Story Stones for Your Garden Classroom

garden story stones

The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math, Science, Literacy & Art offers children ages four to eight creative garden activities in play & imagination, reading & writing, science & math, arts & crafts, and recipes. The ideas are age-appropriate, fun, and informative including the one we created, story stones. It's written by Cathy James, the U.K. … [Read more...]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Candy Experiments

charlie and the chocolate factory experiments with candy

Put on your Willy Wonka top hat and try some scrumdiddlyumptious Charlie and the Chocolate Factory candy experiments. We did and it was epic fun! "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." - Willy Wonka We found experiments and ideas in a fantastic little book called Candy Experiments by Loralee … [Read more...]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Word Inventing Activity

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory activity

Readers love Willy Wonka's (of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) mouth-watering sweet inventions. The author, Roald Dahl, emphasizes invention in this story and not just with savory candies; he also invents delicious words. Words such as scrumdiddlyumptious, hornswogglers, snozzwangers, and whangdoodles. They're silly, absurd, wacky and 100% invented words! We've been inspired … [Read more...]

15 Chapter Book Series That Should Be More Popular

chapter books that should be more popular

Getting into a good chapter book series is the BEST, right? Because once you finish one, there's another, and then another, and you're guaranteed lots of good reading material to last for awhile. Your kids know the popular series like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter, but do you know these lesser known series? I hope you'll check them out. Read them and spread the word … [Read more...]

Encourage Play Building Social Skills Kits

monthly playdate kits

It was one of those days. I anguished over social issues with one of my kids. It felt like nothing was improving. But then, a most amazing thing happened. Janine Halloran, blogger at Encourage Play and licensed mental health counselor, reached out to me based on a comment I made on a group thread in FB. I didn't even know her at the time, but her words of encouragement … [Read more...]

Gifts for Baby Showers: 11 Interactive Board Books

board books

Help baby grow up to be a reader by giving board books as gifts for baby showers. Babies and toddlers love interactive board books -- board books with things to touch, pull, lift, and slide like today's round-up of newly published board books. Happy reading! Interactive Board Books On My Beach - PUPPET by Sara Gillingham & Lorena Siminovich Wiggle the crab puppet … [Read more...]

Epic NonFiction Books for Kids

nonfiction books for kids

When we get huge nonfiction books, the ones that weigh more than your backpack, we don't expect greatness. We expect pontification. But not these. These nonfiction beasts (most are quite heavy!) surprised us with their excellence and power to engage. If my kids liked them, I'm pretty sure yours will, too. That's why they're epic nonfiction books for kids. (I know you already … [Read more...]

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities

hungry caterpillar 2

The Very Hungry Caterpillar book inspires many playful book-related activities for kids including these two play favorites: making clay creations to match the story and creating a stop-motion animation movie of the story. The clay activity is perfect for kids ages 2 and up. The stop-motion animation movie is a great activity for older siblings, ages 7 and up. Very Hungry … [Read more...]

Exciting New Chapter Books, Winter 2015

middle grade chapter book reviews for kids

My favorite section in the library is the new books. They're so crisp with untapped potential. Then I can discover exciting new chapter books for our kids. Today I'm sharing with you books in the middle-grade range which is third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, and sixth grade, or ages 8 - 11. To find more recommended book lists for this age group of children, visit my … [Read more...]

Bunnies, Squirrels, and Bears Oh, My! Winter 2015 Picture Books

animal picture books 2015

Winter 2015's selection of picture books delivers a sizable amount of excellent animal-related picture books. Some touching. Some funny. Some thought-provoking. See what you think! Winter 2015 Picture Books (with Animals)  Otto the Owl who Loved Poetry by Very Kousky You'll fall in love Otto, a book-loving owl who teaches his owl and mice friends the beauty of sharing … [Read more...]