Essential Picks for Your Baby’s First Library

babys first library

It’s common knowledge that reading is a fundamental part of learning for young children, but did you know that it’s just as important for babies? During the first year of life, a child’s brain develops at a rapid pace. Reading facilitates brain growth, expanding the synapses and positively impacting various developmental areas. It aids in speech development, teaches them about emotions, and even helps their vision. Plus, reading a baby book to your baby will help foster a lifetime love of learning, and it’s a great bonding experience, too!

Given how important reading is for babies, it’s no wonder there are countless books to choose from. But, which titles will your little one really love? Here’s a look at some classics that you should definitely consider adding to your baby’s first library.

babys first library

Bear Snores On

Written by Karma Wilson, Bear Snores On is a wonderful addition to a baby’s library. While Bear is hibernating, several friends seek shelter from the stormy weather in his cave. Several furry critters have a feast while the Bear snores on, but he eventually wakes and joins in on the fun.

The text is full of rhymes, making for a sing-song delight that your baby will be sure to love.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle is a beloved author of children’s literature, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of his most popular titles. The story of a caterpillar who eats his way through tons of snacks until he becomes a butterfly, this book introduces babies to the scientific concept of metamorphosis, while teaching them to count. The illustrations are colorful and interactive, which further enhance the delight of this book.

Goodnight Moon

This Margaret Wise Brown book is a must for your baby’s library. It’s the story of a bunny who says goodnight to everything in his room and the world that lies outside his window, just like most little children do before they go to bed. The story is told in rhyme, which makes it more engaging, and the illustrations alternate between bold colors to black and white. This is truly a classic that you are going to want to have in your little one’s library.

babys first library

Goodnight, Gorilla

Peggy Rathmann tells the story of a sneaky gorilla who leads himself and his animal friends into a zookeeper’s house for a sleepover. The story is told almost entirely in pictures, which are beautifully drawn. Being that there are very little words, you have the opportunity to tell the story however you want to, making it fresh and exciting every time you read it.

A Personalized Book

A personalized baby book, with baby’s name added into the story makes a great addition to any child’s first book collection. Hearing their own name will draw them in, encouraging them to engage with the books more and creating a lifelong love of reading. Plus, as they age, the personalized book will become a treasured keepsake, which reminds them of the times you spent reading together!

Are You My Mother?

In this timeless story by P.D. Eastman, a baby bird is looking for his mother and meets several different animals during his search. The use of repetitive phrases throughout the story will help to build baby’s vocabulary and recall. It also allows him to learn that everyone has a mom, even animals.

These amazing pieces of children’s literature will serve as an excellent foundation for your baby’s first library and prepare you for tons of reading fun with your little one.

6 Reasons Why a Disney Princess Personalized Book is the Perfect Gift

disney princess personalized book

Disney princesses are the iconic stars of long-loved fairytales. So many children grow up with the tales of Cinderella and her handsome prince, Belle and the Beast, and Princess Jasmine’s adventures with Aladdin that Disney’s animated narratives of the classic tales have become the most popular and recognizable interpretations.

Celebrate your child’s love of these stories and the popular princesses with a personalized Disney princess book. Whether you’re giving the book as a birthday gift, a special reward, or just as a sweet surprise, children of all ages will excitedly dive into reading when they become part of the princess’ story and adventures.

While Belle reigns supreme as the most popular princess—as ranked by Buzzfeed readers—Ariel, Mulan, Rapunzel, and Jasmine round out the top five Disney favorites. With your favorite princess or prince into the storyline, you take children on the adventure through a ‘tale as old as time’ because…

1. Princesses are More Than Just Pretty Pictures

The best part of any Disney story is that every princess has her own personality and strengths. While even princesses face trials and tribulations, each of Disney’s leading ladies knows how to hold her own. Whether it’s Pocahontas saving John Smith or Mulan rebelling against the norm and taking the fight into her own hands, each story teaches a lesson on independence.

2. Happily Ever After is a Refreshing Ending

The world can be a scary place for kids, but Disney’s stories make happily ever after the norm. And a happy ending is a delightful and wonderful way to say goodnight before hitting the pillow at bedtime.

disney princess personalized book

3. Royalty is Real

Princesses and queens don’t just exist in between the pages. They are real and rule throughout the world. Disney princesses are a great way to introduce children to real life royalty who make an amazing impact in their countries. From Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria to the delightful Queen Margrethe of Denmark, royal women rule!

4. Reading is Regal!

A love of reading is important for parents to instill in children at an early age. Read aloud to children 15 minutes each day from birth and you help children develop the skills they need to read on their own later on. When children grow up with books in their lives, it sets them on a path to love stories…and reading.

5. Everyone Loves to be a Star.

Personalized books allow kids to be a character in the story…they may even be the hero! Hearing their name in the adventure draws them in and makes them listen even more closely to find out what adventure they will embark on with their favorite princess.

6. Disney Princess Personalized Books are Keepsakes.

Children will cherish their personalized book and story will become one of those prized keepsakes that becomes preserved and tucked away. A Disney Princess personalized book is a customized gift that may be passed on to later generations as a memento of the past.

Write your favorite prince or princess into their favorite Disney stories for a gift that will be enjoyed and loved for years. Disney Princess personalized books make unforgettable birthday gifts, sentimental surprises, and provide a unique way to allow a child become a part of their favorite and most beloved Disney fairytales.

Reading Games That Will Boost Your Child’s Vocabulary

Reading Games

Kids are fueled by an insatiable curiosity. While the barrage of questions hurled from the backseat during long road trips might drive parents a little crazy, those questions—the whys, the whats and the hows—help kids to satisfy their thirst for knowledge about the world around them. New words also fascinate children, and when kids begin reading it isn’t uncommon for them to read a new word and then inquire about the meaning.

For kids with precocious reading abilities, these decoding moments sometimes lead to funny moments. But regardless of a child’s reading level, parents should encourage their thirst for knowledge. The more expansive a child’s personal word bank, the better they can articulate their needs, feelings, and interests to others.

A child’s mind can suck up knowledge like a sponge. Exposure to a vast vocabulary during their younger years gives a hefty advantage to children later in life. While some parents have an educational advantage in assisting curious developing minds, helping a child learn new words and increase their vocabulary doesn’t require an advanced education or degree. Parents–like kids–just need to be willing to explore the never ending list of words found in the dictionary.

Learning new words should be fun. While skill and drill sessions with flash cards may eventually impress new words into a child’s brain, they certainly won’t enjoy the experience. For parents who seek to expand their child’s vocabulary, word games create a fun environment that allows kids to naturally expand their linguistic abilities.

From board games to online fun—and even a few DIY games you can create at home—here are the best games to play to help kids boost their vocabulary skills and help them learn (and spell) new words.

Reading Games

Board Games


We know many teachers who request Bananagrams for their classrooms. Letter tiles are packed in a cloth banana, and the object of the game is to create continuous interconnecting links of words. The game may be played with numerous players or solo.


It’s a race to see who can say the right word that fits the definition. The first person to ‘blurt’ the answer wins! This game is a great way for kids to learn new words and test their vocab knowledge. Blurt is best suited for kids ages 7 and up!

Boggle & Boggle, Jr.

Boggle is aimed for elementary kids (and beyond), and Boggle Jr. was created for preschoolers. Boggle Jr. requires kids to match the “letter cubes” to spell the name of a picture. Older kids playing Boggle have three minutes to discover as many words as possible within the word cube. Parents and kids may team up or face each other for a battle of words. Be sure to help kids understand and lookup any word you (or they) discover…keep those dictionaries handy!

Reading Games


The ultimate favorite word game, Scrabble allows kids (and adults) to create words from the tiles using letters in their possession or on the board. Scores are based on word length and difficulty. Keep a dictionary handy to ensure that only real words are being played…and to check definitions of new words.

Sight Word Swat

Sight words are the words that kids should be able to read instantly…on sight. Every school features a list of grade-level sight words that should be mastered by the year’s end. Give your child a bit of sight word practice with Sight Word Swat. Kids have to use their fly swatter to swat the sight word fly that corresponds to the word called out during the game.


Much like Scrabble, kids must see who can make (and chomp) the most words. Best for kids ages 5 and up, Spelligator encourages phonetic awareness and helps kids build spelling skills.

Reading Games

Online Reading Fun

Raz-Kids (Reading A to Z)

Most schools have a subscription to RAZ-Kids that kids may use at home. The site features interactive books that kids must listen to, then read, and finally take a comprehension quiz on. RAZ-Kids is a great site for building reading comprehension, phonetic awareness and overall reading skills. Kids advance through the site, going from level A to Z. Along the way, they also earn points which they can use to buy items for their online-based Raz Rocket.

PBS Kids

The Public Broadcasting Station’s online hub is filled with wonderful reading resources and games that help kids improve reading skills. Kids can create their own comic strip (from Maya & Miguel), read stories created by other kids (and write their own stories), make a movie with Buster (from Arthur) and much more! PBS is the premier learning site for kids…and the options for fun learning adventures are almost endless. Plus, kids will enjoy creating stories and reading adventures filled with their favorite television characters. Parents may also download the PBS app.

Reading Games

DIY Games

We promised you a few creative games. When making DIY reading games, you can use your imagination to create an entirely new game or just borrow a few of ours and modify them for your children. The goal is to make reading and learning new words a fun experience.

Match it Up

Buy colorful index cards or create cards out of cardstock. Now create matching cards with your child’s vocabulary words and their definitions…or just use words you would like them to learn. This is just like the Memory games you find at the store, and the goal is to find the word pairs. If you use new words that your child doesn’t know, be sure to talk about the meaning.

Prefix & Suffix Games

The online site YourDictionary suggests creating prefix and suffix cards for a unique word game challenge. Each child draws a card with either a prefix or suffix and then has a designated amount of time to create as many words as possible using the prefix or suffix on the card.

Synonym/Antonym Challenge

Create cards with various words (pull from a child’s vocab list or just use the dictionary). Each child must draw a card and write as many synonyms or antonyms to the words as possible in a designated time limit. Whoever creates the most words wins the round. For younger kids, encourage rhyming words instead of synonyms or antonyms.

Spelling Bee

On cold or rainy indoor days, host your own spelling bee! Grab a dictionary, provide the definition and have kids compete on spelling words! Not only will they learn new words and definitions, but they will also sharpen their spelling skills! This is a perfect game for budding wordsmiths.

All kids are naturally inquisitive and enjoy learning new facts and words. Encourage their curiosity and build their knowledge with games that help improve reading, spelling and vocabulary skills. Buy classic board games, go online or create your own games at home for fun, challenging, and wacky word play!