By Chrysta Naron The time is fast approaching: The sound of new zippers rings out and the smell of sharpened pencils fills the air. It’s back to school! Whether it’s your child’s first year in school, it’s their first year back post-pandemic, or they’re an old pro, a new school year can be daunting. But don’t worry! There’s something that can help ease their worries and spark some enthusiasm for their upcoming year—books. These picture books are special because they cover a wide range of . . .
By Chrysta Naron As grownups, we often think of playtime and learning time as two separate parts of the day, when really they overlap! Play is a great way to engage young children and spur brain growth and development. Kids can gain cognitive skills, social-emotional knowledge, new vocabulary, and literacy abilities—all without boring drills or rote repetition. So when it’s time to help your child learn academic subjects, infuse play into the activity and you’ll see your child grow quickly . . .
By Sheila Dickinson As a children’s librarian putting together story times for young kids, I reinforce language skills and learning by singing songs with my young audience, talking with them, playing together, writing, and of course reading with them. My colleagues and I love to share books, music, musical instruments, chalk for sidewalks, coloring pages, puppets, flannel boards, and toys at the library. Bringing your child to story time at your local library is a fantastic way to connect, . . .
By Laila Weir What?! Use fashion to teach early reading skills? Well, yes. When you’re raising little people, buying clothes is something you have to do a lot. Not only do they outgrow things seemingly overnight, but there are also endless stains, tears, and misplacings to contend with. (Buying them adorable clothes also happens to be fun, at least in my book!) Raising a successful reader is also an important part of the parenting job—as in, critically important. Research shows that . . .
By Amy Williams You can’t get started too early preparing children for school. But if you think that means strapping them into high chairs and busting out the blackboard, forget it! Getting kids ready for kindergarten—at least academically speaking—mostly means engaging with them and making sure you expose them to lots of letters and words, books and ideas. (Numbers too, but in this post we’ll be focusing on pre-reading skills.) There are simple things you can do at home to make sure your . . .
By Amy Williams “Won't my child learn to read in kindergarten?” That’s the question on many parents’ lips when faced with advice to teach reading skills to their small children. Sure, children will develop their reading ability in kindergarten and throughout the rest of their education, but the truth is that most of the underlying skills they need for full literacy develop way before then. And, sadly, reading instruction in the U.S. fails most kids.So don’t wait until they go to . . .
By Laila Weir For parents seeking to teach their children about history through the true stories of people who’ve worked to shape it for the better, it’s hard to imagine a more inspiring subject than anti-apartheid activist, South African president, and Nobel prize winner Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Introduce your kids to this towering figure of modern history through these picture books produced by Mandela himself and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson . . .
By Courtney Runn There are few better books to teach children about the importance of teamwork, resilience, and discipline than the true-life stories of legendary Olympians. Whether you’re gearing up for two weeks of cheering on your country or basking in the inspiration afterwards, we curated a list of picture books celebrating unforgettable Olympic moments and exploring the history of the Games. Learn about athletes who broke racial barriers, shattered records, and went on to extraordinary . . .
By Andrea Hunt By the age of three, many kids will be open to the idea of listening to audiobooks, if they aren’t already enjoying them. And the good news is that audio stories are so much more than a useful tool for entertaining captive audiences in the back seat. Research has found that children also can continue to develop their literacy skills through listening to them. What’s also great for parents is that, when it comes to choosing audiobooks for preschoolers, you have a lot of . . .
By Chrysta Naron I scream, you scream, we all scream, “Ice cream!” And, if you’re like me, you might also be screaming for a break from the summer heat. However, I still want to make indoor play fun, creative, and, if possible, educational. Enter scoop sentences! When kids are learning to read, they can begin to identify sentences by capitalization and punctuation. Yet, when they begin to write and construct their own sentences, it can be difficult to know what a sentence needs. This super . . .