By Andrea Hunt Picture this. It’s Christmas eve, and your family has gathered to give each other books, then cozy up for an evening of reading and hot chocolate. (Maybe throw in a roaring fire and marshmallows for good measure). Sound almost too good to be true? Meet the Icelandic Yule tradition of Jolabokaflod, which means “Christmas book flood”—a festive celebration of reading and simple pleasures. The tradition has been going strong for more than 75 years in Iceland. Over . . .
By Chrysta Naron I’m a teacher, and as November approaches, parents often ask me to recommend books by Native American authors or with Native American characters. I always have a list handy. But it got me thinking: Why now; why November? Well, we know the answer, of course. Thanksgiving. It’s generally the only time of year schools and media celebrate the contributions of Indigenous Americans to the current version of this nation. What’s more, many kids’ Thanksgiving books tell a . . .
By Chrysta Naron The winter holidays are often marked by delicious treats and cooking traditions passed down from generation to generation. By sparkly decorations hanging from trees, windows, and fireplaces. And, all too often, by frantic holiday shopping for relatives, teachers, and neighbors. This holiday season, combine time together in the kitchen with a little light reading practice with your kiddo … all while creating some adorable decorations that also happen to make sweet . . .
By Andrea Hunt Fact: fiction is good for you. So, while it may be tempting to see nonfiction as a somehow more “useful” reading choice, if your child makes a beeline for tales, fables, and all things kid lit (as my four-year-old has done from the get-go), rest easy. Put any worries over fiction vs nonfiction to one side, and instead look for a mix of books that interest your child. One of the best things a parent can do to motivate their child’s learning and development is to follow their . . .
By Maya Payne Smart Robocalls. Emails. Texts. Newsletters. Fliers. Communications from schools to parents have got to be at an all-time high. There’s been an explosion in the methods teachers, administrators, and volunteers use to keep parents informed. At various points in my daughter’s school career, I’ve had to check emails, text messages, apps, websites, and even social media to stay on top of school information. Not to mention all the paper assignments, permission slips, newsletters, and . . .
By Chrysta Naron December is creeping closer, bringing its flurry of wonderful winter holidays! With those holidays come beloved traditions—favorite dishes, decorations saved and hung year after year, and stories to be told. Every family has their personal favorite tales and books (The Night Before Christmas is a staple in our household, like so many others). Traditions are a wonderful part of the holiday season. But what if, this year, you added some new books to your mix, to become new . . .
By Mikee Mapalo What child doesn’t love Christmas? This craft takes advantage of seasonal enthusiasm to build your child’s vocabulary and help them learn to recognize, read, and spell new words. Fun holiday words, that is, of course! With our free Christmas alphabet printable, you’ll make an adorable flipbook to keep or gift. (Tip: It makes a super-cute stocking stuffer or a fun present from an older child to a younger one.) The flipbook is easy to make, you can use it time and . . .
By Maya Payne Smart Kids can and should learn the alphabet well before kindergarten, which means parents are great candidates to teach them. And don’t worry, you don’t have to set up an elaborate home classroom or diligently march through a letter-of-the-week curriculum. You just need to incorporate some (appropriate) letter learning and practice into everyday life with kids, here and there over the years before elementary school. No drilling or cramming required. Simply and . . .
By Courtney Runn Is there any sport quite as universal as the game of soccer? Whether you call it football or soccer, there’s nothing like cheering on your country in the World Cup or yelling Gooooooal! when your favorite player scores. Like all sports, soccer showcases teamwork, perseverance, and discipline—wonderful qualities to reinforce during read-aloud time. To help you encourage the little players and fans in your life, we rounded up some of the best picture books about . . .
By Mikee Mapalo Before we learned how to read and write, we were introduced to the 26 letters of the English language. For most of us, our first encounter with the alphabet was singing the ABCs. But the truth is kids need to learn a lot more than to slur letter names together in song (adorable as that may be) to prepare for kindergarten and beyond. They need to learn what letters look like—and which of the 56 uppercase and lowercase shapes actually indicate the same letter, among other . . .