June Family Focus: Creativity

June Family Focus: Creativity

As I hope you saw last week when I published the booklist, our Family Focus Trait for June is creativity! We officially wrapped up honesty and kicked off creativity on Sunday night with a yummy family dinner and family meeting (because, by now, you all know that in our house, family meetings are much more successful when everyone’s tummies are satisfied and their hearts are happy!). For our creativity kickoff, I chose to read Windblown by Édouard Manceau, which led into a corresponding process art activity that we all thoroughly enjoyed. Read on to hear about the book and get some information about the process art!

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90 Books for 90 Days of Summer! (2020 Edition)

As you all know, I LOVE a good booklist. I always have! As a teacher, I constantly created random themed book baskets or gathered books about a specific topic to perch on the whiteboard ledge. As a mom, I’ve always loved filling our front-facing shelf with whatever holiday or theme was appropriate for a given chunk of weeks. And as a blogger, creating lists for you all is my favorite thing to do.

Today, not only do I have a list for you, but I have my favorite annual list for you — 90 Books for 90 Days of Summer! This is the list I dreamed of making for a few years before starting my Instagram page, and I was thrilled to finally be able to release my first summer booklist last summer. I’m back with 90 Books for 90 Days of Summer (2020 Edition), a completely different but just as fabulous collection of picture books for you to read with your family this summer.

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The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down by Margaret Wild

The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down by Margaret Wild

Though this book was published in 2017, I just discovered it, and it is incredibly applicable to our lives over the past few months: The Sloth Who Slowed Us Down by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Vivienne To. Over the past few months, we’ve been forced to slow down. Overnight, many of us found ourselves with clear calendars, no extracurriculars, no social outings, nowhere to go… Similarly, Amy’s family has to slow down abruptly when she brings a sloth home from the park. Read on to learn more about this adorable, yet impactful story!

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Picture Books to Inspire Wild Creativity

Picture Books to Inspire Wild Creativity

Okay, all, it’s almost June, which means it’s time to gather up (if you can… because your libraries are likely still closed…) books to inspire creativity! When my husband and I sat down to talk about traits we wanted to foster in our children in 2020, creativity was high on our list, and we knew a summer month would be a perfect month for creativity! So, up today, I’ve got a huge list of picture books to inspire creativity… Books that will inspire imagining, writing, crafting, creating, building, music, dancing, daydreaming, and more. Check out the list below, gather what you can from your bookshelves, hit up your library when it reopens, and get excited about a summer of creativity!

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Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry

Earlier this spring, we read the first two books in the Gooney Bird Greene series by Lois Lowry, and they were a HUGE hit! If you’re looking for a family read-aloud book that is bound to make your children laugh, inspire them to tell and write their own stories, teach them a bit about writing craft, AND is part of a 6-book series (so you’ve got lots of material once your kiddos are hooked, which they will be…), then look no further than Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, illustrated by Middy Thomas!

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Child Development Resources for Parents and Teachers

Child Development Resources for Parents and Teachers

How comfortable are you with your understanding of your child’s development? Does your child ever do something that makes you wonder, “What on earth is going on in his head?” or “What happened to the child who always did _____? She seems like a completely different kid overnight!”

I was a Child Development major in college (and I have a graduate degree in Elementary Education…), and even I have to admit that my memory of all that I learned about how children grow, learn, and change so many years ago seems rocky at times. Fortunately, researchers have given us many wonderful resources, full of information that provides parents and teachers a small window into what’s happening in children’s brains.

And y’all, I refer to these resources ALL THE TIME. As a teacher, I owned a handful of these books and gave brochures with pertinent information to my students’ parents at the beginning of each year. As a parent, these have provided me with great comfort when we hit “What in the world is going on?” stages. Read on to see why it’s important to gain an understanding of stages of child development, as well as which resources for understanding stages of child development I love and why!

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The Honest-to-Goodness Truth by Patricia C. McKissack

The Honest-to-Goodness Truth by Patricia C. McKissack

Don’t you worry, we’re still reading all the best honesty books over here for our Family Focus trait of honesty for May! Though we don’t really have formal trait-building activities to go with honesty month as we have in the past, we are still reading our honesty picture books and adding to our honesty chart. And this week, we read an absolute gem — The Honest-to-Goodness Truth by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Giselle Potter.

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Boxitects by Kim Smith

Boxitects by Kim Smith

Do you have a child who loves to tinker, create, and build? Or, are you looking for ways to inspire your children to upcycle all the boxes from online purchases from the last few months? Surely we’re not the only ones with a gigantic stack of cardboard boxes at any given time these days… Either way, you’re going to want to check out Boxitects by Kim Smith for your builders or builders-to-be, as it’s fully of both creative and teamwork inspiration!

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In the City by Dominika Lipniewska

In the City by Dominika Lipniewska

Don’t your kids just love seek-and-find books that aren’t actually seek and find, but give them plenty of opportunities to do just that? Those books that read naturally, but have hidden details in the illustrations, or are inviting for little eyes to spend hours searching? In the City by Dominika Lipniewska is just that, and you’re going to want to be sure to check it out!

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Our Favorite Birthday Books

Our Favorite Birthday Books

You all know I love a good themed bookshelf, and there’s no better time to bust out themed books than just before a birthday! So, twice a year, our front-facing bookshelf gets turned into a birthday bookshelf, featuring all of our favorite birthday books. And, while there are some birthday picture books that we absolutely adore (in fact, we love The Seven Silly Eaters so much that when our oldest turned 6, she requested that we make Mrs. Peters’ birthday cake for her celebration with family!), there are a lot of birthday books out there that, well, just don’t do it for me… So, I thought I should share our favorites with you, so that birthday excitement in your house can involve books, too!

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