Caterpillar Day!

Caterpillar Day!

A few years ago, a friend introduced us to the wonder of raising our own caterpillars and watching them grow, metamorphosize, and fly away as butterflies. While we usually do this later in the spring, I had the foresight to order a caterpillar kit the day we learned school was cancelled for a while. So, for two weeks, we’ve been nurturing our caterpillars to their current chrysalis stage. And it dawned on me yesterday that this would make a very easy and terrifically fun theme for the morning! Read on to learn all about our caterpillar morning from yesterday and to see what our theme is going to be today. Continue reading “Caterpillar Day!”

Five Ways to Build Connection AND Literacy Skills During Shelter-In-Place

Five Ways to Build Connection AND Literacy Skills During Shelter-In-Place

Right now, it’s safe to assume that just about everyone is living in a shelter-in-place community and that your children are now learning from home for a bit. Today, I’ve got five easy ways to keep connections with neighbors, friends, and family strong while also growing some literacy skills at the same time. These are wins all around! Continue reading “Five Ways to Build Connection AND Literacy Skills During Shelter-In-Place”

An Amazing Alphabet Song Hack

An Amazing Alphabet Song Hack

Is it just in our house, or is the “L-M-N-O-P” part of the traditional alphabet song really hard for children to hear, decipher, and then translate to actually written letters of the alphabet? Surely other children out there besides our own have believed the middle of the alphabet consisted of one long, hard-to-say letter called “eleminopee,” right? Anyway, you can imagine how excited I was when our older daughter came home from her prekindergarten class one day singing the alphabet song a new and different way– a way that made each of those middle letters unique, individual sounds! Keep reading for the magical words to this version (sung to the same tune, by the way…), as well as a video of my girls modeling this edition! Continue reading “An Amazing Alphabet Song Hack”

The Most Important Reading “Teaching” You Can Do With Children at Home

The Most Important Reading “Teaching” You Can Do With Children at Home

A few weeks ago, I could have told you springtime was fast approaching based not on the calendar or the weather, but on the number of emails and messages I got from followers wanting to know the best at-home programs to use to teach their preschoolers to read. It’s that time of year when we’re all looking ahead to the next school year, a year that seems especially important if next year means kindergarten, as we all want our children to have a positive first school experience. (And for many parents these days, pre-kindergarten, junior kindergarten, or transitional kindergarten also seem monumental, as people believe that is the school year when their children need to start reading so that they are ready for kindergarten…). Who knew that worrying about teaching our children to read was such a seasonal thing for parents?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Anyway, my answer is almost always the same and is super easy to implement… In fact, I’d be willing to bet money that if you’re following me, you’re doing exactly what you need to do already… Continue reading “The Most Important Reading “Teaching” You Can Do With Children at Home”

A (Nonsponsored) Review of Libro.fm

A (Nonsponsored) Review of Libro.fm

About nine months ago, I switched my audiobook membership from Audible, which I had used on and off for about 10 years, to Libro.fm. If you’ve never heard of Libro.fm, you’re not alone — I had also never heard of it until a friend in my book club mentioned that I should check it out, since I love both our local bookstore AND audiobooks so much. A brief minute on the Libro.fm website was enough to convince me to switch, and I haven’t looked back since. Read on to see an unsponsored review of our Libro.fm experience, why we love it, and some of the titles we’ve enjoyed listening to with our Libro.fm account. If you make it all the way to the bottom, I have a (nonsponsored, normal) referral link for you to try Libro.fm out! Continue reading “A (Nonsponsored) Review of Libro.fm”

Easy (and Fun) Ways to Build Letter Recognition Skills

Easy (and Fun) Ways to Build Letter Recognition Skills

Two of the most frequent questions that I get are “How do I make sure that my child is ready for kindergarten?” and “What should I do at home to teach my child to read?” The first part of my answer always relates to the fact that most preschool children are typically not ready to read, and the best things to do with them at home to prepare them for school are to make sure they have plenty of free time to play and learn about the world, and to make sure you’re reading a LOT to them. From there, I often talk to parents about easy, play-based ways to build alphabet knowledge with preschool-aged children, so that when their brains are ready for reading, they’ve got the background knowledge they need to jump right in. So, what are some really easy ways to build letter recognition and alphabet knowledge?

Continue reading “Easy (and Fun) Ways to Build Letter Recognition Skills”

A Must-Use Resource for Parents and Teachers

A Must-Use Resource for Parents and Teachers

Do you know and love Common Sense Media? If you are a parent or a teacher, or are somehow responsible for helping make decisions about which books children read or movies kids see, you need to know about this wonderful resource! Continue reading “A Must-Use Resource for Parents and Teachers”

Our Annual Children’s Book Exchange Party

Our Annual Children’s Book Exchange Party

Earlier this week, our neighborhood playgroup had our 7th annual winter/holiday book exchange party with our children. Yes, we’ve been doing this for seven years, which means we started when our oldest children were a mere few months old. Though our playgroup no longer meets weekly, the children eagerly anticipate this book exchange party every December, and no matter how busy our schedules get, the moms in the group do our very best to make this gathering a priority! Read on for a little information (and hopefully inspiration!) for how we run our book exchange. Continue reading “Our Annual Children’s Book Exchange Party”

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo

A few weeks ago, when I told my Instagram followers that I had received How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo (editors of The New York Times Book Review and parents themselves), I got an onslaught of messages asking me for my thoughts on it! I was able to finish this on a flight a few weekends ago, but I spent some time going through the pages and paragraphs I had marked to choose some of my favorites to share with you… So, at long last, I’ve got some information for you about How to Raise a Reader! Continue reading “How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo”

Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)

Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)

One of the questions that I often get asked is how and when to transition from reading only picture books with your children to reading some chapter books as well. While no one child will transition the same way, I’ll share some tips and tricks here for you, as well as recommend a delightfully sweet chapter book series to share with your children! Continue reading “Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)”