I’m looking for ideas for gifts for babies and children (both older and younger). Mostly looking for things that are helpful spiritually. We usually give a copy of Daddy Tried along with something else when someone has a new baby and I’d be interested in more ideas. We’ve got a family member’s baby dedication soon (little boy less than a year old), a 12-year-old boy in our church being baptised, and 1, 2, 3-year-old birthdays of family members all upcoming soon. Maybe good kids music? Books? Suggestions please!
For the 12yo, Bob Schultz’s books, Created for Work and Boyhood and Beyond are excellent devotional books!
Perhaps it’s the Dutch Reformed in me, but I’ve always found the Heidelberg Catechism to be one of the best ways to teach doctrine to kids starting around 8-10, while at the same time being highly devotional(as opposed to Westminster, which tends to be doctrinal only).
This book by Kevin DeYoung is a great introduction and help in teaching the Catechism, and would make a great gift to parents.
If your church has Baptist leanings, you may benefit from this set of kids memorization books from Founders Press: https://press.founders.org/shop/truth-and-grace-tag-memory-books-3-book-set/
Their are 3 books that are targeted for different ages. Each contains a catechism, a set of verses, and a handful of hymns for memorization. Book 1 has Hulse’s Catechism for Boys and Girls, book 2 has a Baptist rewrite of the Westminster shorter catechism, and the third has a Baptist rewrite of the Heidelberg. And of course, “Baptist rewrite” means that the catechisms are generally unchanged from the originals except for questions about baptism and church polity.
Peter Spier’s Noah’s Ark and The Story of Jonah are two books I would highly recommend for the under 9 crowd.
Jamie Soles’ Scripture-based music is pretty good and not too hard for parents to listen to. And my boys all really enjoy what My Soul Among Lions is doing.
Rachel Jankovic’s books Loving the Little Years and Fit to Burst would be great for moms. Also Doug & Nancy Wilson’s new book, Why Children Matter, for moms and dads. You might also consider giving books that address family more broadly, like Robert Farrar Capon’s Bed and Board, or even something fictional that will extol domesticity like Mother Carey’s Chickens (Kate Douglas Wiggin) or Re-Creations (Grace Livingston Hill). Young mothers today need all the help and encouragement they can get to swim upstream of the culture and create a home that is pretty, comfortable, nourishing, and safe for their families.
We like gifting The Duties of Parents by J. C. Ryle to new parents - and rereading it often ourselves! The Church History ABCs is a good picture book option for kindergarten/early elementary kids.
Seeds Family Worship CDs are another good idea for most ages.
One that our family enjoys and has gifted often is The Biggest Story by Kevin Deyoung. There is also an ABC board book for younger children that is based on it and a film that is just the text of the book with animation based on the illustrations (which are beautiful). My kids enjoy them all.
Steve Green has a two volume Scripture memory CDs they are called Hide Em’ in Your Heart. I can leave an amazon link.
There is also a three volume set which are Scripture lullabies. Our boys love them.
Some books I can recommend are:
- Show them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids by Jack Klumpenhower
- Family Shepherds by Voddie Baucham
- Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk With God by Voddie Baucham
- Future Men by Douglas Wilson
- The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott
- The Masculine Mandate by Richard Phillips
- Manly Dominion by Mark Chanski
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
- Praying The Bible by Donald Whitney
- Family Worship by Donald Whitney
- Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney
- The Family Worship Book: A Resource Book for Family Devotions by Terry L. Johnson
- Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
- Disciplines of a Godly Young Man by R. Kent Hughes
- Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul Tripp
- Family Worship (Family Guidance) by Joel Beeke
- Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Hubbard
- Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism by Starr Meade
- Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Spiral
- Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology by R.C. Sproul
If anything else comes to mind I will add in another post.
I think story Bibles make a great baby dedication (or baptism) gift - it’s both for the parents and their children, and it gives an easy starting point for family devotions with very young children.
Everything a Child Should Know About God by Ken Taylor is another good gift for young children and their parents. It’s systematic theology for toddlers, and an easier starting place for very young children than a catechism.
For an older child making a profession of faith, Dangerous Journey would be a great choice. It’s the story of Pilgrim’s Progress, with a lot of the original language but slimmed down. It is richly illustrated, and some of the pictures are a little on the scary/intense side.