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...]

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...]

Best Book Bags

book bag 2

Looking for a good book bag? Well, look no further. After years of trial and error, I can tell you what the best book bags are and where to buy them. Because on a typical weekly visit to the library, we check out 30 books. So I need the best book bag that will hold all of our reading material! I recommend that you buy a bag with 1) a flat bottom and 2) a pocket for your … [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...]

Sparky Fire Safety App

Sparky The Case of the Missing Smoke Alarms Story

Fire Prevention Week is October 5 - 11, 2014 and there's an app for that. (Of course!) I *think*  that I've told my kids what to do when there's a fire. Maybe when they were younger. Better get on that, huh! Here's the scoop, friends. We have to talk about fire safety every year. And, we have to make sure our homes are safe by having up-to-date fire alarms. I have two easy … [Read more...]

Funny Picture Books

good picture books for kids

Kids love funny picture books. So do I! That's why I'm excited to share with you new funny picture book titles you'll want to read aloud to your kids. You already know that picture books are imporant for all ages of children, right? And that even if your child can read chapter books, picture books offer so much in terms of engaging stories, reading something in one … [Read more...]

15 Ways for Kids to Learn New Vocabulary

how to learn vocabulary words

Fluent readers need a big vocabulary. The more words a child knows, the better reader and writer he is. (Anderson and Freebody, 1981; Graves, 1986; Stahl, 1998) (DOE, NAEP, 2011) So it's up to us as parents to help our children develop a large vocabulary. The best way to learn new words is to use them, play with them, listen to them, and apply them. While it is possible … [Read more...]