Book Traditions to Start With Your Kids

Books are such an important part of my life, and now in the life of my daughter. We read every day, both together and separately. I won’t lie, our book collection may be a little out of control! However, I love introducing her to new books and there are lots of ways that the people in our lives have made books a fun tradition. Whether you are just starting a library or already have years of reading together, there are several ways you can make books exciting for kids. These are some of our favorite book traditions. Some have already been started for my daughter and some I hope to start in the future!

Books Before Baby

Baby Shower Books – My sister and my mother are avid bookworms like I am, so it was important for us to start my daughter off with a great library full of books. When they threw me a baby shower to honor my little one, they asked our friends and family to bring a book for her library instead of a card. This started us out with a nice little library of books. My sister even found adorable Winnie the Pooh themed bookplates for guests to write a special message on and stick inside the book. I love when we come across one of the books in our daily reading and see a message from a loved one inside.

Baby Shower Gifts – It has long been a tradition of our family to give books as shower gifts. We love sharing some of our favorites so that they can enjoy reading with their little ones, just like we do. With all of the new subscription boxes available now, I have seen several companies which now offer gift subscriptions, allowing friends and family members to gift a family with new books to read every month.

Books for Babies

Buying Books while Pregnant – This is a tradition that I wish I had done while I was pregnant with my daughter. There are so many heartfelt books out there about the love between a mother and a child (I recently published a list of some great ones here). Buy a new book for your unborn baby every month while you are pregnant. You can practice reading to your baby, or save them up. Write an inscription on the inside of each book so you can share your thoughts and your dreams for your child for years to come.

Celebrating the Monthly Milestones – This is a tradition that my daughter’s godmother started for her when she was born. She doesn’t live near us, so every month on my daughter’s birthday, she sent her a package of new books. When she was old enough to recognize what the package meant, she was so excited to see what was inside. When she sent them with a gift message through Amazon, I taped the message on the inside of the book. Now when she opens the book and sees the message, she knows that her godmother is thinking of her!

Books for Special Occasions

Holiday Books – If you are a regular reader on the blog, you know that I love holiday books! I believe that books provide a great way to teach kids about the traditions and symbols of holidays, so I frequently offer suggestions of great holiday books to share. I try to purchase a new book for each holiday, so that each season I can rotate out our books and we can read about the next holiday.

Books for Big Milestones – There are so many amazing children’s books out there these days, so it is not difficult to find a great book about any milestone in a child’s life. To celebrate the big milestones, you could purchase a new book and write an inscription or memory inside. This could include losing a tooth, starting at a new school, winning/participating in a science fair, taking dance lessons, starting a new sport, etc. The options are endless! You could share these books with your kids as you purchase them, or save them up to give to them when they are older. How fun would it be to look back at this library of books celebrating the milestones in your life?

Some great options for this include:


Books for Big Events

Preparing Kids for What’s to Come – Books are an amazing tool to prepare kids for big changes or events in their lives. When we have something big coming up that I need to prepare my daughter for, I like to use a great book to introduce her to it. Recently my daughter had her first trip to the dentist. For several days before we went, we talked about the dentist office and read books about trips to the dentist. By the time we made it to the office, she knew exactly who she was there to see and what the dentist was going to do. Now it has become a tradition to read her dentist and doctor books whenever we are preparing for another office visit.

When I was little, my parents used books to introduce big events to us as well. I still have the book they gave me to prepare me for my little sister being born. Reading books about a new baby helped me make the transition to becoming a big sister. They also purchased books for my sister and I before we got a dog. By giving kids the opportunity to learn about big events through books, you can help ease them into it. They will also be able to look back at the big events in their life through their collection of books.

Books as Souvenirs

Books from Trips – My parents love to travel, and they love to bring presents back for my daughter. When she was first born, they decided that their new vacation tradition would be to find a book about the area they are visiting and bring it home for her. My mother loves a challenge, so while it may be difficult, they have managed to find one on each of their trips so far. When they bring the book home, she types up a message for my daughter, sharing fun tidbits about their trip and sticks it into the book. My sister has also started to take part in this tradition, bringing my daughter a book from her recent trip to Scotland. I love that she is able to learn about all of these amazing places, while knowing that her grandparents and aunt are thinking about her. 

Books for Travels

Books for Traveling – I have vivid memories of packing “car bags” for our vacations as a kid. I always fit as many books, notepads and activity books as possible into a bag, assuming that I would read through everything in the first hour and get bored. (My sister and I would bring 2-3 books in the car if we were traveling to visit family 45 minutes away, so for long trips we would go nuts).

It became a tradition for us to go to the bookstore before going out of town so we could stock up on new books to read. Not being allowed to read them until we left on vacation made us excited for the traveling part! It didn’t matter if we had a 6 hour car ride, because we knew that we had new books just waiting to be read. I still continue this practice whenever I travel (right down to not allowing myself to read them until the vacation begins)! You can also prepare kids for a vacation by reading books about the places you will go or the things you will do. I recently posted a list of books on transportation that may help prepare kids for upcoming trips.


Books as Memories


Teachers Signing a Book – This idea is something you have probably seen floating around social media, and it is definitely something I want to try to do for my daughter. Pick out an inspirational picture book for your child. Each year, have their teachers, coaches, Scout leaders, etc, write a special message on one of the pages. Give them the book when they graduate from high school.


Books & School

First Day of School Books – The first day of school can be an exciting and nerve-wracking time for kids. To start the new year off on the right foot, share a special book the night before. There are lots of great books about the first day of school, and sharing one together can provide you with a fun tradition to look forward to. Plus, summer can wreak havoc on our routines, so settling in together to share a book before bed can help get everyone back on a good schedule for the school year.

Books for Good Report Cards – When we were kids, our parents rewarded our good grades with a trip to the bookstore. We loved browsing through all of the books and selecting a special one to take home. By recognizing our accomplishments, it made us proud and encouraged us to work hard. Plus our reward lead to more reading and learning! Win-win for everyone!

There are so many fun ways that you can incorporate books and reading into your child’s life in fun and interesting ways. I have such fond memories of receiving books for special occasions or as a reward for my hard work, and I hope that my daughter will too. Do you have any book traditions in your family? Share in the comments!


  • Emily

    July 10, 2017 at 9:05 am Reply

    Books as Souvenirs…the perfect idea! Then you don’t have extra junk around the house, but a great book to enjoy. And every time you read the book you can think of and talk about the trip!

    We have a board book about the market in Seattle. I think of our trip out west every time we read it!

    • Vicki

      July 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm Reply

      That’s awesome! I’m so glad my daughter has these books that she can refer back to over and over!

  • Jessica Peresta

    July 10, 2017 at 9:39 am Reply

    I love all of these ideas! You always give such great suggestions and are so informative with keeping me in the loop with what kid books are out there!

    • Vicki

      July 10, 2017 at 12:14 pm Reply

      Aw, thank you so much! I love sharing what I find in the world of kid lit!

  • Jenn

    July 10, 2017 at 9:47 am Reply

    I’m very thankful that all my kiddos love to read!

  • Marla | Because I Said So Baby

    July 10, 2017 at 1:33 pm Reply

    We did the “bring a book instead of a card” for my baby shower and it was a great way to collect a ton of books before my 1st was born and we had everyone fill out little stickers to put inside. Even now we still like to re-read the dedications to our toddler!

    • Vicki

      July 10, 2017 at 8:00 pm Reply

      It’s so fun to be able to share the dedications with them years later!

  • Lauren | also known as mama

    July 10, 2017 at 2:33 pm Reply

    I think this is my favorite of all of your posts! I love an excuse to buy my kids books. My mom has a tradition of sending my kids holiday themed care packages (even though she only lives one city over!) and they always have a themed book in them. So special!

    • Vicki

      July 10, 2017 at 8:01 pm Reply

      Aw, thank you so much! The themed care packages sound like so much fun! I love a good theme!

  • Lisa

    July 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm Reply

    These are great picks!

  • Sarah Clouser

    July 10, 2017 at 7:47 pm Reply

    I LOVE the books from trips idea and how your mom includes notes about the place. What a great idea!! My family and I love to travel, so I think I need to start implementing this!

    • Vicki

      July 10, 2017 at 8:02 pm Reply

      I hope you have fun with it! It has become a fun challenge for her to find a new book wherever they are.

  • Mal

    July 11, 2017 at 3:37 am Reply

    My mother threw me the same kind of literary baby shower and I absolutely loved it!! I couldn’t believe all the incredible books we got in lieu of cards. It was amazing 🙂

    • Vicki

      July 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm Reply

      It’s so fun to have a library started before your baby even arrives!

  • Chryssy |

    July 11, 2017 at 9:19 am Reply

    These are some really great book ideas! We have so many books from when our first born was young, so when we buy books for our son, we want them to mean something. We don’t want to add more clutter; we want to add more meaning. I’m totally pinning this one! I’ll be coming back!

    • Vicki

      July 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm Reply

      Thank you! I totally agree about the clutter, so I like the books I buy to have meaning too!

  • Brooks

    July 11, 2017 at 11:21 am Reply

    For my baby shower, rather than a guest book, my mom bought “hop on pop” & “are you my mother?” And my guests signed inside the cover. SO cute! I love all your ideas!

    • Vicki

      July 11, 2017 at 12:55 pm Reply

      That is such an adorable idea! How great to have those mementos!

  • Joanna Clute

    July 11, 2017 at 11:38 am Reply

    I had a friend who’s parents bought her a book every single holiday. Even when she got older, and she loved it every time. She is an avid reader because of it.

    • Vicki

      July 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm Reply

      That is awesome! I’m hoping that it will feed my daughter’s love of reading as well!

  • Jalisa

    July 11, 2017 at 4:55 pm Reply

    These books are perfect. I already see a few I would want for myself lol.

  • Chevelle

    July 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm Reply

    Love these! I have started to gift books more and inscribe them with a special note. I love the idea about buying them when you travel. What a long-lasting souvenir. Love it!

    • Vicki

      July 12, 2017 at 1:48 pm Reply

      I love that my daughter will have this great collection from her family’s travels!

  • Meredith

    July 12, 2017 at 5:19 pm Reply

    OMG I LOVE THIS!!! I love all these ideas! Two that I’ve done: A book from daughter for every father’s day (and I write in there which father’s day it is), and every easter (buy an easter book, same thing, write in it what we did for easter, etc.). I LOVE THIS POST!!!

    • Vicki

      July 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm Reply

      Thank you so much! I love those ideas! I will have to start writing about each year’s holiday celebrations in our holiday books!

  • Joanna

    July 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm Reply

    Love these! We have done baby shower books at each of our kids’ showers and I love to look back on them with messages that people have written.

    • Vicki

      July 13, 2017 at 6:21 pm Reply

      That’s so sweet! I love reading the messages in my daughter’s books too.

  • Alyx Tschirhart

    July 14, 2017 at 8:09 am Reply

    Books are everything to me! Anytime I see books in a store, I have to stop and go thru some of the titles to see which jump out at me for my little cousins. Any chance I get, I am buying them books.
    When the time comes for me to start my family, I will definitely need to build a separate room to act as a library in my house!

    • Vicki

      July 14, 2017 at 1:17 pm Reply

      I totally understand that! I can’t stop buying adorable children’s books. I used to collect them for a classroom someday, now my daughter is reaping the benefits!

  • beth tucker

    July 14, 2017 at 8:09 am Reply

    great ideas! I never mind buying books for my kids, and love looking back at their baby and little kid books 🙂

    • Vicki

      July 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm Reply

      Thanks! I love that my daughter has a collection that is full of memories.

  • mjchristine

    July 14, 2017 at 5:16 pm Reply

    thanks for sharing this! I just saved some of the books you listed, I’m very excited to have my little one soon and read books with her 🙂

    • Vicki

      July 14, 2017 at 6:45 pm Reply

      Congrats! I hope you enjoy lots of read alouds in your future!

  • Brittany Ferrell

    July 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm Reply

    I love this! Books are so completely immersed in all of my childhood memories and I try to create the same experience for my daughter. I think that books are a great way to commemorate special occasions. I love the idea of getting a book as a souvenir for your travels. I am stealing that idea!

    • Vicki

      July 14, 2017 at 6:46 pm Reply

      I hope you have a lot of fun with it! I love that my daughter has all of these great books as mementos!

  • Alicia Trautwein

    July 15, 2017 at 12:31 am Reply

    Love it! My kids always ask for books, so I have started requesting books instead of cards. I love reading with the kids. We would live in a library if we didn’t have to be quiet, lol!

    • Vicki

      July 15, 2017 at 8:47 am Reply

      I totally agree! If my daughter and I keep adding to our collection, we may be living in a library soon!

  • Courtney

    July 18, 2017 at 10:58 am Reply

    Omg love it!!! My daughter is book obsessed which makes me so happy since I’m a huge reader myself!! I love buying new books and adding them to her mini library in her room!!!

    • Vicki

      July 18, 2017 at 1:39 pm Reply

      I am book obsessed too which seems to be rubbing off on my daughter!

  • Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries

    July 18, 2017 at 11:00 am Reply

    Love these ideas. For my baby shower, I had guests bring books instead of other gifts!

    • Vicki

      July 18, 2017 at 1:39 pm Reply

      I still treasure all of the books that I got from my baby shower!

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