Free books for Kids

10 Ways to Get Free Books for Kids

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Kids need books. #Kidsneedsbooks

Books are expensive. So I went out to search for how I can get free books for kids.

Reading is so important for kids. I grew up in a “reader” family, and I still love reading. We don’t have a TV in our house, so we spend a lot of time reading. I’m used to this since we didn’t have one growing up either, so we spent a lot of time reading.

 

How to Get Free Books for Kids

The Library

The library is the best place to get books. The library has everything! We absolutely love the library! Of course, the library has its limitations as you can only get physical books when they are actually open, and you have to remember to return them or else they will become “not free” because of the late fine.

Little Free Libraries

Little Free Libraries are the cutest new trend. They are little libraries that people set up in public places. They offer a bit more flexibility, as there are no late fees or hours of operations, but they are usually small and very limited. If you have one near you, then it’s a cute activity and a good place to look for some books. Find a library near you and borrow a book!

We go to the library a lot, and I utilize the Libby App to get free e-books from the library. However, only I have a Kindle, not my kids. I don’t want my kids to have one, and it doesn’t help on Shabbos when we don’t use any technology. And as great as the library is and as great as free online books are, it absolutely does not compete with owning physical books.

I firmly believe that it is important for kids to own their own books, not just have some that they borrow. Of course, this is not always an option since books cost money! Sometimes, a lot of money! Jewish books for kids are, in particular, often quite pricey. Having books that reflect your lifestyle and values are really important for kids. It is also important to make sure that kids are exposed to lots of different people and ideas through reading.

Kids who own their own physical copies of books are more likely to be smarter and more successful in life (this is true, there were studies done on this. Who doesn’t want that for their kid?) Studies show that kids who own their own books tend to be smarter and more successful in life. If that is not an impetus to start building your own home library, I don’t know what is! Getting free books for your preschoolers will help them in immeasurable ways.

Here is how to get your kids books for them to own for free!

Free Books for Kids by Mail

Here is how to get free books for your kids! #Kidsneedbooks Click To Tweet

Yes! Free kid’s books come to our house every month in the mail. Free books by mail- this is not a scam.

The first two programs are very location dependent, so you may not qualify, but if you do, then SIGN UP!!

PJ Library

PJ Library sends a free book to each kid, starting from 6 months old. A free, Jewish book comes in the mail every month. They also sometimes include activities to do or some other small project type of thing. We’ve been signed up for years, and we love the books that we get. Here are some of the books that we’ve gotten. As you see, they are very well-loved. All the books have a Parent’s guide with some ideas for discussions about the books’ themes, so it’s a great springboard for topics to discuss with your kids.

Free Jewish Children's Books
All from P.J. library! These are only some of them- we have tons more!

Imagination Library

We actually just signed up for Imagination Library, so we haven’t gotten any books yet, so I can’t show you any pictures. I am so incredibly excited to get them! Started by Dolly Parton, Imagination Library sends a  book every month by mail to your child.

Update: We just got our first book from Imagination library, and I cannot be more thrilled! As you can see, it’s “The Little Engine that Could,” which is a childhood classic, so something I am so happy to own! Having these books for the kids to look at and read all the time is so important, and, amazingly, it is free!

Free Books for Kids
Free Books For Kids: The Little Engine that Could

You get a free book by mail every month! What could be better? Signing up for both these programs will get you 2 free books every month! These two programs are the easiest way to begin creating your home library.

Kellogg’s Family Rewards

I was hesitant to include Kellogg’s Family Rewards in the list because it’s not actually totally free. Kellogg’s has a program that you can get a free kids book for every participating box of Kellogg’s that you purchase. Of course, this means you have to spend money on cereal. If you are buying cereal anyway, then it’s free. If you are buying cereal just to get the book, then it is not really free.

(Although if you are a savvy shopper and follow deal sites like hip2save, then you may just score Kellogg’s cereal for super cheap on occasion- in which case you get cheap cereal and a free book for a kid, so that would be the ultimate). This free book for kids program is different than the regular Kellogg’s Point Program, so make sure to click on the right link to get your free book!

If you have any family members who don’t need books (ha!ha!) or are just generous, you can ask them for their leftover cereal boxes to help you get more books- think grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. If they eat cereal but don’t have kids in the house, they will probably be thrilled to save the boxes for you and let you use them to get free books. Since its a limit of 10 books for a household, they can also apply for their own books, and you can get even more books!

 More Ways to get free books for kids:

 

  1. Freecycle.org is a network of people who are looking to give or barter things for free. See if you can match up with someone who is looking to give away free kids’ books, and you are golden!
  2. Craiglist has everything on it. Including people giving away free kids’ books. Search for anyone who is looking to give away kids’ books for free. You would be surprised what you can get for free if you look a little and are willing to go pick it up! Make sure to search by location as you don’t want to find something awesome and then discover it’s pretty far away.
  3. Facebook is a great way to find free books for kids. Search for listings on Facebook Marketplace or Local Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook for anyone looking to give away free books for kids or who is selling lots of them for very cheap. This is the quickest way to build up a large library.
  4. Direct from the Author or Illustrator- this takes a bit of work, but if you google and look up authors and illustrators you like, you can sign up for their newsletter and follow them on Social Media. This way, you can be informed of any giveaways that they host. This happens pretty often, so if you spend time entering giveaways on their website and Social Media, you may be able to snag some books for your kids! This is particularly great for new releases that are usually expensive and hard to find 2nd hand.
  5. Goodreads is another place that has tons of giveaways that you can enter. If you take some time and enter the giveaways you want, maybe you win some books for your home library!

 

Free books for kids

 

If any of the books we receive are not suitable for our family, I simply pass them on to someone else or donate them to the library or the Little Free Library. As long as they are being read by a kid (or adult!) somewhere, then all is good in the world. I’m happy to be the one providing free books for kids that are not my own!

I love getting my kid’s physical books (to own for free!). There are a lot of advantages to using e-books and other free online books for kids. 

Do you love reading? Here are 24 ways to get free books online!


A Dime Saved

Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

5 thoughts on “10 Ways to Get Free Books for Kids”

  1. I actually signed our now 3 YO up for Imagination Library in November, and just got the email in June saying we’d be getting books either this month or next. The Walton Foundation is the organizor/sponsor for my area and it is slow. I can’t wait to start getting new books for Elijah though, as he loves to be read to!

    1. Yes! We just got “The Little Engine That Could” which is an awesome book to own! Its so important for kids to own their own books.

  2. I was an avid reader growing up and I remember tallying up the value of my books at one point around 7th grade. I had over $300 worth of books! It’s a good thing we had the public library and school library because I remember some days I would get through 5 books. It took me one day to read something the size of Twilight/Eragon and I would always request bookstore gift cards for the holidays.

    It’s good to see your little ones are enjoying reading; it is the best thing to have particularly with quarantine!

    1. I had heard of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, but not of the other resources for free children’s books. I’m not a cereal eater, but I could see buying Kellogg’s cereals and then donating them to the food bank. It might even be nice to let the children pick out the cereal to donate, and then have them go with you to drop off food donations at the food bank.

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