Creative Gift Ideas…you probably haven’t thought of!

So we are down to weeks before Christmas. Weeks. I’m not quite ready. Okay, not at all. I love the gift-giving aspect of the holidays, but I have trouble pinning down the best items for my people. I want them to have it all! You’ve most likely seen the “something I want, something I need, something to wear, something to read” gift-giving philosophy out there. I love the simplicity of it! And today I’ve got a few creative gift ideas to spice up the “something to read” category.

Creative Gift Ideas - 2

Perhaps you need a unique gift for a sweet friend down the street, a long-distance cousin, a play date gift exchange, or your own kiddos who are missing a few items. Consider these fun book/gift pairings that won’t break the bank and are sure to bring some holiday smiles.

These are books that we love, whether ones we own or check out from the library over and over again, paired with goodies that are sure to help entertain while stuck indoors on some too-cold-to-go-outside, frosty days.

Alphabet Rescue

Creative Gift Ideas - Alphabet

Alphabet Rescue by Audrey Wood not only delights firetruck lovers, but also offers an engaging tale for learning and recognizing letters of the alphabet. Follow along as lowercase letters find their places as firefighters in Alphabet City and aid the uppercase letters in an important rescue. Pair this book with a set of magnetic letters and a magnetic cookie sheet for learning fun throughout the year.

Alternatives ::

Goodnight Houston

Creative Gift Ideas - Houston

Before you say goodnight to your littles and turn off the lights, have fun saying goodnight to our unique city in Goodnight Houston by Jennifer Solak and Kyle Solak. Wind down as you travel from the Houston Zoo to downtown and reminisce about the places you have visited or dream about the ones on your Houston bucket list. Gift-wrap this book with a team jersey from our Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, or Houston Astros, and you’ve got a a great local gift.

Alternatives ::

  • Tickets to the Houston Aquarium or Hermann Park Train
  • A Shipley’s gift card
  • Tickets to the theater or a Houston team’s game
  • A Children’s Museum or Houston Zoo membership

Up, Up And Away! A Bedtime Shadow Book

Creative Gift Ideas - Flashlight

We just discovered this series of books, and your little ones will love having it on their nightstands! In Up, Up, And Away! by Heather Zschock, kids can actually follow a kite’s journey through the skies as they shine a flashlight through the “windows” inside the book to see the shadows on the wall. Pair this book with a flashlight, and give a great incentive to get to bed! {Be sure to consider the publisher’s note on the Amazon link for flashlights that work best.} My boys happen to be aviation lovers, but there are several books in this series for you to find something special.

How to Train a Train

Creative Gift Ideas - Trains

All aboard! Jason Carter Eaton’s How To Train a Train teamed up with a train or two is certain to bring some Christmas morning smiles to any train lover. In this fun how-to, readers “learn” how to select a train of one’s own, care for it, and guide it to be a great friend. The illustrations are catchy for young eyes, and they will have a great time “training” their own toy trains.

Mix It Up!

Creative Gift Ideas - Paint

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet is one of my favorite library finds to date. In this interactive book, readers follow instructions and begin to understand colors and how they relate to one another. Combined with a set of paint, it provides a perfect present inviting kids to create!

Alternatives ::

  • Crayola paint and cardstock
  • Small plastic paint pallet
  • A set of paint brushes

The Day the Crayons Quit

Creative Gift Ideas - Crayons

If you and yours haven’t read The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, get your hands on a copy! I laughed along with my little ones as we read the letter each crayon writes to Duncan explaining their grievances with his coloring. Pair with a box of new crayons {see the picture above lacking a box of fresh crayons…the best laid plans, Friends, sometimes are just that with three curious kids around!} and a drawing pad for an extra creative Christmas.

Alternatives ::

I love spicing up gift-giving with a creative twist. Perhaps decide on a book above for Christmas and pin the others as reminders for gifts throughout the year. These combos are great invitations to play if set out on the breakfast table on summer mornings. So many options! Let’s get to reading! 

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Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.


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