2012 Literacy Gift Guide and a GIVEAWAY

The holiday shopping season is here!  Below are some of my top literacy gift  picks for children this year.  Every item listed helps to promote literacy!

1.  Word on the Street Junior

Out of the Box graciously sent me a requested copy of Word on the Street Junior to review.  I was immediately impressed with the game after playing it one time.  Players are divided into teams which helps to promote cooperation, negotiating, and group decision-making.  Each team takes turns selecting a category card (examples: another word for big or, something that is folded ).  The team brainstorms words that would fit into the category and then decides on a word to play.  They then spell out the word pulling each letter a lane closer to the edge of the game board.  The first team to pull eight letters off  the board wins.  The game promotes vocabulary development, spelling practice, strategizing, and working together.  On top of that, it’s great fun!  The game is recommended for ages 8 to adult and retails for $22.99.

2.  Blank Books, Puzzles and Calendars

Bare Books has an amazing assortment of blank hardcover and board books just waiting for a young author to fill.  There are lots of shapes and sizes.  You can also get blank puzzles and calendars too.  The best part is that they are super affordable.  I had a hard time making up my mind which ones to order and ended up with a super assortment that will last me for quite some time.  Partner a few of these books with some fun markers or pens and you have one great gift.  This is a great gift for all ages.  Books range in price.  Most are under $3.

3.  Magazine Subscription

Yes, magazine subscriptions were on the 2011 list.  However, I think that this is such a fun gift that keeps on giving all year long that I’m recommending another magazine this year.  KIDS DISCOVER will be delivered monthly for a year.  Each ad free issue centers around one social studies or science theme.  Each issue is filled with bold pictures and interesting reading.  I used this magazine when I was a classroom teacher with my students.  The magazine is geared for ages 6-12.  A one-year subscription is $19.95.

4.  Cookbook and Personalized Apron

There are so many literacy skills that can be nurtured in the kitchen!  Earlier this year, I reviewed several cookbooks.  One of my favorites was Kids’ Kitchen by Fiona Bird and Roberta Arenson.  The box includes 40 fun and healthy recipe cards.  The deck of cards is divided into five color coded sections:  Eggs ‘n’ Beans, Fantastic Fruits, Milk ‘n’ Dairy,  Spuds ’n’ Grain and Vital Vegetables.  All of the recipes are vegetarian and include meal ideas to go with each recipe. There are also multi-cultural recipes.   I’m so impressed with the nutritional education that comes with each recipe.  The Breakfast Friends recipe states that, “ it’s loaded with protein and carbohydrates that help to power you up for an energetic day.”  Not only will kids learn how to cook nutritional dishes, but they are becoming empowered with healthy eating tips and practices.  I also like that the recipes are printed on heavy-duty cards which works well with kids in the kitchen.  Your child will learn how to make:  Apple Volcanoes, Tropical Milkshakes,  Mellow Yellow Rice and Picnic Kebabs as well as 37 other dishes.  Pair this with a personalized apron from Etsy and you have a fun gift to give.  Kids’ Kitchen costs $19.99 and is recommended for ages 8 and up.  Personalized aprons from Etsy are also $19.95.  Thank you to Barefoot Books for sending a requested copy of Kids’ Kitchen for me to review.

5.  Little Passports

Little Passports is a subscription service that delivers a fun package to your door each month.  Join Sam and Sofia as they travel around the world and learn about different countries in the World Edition or sign up for the USA Edition and learn about two new states each month.  Each package contains lots of goodies including pictures, letters and souvenirs.  You will also have access to online activities and resources. The World Edition is recommended for ages 5-10 and the USA Edition is recommended for ages 7-12.  Subscription packages start at $10.95 per month.  You are able to subscribe in monthly, 3-month, 6-month or 12-month plans.  Below is an introductory video.

6.  Lunchbox Love for Kids

This is another gift that keeps on giving all year long.  Lunchbox Love for Kids are made by Say Please.  Send one of these cards in your child’s lunchbox each day.  Cards contain an interesting or fun fact on one side and an encouraging message on the other.  They come in a handy carrying case that easily slips into your purse so you always have them on hand.  Each volume comes with 12 cards (10 printed and 2 blank) for $2.99.  Recommended for all readers.  Thank you to Say Please for sending me a requested copy to review.

7.  Make Me a Story

Make Me a Story by eeBoo consists of a magnetic playboard, correlating magnets and an easel for standing.  Your child will be able to create elaborate stories while manipulating the magnetic pieces across the scene.  This would also make a great activity to take on a trip.  You can select from different themes including Forest Adventure, Fairytales, Animal Cottage and Robot’s Landing.  The magnetic playboard is recommended for ages 5 and up and retails for $13.95.  You might also be interested in Tell Me a Story and Write Me a Story also by eeBoo.  All three help to build literacy skills!  A special thank you to eeBoo for sending me requested copies to review.

8.  Felt Mailbox Play Set

I absolutely love pretend play for developing literacy.  This felt mailbox play set includes a felt mailbox, drawstring mailbag, shipping box, three postcards, two envelopes, six stamps, six address labels, and six messages.  An extra bonus is that it’s handmade in the USA.  This one is for ages 3 and up and retails for $44.95.

9.  Easy Daysies

I love the name of this one.  Easy Daysies is a magnetic schedule for kids created by a mom and educator.  The Everyday Starter Kit has a double-sided board with two different scenes and magnets of daily routines.  This one is going on my gift giving list for my son.  You can also purchase add-on kits for getting dressed/bathroom routines, chores or extracurricular activities.  It’s recommended for ages 3-12 and runs $25.99.  Here’s a peek at how it works.

10. Chalkboard Mats

I love when I can promote small businesses.  Here is an Etsy find.  Chalkboard Mats by BAM Crafty Mommas are reusable and portable mats that you can roll up and take almost anywhere.  One side has a cute fabric print while the other side is magnetic fabric.  There is a loop to hold chalk.  I can see this being very useful while waiting at a restaurant.  I would say this would be for ages 3 and up.  Each mat costs $10.00.

So, would you like to have a few of these items?  I’m giving away 2 Bare Books, 1 Write Me a Story and 1 Love Notes volume to a lucky Growing Book by Book reader.

Giveaway Guidelines


It’s super easy!  Just leave a comment on this post.  There you go!  Entries will be accepted until 11/27/12 at 9:00pm (CST).  The lucky giveaway winner will be randomly selected the week of 11/27/12 and announced on this site.  I will contact the winner via email also.  The winner has 3 days to respond with a mailing address or else another winner will be selected.   We can ship to USA addresses only.   Good luck!

Still need more ideas?  Check out my list from last year.  Happy shopping!  What is on your shopping list this year?

Thanks for reading!  I would love for you to subscribe to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest.

*Though I did receive requested review copies of some products, all reviews are my own opinions.  I only select items for this list that I would want to buy myself.

Please see the linky party directory to see where this post was linked.

About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!

  2. Wow! All great items! Thanks for the listing.

  3. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. This is a great list of very cute and educational ideas. I will definitely be ordering some of these items for my class.

  5. Jennifer Ross says:

    Love this list! Thanks for posting and offering a giveaway.

  6. Laura Mueller says:

    Cool Word on the Street game. I know my daughter would love playing that one. Thanks for the great idea.

  7. Laura Shepherd says:

    Great ideas and such meaningful gifts. Thanks.

  8. Mindy Marschner says:

    Just found your blog via Virtual Book Club for Kids. I enjoyed reading your gift guide. I’m usually that Aunt that gives educational gifts at Christmas and birthdays!

  9. Jill.Washington says:

    Hi, thanks for posting this up, these are some great gift ideas for children, loved it!
    Found this on somebody’s pinterest board 🙂

  10. Shelly Rogers says:

    Thanks for the ideas! We have a daughter that is dyslexic an so I am always looking for sneaky and fun ways to get her to read and write. Love these ideas!:)

  11. Great products. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I am sharing a link to this post on my Facebook page. Thanks for the literacy building ideas!

  13. Dear Jodie, Thank you so very kindly for sharing my mom/teacher created product line Easy Daysies… created to help kids have easier days. 🙂 You have truly made my heart smile today. I truly appreciate your lovely blog post about Easy Daysies.
    Warmest Regards,
    Elaine Comeau

  14. Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. My kids would love word on the street junior. Thanks!

  16. What a great giveaway. I especially love the Easy Daysies and Felt Mailbox. Each item is great, and that is coming from both a mom and an early childhood educator!

  17. I would love this for my year old! We would love checking out Kid’s Kitchen, I’ll have to add it to my wishlist on Amazon!

  18. Taryn Tener says:

    As a teacher, and a mom, these are fantastic ideas. Would love to win the giveaway.

  19. What fun products! Thanks for sponsoring this giveaway!

  20. Those are really cool products! I especially like the game and think it would be great for my children.

  21. Jenel Meier says:

    Great products and ideas!

  22. Great products! Thanks for sharing!

  23. I enjoy gifts that have an element of learning. 🙂

  24. I love educational gifts. Thanks for this awesome opportunity to win some great products.

  25. I always like to give books, my oldest is getting a couple of Diary of a Wimpy kid books to add to her collection!

  26. Wow! Those are some really cool products! I’m such a book lover, and I really want my kids to love reading as much as their Dad and I do.

  27. These all look so awesome! I can’t even pick my favorite- my kids would love them all!


  28. These are all great ideas. One I was thinking of this year was alphabet stamps.

  29. Amanda Funai says:

    They look great – I was thinking of alphabet stamps for a present this year to promote literacy.

  30. These look like great products. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Happy Holidays!

  31. Bekki Lindner says:

    Great list of items!!

  32. Okay, that mailbox is the cutest thing I have ever seen!

  33. Awesome list of fun and educational toys. My nephew would love it!

  34. Miranda Gonzalez says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! Hope I win.

  35. Thank you for this opportunity!

  36. Thanks for the giveaway, these would be great for my newphews.

  37. Danielle Porter says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! My sister in law is a teacher and would love these for her new son! She’s getting married in June and will have a 6 year old!

  38. Jenel Meier says:

    These are wonderful products!! I hope I win!

  39. Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. Lacey Austin Behl says:

    Love these products!!

  41. I already had Babba Boxes on our Christmas list for the kids. But Little Passports is cheaper and works very similarly. Even if I don’t win anything in this giveaway, I’ve got a good new idea for my kiddos.

  42. These would all make great gifts!

  43. Karyn Lowe says:

    I am going to get the subscription to Kids Discover for my daughter. She loves science and anything i can do to encourage that, I will. Thanks for this list! I would have never found that childrens magazine without it.

  44. Love your selection of gifts.

  45. nichol tone says:

    Would love any of these gifts

  46. Love the felt mailbox play set – I’ve never seen one made of felt. My girls would love these giveaways!

  47. Ashley Schein says:

    Thank you for the giveaway.

  48. Thanks for the giveaway

  49. What a great giveaway! I had never heard of some of these products and now I have some great gift ideas.

  50. Stephanie G says:

    I LOVE your picks. I am a homeschooling mom to four little girls, and on a shoestring budget…this would help me so much! Good luck to everyone!

  51. veronica cummings says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!! Many of these things would be great for our homeschool.

  52. Debbie Ritenour says:

    A wonderful, well wrote post and a fun giveaway! Thank you!

  53. I love this, hope to win, thanks so much:)

  54. Corey Olomon says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful and interesting ideas.

  55. caitlin tate says:

    Thanks for all of the great ideas!

  56. my son loves to read

  57. These look amazing! I am passing on the links to my daughter so that she can decide which would be best for my grandson. I see some shopping in my future.


  58. Diana Hatch says:

    THanks for the giveaway!

  59. coni guerin says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  60. Shareen Mioskowski says:

    Such great and useful products in this giveaway!! Love them, thanks for a chance to win them!!

  61. Fun! Thanks for this giveaway!

  62. Thanks for the giveaway. My 3 & 6 1/2 year would love all these products!

  63. Nichol Mattson says:

    These are such great ideas! Thanks for holding this giveaway.

  64. Mandy Melton says:

    Awesome giveaway – My daughter would so enjoy these!

  65. these are some great gift items, thanks for sharing

  66. Audrey Griffis says:

    wow what a giveaway how nice i love teh lunch box note ideas and the creat a story oh wow thanks for the chance

  67. Anitha Kuppuswamy says:

    Great giveaway!

  68. Barbara Blanton says:

    Great giveaway! Thank you for the chance 🙂

  69. Bridgette Butcher says:

    Would love to win this for my daughter!



  70. Jillian Taylor says:

    Thanks for the giveaway I would love to have any of these gifts for my daughter.

  71. Heather Wone says:

    What a great giveaway! Thank you!!!

  72. What an exciting and generous give away! Thanks for sharing so many good things 🙂

  73. These look like some really fun games!

  74. Christina Anne D says:

    Cool ideas for gifts:) Really fun too! Thanks for the giveaway and like u on fb (i’m anne dall on fb)
    annejk112233 at yahoo dot com

  75. sarah buki says:

    LOVE the felt mailbox!

  76. I have a 7 year old girl that would LOVE this for Christmas!

  77. What fun ideas :). Thanks for the chance!

  78. Danielle Jones says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  79. super cute giveaway! My kids would love these goodies!

  80. Wonderful giveaway! I’ve been considering these for my sons.

  81. Megan Parsons says:

    I would love to win this for my kids!

  82. I have played word on the street with my parents and their friends before. Great game! I didn’t know they had a junior version though! I will have to look for it for my kids!

    Thanks so much for your giveaway, great picks! These look so neat! Definitely something the kids will have fun with and learn at the same time!


  83. larissa brunken says:

    I think a lot of people tend to overlook gifts that require reading, writing and creativity. I love all these great gift ideas. Thank you for a chance

    Lmbrunken at gmail dot com

  84. Tabatha Carlson says:

    What a great gift to win!


  85. Jess McCarthy says:

    We love books- I take the boys to the library every week! They also love the Bare Books. They have inspired so much fun!

  86. Kim Pollock says:

    This is awesome. Would love to win this for more kids!

  87. Love all the items – the Felt Mailbox Play Set isso cute! I just love it

  88. Thanks for the giveaway!

  89. Great giveaway! Thanks for the ideas.

  90. thanks for the chance. what good ideas for promoting literacy

  91. Would love to win. Thank you.

  92. Nichole Bentley says:

    Love the Felt Mailbox Set!

  93. These sound like lots of fun!

  94. What wonderful, educational gifts!

  95. Thanks for the really great gift ideas! I always try to get my children and the children in my family something meaningful and educational and these seem perfect 🙂

  96. michelle gilliland mcafee says:

    Great giveaway. These are some good ideas. Thank you for sharing!!!

  97. Sara McManaway says:

    OH! I hope I win, I HOPE you are still accepting entries! My son has been work so hard on his reading and would love to win these prizes for him!

  98. I love the write me a story!

    momlovesdeals at gmail dot com

  99. This is cute my kids would enjoy it 🙂

  100. i hope I’m not too late. Sounds like a wonderful prize pack.

  101. These look like so much fun – thanks for the giveaway!

  102. Diana Campbell says:

    I would love to try these with my children. Thanks!

  103. Awesome

  104. These look super fun 🙂

  105. I would love to win this for my daughter, thanks!

  106. debra daigle says:

    would love to win any of these for my twin boys!

  107. Thank you so much How amazingly kind of you. I tested all of the recipes in Kids’ Kitchen with children, in a school on the Outer Hebridean Isle of South Uist (Western Isles Scotland).


  1. […] forget to enter the giveaway for some great literacy gifts.  November 27, 2012 is the last day to […]