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 . . .
By Chrysta Naron It’s time for the Fourth of July. A day of flags, picnics, parades, fireworks, and, now, books! After all, what better way to introduce your child to the significance of this holiday and what it means to you than through the written word? This list of picture books for the Fourth of July gives families the opportunity to explore different ways people love America and a variety of American experiences. Granted, we’re certified book lovers, but we think these books . . .
By Andrea Hunt Kids’ audio stories are a brilliant alternative to screen time, an invaluable way to keep children entertained on car journeys, and a wonderful opportunity for parents or caregivers to share in family story time while multitasking. Even better, they can boost literacy skills. But when it comes to the youngest listeners, there are a few key things to consider before diving in. For example, whether the length of the story is appropriate, how well the audio version complements . . .
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 . . .
By Courtney Runn Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 that word of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved Texans, two years and six months after President Abraham Lincoln issued it. On June 19, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in the state and announced the news, making Texas one of the last states to legally abolish slavery. In 1980, Texas declared Juneteenth a statewide holiday and, thanks to the work of activists like Opal Lee, it became a federal holiday this year. To . . .
By Chrysta Naron Father’s Day is fast approaching! It’s a great moment to honor Dad—and all the special guys in your and your child’s life. This year, why not create a celebration of dads, uncles, and grandpas on your bookshelf? The gift of a book is wonderful in and of itself, but the gift of time spent reading together is priceless. We’ve curated a list of some favorite Father’s Day picture books to celebrate all the men we care about. Let’s have some fun and read together! Perfect . . .
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 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 Chrysta Naron “Once I unlocked the mystery of the alphabet that led to words, a multitude of words connecting me to the world, there was no stopping me.” —Gloria Naylor Every word in the entire English language, every word your child will ever read or say, is made up of only 26 letters. Learning the alphabet is the gateway to reading, but in order to master it, kids need to relate the letters to their names, sounds, and to real-world objects. This is the way letters become more than . . .
By Chrysta Naron May is the time to celebrate and lift up the mothers and mother figures in our lives. But rather than just limiting our celebration to one day, let’s make a DIY Mother’s Day gift that lets them know how much we appreciate them every day. I love to kick off most kid projects with, you guessed it…a book! While there are many incredible picture books for this special day, I am particularly fond of A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams. Most other Mother’s Day books focus . . .