5 Reasons Books are the Best Gifts for Multilingual Kids

Books are my favorite gift to give for any occasion, especially for families raising multilingual children.

Although kids are often more excited about getting toys, books are always my go-to gift.

This is because gifting books sends a clear message that literacy is important.

Books best gift Christmas kids multilingual bilingual

For multilingual families, gifting books in the minority language is particularly special.

In monolingual countries like the United State, books in other languages are hard to come by.

Therefore, gifting a children’s book in the minority language suggests that the gift givers have gone out of their way to find these books!

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Here are 5 more reasons books are the best gifts for multilingual kids:

1. Books are good for your brain

This is a no brainer!

Books teach facts, stimulate imagination, and expand our understanding of the world.

In addition, reading aloud improves listening and speaking skills significantly.

2.  Books broaden vocabulary that might not otherwise be in your everyday conversation

Think about your typical conversations with your children.  How much time do you spend coming up with each sentence?  Not much, right? 

Since we just say what we have to say, we typically don’t deliberate over our words compared to writers.

Through books, we get to read and hear thoughtfully selected adjectives and eloquent sentences that stretch our vocabulary!

Related: Transitioning from Dominant to Minority Language

3.  Books are necessary for creating a language learning environment

Multilingual families living in monolingual countries, such as in the United States, often struggle with maintaining minority languages.

Chances are that your kids see signs and words primarily in the dominant language.

In our family, Chinese and Korean are the minority languages, and our kids only see those languages at home.

However, when children are surrounded by words in the minority language, they will be more likely to ask, wonder, and talk about it.

Therefore, building a home library in the minority language is essential to fostering a love of learning.

Offer a variety of books to motivate your child to read!

Related: Luka Reading Robot is a Game Changer for Bilingual Chinese-English Families

4.  Books are environmentally-friendly and non-toxic

Honking plastic toys are huge a pet peeve of many parents!

Unfortunately, popular toys tend to be noisy and annoying, unimaginative, and outgrown quickly.

As a result, when kids stop playing with them, all of the extra plastic ends up in the landfill.

Thankfully, books are relatively green!

Related: Play Area / Homeschool Room Before and After: 11 Tips for Decluttering

5.  Books can be reopened again, and again, and again!

When you finish reading a book, it’s not over!  I love re-reading books with my children and seeing what things they notice on the second, third, and other future reads.

Different pictures may catch their eye, and they ask new questions about the storyline!

Books are the best gift for kids of all ages, espeically bilingual and multilingual kids

In summary, books are the best gift for multilingual kids!  What are your family’s favorites?  Please share in the comments below!

FREE CHINESE AUDIOBOOKS

Many websites and apps offer FREE multilingual books for kids!

Ximalaya FM is our favorite, and I highly recommend their free Chinese audiobooks for all kids!

Since the entire website and app is in Chinese, please refer to this guide on How to Use Ximalaya if you cannot read Chinese.

Where to buy Chinese books for kids

For all book recommendations, please explore our favorite Chinese books for kids and follow my Instagram book account @chalkacademybooks for special highlights!

If you’re wondering where to buy kids’ books, please click here for a list of the most popular online Chinese bookstores!

favorite open-ended toys for kids

Holiday shopping guide for kids

If you’re shopping for holiday gifts, check out our educational gift guides!

Happy learning, friends!

7 Comments

  1. Hi Betty, I feel you are speaking of my mind while I read this post. Thanks for categorising the benefits of having books as gift to bilingual kids. So far my 23-months old daughter likes Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and the series of Spot (the yellow puppy).

    1. Hi Victoria! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! My son loves the Spot series! I also love the Love You Forever book though I have a hard time fighting back tears at the end!

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