Six Ways to Gift Literacy to Your Kids this Valentine’s Day


On the Seacoast, February means cold weather, lots of snow, and one of our kids’ favorite holidays – Valentine’s Day. Along with the small chocolate treats and sweets, one thing I always include with my kids’ Valentines is something to enhance their literacy. This article details six ways to gift literacy to your child this valentines day.

As parents, we are our child’s first teacher. We know that working on early literacy skills like talking, rhyming, singing, and reading (to name a few) with our kids is one of the best ways to prepare them for writing and reading later on. 

And as our kids grow, it’s equally important to encourage literacy skills practice. As a mom and former classroom teacher, slipping in ways to work on this at home is something that I’m always trying to do. 

Here are my six super simple ideas to gift literacy to your kids this Valentine’s Day. 

Six Ways to Gift Literacy to Your Kids this Valentine’s Day


Reading is one of the best things we can do with our kids and you can’t go wrong giving them a book for Valentine’s Day. Wrap up a story about the holiday, one of your old favorites, or simply gift a book that aligns with their interests. My oldest is getting a PJ Masks storybook this year and I am completely okay with that! Giving an older child a gift card to pick out their own new book works as well. 

If you want to take this present a step further, try creating a reading nook somewhere in your home. A space that is just for your kids with book baskets or shelves and a comfy new blanket or beanbag would make the perfect place to curl up with a good book. 

Local Tip – Check out Waterstreet Books in Exeter or G. Willikers! Books and Toys in Portsmouth for some wonderful options. 

books to gift literacy
A book makes a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day.

A Journal or Stationery Set

Sometimes having a new special journal is just the spark needed to inspire a young writer – or struggling writer. Whether they share what they’ve written or save it for themselves, using a journal to keep their writing in one place can make the task more fun. 

Additionally, unwrapping a beautiful stationery set or unique paper and pen is bound to make your kiddo want to write. Writing an old fashioned letter is a great way to practice this skill and connect with others. 

Local Tip – Gus and Ruby in Portsmouth has beautiful gifts your kids will love. 

Library Passes to an Experience

Did you know that local libraries offer discounted tickets to many nearby attractions? They do! You can find great deals on places like New Hampshire Children’s Museum, New England Aquarium, and Museum of Science, just to name a few. Hop on your library’s website to make a reservation and then bring your kiddos along to pick up the passes. While you’re there, help them find a book to go along with the experience. Borrow a book about sea life if you’re going to the aquarium or a book about dinosaurs if you’re headed to the science museum. 

Local Tip – As long as you’re a member, any Seacoast library should have options for discounted passes to various events and experiences. Check out the Portsmouth Public Library for a good example. 

Games, Puzzles, and Apps

What could be more fun than a new game, puzzle, or app to play with? Try a puzzle that has letters or words to help with letter recognition and sounds. Scrabble, Apples to Apples Junior, and Taboo are just a few fun games that also help with spelling, vocabulary, listening, and speaking (check out more ideas here). And there are tons of fabulous apps that support reading and writing for kids! This article has some great examples. 

Local Tip – Diversions in Portsmouth has an amazing selection of games and puzzles for kids. 

puzzles to gift literacy
Puzzles can be a great way to sneak in literacy practice at home.

Magazine Subscription 

My oldest was recently given a subscription to National Geography Kids and he loves it. Getting his very own mail makes his day and he’s always excited to read as soon as it arrives. This gift idea could work for any age and with countless magazine options to choose from, you can really tailor this gift to your child’s interests. In addition to National Geographic Kids, we love Babybug and Ranger Rick Jr. at our house. This article gives tons of great magazine suggestions for kids. 

Local Tip – Do you have an older kiddo who loves hockey? Try New England Hockey Journal. An older child who loves art? A subscription to Art New England might be just the right gift for Valentine’s Day. 

Art Supplies

Another sneaky way I get my kids to work on their literacy at home – by using art supplies. Drawing and scribbling is an important stage of writing development. As kids grow, painting and drawing can double as work on writing. Using play dough or clay can easily turn into storytelling. And sometimes having something new to work with is inspiring. My two young boys were given an easel over the holidays and now they can’t get enough. 

Local Tip – Toy stores like Treehouse Toys in Portsmouth, Noggin Factory Toy Shop in Exeter, and G. Willikers! Books and Toys in Portsmouth are good options for finding art supplies for kids. 

Final Thoughts

You can also gift literacy to your kids without buying anything at all. Suggest they create homemade cards with written messages and drawings for their family and friends. Use materials that you already have at home and brighten someone’s day by delivering it in person. gifting literacy at home can be just as simple as that. 

How are you encouraging literacy with your kids this Valentine’s Day?

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I’m a Maine native and after a long stretch of time living in Chicago, I feel lucky to again call the Seacoast my home. I currently live in Kennebunk with my husband, two sons, and a spaniel mix who truly believes he is a furry big brother to our boys. I hold a Master of Education degree from the University of Maine and as a certified English and Special Education teacher, a passion of mine has always been helping students and connecting them to reading and writing. Free time is best spent in the sunshine with family and friends, curled up with a good book, eating my husband’s incredible cooking, or creatively writing for the kids in my life. Being a mom is the most challenging and amazing job I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.