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  • Writer's pictureJanay Neufeld

Educational Christmas Gifts for Kids: 44 Ideas Sure to Delight Young Readers

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Do you have children on your gift list this holiday season? Are you not sure what to get them because they already have so many toys piled up in every corner of their room?

What if you could buy them educational Christmas gifts that are fun and beneficial to their learning and reading skills?

Boom! Win-win!

Parents will love this because they are always looking for ways to engage their children in learning at home, but in a fun way, preferably without a huge blown-out battle with yelling and tears that comes along with homework, flashcards, or other required learning from school.

So, I have included fun games, books, and unique ideas that will get children excited about reading at home.

Kids are more willing to participate in reading when it is fun, and it seems less like a chore. And better yet, creating positive experiences at home during reading time will help make a lifelong love for reading and learning!

So, if you want to be an excellent gift-giver and win over the approval of both the parents and children on your list this year, please keep reading!

I have created a list with great gift recommendations for children. The list is broken up into four sections starting in the pre-reading stage and ending in the advanced reading stage. My gift ideas range from 2 years old to late elementary school.

Of course, the ages on this list vary depending on the child's reading level. If I have learned anything over the years as an elementary school teacher and a reading tutor, students learn at different times and in different ways. The great thing about this list is that it touches upon various learning styles and applies to children's varying interests and abilities.

Therefore, I have done my best to include ages, grade levels, AND appropriate reading levels per each gift idea section. So you may have to adjust accordingly to the child's reading level capabilities.

I hope that the items on this list help the little reader in your life find success and joy in reading!


1. Pre-Readers: Preschool (Ages 2-4)

  • Readers like to play with books at this stage, but they don't fully understand what they're about yet. They have been exposed to books and enjoy them, but they do not comprehend that words make up a story within them.

  • They enjoy books' bright colors and illustrations but do not realize that the pictures correlate with the story.

  • They cannot identify words and letters on the pages yet but may be very interested in learning letter names.

  • Children at this stage scribble or pretend to write with a pen or pencil.

  • They enjoy flipping through books on their own.

At this stage, it's all about catching the child's attention and getting them interested in reading and books. It's all about being introduced to letters, words, sounds, colorful photos, interacting with the pages. Reading to your child to lay a foundation for reading is critical at this stage. The following are gift suggestions that are great educational Christmas gifts for toddlers and sure to get your beginning reader excited about books and reading at an early age!

  • ABC & 123 Learning Songs: Interactive Children's Sound Book

This book is one of my daughter's favorite at the moment! She is about 20 months old, but the book is for baby-5 years of age. The music makes it super fun and interactive. The book has a beautiful wooden inlay and 11 buttons that play the melody to the corresponding song/page. Children can learn their ABCs, numbers, and more! This purchase was worth every penny because my husband and I spend so much time with our daughter enjoying this book and the entertainment it brings us. She can't resist dancing to the beat of each song!

  • Just Smarty Interactive ABCs and 123s Learning Poster

This poster is an excellent way for young learners to interact with letters and get them interested in the learning needed for preschool and beyond! It has the following options:

  • Enjoy fun songs

  • Learn letters, words, and numbers

  • Learn to spell

  • Quiz your spelling skills

  • And more!

Recommended for 24 months to 5 years of age.

  • Skillmatics Educational Game: Preschool Champion

Perfect educational Christmas gifts for 3-year-old! Kids love using dry erase boards and pens! There are 30 engaging and repeatable activities included in the set. Repetition is critical to building the foundations of reading. With this set, kids can build upon reading and comprehension, logical reasoning, focus and attention, observation, and writing. The key learning outcomes are ABCs, number names, counting and adding, and more!

  • Letter Magnets

Letter magnets are a classic. They are fun to throw up on the fridge (or any magnetic surface) to help your child learn letters. They are also great for hand-eye coordination and developing fine motor skills for the younger kids. These are also created in a large size and made easy for small hands to handle. If the child already knows their letters, they can form sentences, spell, and expand upon vocabulary and word skills. You can leave notes for your child on the fridge and have them answer them, and the possibilities are endless! It's a great way to spark their imagination!

  • Personalized Name Puzzle

A personalized wooden puzzle is an excellent way for children to learn to spell their names and get more familiar with letters in general. Plus, they are adorable to serve as a decoration in their room! They are a thoughtful and educational gift that both parents and children are sure to love!

  • Hape Alphabet Blocks Learning Puzzle

My daughter loves this puzzle, and so do I! Its bright wooden pieces make for a beautiful, durable puzzle. It's a great way to help children develop essential literacy skills, recognize letters and spell words. It promotes dexterity, hand-eye coordination, matching, and spatial relationships. They recommend 36 months + for this puzzle.

  • I Spy Little Letters: A Book of Picture Riddles

My daughter loves these I Spy books as well! I recommend getting the board book version like this one for younger ages. Otherwise, it won't last long, and they will rip out the pages. This board book version is for baby-3 years, and it's a great way to learn letters and get familiar with rhyming!

  • Rainbow, Numbers & ABC Pop It Toy Set

Pop It is a great way for kids to learn while having fun! These are fidget toys that reduce stress, anxiety, increase focus, and reduce restlessness. It's the perfect travel toy for in the car, on a plane, or anywhere for that matter! These toys are an excellent way for kids to work on their ABCs (upper case and lower case), spelling, counting, color recognition skills, fine motor skills, and more!

  • LeapFrog Mr. Pencil's ABC Backpack

This backpack is an interactive and fun way for kids to learn letter names, letter sounds, write their letters, and much more! It's a great toy to use when traveling or in the car, and it zips up into a backpack that travels quickly with them on the go. Kids love using pens and manipulative letters, and it's a great educational gift that benefits both the parents and kids alike.

  • Coogam Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game

The letter fishing game is a beautiful wooden toy and a fantastic gift for learning letters. The fishing game is excellent for helping kids advance their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, learn their ABCs, and sort and match them. These puzzles are great educational Christmas gifts for 4-year-olds and up.

  • Zingo!

The perfect gift for any pre-readers or early readers in your life! This is one of the best educational Christmas gifts for 4-year-olds and up. The game is like Bingo but with a twist. It's a fun, fast-paced way for kids to work on the foundational skills they need to become great readers and more! Up to 7 players can play so that you can get the whole family involved in their learning process!


2. Beginning Readers: Preschool to 1st Grade (Ages 4-6)

  • A child will need pictures to help comprehend the story at this stage.

  • They can often name the alphabet letters and know several letter sounds.

  • Kids can memorize the stories in books at this stage because they want to read them repeatedly.

  • They cannot yet read with expression and do not understand reading the punctuation of books yet.

  • They can often sound out the beginning of unknown words, but then they guess or skip over the rest of the word.

This stage is all about daily doses of repetition. Kids need to repeatedly interact with the material (letters, sight words, etc.) for reading foundations to stick. There is no better way to do this than game form! The cool thing about many gifts that I have added to this part of the list is that they are games that the whole family can enjoy together. They help model proper reading skills, build upon the reading foundation, and model an interest in reading.

  • Alphabet Go Fish Letter Matching Card Game

Go Fish is another classic that allows the whole family to get in on the fun! Some of my fondest memories growing up were when my parents took the time to play board games with us. It seems like a simple matching game, but Go Fish can help children read their letters, letter/object association, improve concentration, build vocabulary, memory, take turns, and more! These are the perfect educational Christmas gifts for 4-year-olds and up!

  • Alphabet Slap Jack

Alphabet Slap Jack is a fun way for kids to learn their upper and lowercase letters. It was created by a teacher even! The cards are a size that is easy for kids to handle, and there are four different games you can play with this set. You can play Alphabet SlapJack, ABC Go Fish, and Find My Letter Matching game or use them as small letter flash cards. They recommend using it for ages four and up or preschool through 1st grade.

  • Bingo Sight Words

Bingo is another classic and a great way to get kids to practice their sight words in a fun and exciting way. Playing Bingo sure beats sitting down and trying to memorize flashcards. They have different sight word levels and Bingo topics, such as rhyming. Rhyming is another great skill for this stage of reading to build on, and it helps kids hear parts of a word which prepares them for decoding. These are some of the best educational Christmas gifts for 5-year-olds and up.

  • I Spy A to Z: A Book of Picture Riddles

This I Spy version is intended for kids 4-8 years old. Kids love to search for the letters within the pages after reading or hearing the riddles for clues. This book can be used to improve your child's letter recognition and sounds, phonics, and rhyming, all while having fun!

  • Plugo Letters by PlayShifu

Plugo is an AR-powered word building kit that combines hands-on learning and healthy screen-time. Kids can spell with alphabet tiles, grow their vocabulary, and improve grammar with story-based spelling games. Plugo is compatible with many different devices and a great way to supplement a child's education at home! The game adapts to your child's reading/grade level as they advance for progressive learning to meet their needs. Children can use the game to sharpen their linguistics, reading, comprehension, cognitive, and motor skills. The game can help children learn their letters and then spellings through phonics, word usage in sentences, grammar, and language concepts like nouns, verbs, tenses, etc. The best part is this is a game they can enjoy for years!

  • Yoto Kids Audio Player

Yoto plays audiobooks, kids' podcasts, songs, and more! They also have a built-in night light, customizable clock, and sleep trainer. It's simple as kids insert a content card and begin listening. There are many topics to choose from to accommodate all interests and learning capabilities. Yoto is a toy that can grow with the child as they advance in their learning (recommended for ages 3-8). I love the imagination that the Yoto leaves up to the child as they can even record their content onto the cards to playback. Kids are inundated with screens, images, and ads all day long, and it leaves little room for them to imagine and create the scenarios in their minds as they read. The Yoto allows them to listen, create their images, learn new vocabulary and have fun while they learn! I should mention, however, that the Yoto does show a pixel image on the side of the device to enhance the child's creativity, phonics, math, and learning experiences.

  • Found It!

Found It! A fun scavenger hunt game intended for ages 4-7 that helps children learn as they go. The game is in a 'Search & Find' format with prompts like can you find.." Something that rhymes with look? Something that starts with the letter p?" etc. Players shout, "FOUND IT!" When they get their hands on the object. The first one to win seven cards wins the game! It's a super fun way to learn and spend time with the family. Plus, it's the perfect stocking stuffer size!

  • Zingo! Sight Words

Zingo is an award-winning reading game that boosts the skills of early readers (pre-k through 2nd grade). Educators developed this game to help students learn the most commonly used words, also known as sight words, in a new and exciting way. It's a great educational gift for any pre-reader or beginning reader on your list this year!

  • Sight Word Swat

Sight Word Swat is another fun way for pre-readers and beginning readers to build reading, spelling, and vocabulary skills. The element of speed promotes confidence and fluency in reading and makes it exciting and fast-paced. It sure beats sitting and doing flashcards every day!

  • Complete Set of Bob Books, Sets 1-5 (42 books)

These books are among the most popular beginner readers out there for a reason! They are great for ages pre-k to 2nd grade. I have used these with my students for years, and they work! They are engaging, easy to adapt to their reading level and lead children through the basics of reading. This set includes:

Set 1: Beginning Reader

Set 2: Advancing Beginners

Set 3: Word Families

Set 4: Complex Words

Set 5: Long Vowels

  • First Little Readers Parent Packs Complete Set (5 packs) - Guided Reading Level A, B, C, D, E&F

The Readers pack contains 25 books in each leveled reader box for beginning readers. These books have simple repetitive text that helps kids learn essential sight words and read quickly and confidently. This set is appropriate for grades pre-k through 2nd and guides children through the different beginning reading stages. They also include a parent guide to help parents navigate instructing their child through them!


3. Intermediate Readers: 1st grade to 3rd Grade (Ages 6-8)

  • A child can read without too much difficulty at this stage but may have to stop and sound out words here and there.

  • Reads picture books and uses context clues and pictures to decipher the story's meaning.

  • They can answer straightforward comprehension questions.

  • They can read with expression and usually pauses at the appropriate times for punctuation.

  • They enjoy reading books. They can read easier books independently at this stage but need assistance from an adult for more difficult ones.

By first grade, children can decode words, and they love to sound out words everywhere they go once they get the hang of it. It's essential to allow them to read independently, choose their books, and have fun with reading. It's vital to create a positive experience with reading at a young age so that kids establish a lifelong love of reading. Therefore, games or anything fun is essential for this stage. Creating a cozy place away from all other distractions where they can immerse themselves in the material (away from screens, siblings, or any other distractions) can benefit their progress. Some of the best educational gifts for seven-year-olds are books because they are so excited about uncovering the world of reading! Below are products that will interest intermediate readers and get them excited about it!

  • Junie B. Jones Complete First Grade Collection Box Set

Kids love this series because the stories are fun and engaging. They are the perfect gift for beginner chapter books for kids grade 1st-4th. These are kids taking off their reading and transitioning away from needing pictures to comprehend their stories.

  • Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4

Magic Treehouse is the #1 bestselling chapter book series for kids! Who doesn't love reading about magic, mystery, and time travel? This popular set includes the first four books of the series: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon. These books are the perfect gift for kids around grades 1-4 and the ideal way to spark their imagination and love adventure through reading.

  • Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book Box Set: Books 1-4

Amelia Bedelia is a favorite among early readers because they are funny and entertaining to read! The first four books of the series would be an excellent gift for any young reader (grades 1-5) who is looking to read and have fun while doing it!

  • The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids

The Big Book of Silly Jokes is an excellent gift for kids around first to second grade. Kids love telling jokes and reading about them! This book is a gift sure to entertain the whole family around the holidays! The book includes over 800 jokes and has knock-knock jokes, riddles, tongue twisters. It's the perfect way to entertain children through reading!

  • Train of Thought

Train of Thought is a fun game for kids ages six and up, and it gets them reading, asking questions, and making real-life connections. It's the perfect stocking stuffer size and a fun way to get children reading and having fun while they learn!

  • Scrabble Jr.

Scrabble is a classic! It's the perfect way to get your child to work on reading, spelling, and expanding their vocabulary while having fun. This game is sure to be a hit for any readers on your list ages five and up! This is one of the best educational Christmas gifts for 7-year-olds.

  • Illustory

Kids can set their imaginations free as they create their own books. This boxed set gives children the opportunity to write, illustrate and publish a hardcover book! The "Just Imagine." guide will take the child through writing, illustrating the book, and creating their story. Once completed, drop it in the mail using the pre-paid envelope, and the child will receive a 7" x 9" hardcover book with up to 20 pages. It's perfect for people looking for educational Christmas gifts for 7-year-olds. The set is a unique gift that families and kids will cherish forever!

  • Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

Are you wondering what are good gifts for 7-year-olds? Look no further! These book lights are perfect for reading books in bed. Kids love reading by flashlight because it feels out of the ordinary and fun! They comfortably rest on your neck, have six different brightness levels to adjust to, have bendable arms, and are rechargeable. They are the perfect stocking stuffer or addition to a small reader's library. They are easy to take anywhere for packing and travel. This light is a unique gift any reader will enjoy!

  • Mark-My-Time Purple Digital Bookmark and Reading Timer

This digital bookmark is the perfect gift for any reading level. It's a fun way to motivate kids to read as they have the option to time themselves or set up a countdown to alert themselves when their daily reading time is up. It allows students to feel like they have control over part of their required reading time, and of course, it helps keep track of where they are at like any old-fashioned bookmark!

  • Kids Teepee Tent for Kids

A kids Teepee is the perfect gift for readers to escape into a quiet magical world to read. Creating a particular space or nook can effectively motivate children to read, provide a quiet, safe space to read, and build a routine around reading. This teepee was cool because it comes with a tent, a mat, string lights, a pillow, and a blanket. Imagine all the reading, relaxing, and imagination that will take place from one gift for children for years to come!

  • A Little SPOT of Emotion 8 Book Box Set

This set of books is the perfect gift for kids ages 5-8 years old. They guide children and parents through talking about complex topics to navigate. Through stories, pictures, and hands-on activities, children learn to identify their emotions, feelings, and more.


4. Advanced Readers: 3rd Grade and Up (Age 8 and up)

  • At this stage, they read smoothly with little time spent stopping to sound out words and use context clues to figure out the meaning of words.

  • Can read chapter books (usually prefer them over books with pictures in them now).

  • Asks about the meaning of unknown words or can look up the definition on their own and remember the meaning of the word the next time they encounter it in their reading.

  • Can comprehend the material, answer questions, and relate to the text revealing their thoughts and feelings about it.

For many students, their 2nd-grade year is when all their hard work starts to pay off, and their reading becomes less laborious for them and more automatic. Therefore, more of their energy goes into the meaning of what they are reading rather than decoding each word. And by 3rd-grade, students can usually read more independently and need less help from an adult at this stage. So gifts that will spark their creativity, keep them interested in reading, and encourage reading on their own are critical! Check out my list of items advanced readers are sure to love!

  • Kids' Encyclopedia: What We Know & What We Don't

For readers 8-12 years old. This encyclopedia is so beautiful and unique. Instead of organizing the book from A to Z like a typical encyclopedia, Christopher Lloyd takes the reader on a journey from the beginning of time to the present day.

  • Dog Man: The Supa Epic Collection

Dog Man is so popular with kids, and you would be sure to seem cool and hip to gift this set! For seven years old and up (grade level 2-3 or up). Kids love reading graphic novels such as this, and it seems too fun to consider it reading or feel like a chore.

  • Trapped in a Video Game: Complete Series

What boy aged 8-12 doesn't love video games? I have gifted this book to students of mine because they love their video games. Video games are a common topic of discussion for many boys during our tutoring sessions. Gifting kids books in subjects they enjoy will motivate children to read more!

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a wimpy kid is so popular with middle to upper elementary school students. They love the graphic novel format because it feels special and fun to read for kids. They are fantastic to spark a love of reading in children! They are funny, relatable for kids, and entertaining. This series is a gift any child on your list would be sure to love! I have listed the newest book of the series, "Big Shot," below because a child may be less likely to have it since it's new. I recently gifted it to my nephew, who is in 6th grade. He loves the series! I also listed the DIY Diary of a Wimpy Kid because I think it's a unique and fun gift for any Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan! Kids can create a graphic novel of their own!

  • The Never Girls Collection

The Never Girls is a cute series about friends who go to Never Land together, the home of Tinker Bell and other fairies. The reading level is for children 6-9 years old (1st -4th grade). However, these are chapter books without any pictures, so I would recommend getting it for the upper end of this recommendation unless you think the child's parents have time to read them with them.

  • National Geographic Kids: 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!)

There are three National Geographic fact books out on the market now. They are an excellent gift for kids because it gets them excited about reading! Kids love learning new facts to share with others and making connections to the world around them, and it's a great way to get kids excited about reading and learning!

  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls - The Chapter Book Collection

This beautiful boxed set makes an excellent gift for any young reader six to 9 years old (1st-4th grade). The collection features inspiring stories of women throughout history, and each book contains gorgeous full-color illustrations done by female artists and bonus activities.

This hardcover boxed set includes:

-Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code

-Madam C. J. Walker Builds a Business

-Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest

-Junko Tabei Masters the Mountains

-Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage

  • Nancy Drew Mystery Stories Books 1-4

This boxed set is a beautiful gift for kids aged 8-12 or 3rd -7th Grade. This series is a classic and has been sparking the interest of young readers for years, and it's a great way to introduce young readers to the series.

  • Blurt!

Blurt is a super fun way for kids (10 and up) to work on auditory comprehension, word recall, and vocabulary! It's the perfect gift to spark a family game night!

  • Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)

This set is the perfect book for eight-year-olds and up (grades 4-6). The Harry Potter books are a timeless classic that many people enjoy reading repeatedly, and having the set will provide reading and entertainment for years to come!

  • Mistakes That Worked

This paperback book is full of 40 familiar inventions and how they came to be. As a reading tutor, I spend so much time explaining to children that it's okay to make mistakes and it's how they learn. This book is the perfect addition to any kid's library. Hopefully, it will inspire them to dream, never give up and keep trying no matter what bumps are in the road!


About the Author

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1 Comment

Nov 27, 2021

so many fun suggestions for my kids age group!! my son would definitely like the Sight Word Bingo or the Found It game, and we are fans of the BOB books.. my daughter is in the age 2-5 range, and any of the learning books or magnets , she would like. she is starting to get more curious for learning, alongside her older brother ! what a fun article.

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