Literacy Sensory Bins

Literacy Sensory Bins

If you know me well, you know that I don’t teach my own children to read before kindergarten (nor do I spend time teaching my kindergartener to read when she’s home from school). I believe in play, in exploration, and in a literacy-rich environment. So, my girls LOVE to “read” and to listen to books, but our oldest didn’t read independently before kindergarten. Our youngest might not either. And that’s just fine with me, as long as they’re excited about words, reading, and writing.

So, what do we do instead? We read aloud… a lot. We have books around for the girls to “read” on their own… a lot. And we play! We play for fun. We play to build social skills and to learn about the world. And we play with words and letters. Continue reading “Literacy Sensory Bins”

For the Love of Clipboards

For the Love of Clipboards

I write a lot about the importance of making reading and books exciting, engaging, and accessible to children (see this post, this post, and this post). But recently, a friend asked me why we always have clipboards around our house, and I realized I should share easy ways to make writing accessible, too! So, today is all about… clipboards! Continue reading “For the Love of Clipboards”

Car Books!

Car Books!

Where do your kids read? On the couch? Cuddled in a cozy chair with you? Lying in bed at night?

You probably have books in your children’s rooms. If you have a playroom, you may have a bookshelf or a basket of books there, too. If you’re like us, you also have a random basket beside the couch in the main living area, as well as by the kitchen table and on the back of the toilet… Two very logical places where kids sit still for a few minutes and are a captive audience!

Those are all wonderful options, but let’s think even more broadly… Continue reading “Car Books!”

The Importance of Front-Facing Books– and How to Display Them

The Importance of Front-Facing Books– and How to Display Them

If you’ve followed me for any period of time at all, then you know by now that I LOVE our front-facing bookshelf. It was an investment we chose to make almost 4 years ago (see photo below), and it has been worth every single penny. Being able to see the cover of a book is so beneficial in so many ways to children! Continue reading “The Importance of Front-Facing Books– and How to Display Them”

Why and How We Rotate Books

Why and How We Rotate Books

Do you ever wonder why your children don’t seem excited to grab books off of your shelves full of amazing and wonderful reads more frequently? Did your children, like mine, receive so many new books for the holidays that you’re not really sure what to do with them? Are you, like so many people these days, trying to embrace a more minimalist home? If the answer to any of these questions was yes, then read on for a wonderful solution… Continue reading “Why and How We Rotate Books”

How Our Family Uses Audiobooks

How Our Family Uses Audiobooks

Since I started my Instagram page at the end of July, the questions I get most often are related to how to use audiobooks with kids– when did we start, how do my kids listen, what books have they enjoyed, etc. So, at long last, here are answers to the questions I most frequently get about how our family does audiobooks! Continue reading “How Our Family Uses Audiobooks”

Keeping Hands and Bodies Busy While Listening to Stories

Keeping Hands and Bodies Busy While Listening to Stories

One of the frustrations people most frequently voice to me centers around feeling like their children (or students) aren’t paying attention while listening to stories. But, literacy and brain research experts have shown that fidgeting or moving one’s body actually fired brain connections that help learning and listening happen more effectively? (Two of my favorites, Jim Trelease and Dr. Michael Gurian, have written about this if you’re interested in reading more).

So, what I’m saying is that read alouds don’t need to look perfect to be effective. In fact, if your goal is that all of your read-aloud sessions look like cozy cuddling times in a comfy chair in a well-lit room, your kids are going to be missing out on a lot of quality time with books! Instead, think about providing your children with quiet ways to occupy their hands and/or bodies, and see if it changes the duration or focus of your read-aloud time. Continue reading “Keeping Hands and Bodies Busy While Listening to Stories”