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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)