New Meaningful Picture Books

new picture books 2014

Good picture books make you think deep thoughts, sigh with awe, and discover meaningful lessons. As I previewed the latest picture books, I wanted to review picture books that meant something. See if you agree. Happy reading! Quest by Aaron Becker Quest is an enchanting and imaginative picture book written only in pictures that will transport you to a magical world. … [Read more...]

Quandary Game for Developing Thinking Skills #quandarygame

Quandary Game Story

Players aged eight and up shape the future of a new society in a FREE award-winning video game called Quandary. Quandary helps kids recognize ethical issues and deal with challenging situations in their own lives. Video games often get a bad rap, but this online and tablet game is one you can endorse for how it builds kids' solid critical thinking, perspective-taking and … [Read more...]

50 Free Educational Apps for Kids

Happy cute boy using tablet computer, indoor shoots

Believe it or not, there are TONS of free educational apps for kids. Yup - FREE! And all of these apps for kids are guilt-free because kids will be learning! And, like I mentioned, they're free. (We love that.) Here ya go  . . . Free Educational iPad Apps Sushi Scramble  OUR FAVORITE GAME!!! Develops language skills through a multiplayer word-building game … [Read more...]

Science Kits for Kids

Science Kits for Kids

Let's talk about the best science kits -- kits that make good gifts for kids. How do I know these are the best? These science kits are award-winners from either Parents-Choice, Creative Child Magazine, Dr. Toy, Mensa, Family Fun Magazine, or Oppenheim Toy Award. Discovoer a science kit to get your kids enthusiastic about learning science. Best Science Kits for … [Read more...]

NEW, Entertaining Beginning Chapter Books for Kids Ages 6 – 9

new easy chapter books 2014

When your kids transitioning from easy readers to early or beginning chapter books, look for books with an engaging story, relatable characters, and helpful illustrations that support comprehension. I'm so excited to tell you I've found even more recently published early chapter book gems for your beginning readers. The more a child reads, the better he'll get. Practice … [Read more...]

Teaching Kids to Knit

Teaching Kids to Knit

Teach your kids to knit takes two things, fine motor skills and attention span, says expert Catherine Hirst, of Catherine Hirst Contemporary Crafts. Add in colorful yarn, bamboo needles, time, and patience and you're ready to go! Knit with your kids! Kids need to see us being creative. They need to see the process -- how long it takes us to knit things, and that … [Read more...]

Punctuation Hunt

punctuationhunt2

Punctuation is  a very important part of writing. And for some kids, it can be a bit hard to master. Sure, a period goes at the end of a sentence, but those commas can be tricky. I wanted my beginning writers to start noticing punctuation marks and see examples of correct usage, so I sent them on a punctuation hunt. I grabbed an old magazine that was headed for the … [Read more...]

Learning to Read: Sight Words and Phonics Together

sight-words-and-phonics-words-in-sort

by Becky Spence In the world of literacy, the idea of learning words by sight has been highly debated for a few decades as the literacy pendulum has swung back and forth between phonics and sight words. I believe, based on reading research, that kids need both sight words and phonics as they are learning to read and write. But sight words (I'm using sight words … [Read more...]