The most wonderful, wintery, wish-filled time of the year!! How many of us are juggling busy schedules, get-togethers, and the ultimate ugly sweaters?!
But today, let’s talk about gift-giving.
Hmmm…the perfect gift! So elusive! Whether it is made by hand, bought from a store, or acts of service. Whether it is the “latest and greatest” or traditional and enduring. We all want to give a gift that is GREAT!
We often think about gift-giving as just the moment of “opening.” Everyone is excited, pictures are taken, and “thank you’s” are shared. But a GREAT GIFT lasts even longer.
BOOKS ARE GREAT GIFTS!
For our youngest children, books give the beauty of illustrations, the rhythm of words, and all the wonders of brain development. But most importantly, parents give of themselves-their undivided attention and their silly voices.
For those who are a little older, books give children the opportunities to learn about the tiniest concepts and the big world around them. Children begin handling books and realizing the power that lives inside. Parents give the gift of reading and re-reading favorite stories and asking/answering questions-over and over again!
Our school-aged children have books that help them “learn to read” and then “read to learn.” Books give children answers to “what if” and “why”! Parents can give their children the freedom to choose titles and can take turns reading aloud even when their children can do it themselves.
And let’s not forget us adults. Books give us an escape, a way to calm ourselves on hectic days, and new perspectives on the world. We give our children the gift of modeling. Children internalize what their parents “show” them to be important. Let them see you read a book just for yourself.
Yesterday I spent some time with a young man and his family. He has spent the last three months organizing a book (and helmet) drive for Christmas Cheer. He told me he knew how important books are to kids and how happy he was to make this his Eagle Scout Candidate project. His gift of books will continue to give to the children in our communities.
We all have access to books-gently loved, brand new, handmade, library, bookstore, yard sales. I know many of you get Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books in the mail. Please, enjoy them!
And to continue that “gift-giving” every day, give yourself and your children 20 minutes of reading!
It really is that on-going sharing of books that is the BEST GIFT. The infograph below shows the difference you are making by giving that daily 20 minutes to your children.
So when you read by the twinkling lights, or you read a book as you stand in another line, or you take a few minutes for yourself to calm your day-books are continuing to give!
This year grow the GREAT GIFT of a book into the BEST GIFT by making it part of your every day!
Lisa Davis, Early Literacy Coordinator
Need help finding a few good books? Check out our blog: The Best Children’s Books for Gifts
If you’d like to encourage reading with just the right book but would like a little help choosing, visit Scholastic Book Wizard: https://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/raise-a-reader-blog/find-right-book-gift.html
For information about the First 2000 Days of your child’s life and the impacts of reading with children visit: https://buildthefoundation.org/issue/reading-with-children/