It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Despite the rollercoaster of a year 2020 has been, Christmas is the one event that seems to be bringing some much needed joy to many families all over the world. From Christmas trees and lights being put up since October, to teeming anticipation of Christmas catalogues and displays in the shops, for some, Christmas is the one positive in a year full of negatives.
I look forward to Christmas every year, even more so now I’ve had children. I love the festivity and the spirit of the season but the true shopaholic in me truly loves the Christmas shopping. As I’ve always said, I love the giving of gifts even more than receiving- after a certain age, the receiving is few and far between, anyway.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to embark on a small business venture, becoming an independent organiser for the award-winning book brand and one of my all-time favourites, Usborne Books. I love books all year round, but I definitely have fond memories of the books I received at Christmas time.
What I love about Usborne books is the variety and range within the brand. From readers, to activity books, to painting, to colouring, to sticker books, the gift options are profuse and with ages ranging from 0 years- 13+, Usborne books can be your one-stop shop for the entire family.
Here are some of the books making my Christmas gift list this year.
Touchy Feely Books
Having just had a new baby, I’m looking forward to exploring the world of baby books again. One of my favourite type of books is touchy-feely. Touchy-feely books often have pages with mixed media- materials that are different from the board of the book as well as each other- for inquisitive babies to run their hands along. Not only do they provide support for a baby’s initial stages of stimulation but these books are often hardy board books or fabric books which means they can withstand being mishandled or munched on. Usborne’s award-winning “That’s Not My…” range is a great option. They’re small, board books with bright images and easy one-liners that are sure to intrigue a new tot. Oh, and let’s not forget, “That’s Not My…” have over 50 different titles to collect so it really is a gift that keeps on giving.
Much like touchy-feely books, sound books are amazing for children’s stimiulation. Sounds can vary from music to actual object sounds like animals or vehicles. They’re great for introducing cause and effect- a touch of a button or specific part of the page sparks the sound response. Again, these type of books are accompanied with bright, colourful images which are essential to brain and eye stimulation and function as well as helping them to understand and connect to what is being read. To support the hardware required for sounds, these books are often hardback or board books so they offer longevity. The sounds add a fun element to introducing reading whilst music can add a soothing touch to a favourite bedtime story.
Write your Own Books
Do you have a budding writer on your hands? Want to push the envelope of imagination? A great selection for children, young adults and the young at heart, Write Your Own books include different writing activities depending on the selection- become a scriptwriter and write your own movie script, write your own story book, poems or even write and design your own magazine or comic. These include simple step-by-step instructions with lots of handy tips and hints. Not only are these fun to do but help to stimulate and improve writing, comprehension and sequencing.
Magic Painting Books
I love painting but getting set up can become a hassle and let’s face it, it’s a bit messy. Usborne’s Magic Painting solves all your paint session problems. All you need is a paintbrush and some water. That’s it! Not only are these books full of beautifully graphic black and white images which come to life when water is added but there are so many different themes to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Keep your book intact or remove the pages and frame them for a DIY art wall.
Coming of Age Books
Coming of age stories are great tools which focus on the growth from youth to young adulthood. From growing up guides to mental health discussions, these books are great for introducing the challenges which may come with growing older and offer supportive material to help prepare for the changes young children will inevitable face. The great thing about Usborne’s range of coming-of -age books is the age range they cover. You can find a more juvenile title with images and engaging lift-the-flaps which cover these topics or you can buy a more mature title which is better suited to older teens but also as effective.
Why do books make perfect gifts? They don’t need batteries, never come in the wrong size or colour, and are a breeze to wrap and they’re the only gift you get to keep on opening. If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift this Christmas, the bookcase is in need of a little more variety and you want to encourage more engagement, then these books are the perfect solution.