1st-3rd Grade Readers, Preschool-Kindergarten

Someone Needs a Friend Today.

“Can I be Your Dog” is a sweet book that my whole family enjoyed. It is basically a compilation of letters written between the dog and various community members as the dog searches for a home and family. Troy Cummings does a great job of taking a serious topic of helping animals in need and making it bringing it to the attention of children in a heartwarming way. Don’t worry, I won’t give away the ending, but I will tell you that at the very end of the book Mr. Cummings shares lots of ideas of how you too can help animals without a home, and of course, we were inspired! But first, the review…

  • Age appropriate words and tone Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Yes,
    • I would rate this book a 5 out of 5!

You’ve read the book, now what?

The Value of Working for a Gift

They made their sign, they knew their message (“the money is to help the lonely puppies,”) and they mixed their product. By 10am my little entrepreneurs were ready to open their first business. Let me say, we have some very generous neighbors! I have never in my life paid so much for a glass of lemonade as some of the kind souls that drove by this sale over the weekend did, but my children were so excited and so grateful! In under two hours, they raised $45 to take to donate to the SPCA! I don’t know who benefited more from this project, the homeless puppies, the people who were able to donate and many of whom commented on being proud of the kids for taking such initiative, or my children, who got to work for something other than themselves. They got the satisfaction of the joy that comes from working hard for something other than yourself. They were so happy to give all that money away, knowing it was for a good cause. I was so proud of them. After it was all said and done, it was very late, and I did treat them to a Happy Meal, which was almost providential because inside they found a dog of their own to take home!

Letters Lift a Lonely Heart

Great Grandpa has terrible Alzheimer’s disease, he won’t remember which great- grandchild Lydia is when this had written card reaches his complete care home, but he will remember that he is loved. He will know that he is remembered and treasured even though we are far away. If you know someone who might be lonely, write them a letter. Don’t send a text. Don’t rely on a Facebook post. There is something special about the extra effort of putting a stamp on an envelope and taking those few steps to the mailbox that really spark our hearts. Let’s revive the dying art of letter writing!

Read together and Do together!

1st-3rd Grade Readers, Preschool-Kindergarten, Uncategorized

Indoor fun for your little monster

Is your May weather as moody as ours is? One day we are outside enjoying the full beauty of Spring, and the very next day we are hunkered down listening to the storms from the safety of our inner most rooms. It is days like that when we are very thankful for our recent trip to the library. I love libraries for so many reasons, but one of the most obvious is the chance to discover new books for FREE! This week we found a book called “Have You Seen My Monster?”

It was written by Steve Light, and while the story-line is incredibly basic, we are talking a few words per page, this book has two elements that make it extra fun. There is the basic “find” aspect on each page, as the children get to hunt for not-so-hidden monster, and there is a new and exciting intro into the world of geometry. This book goes well beyond the basic square, circle, triangle shapes that picture books commonly offer children, by simply naming and coloring shapes like “curvlinear triangles” and “nonagons” on otherwise black and white illustrations. I think it is this distinction that blends the book across the age groups, making it appropriate for preschoolers and also interesting for the 1st-3rd grade readers who are still mastering geometry terms.

  • Age appropriate words and tone -Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Maybe
    • I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5!

You’ve read the book, now what?

Shape your Monster (then hide and seek it!)

Give your kiddos the opportunity to practice their fine motor skills by cutting out shapes that you’ve pre-drawn for them on a variety of colored paper. Let them clue them together to create a monster from their own imagination. Meanwhile, make one of your own so that when they are finished with their creations, you can hide your monster and you can spend the next 30 minutes (or…hours!) playing “Have you seen my monster?”

Read Together & Do Together

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Early Learning Books & Activities

Do You Want to Go to Space?

I am thrilled to begin this blog with such a fun book! “I Want to be an Astronaut” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book for littles that explores more thrill-seeking careers such as a race car driver or a submarine commander. I purchased this book through Usborne books for Christmas, and my 3 and 4-year-old girls have not tired of it. The authors, Ruby Brown and Alisa Coburn have done such an inspiring thing by quickly focusing on 9 different careers before reminding them that they don’t have to decide on one yet, and for now they can dream up big adventures.

The following system is what I look for when I am deciding if a book is one I want to purchase or even check out from the library. I know we will have different points of view on some of this stuff, but here are my thoughts. I hope you find them helpful.

  • Age appropriate words and tone Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Yes
    • I would rate this book a 5 out of 5!

You’ve read the book, now what?

The great thing about this book is that there are 9 different careers to inspire countless different ideas for ways in which to engage your child and really allow them to experience the book in a hands-on way. Today I will give you two examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Try using a small piece of cardboard and an empty toilet paper roll a few basic cuts, and some clue and you have the perfect Space Shuttle for an action figure’s first trip to the moon! Don’t forget to have your kiddo add as much paint/marker/foil/sticker decoration as time allows!

If you’re feeling the pull to get out of the house, take this chance to look up your local science museum or planetarium. This picture was taken during our visit to Science City. If you have something like Science City in your town, I would highly recommend a visit!

I hope you are inspired to Bring a Book to Life – READ TOGETHER & DO TOGETHER!