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Meaningful Holiday Gifts for Your Littlest Learner

By Too Small to Fail

The holiday season is filled with special moments to spend quality time together as a family. That’s why we’re encouraging parents, grandparents, and other caregivers to make holiday gift giving a truly meaningful experience by giving gifts of activities that promote talking, reading, and singing. This week, we’ll share five fun, meaningful ideas that can boost your child’s brain and language development and provide special moments for bonding - all without costing a penny!

Share these ideas with your family and friends. We’d love to hear your ideas, too!


1. Give the gift of love!

Hug, cuddle, smile, and talk with your baby. These simple moments help your baby feel safe and secure, and promote his/her brain development.

Read more about how giving the gift of love to your little one can boost his/her brain development on the Raising Children Network.

2.   Give the gift of playful math time

Make math fun and a part of everyday moments by counting the things you and your child see! Count blocks, flowers, or stop signs outside! Count apples in the grocery store or point out the pattern and colors you see on a blanket!

For more ideas on how to make learning math fun, see our early math resources!

3.   Give the gift of  storytelling

Telling stories with your little one can help your child develop a love for words and reading! For your baby or toddler, share a story by narrating your day. For your preschooler, have a conversation about characters in his/herfavorite book.

You can find more tips from the Raising Children Network on how reading and storytelling can help your child’s brain and language development! 


4.   Give the gift of lullabies

Singing with your child creates a close bond while supporting his or her language development. Read our tips on our blog on how to create your own, special lullaby to sing to your little one.

5.   Give the gift of reading!

Dedicate time to go to the library with your little one each week so you can pick out new books together. Celebrate books at home to encourage a love for reading, words, and libraries at an early age for your child. 

For holiday books to read with your little one, check out these 10 books from our friends at Reading Rockets. To learn more about books that are appropriate for your child, see these age-by-age early literacy milestones from Reach out and Read.

One last holiday tip – use this season to help your children understand that not all gifts need to be wrapped! This great article from PBS Parents shares ideas on how you can encourage your child to show simple acts of kindness and care to family and friends. Read the article here.