Is Screen Time Killing Our Kids’ Brain Cells? (It Depends)

interview with Lesli Rotenberg

A new survey of parents released this month by PBS KIDS says more than half of kids will find a tech gift under the tree. Wow! And, most of these gifts will be tablets. (Edging out video game consoles.) Which made me think . . ., if all of us are buying technology for kids, is this a good or a bad thing for kids? And how do we know? I had the opportunity to talk … [Read more...]

New Picture Books for the Christmas Season

new christmas books lg

I'm excited to share with you new picture books for Christmas 2013! The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline You'll be drawn into this enchanting story right from the start as you follow Gerda's story when her best friend, Kai, turns mean and then, just vanishes. Gerda searches for Kai, through seasons and the whole land of Finland. … [Read more...]

5 Simple Ways to Play with Sounds in Words

5 Simple Ways to Play with Sounds in Words

The ability to hear, blend, and break apart sounds in words is a huge building block included in the foundation of both reading and writing. To increase the awareness of these sounds, there a simple sound games kids can play. When creating sound games, we want to include activities such as counting syllables, recognizing and creating rhyming words, and listening for the … [Read more...]

What to Read or Not to Read, That is the Question

Should Parents Censor

written by Tara Lenga, Strategy Consultant at Exceptional Kids Note from Melissa: I asked Tara to write this after a fascinating Facebook conversation on the Imagination Soup page about censorship . . . Go here for that conversation. As parents, we are constantly on top of making healthy food choices, ensuring their shoes still fit, and double-checking their school … [Read more...]

What to Do When Your Child Needs Academic Help

Best Tutoring Online

When your child is struggling academically in school, tutoring is one of the best options. And you'll want a referral for that tutor. Then you'll want to be sure they're qualified to instruct your child, safe (background check done,) AND good at building rapport and relationship with children. Well, I have a GREAT tutoring referral for you. A highly-qualified, good-with-kids … [Read more...]

Gift Guide for Kids: Children’s Books 2013

Book Gift Guide 2013

I've found the best books to give your kids as gifts this year. Books for all ages from 2 to 18! Here are my final picks, books that my kids and I have read and recommend. Enjoy!!   Board Books 1. Skip Hop Giraffe Safari Fold and Play Book for ages 12 months+. Fold and flip for fun. This unique origami-inspired toy is both a folding book and a learning game in one. … [Read more...]

Pirates, Princesses and Monsters 3D Pop-Up Story Apps

StoryToys Apps

If your kids are discerning app users like mine, they'll give a thumbs up to StoryToys interactive story books. Because there are a lot of story apps in the world but as your kids know, not all are created equal. So you've got to love the high-quality story apps from StoryToys. The expressive narrators draw you in to the narrative just as much as the beautiful … [Read more...]

Be a Teacher for a Day

Teacher for a Day

Blue plastic-backed chairs wait on desks in the empty room. It won't be like this for long. I know that the parents and students I trailed to the building are arriving at the playground from the surrounding streets and soon at the classroom. I'm spending the day shadowing third year, second-career teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Nelson, in her second grade classroom at College View … [Read more...]