Book Plus. It’s my favorite formula for gift giving. Find a stellar book, add another meaningful item and you have a winning combination.
Books have always felt so powerful to me. They awakens something in children. In all of us. And when you take that enthusiasm and extend it with another experience, you expand the magic as well!
Last year I put together my largest Book Plus list to date (you can check out those recommendations here, as well as the list from 2013 here), but wouldn’t you know it, great books just keep coming! So here’s another round of pairings that just might fit the bill for someone on your shopping list!
(Contains affiliate links.)
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. My three year-old loves this book! It has well-written prose that gently roll like a lullaby. All while talking about dump trucks and bulldozers! This book pairs perfectly with kinetic sand and construction vehicles. We purchased the 5.5 pound package of Waba Fun Kinetic Sand almost a year ago and put it in a large, shallow storage container (our home version of a sensory table). It’s become one of the most popular activities in our playroom. My guy likes to use his small construction toys like these to work the sand. This sand really is amazing. It’s not like your typical play sand. I made several attempts and going the DIY route, and never came close. This is one item that is definitely worth buying — and the 5.5 pound package is a great deal!
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. I couldn’t resist this book’s colorful, imaginative illustrations! Beekle waits and waits to be imagined by a child, but finally decides to head out on his own adventure. He finally finds his perfect home with a little girl who happens to be a bit of an artist (with her own drawings of Beekle), which is what makes this book a perfect one to pair with an art set and sketchbook. Who knows what unimaginary friends your little one might dream up!
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein. This beautiful book tells the story of Albert Einstein in a way that young children can connect to and feel inspired. Pair this book with a DIY project for your little scientist, following this LED Popsicle Stick Flashlight from Instructables. (My boys LOVED this!)
The Curious Kid’s Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-On Activities for Ages 4-8. (This book could be a stand alone book or stacked up with the book mentioned above!) Pages and pages of science experiments, explorations, and challenges that encourage young children to experience the scientific method in fascinating ways. Using a variety of simple supplies, your budding scientists will not only be opening a resource with loads and loads of activities, but will be opening their minds to seeing the world in a new way. Put together a real scientist kit with supplies such as plastic petri dishes, pipettes, and safety goggles.
As long as we’re talking about science here, Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, is one of the most fascinating books my boys have put their hands on this year. This book is gorgeous and just brilliant. It’s enough to intrigue an adult, but can also captivate a child. (My 9 year old loves it!) Pair it with this hilarious shirt for the science lover in your life.
What Do You Do With an Idea? When I first read this book, I thought it might be too metaphorical for children. But my (then) kindergartener proved me wrong, asking for it at several bedtime readings. With beautiful illustrations, the story follows a young child who hatches a great idea. But first, he has to be brave enough to stop hiding it and share it. A great message for both young and old. Pair this with a beautiful idea journal like this one and these awesome pens.
The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth (Order through Amazon with the previous link or directly from Dreamling –where you can also get a great preview.) This book is just gorgeous. Based on the work and experience of photographer Chris Burkard, this story follows a boy through breath-taking landscapes as he learns to slow down and really see the beauty around him. This book pairs perfectly with a camera and/or a National Parks Pass. (4th Graders can get a free one!)
“We must never be in such a hurry to give children the things we never had, that we forget to give them the wonderful treasures we did have.”
Planting a Rainbow. This is one of my favorite board books, and the perfect way to brighten up the winter blahs. With simple text (which reinforces colors seamlessly) and bold illustrations, this is a perfect book for babies-preschoolers. Pair this simple book with this simple wooden flower garden puzzle — perfect for the younger crowd.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? is my favorite of the long-lived “How Do Dinosaurs…” series. (Though you can find many more titles here if you already have that one.) The bedtime book pairs perfectly with a snuggly blanket, while all in the series go perfectly with these plush dinosaurs. If you have a big dinosaur fan on your list, this one will score.
What’s your favorite book to give as a gift?