Christmas Gifts that Trick Kids into Reading

It’s one of life’s great frustrations to have a love of reading when somebody in your life can’t stand it.   You keep thinking if you found that PERFECT book they’d start reading, when you could be looking for the perfect toy to encourage reading.

Get your kid interested in reading by giving them a toy that brings the book alive to them.  Here are a list of fun and easy ways to introduce books into your child’s diet.

Don’t forget to buy the book to go along with the toy to read together or separate.  And if you have any trouble finding a toy that matches a particular book reach out and email me.

If any of the books or toys look good for you use the picture or link to click through to Amazon.  It’s no cost to you but my brothers are reproducing like rabbits and I have to buy a whole lotta book toys for kids.

Board Games

This is by far the easiest way to drum up interest.  If your child has a favorite book search for a a board game that goes with.  The likelihood of finding one is pretty good.  Otherwise check out Bring Your Own Book, It’s like a literary Apples to Apples where each player brings their own book and has to find the best sentence to go with a given phrase.  It encourages reading as well as gives you the chance to get to know what your friends and family are reading.

There is no shortage of board games.  Here are a few popular  (and very fun) ones.  Don’t forget to buy the book to go along if you don’t already have it.  Where the Wild Things Are, a candy land type game based off the book.  Diary of  a Wimpy Kid: 10 Second Challenge,  or Harry Potter Hogwarts, a Cooperative Deck Building Game a super fun cooperative game based very strongly off the book.


American Girl… who since the 1980s hasn’t fallen in love with a certain doll or girl?  Mine was Kirsten and my mom gave me her doll and all six books for Christmas one year.  It was that Christmas I fell in love with historical fiction.  My friend had Felicity and we would invent all kinds of adventures for our pioneer and colonial friends.  Ranging from 1764-1974 there is a topic or era for any girls interest.  Ugh.  I want an adult version.


Part of the magic of books is being pulled away into a new land.  Part of the awesome of being a kid is having the imagination to make that come to life.  There are tons of options from Good Night Moon to (one of my childhood favorites) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Give your kids books and puppets and let the perform shows for you with where they send their new friends.

Stuff Animals

Stuffed Animals.  There are plenty of fluffy friends for your kids to cozy up with while they follow them on a new adventure.  If your kid isn’t quite ready for American Girl try a Corduroy Bear and Book.  If your child already has a favorite book look online to see who can match them (if you can’t find it email me and I’ll see if I can help).

Mad Libs

Mad Libs anybody?  My brothers and I used to beg my mothers to do just one more after our bedtime story.  How fun would it be to have a mad lib that matched the book you were reading as a family?  Here are a couple options to get you started, but don’t be afraid to email if you are looking for a specific book. Diary of  a Wimpy Kid Mad Libs, Penguin Classics Mad Libs, or How to Train your Dragon.

Write Your Own Book

Write your own book.  Some kids have more creativity than they know what to do with.  Give them a kit to help them get started in writing their own book.  Have them read it to you, see what they’re interested in and buy a book to match the interest.  Don’t know a book that fits??  If only you read a blog where the writer was dedicated to finding and reviewing books….

Ditto for Write Your Own Comic Book

Coloring Books

For a younger kid find a coloring book that’s theme matches a book interest (Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables are a couple options).  Read to them while they color or if your kids are artistic  GASP help them illustrate their own pictures in the book.  Allowing them to illustrate their own world gives the book new depth for them.  Don’t forget to save what they created for your grandkids some day.

Magnetic poetry

Write poems together on the fridge while you cook, do the dishes or hang out after dinner.  Even more fun there are some special kits just to help kids write stories.  It’s a fun way to verbally build a story together as you hang out.



There are plenty of literary legos to get your kids creating and building. Again try reading the book to them while they build.  Sometimes kids need something to focus on while listening. If you’re looking to get your kid into comic and graphics novels try Batman.


There are some super fun literary puzzles from Mr Darcy to Alice in Wonderland to Harry Potter 3D.  You can put together as a family while listening to a book on tape, taking turns reading out loud or even the movie version.  If you have any trouble finding a favorite book in puzzle form email me and I can help.

Dress Up

Buy costume that allow them to become their favorite characters.  You may be surprised how often you walk past their bedroom and hear them play acting their favorite scene. The great part about this idea is all you need to go is go to amazon and look for costumes that fit your children’s favorite books. For the most part they are very cost friendly.

Invent a Game

Start your own reading games. An idea would be to buy the Harry Potter Books and Bean Boozle.  Create a kind of child friendly literary drinking game when a certain word comes or action comes up everybody takes a bean… and see who gets the sweet and who gets the skunk flavor.

Audible Credits

Teenagers spend a lot of time on the go. Buy them some audible credits so they can buy books to listen to while they drive to work, clean, or hang out in their room.



About Kaitey Moore 40 Articles

Kaitlin Moore Morley is passionate about storytelling, the kind of our imagination and the kind of our experiences.

She works as a hospital chaplain where she collects love stories and as a pastor where she collect biblical narrative. She holds an undergraduate in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester in England and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky.

She lives in Evansville, Indiana in an old (very cold) Victorian house with her husband, Darren and their dog Olga.

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