verses book is a real gem, I often find myself using the verses from there in conversation because they are extremely relevant to life with little kids! If you are looking for a way to get your kids to memorize more Scripture, this is a fabulous resource.
I wrote a whole post on Big Truths for Little Kids here. If you want to get into the Children's Catechism, this is extremely helpful.
The Ology is a new one for our family, but I really like it and it's beautiful.
And then I've listed four more books that are whole-Bible re-tellings that are each great for different reasons! If you don't have them, get them.
For younger elementary kids
These books are a little more complex in length and/or content but I think it's a good practice to read material to your kids that is above their current reading level. I've always read these a lot earlier so don't let that deter you. Good quality stories help make reading as the parent more enjoyable too. Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing has very short devotional readings based on Scripture with amazing artwork and is a must have. Click over to Amazon where you can see sample images of the inside. The other three books are longer stories either based on Scripture passages or allegorical.
If you have any questions about any of these books, please feel free to comment or hop over to the Facebook page and start a conversation there!
Since I'm in the Christmas-present-list-making-mood, here are some books that are on my wishlist for my kids to get soon.