When we were planning Natalie’s first birthday, the memories of celebrating with our family and friends were sure to be great, but we didn’t want any of them to feel obligated to bring her a gift. And, I didn’t want any more toys ;) Instead, we gave our guests the option to opt out of bringing a gift, as well as a suggestion if they chose to.
I drew back on a phrase I saw months ago and added a simple note to the bottom of her party invitations: If you’d like to bring a gift, please consider a book to expand Natalie’s library. It was the perfect add-on to her bunny tea party themed invitations! Zack and I both love to read, whether it be articles/advice or leisurely books, and in the past six months we’ve seeing the kids take a big interest to it, too. In fact, Natalie will busy herself for a good 20 minutes with a basket of books. And then there’s Mr. Max, who is my little couch reading buddy.
Here are our 12 favorite kids books:
Playtown (a lift-the-flap book)
A Madeline Treasury (I was obsessed with Madeline as a little girl)
The Secret Garden (BabyLit)
There are so many ways to “play” with books with your children. Sometimes we play hide & seek with the pictures, or I point out the colors on each page. Everything is either BLUE! or ORANGE!, but we’ll get there ;) Also, Max is starting to remember the details of each story, and it’s seriously amazing listening to him describe what’s going on on each page. Other times we make up a totally new story than the one typed on the page.
Books are easy to share, easy to bring in the diaper bag, and are full of inspiration & creativity. What are some favorite kids books in your home?
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PS. a list of MY 12 favorite books (hooray for book club!)
What a great idea for her birthday! My nephew just turned one, as well. A couple months ago I gave him little blue truck and then my dad made him a matching wooden blue truck to go with it. He LOVES them.
Oh my gosh, that is precious! :)
‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ and ‘the pout pout fish’ are two of our favorites.
We love Rosie Revere! We also have Iggy Peck, Architect — have you read that one? xx
I find it amazing and thrilling that Goodnight Moon [one of my favorites as a kid] is still so well loved by new little ones today! I’m expecting my first in March [a week or two before you, I believe!] and I not only saved my copy of Goodnight Moon from when I was little, but we got a thick paged baby copy from a friend. I know that will be a well-loved and often read staple in our house!
I’m a huge reader too, so I can only hope that by exposure to books and seeing his mama read, my son will learn to appreciate it too!
Also, I checked out your reading list and I second the Orphan Train recommendation! I just scheduled a post yesterday detailing some of my favorites from the last year and that was my top fiction favorite! SO, SO GOOD.
Favourite books… where to start? Where to stop?! We are such fans of books around here. Some of our all-time faves are the Richard Scarry classics – Cars & Trucks & Things That Go, What Do People Do All Day, and The Best Storybook Ever. Maxwell would LOVE the first one in that list!
Penny Dale’s 10 in the Bed books (sweetest illustrations ever), anything at all by Barbara Reid (Canadian artist with the coolest illustration style – so inspiring) – her Zoe’s Year series is perfect for Natalie’s age right now. And all her books are just amazing.
Night Cars and Each Peach Pear Plum… and anything by Margaret Wise Brown; she has some lesser known books like The Big Red Barn and The Color Kittens that are absolutely awesome. Seriously I could go ON AND ON for DAYS! There are so many wonderful books. It’s the one thing I don’t mind owning a ton of; I just rotate so they aren’t all out at once. And I try to keep it to books that have beautiful/interesting illustrations and intelligent text. :)
You’re just at the beginning of such a fun journey of years worth of reading to your kids! :)
Your comment is making me smile SO BIG, seriously, I love all the recommendations and positivity you shared with reading. I totally agree! Thank you Sarah for taking the time to comment! xx
We love Little Blue Truck around here! Some other favorites of ours for little boys are Build Dogs Build by James Horvath and EIEIO How Old MacDonald Got His Farm by Judy Sierra. We did a post on our favorites a couple months ago on the blog. :) You have a great selection! -Kelli
Are you familiar with the Read Aloud Revival podcasts? They encourage families to build a culture of books in their homes and give lots of recommendations for good books to read with your children.
I am not, but thank you so much for passing that along! xx
Maggie, I really have to commend your for encouraging reading so intentionally! I’ve been a Children’s Minister for 19 years, and we’ve really seen a decline in the number of kids with an attention span long enough to like reading. With all of the technology at their disposal, kids multi-task more than they focus on one thing, and surveys have shown that they’re not excelling at anything. Obviously, there are exception. From what you’re reading, I assume you’re a Christian. It will be great when your kids are able to focus on God’s Word! :)
Anyway, I LOVE reading!!! I raised boys and we had a few favorites. One that sticks in my mind, and I’ll save for when I have grandkids, is The Spooky Old Tree by Berenstein Bears. I was very dramatic with it, and the kids loved it! Since you have a boy, I’ll look through our collection (yes, we still have them and I won’t let my kids get rid of them) and pass on a few more.
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