By Robyn Green, Owner & Founder, Movies for Mommies Canada
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
With the holidays around the corner, there are a myriad of gift ideas for kids of all ages. In the past we used to go with the big flashy choices, those toys that beep and flash and make noises which, after ten minutes, have you tearing your hair out and asking yourself why you thought this toy was a good idea.
My kids are inundated with electronics, games, YouTube and iPads, so for the last few years, our go-to gifts have changed and become the gift of thought, the gift of communication, and sometimes the gift of shhhhh. We’ve gone old school, giving each other books at the holidays. Here are the top five reasons why books are the best gifts!
There’s nothing quite as challenging as a small child trying to free a toy from its packaging. They pout and give the box to you and, being the adult, you of course step up to the task. However, the toy is packaged so effectively that it often requires wire cutters, a blow torch and an axe to free it from the box.
All the while your little one is clambering to play. Once it’s unpackaged, you then need to find your tools (and the right screwdriver of course, which takes twenty attempts) to unscrew the back panel on the toy where the thirty batteries need to be aligned. The beauty of a book… your child opens it, turns to the first page, and away you go!
What can create a better memory for a child or a grandparent, than holding a baby, toddler or child on their lap and turning the pages of a book together? The impact it leaves on a child can be immense, and be one of the triggers that build a strong foundation for a love of reading through life.
My kids started off with the DK Touch and Feel series when they were little. And we became lifers! The book’s textures and colours leapt off the pages and were always my kids’ favourites in their libraries.
As they got older, they discovered DK’s amazing activity books. As a mom who works from home, I used to stock up on books and put them away for the days they were sick or off school, to generate hours of fun and creativity.
My ten year old son is now into DK’s Computer Coding series of books. I figure in the next few years, he’ll be ready to run my website and do the upgrades!
Having perused the DK site countless times, I’ve been introduced to some of their amazing books for adults. I’m not a great cook (I burn rice!) so I’ve been indulging in DK’s diverse cookbook selection. For the budding or sophisticated chef in you, or as a subtle gift for a friend who's a lousy cook, there are cookbooks that might make you the next Gordon Ramsey. My personal favourites include: Cooking Season by Season and Souping. After you lose weight from souping, you can enjoy Chocolate: Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic which includes phenomenal chocolate recipes.
If your child is interested in cooking or baking, this can become a fun family affair. Our favourite kids cookbook has become Eat Your Greens, Reds, Yellows and Purples, which is easy for them to navigate and makes them feel like they’re King or Queen of the kitchen.
Parenting isn't easy, and in 2016 it seems every minute is filled keeping our little ones or ourselves busy. We are barraged every day with messages on our newsfeeds, on social media, through texts and tablets. What we really need to do is just stop. Because as crazy and hectic as parenting can be, the simplicity, beauty and connection of reading with your baby or children is one of the greatest gifts you can give each other. Shutting everything else off, creating a routine and setting time aside that you can both enjoy with quality and quiet.
So before you despair that there are no Hatchimals to be had this holiday season, rejoice in the fact that there are millions of amazing other gifts at your fingertips on the DK site and in stores. And who knows… one of those books may lead your child to grow up and become the inventor of the next big holiday must-have!
Owner & Founder
Movies for Mommies Canada
Mother of Two Amazing Boys
Robyn Green is the Founder of Movies for Mommies - The Original Parent & Baby Film Event (www.moviesformommies.com). Launched in 2001 in Toronto, Movies for Mommies has since expanded across Canada and now screens grown up matinee movies in theatres across Canada. Movies for Mommies has been proud to partner with DK Canada since 2011, featuring their amazing books for babies, kids and adults of all ages at its weekly screenings. Ms. Green is the mother of two amazing boys, loves coffee, British humour, and of course reading!