Books are my favorite gift to give for any occasion, especially for multilingual kids. 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.
This post is the first of a 4-part gift guide series:
- 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gift for Multilingual Kids
- Favorite Educational Montessori Inspired Toys from Etsy
- Ultimate Gift Guide for Kids Learning Chinese!
- 10 Best Toys For Children That Promote Creativity and Learning
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!
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!
3. Books are necessary for creating a Language Learning Ecosystem
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 curious about the language naturally. Therefore, building a home library in the minority language is essential to fostering a love of learning. Make sure to have options; offer a variety of books for your child to choose from!
4. Books are environmentally-friendly and non-toxic
Honking plastic toys are huge a pet peeve of mine! Unfortunately, popular toys tend to be noisy and annoying, unimaginative, and outgrown quickly. As a result, when kids stop playing with them, there’s all of this extra plastic in the donation bin and landfill!
Thankfully, books are relatively green!
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 kids and seeing what things they notice on second, third, and other future reads. Different pictures may catch their eye, and they ask new questions about the storyline!
In summary, books are the best gift for multilingual kids! What are your family’s favorites? Please share in the comments below!
If you’re looking for Chinese book recommendations for children, you can find our favorites by clicking here!
Please also check out my friend Peggy’s post about a fun and environmentally-friendly way to celebrate Advent Countdown! She has created a Christmas Countdown with 25 books wrapped in clothes that her daughter has outgrown! You can read more about the details and her other helpful ideas on raising a bilingual child here.
Looking for other gift ideas? Check out our recommended educational gifts!
Happy learning, friends!