My Best List of Nonfiction Books Ever

nonfiction books

Nonfiction book reading is so important for kids -- and not just because Common Core says it is best. Kids need to be able to read for information as well as for story. Not only that, nonfiction builds essential background knowledge that help fiction comprehension. But most kids spend four minutes or less each day reading nonfiction. I think that's because they haven't found … [Read more...]

Cool Tech Gifts for Kids

tech toys for kids

If your kids are like mine, they're enticed by technology. So I've found tons of cool tech gifts for kids that are (mostly) educational and will make great gifts. See for yourself. Tech Gifts for Kids 1. Kindle Fire HD & Tablet  My 12-year old daughter reads way more now that she has a Kindle. (Most of her ebooks are borrowed from the library!) The Kindle has a … [Read more...]

Remarkable LEGO Fusion Building and Tech Toy

Lego Fusion

Combining the best of building and technology, the LEGO Fusion Town Master Kit became our new favorite LEGO toy. Both my kids loved creating their town and even better, both could use one kit. The kit gave them opportunities to be creative, inventive, and play for hours. What's not to love!?       The kit includes 256 LEGO pieces. You don't need many bricks because all … [Read more...]

Building Toys for Kids

gifts for kids

These building toys make great STEM / STEAM gifts for your kids because they not only are tons of fun but they improve fine motor skills, visual perception, hand-eye coordination, concentration, and problem solving. Building Gifts for Kids 1. Jumperrobot (ages 8+) Build seven bouncing robots that use an electric motor and a spring-loaded mechanism to jump forward in a … [Read more...]

Early Chapter Books for the Cybils Awards

early chapter books

I've been reading early chapter books like crazy to whittle down the list of top 5 early chapter book nominations for the Cybils Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literaray Awards. Since I'm a first round judge, it's my job to work with my fellow judges to pick our favorites for the second round judges. I still haven't read all the nominated books but I'm close! (Nor have I … [Read more...]

Writing Gifts for Kids

gifts for kids

Are you looking for gifts for kids who like to write or to inspire them to write? Sometimes all it takes for kids (and me) to want to write is a brand new journal and a pen that is awesome. Have you ever noticed that, too? Gifts for Kids Who Like to Write 1. My ABC Keepsake Book (age 3+) I think the My ABC Book Keepsake is so cute --  it's filled with eye-catching … [Read more...]

Word Play Kids Love

word play

Get kids loving and learning words with these 5 fun word play activities -- guaranteed to entertain and delight! 1. Tongue Twisters My daughter’s drama teachers uses tongue twisters as a warm up. And we love practicing them at the dinner table. We mess up the words all the time which cracks us up. Try our favorite tongue twisters: Unique New York. Toy boat. Irish wrist … [Read more...]

Family Game Night Favorite: Kitten Caboodle

Kitten Caboodle Game

Family game night just got a whole lot better with Educational Insight's new games Kitten Caboodle and Diggity Dogs for preschool age kids and older. We own Kitten Caboodle whose object (like Diggity Dogs) is to adopt the most pets. My kids and their friends absolutely love playing it and like I said, it's a favorite family game and perfect for animal lovers. And have you … [Read more...]

Best New Books: Chapter Books Fall 2014

the best new books

I am addicted to finding you the best new books. (Although I do need to branch out from fantasy a bit more.) My favorite books from this list are Nightmares!, Animas, and Eye of the Minds. See what you think your children would want to read. Best New Books: Chapter Books Fall 2014 Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny (8 - 12 years old) … [Read more...]

Minecraft Books

minecraft books for kids

Believe it or not, games like Minecraft motivate kids to read. To learn to play the game, they're reading Minecraft forums and books. And, there are new fiction books about Minecraft adventures that kids are reading as well. In a recent WIRED article, Clive Thompson explains, "Minecraft is surrounded by a culture of literacy. The game comes with minimal instructions or … [Read more...]