By Mikee Mapalo If you’re looking for a cute and inexpensive stocking stuffer, you can make your own Christmas bookmarks for kids using our free printable template. These color-your-own bookmarks make a sweet little gift to encourage children to read and a fun holiday activity to do with them on Christmas eve or the big day. They’d make a creative addition to a family Jolabokaflod celebration (an awesome Icelandic Christmas “book flood” tradition we’re trying this year). And they’re also a . . .
By Chrysta Naron With the holidays approaching and shopping lists and letters to Santa getting longer every day, it’s easy to get stressed looking for the perfect gift. So we’re making holiday shopping just a little bit easier. We’ve compiled a list of 14 terrific educational gifts for preschoolers that will become household favorites the whole year through. These fabulous gifts spark early learning and a love of reading in your child. And best of all? None of them sing or have flashing . . .
By Chrysta Naron “Plain paper is boring. I don’t know what to draw!” Hayes whined. My little friend wanted a coloring book—a Paw Patrol coloring book, to be exact. I understood his point of view; coloring books can be a lot of fun. But here’s the thing about standard coloring books. They don’t allow children to create their own ideas. And children naturally are wonderfully and wildly creative, even when they doubt themselves. So I devised a plan. “Let’s make a surprise book!” I said to . . .
By Laila Weir Raising little readers and writers means providing plenty of reading and writing material, which in turn can mean a whole lot of pencils, pens, and markers trailing around your home (or your kid’s backpack). Get organized with these cute DIY pencil cases that your child can make in just a few easy steps from common household items. These crafts offer an eco-friendly and fun way for kids to bring their own flair to personalized holders for use at home or on the go. . . .
By Chrysta Naron I love glitter. Like seriously, l LOVE glitter. In my classroom there’s almost always a reason to add a little sparkle to our learning experiences. And because kids love glitter, too, I’ve developed a great Fourth of July reading activity that incorporates loads of it. We’re going to learn our letters with the sparkliest way of celebrating the Fourth—fireworks! For an extra learning boost (and extra fun), we’ll add in my favorite Fourth of July book, Apple Pie 4th of July . . .
At last! A bookmark that won’t slide out of place and get lost in the depths of kids’ backpacks (or yours). Bookmarks are key tools in raising readers, and we’ve got you covered with this super-simple, two-step bookmark craft that makes adorable, functional page markers in minutes flat. All you need are some simple materials and a bit of creativity—or just start with our examples. You can easily turn these elastic bookmarks into an awesome holiday craft, gift, or party favor by . . .
By Laila Weir Big eyes in little faces as they behold a trove of gifts just for them. Delivering an enticingly wrapped bundle to a loved one. Spreading holiday cheer, and letting someone know we’re thinking about them. Nothing says holiday spirit like sharing gifts, and, as the days turn colder, thoughts naturally turn to acquiring them. All that generosity may bring joy to young and old, but it isn’t always a gift to our planet, or our pocketbooks. Creating homemade presents can be . . .
By Kelsey Nickerson Raising little readers and writers means providing plenty of reading and writing material, which in turn can mean a whole lot of pencils and pens trailing around your home. But never fear! With just a little glam, you can upcycle a plastic container into the perfect storage container for pencils, markers, and even crayons! This craft is quite simple and can be used for so many different things. Do your kids have writing utensils floating around their backpacks? Give . . .
Need to keep kids entertained on the go? This simple DIY activity kit is perfect for road trips or plane trips, for restaurants, or for anywhere kids need some distraction while they wait. (Think instant entertainment on the sidelines of big sister’s soccer game or big brother’s cello practice!) Help your child follow this simple tutorial to make their activity book, and then let them personalize it with their own decorations and favorite activities. Or stuff it for them as a fun surprise to . . .
Meow! These playful DIY bookmarks are perfect for the animal-loving bookworms in your life. This is a fun craft for all ages, though younger children will need some help, especially with the cutting. Making their own bookmarks is always motivating to young readers, and who wouldn’t want to dive into a good book when they see this cute kitty peeking out over the pages? They’re also an appealing way to dress up a book gift with a personal touch. We used bright cardstock to make a rainbow of . . .