By Chrysta Naron June is Pride month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in all its wonderful uniqueness. It’s an opportunity for queer families and children to be seen and to share. Here are a few of the most joyful books with LGBTQ+ characters and stories for you to share with your child this month. Be prepared for giggles, touching conversations, and tons of rainbow color! This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman This adorable, award-winning book takes place at a Pride parade. . . .
By Laila Weir Engaging kids in creative storytelling is a time-honored pastime and a fun, screen-free vacation activity for the whole family. It’s also a powerful tool to build key literacy skills, from vocabulary and comprehension to imagination and fluency. There are so many fun methods to get the stories flowing, including classic games like taking turns saying a word or a sentence to create a goofy group story. One innovative method we like involves storytelling dice and . . .
By Chrysta Naron It’s that time of year again. When kids are looking forward to a break from the classroom (or class Zoom). When beach bags take the place of backpacks. And when parents begin rapping on my door with panicked looks asking, “What do I do to help them read?” And I get it—with camps to attend, a desire to spend fun time together, and constant stories about summer reading losses floating around, summer reading can feel overwhelming. Never fear! We’ve got you . . .
By Courtney Runn It’s fun to babble and coo with babies as they discover the big world around them, but this natural instinct is not only entertaining—early verbal communication is crucial for developing brains. It’s also a significant factor in academic readiness for kindergarten and beyond. Children entering school with a smaller vocabulary than classmates (a “word gap”) face a major hurdle that can be hard to overcome: Research shows that early language development underpins later . . .
By Sarah Tiglao Learning letters, letter sounds, and eventually sight words becomes a fun game that your little one will want to play again and again, with this easy activity that grows with your children. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to make a fun, simple, free alphabet flash-card game to play at home or bring with you. You’ll also learn how to adapt it to your child’s skill level as they progress—plus how to keep it fun even for kids who aren’t yet emotionally prepared to . . .
By Laila Weir Raising a successful reader means more than having books around and sending your child off to school when the time comes—unfortunately, all too many kids are coming out of U.S. schools less than literate. To ensure children’s success, parents should actively teach them the ABCs and then support them all the way through learning to read, write, and spell well. But what if your child just can’t sit still? There’s no need to force things. Instead, find ways to meet them . . .
By Laila Weir Brunch. Breakfast in bed. Whatever your preference, a special morning meal with Mom is what Mother’s Day is all about for many families. If you’re preparing a yummy surprise for a mother of young children, you can get the kids involved and turn it into a super adorable moment that’s also a learning experience by letting them run a pop-up restaurant for the occasion. Young kids love pretend play, and they love doing real-life, grown-up things. Creating a . . .
By Chrysta Naron “Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.” The author of this saying is unknown, but its wisdom resonates with so many of us. In my family, so much of our love is rooted in shared books. The women of the family have always made time to read with their growing children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. These reading roots helped every single one of us grow into the people we are today and continue to shape us. . . .
By Laila Weir Telling and sharing stories is a tradition so ancient and universal that some say that it’s what makes us human. It’s also an incredibly powerful tool for engaging children and building literacy. In fact, some teacher training suggests that storytelling supports all areas of literacy learning—listening skills, imagination and creativity, language use and story structure, and more—as well as improving cultural connection. But we knew that, didn’t we? The power of story is . . .
By Chrysta Naron One of my strongest memories growing up as a child was playing board games with my family. My dad’s favorite game was Sorry! Each time he bumped my piece off the board he shouted, “Sorry! I’m not sorry!” Was my dad creating trending phrases 20 years ahead of time or secretly a songwriter for Demi Lovato? Uncertain. But one thing’s sure—30 years later, I carry the warm memory of those evenings with me. Family game nights can be a really wonderful way to spend quality time . . .