It's my humble opinion that the best gift a child can receive is a book. But let's face it, kids also want to get toys! Pairing a children's book with a coordinating toy is a fun and unexpected way to surprise a child. Choose a theme that appeals to your children's interests. Do they like sleuthing? Are they interested in geography or crafts? Once you have your theme, it's easy to find just the right book and activity to create an extra special gift.
Here are seven choices for book-toy sets, and even if they are not the right fit for your child I hope they will inspire you to look for something that fits your child's currents passion. The gifts below are designed for children ages 5-7.
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Book and Toy Gift Sets for Kids
Find it: Encyclopedia Brown | Pretend & Play Super Sleuth Kit
This may be my favorite book-toy combo yet. Detectives in training will enjoy Encyclopedia Brown as either a read aloud or an independent read. Equip tiny but mighty sleuths with their own Pretend & Play Super Sleuth Kit
Find it: Klutz Make Your Own Mini Erasers! and Little Red Pen.
Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel's tale of office supplies gone rogue is so funny and a true joy to read aloud. Your child will love listening to the story and then make mini erasers to act out their own office supply comedies!
Find it: Cat Crimes Logic Game | I Hate My Cats: A Love Story.
If your family owns a cat, your child will adore this clever picture book about all the ways cats steal our hearts with their quirky ways. Cat Crimes is a wonderful single person logic game that our cat-loving household cannot get enough of. Players solve feline crimes using deduction methods reminiscent of old-school grid logic puzzles.
Find it: Potato Pants and Potato Clock.
Potato Pants is a hilarious picture book that my son loved so much he read it out loud to me. Use the antics of the pants-less potato to encourage your child to engage in science. When they make their own potato clock they might actually get up in time for school. (This book is also excellent for preschoolers. For younger kids the obvious choice is a Mr. Potato Head!)
Find it: Zoey and Sassafras and a Science lab activity set
Intrepid Zoey from Zoey and Sassafras uses the scientific method to learn how to take care of magical animals in this early chapter book series. If your 5-7 year old isn't quite ready to read independently, read the book out loud and inspire them to conduct their own scientific experiments with a fun science set.
Find it: Extra Yarn | Yarn Craft Kit.
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett is a whimsical picture book about the magical power of knitting! No doubt kids will want to undertake their own yarn bombing project after reading it. Enable their imagination with a Yarn Craft Kit.
Find it: National Geographic Kids World Atlas | Globe Puzzleball
If you want your kids to know that Africa is not a country, be sure to nurture a knowledge of geography Take geography it to the next level and pair an atlas with this awesome map puzzle like a Globe Puzzleball.
Find it: Swirl by Swirl | Spirograph Set
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman is a fascinating and beautiful look at patterns in nature. Poems describe all kinds of spirals, from fiddleheads to galaxies! Naturally (pun), kids will immediately want to create their own designs with the totally awesome and retro Spirograph Set. (Remember those?)
Find it: If I Built a Car | ZOOBMobile Car Designer Set
If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen, is a boisterous picture book written in rhyme about out-of this world automotive design possibilities. The imaginative story will certainly inspire your little inventor to create his or her own amazing car with a DIY set that lets them build their very own souped up car!
Samantha @Stir the Wonder says
oooh! If I built a car! Never heard of that book before but I think my son would love it! Great list!
Erica MomandKiddo says
Thanks, Samantha. Your son will be building fantastical cars after he reads the book.
I really, really love these book and toy combinations!!!
maryanne @ mama smiles says
You write the best gift guides! Love these combinations!
Jodie @ Growing Book by Book says
What a fun list. I love the idea of pairing a toy with a book!
Erica MomandKiddo says
Thanks. It's my favorite way to give a toy.
WHAT AN AMAZING IDEA!! 🙂 Simply brilliant. I am definitely doing this in the future. I also have to check out Extra Yarn!
Erica MomandKiddo says
Thank you, Blayne! Extra Yarn is an awesome book.
Brilliant pairings! I had Encyclopedia Brown in my book list today, but now I am contemplating a kit 🙂
Ruby Zhang says
It's such a fun way to combine reading with toys. My son has read the series of National Geography for Kids. Next time, I will give him Globe Puzzleball as a gift. Thanks for your great idea.