Books make great gifts for children, because in addition to bringing a new world to kids, it can teach them something new… and parents really like this. Some kids aren’t thrilled at the idea of receiving books as a Christmas present (sort of akin to getting a sweater with a reindeer on it), but if it’s the right type of book- an incredibly fun, engaging book- well… that’s a totally different story.
And since you don’t know which novels a child will enjoy (or already has), I compiled a great list of new books that are hobby-based and fascinating that kids are sure to love, and not have yet, because they just came out!
Fun Books Kids Will Love
National Geographic Kids Books
Learning can be fun if kids are learning about something they are interested in… like interesting, not-well-known facts about dinosaurs, and crazy trivia about nature and animals and history. In fact, probably the best way to get children curious about the world around them is sharing how very unique and crazy it can be, because there are so many incredible things going on all around us that we tend to ignore.
Tell a kid that medieval toilets washed out into moats (talk about a great way to keep enemies from swimming across) and they will not only be grossed out, but interested in learning more about life during medieval times. Learning that Earth’s air has teeny diamond bits from space or that the hole in the Ozone layer is now bigger than North American can definitely inspire a curiosity about geography and the environment, and everything about dinosaurs is enthralling. Giving a dinophile the Ultimate DinoPedia is the greatest gift, and while it makes a great gift for kids (along with Bet You Didn’t Know), I frankly prefer them gracing my sons’ book shelf, because I find myself as engrossed as they are in reading them.
If you know of a kid who has everything, you finally found the gift they don’t have (and now the kid who has everything can know everything too)… just try to share, because you may find yourself taking it way too often to read yourself.
Raising little scientists? Novels for kids that inspire a love of how amazing scientific learning and experimentation can be is a great way to get them on the path, and these are two books that capture a child’s imagination and bring them into a world of learning how to observe, explore, and understand.
Lucy is a second grade scientist, and these stories are about her misadventures and how science can help solve many problems. With Lucy’s Lab books, Kids will learn about science, and the stories are really good so a bibliophile who just likes to get lost in the world within a story may not even realize they learned quite a bit. I’ve been reading these with my son at night, and our younger son is listening along so his interest in matter and nature is being piqued as well ♥︎
I remember reading a lot of books as a kid (to this day I hear about “Penelope who always had a book in her hand, even when she was brushing her teeth”), and the more interesting and absorbing the world within the book is, the more children will want to continue exploring new worlds within the pages of a book. If you want to raise readers, get them the right books!
The Art of Origami
I don’t know if it’s because it makes kids think, be creative, stretch their spatial planning muscles, or it’s just plain fun, but I believe becoming a master of origami is a precursor to a love engineering… and that is a mighty fine thing. I utterly loved Origami as a child- what is cooler than taking a piece of paper and creating a swan that can glide, a ball that can be tossed, or a frog that can hop?
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes was a popular book when I was in elementary school, and there was a magic in thinking that making cranes could answer wishes. To this day I think there is magic in the art of paper folding, and since my sons love to do it with me, I can sit with them and enjoy my own childhood hobby with them. Today, Origami paper is even more beautiful, such as the decorative sheets from QuarterKnows.com, including double sided paper to create seagulls, flying dragons, and more from Origami Animals, or even more elaborate paper to create stunning butterflies and birds such as the Monarch butterfly and eagles (the results are so pretty that I plan to decorate a wall with our creations) by Fold & Fly Butterflies, Birds, and Other Animals That Fly.
Typically, young girls love Origami (it was a hobby for my girlfriends and I in grade school) but boys love it too, so if you are looking for a fun activity to spend time with your sons, or to gift, these are really wonderful. Honestly, I love any excuse to sit with my boys and do something fun and artistic together!
Calligraphy for Kids
I remember proudly practicing scrolling script as a child with my girlfriends in school, comparing who made the prettiest “S” and who was able to add the most unique accents and ligatures to their “y” and “g”. Beautiful penmanship is an elegant talent, and many artistic children take it a step forward by excelling in gorgeous lettering that includes being able to write in Calligraphy as a profession. Children can use calligraphy for graphic design, or simply to add some beauty to their own writing.
Either way, the ability to create this visual art can be learned, and practicing is fun. Fun and Friendly Calligraphy for Kids teaches children in a step by step process how to learn this craft, starting with the right tools, basic lettering, and on to more extravagant designs. If you know of a child with a fondness for lovely things and the patience to create beauty, this is a great hobby to start them on.
Books are one of the best gifts for children, last forever, can be shared, and can teach. Hobby books open a new world for children, exposing them to new ways to exercise their minds and hands. When you’re stumped for the right gift for a kid, pick up a hobby book instead- who knows where it will lead them!