Gifts for Kids Who “Hate” To Read: Kindergarten to Grade 3

Oh, my. Nearly the entire fall has flashed by without a blog post. Some of the quietude is due to lack of creative motivation, but the bigger part is due to this:

235 book reviews!

Covid Summer was very good to us. Too good, if I’m honest! We had more than 40 volunteers and they sent us LOTS of reviews for middle grade and young adult titles. Many of those teens were students seeking community service hours, so it was really important to me that I get those reviews into our book bag and up on the website.

So now that I’m (mostly) caught up, it is time to jump into the holidays and holiday shopping. We are partial to giving books, and there are lots of great – actually, superb – gift guides out there for book lovers of all ages. So we’re going to share some ideas for kids who proclaim “I hate reading!”

This collection of ideas will work for kids from preschool through Grade 3 (ages 4 to 9). Although it may not look like it, there are literacy benefits hidden in each one.

For Spies, Scientists, and Other Curious Seekers

Detectives, spies, scientists, and naturalists have one thing in common: they have lots of questions! These kits tap into a child’s natural curiosity, mix in some pretend play (imagination), and help them grow their powers of observation and analytical skills, too. 



For Puzzlers

Picture puzzles are a fantastic way to bring literacy into playtime. Manipulating the pieces is a tried-and-true way to help them with abstract thinking (seeing the big picture), but also in building eye-hand coordination and strengthening fine motor skills for writing. There is a puzzle for every conceivable theme, so it is a great opportunity to tap into a subject your child already loves. Here are some links to help:

Another form of puzzles is brain teasers. Like picture puzzles, they will engage analysis and visualization. These puzzles will use different types of motor skills as the puzzler’s hands will be manipulating different kinds of objects and textures. 

These three products are just examples of different types of brain teasers. As you’ll notice, these are more “kit like,” offering the opportunity to make different things, not just one item.


For Artists, Performers and Other Creatives

Sketchpads, notebooks, coloring books, and cookbooks are always a great option for kids who like to draw, write or spend time in the kitchen. Just in case your children will see “school” in those pages, we have some other ideas that are sure to “draw” out their creativity.

Following directions – step-by-step guides, sheet music, scripts, cookbooks – involves reading. Even if it is pictures, not words. Kids don’t associate this with reading, which is a win for us!   

  • Classes. Whether it is learning a musical instrument, singing, drawing, or cake decorating, many local artisans offer online classes for kids.
  • Activity Kits. From fuzzy balls to model planes to meal-kit subscriptions there is a kit that lets kids create. 




NOTICE: All links go to will donate a portion of your purchase to the Reading Tub. Your purchase supports our literacy mission. Because we are all volunteers, 100% of all income goes to our family literacy mission.