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 Laila Weir Summertime is almost here! Whether for your family that means hitting the road, getting outside, or lounging at home, we have some tips to keep your little ones learning at the same time. Hint: The key to summer learning is the same as the key to all learning with preschoolers—keep it fun. With that in mind, enjoy this roundup of fun summer learning games, activities, and more for preschoolers and young elementary school children. Mix Summer Learning into Your Preschooler’s . . .
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 Chrysta Naron “No!” “Stop!” “Don’t!” Kids hear these words every day. There are rules for bedtime. There are rules for playgrounds and classrooms. There are rules for how we treat our friends and family. Sometimes you even have to set rules you never thought you’d set, like We don’t lick spiders. But what about a set of rules for what kids can do? A set of rights that are protected and that they always get. Even if they bite their sister, throw a tantrum in the grocery store, or color . . .
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 Andrea Hunt The idea of recorded stories is not a recent one. In fact, in 1877 Thomas Edison recorded what we could think of as the first partial audiobook on his new invention, the phonograph—a machine he dreamed would help bring storytelling into every home. His choice of material? One for the toddlers: the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb. But it wasn’t until more recent decades and technological advances that audio stories truly took off, gradually with books on tape and MP3s, . . .
By Chrysta Naron Scavenger hunts are a really dynamic way to get your children involved in the learning process. You can use them to teach math, vocabulary, science, colors, and reading! One of my favorite scavenger hunts to do with kids is an alphabet scavenger hunt. It’s free, fun, takes no prep work, and you can do it anywhere. How can you beat that? What’s more, it needs little to no adaptation for children with limited mobility. With this particular scavenger hunt, your . . .
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 My Daddy knows most everything When his powers are unfurled, And I’m not scared of anything— My Daddy rules the world. — Hope Anita Smith This poem from Hope Anita Smith’s book, My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Fathers, reminds us of how fathers or father figures can make a child’s world a better place. In this activity, we’ll draw on our love for them and our love for reading to make a wonderful gift—a Father’s Day acrostic poem! “What . . .