Best Activity Books for Traveling with Kids

activity books for kids

At home, in the car, or on vacation, give your kids entertaining activity books that will keep them busy for hours of brainy fun! These are the best activity books for kids ages 6 - 12. Happy traveling! Activity Books for Kids Easy Mazes by Shinobu Akaishi, Eno Sarris This book of mazes should be just right for your younger kids who aren't ready for the more … [Read more...]

10 Character Based Journals for Kids

Journals based on story characters

If your child loves these stories -- stories like Frozen, Magic Tree House, or Diary of a Wimpy Kid, let her use the love of the characters as motivation for journal writing. See if one of these 10 character-based journals for kids would interest YOUR child and get him writing during summer vacation. Note: descriptions are from the publishers. 10 Character Based Journals … [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...]

New Picture Books About Books, Stories, and the Alphabet

books about books and stories

Recently I read several amazing picture books about books, stories, and the alphabet -- which seemed to all fit together. I figured these books were something you might just love for your own kids or your classroom. Here we go, . . . books about books. Picture Books About Books Once Upon an Alphabet Short Stories for All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers My kids and I ADORE … [Read more...]

Writing Inspiration: How to Get Ideas for a Story

story idea

The picture book, Any Questions by Marie-Louise Gay, is the author's answer to children about the writer's journey -- how to get ideas for a story. It's an interactive experience because you get to write part of a story, too and is beautifully illustrated with water color and ink. Gay writes that children often ask her where does a story start. That's a good question, she … [Read more...]

Photo Story Starter Idea for Kids

photos first

I have the easiest writing idea for you to use with your kids . . . take photos of dolls or figurines for a story starter idea! It all started when my daughter said, "What should I do, mom?" I replied, "Why don't you take those Easter chicks and make up a story. Take photos and then write about what happens." (The chicks were an impulse purchase on a recent trip to a … [Read more...]

Writing Prompts for Kids

writing prompts for kids

Normally I dislike writing prompts for kids because I don't like prompts myself. However, I do think many kids want and even need ideas and inspiration for writing. So, I've found some fantastic online story and character idea generators that I think will motivate your kids to write. These are writing prompts about which I can feel enthusiastic! Story Ideas for Kids The Story … [Read more...]

Free Printable Christmas Mad Libs

Christmas Mad Libs

Do you love fun and silly family activities? My kids were cracking up last week as I reminisced about the footy pajamas I got every year for Christmas . . . with butt flaps. Remember those? (Super classy!) Anyway, I decided to include the idea in a Christmas mad libs type letter. It's a free printable and should be silly enough for some good laughs. Christmas Mad … [Read more...]

Summarizing Fiction

FLOW MAP

Now that we've covered determining importance and summarizing nonfiction, let's talk about summarizing strategies for fiction. This is SO hard for those natural retellers who want to tell you every last detail of the story. That's why summarizing has to be taught, modeled, and practiced. A lot. Flow Maps Flow maps are thinking maps for sequencing the main events in a … [Read more...]

Summarizing with Thinking Maps

TREE MAP

Summarizing doesn't come easily for most kids. Most kids are natural retellers. You know, those kids who tell you every last detail of a movie that they just watched? (Oh, the agony!) :) Which is why I want to tell you about using thinking maps (graphic organizers) to write summaries. The goal with summarizing, unlike retelling, is to only pull out the main idea and key … [Read more...]