The Benefits of Dirt and Mud Play — and the Easiest DIY Mud Kitchen Ever

The Benefits of Dirt and Mud Play —  and the Easiest DIY Mud Kitchen Ever

Our almost-four-year-old daughter is raising polar bears and panda bears in the bushes in our front yard. And, she feeds them sweet potatoes that she makes from the wood chips surrounding said bushes. She’s been raising these animals for more than a year, so we decided she needed some proper kitchen tools to help her along! Last Christmas, we bought her some stainless steel and aluminum cupspans, pots, spatulas, and spoons, and last spring, we made the simplest DIY mud kitchen that has ever been made. Why did we go to such lengths to encourage this play? Besides simply being an amazing creative outlet (I mean, think about the imagination required to keep those polar bears alive for so long!), did you know there are many, many other benefits to playing in dirt and mud? Read on for some of those benefits, as well as basic directions to our super simple mud kitchen! Continue reading “The Benefits of Dirt and Mud Play — and the Easiest DIY Mud Kitchen Ever”

Back-to-School Giveaway on Instagram!

Back-to-School Giveaway on Instagram!

It’s back-to-school giveaway time over on Instagram! I’ve got an amazing giveaway for you all today, and thanks to many generous authors and illustrators, TWO of you have a chance to win something! I will randomly pick 2 winners and send EACH an amazing set of back-to-school books, a signed print from The King of Kindergarten, and a copy of Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook (6th edition).

The giveaway is running on Instagram, so be sure to check out my latest post on Instagram (you can also find me at https://www.instagram.com/childrenslitlove/). You are not going to want to miss this one! Continue reading “Back-to-School Giveaway on Instagram!”

Three Hugely Impactful Books in Our House This Week

Three Hugely Impactful Books in Our House This Week

These three books made a HUGE difference in our oldest daughter’s last 24 hours. No, we’re not moving, and fortunately our first day of school is still a month away…

Rather, the last day of camp was making my oldest anxious! She had attended a wonderful camp this week with two friends, but they were both not attending the last day… And she was incredibly unsure about going without them. Unsure enough that she cried many big, fat tears about it between pickup yesterday afternoon and bedtime last night.

And trust me, I contemplated letting her skip today and spend the morning with me. That would have been a lot easier and made her much happier much more quickly. But, my husband and I both agreed that one of our jobs is to gently push her to work through new and uncomfortable situations. So, we did! Of course, I grabbed some books I thought would be helpful (Mae’s First Day of School and The Kissing Hand happened to be on my desk because I’m updating my back-to-school lists, and I scrambled to get my hands on When You Are Brave quickly!), and we read a lot while dissecting what today was going to be like for her. Continue reading “Three Hugely Impactful Books in Our House This Week”

ICB Jesus Calling Children’s Bible Instagram Giveaway!

ICB Jesus Calling Children’s Bible Instagram Giveaway!

When HarperCollins Christian Publishing reached out to me last spring to see if I was interested in receiving a copy of their ICB Jesus Calling Bible for Children for an honest review and a potential giveaway, I knew right away that I’d be interested! I worked my way through Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling devotional a few years ago and loved the experience, so I was very excited to see how her work had been adapted to devotionals alongside a children’s Bible. Continue reading “ICB Jesus Calling Children’s Bible Instagram Giveaway!”

Page 1 Kids Ambassador Finale

Page 1 Kids Ambassador Finale

Do your kids love to read nonfiction? Mine don’t… at all. I know there are children who devour informational texts, flipping through those books for hours, taking in the photographs, diagrams, and facts… But not my children! Every now and then, they might request a picture book biography, but I think it’s much more for the story and much less because it’s something real about a real person. And there are SO MANY wonderful nonfiction books for children, even really young children, these days!

So, for my last Page One Kids book request, I asked for a really engaging, inviting nonfiction book… And, once again, they nailed it, sending us The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer! In fact, over the weekend, my almost-6-year-old actually asked me to read her 2 different sections of it! Now, to be clear, the book is 63 pages long, and we read 4 pages, but it was by her request, so I’ll consider it a win! Continue reading “Page 1 Kids Ambassador Finale”

A Little About Me

A Little About Me

Hello, everyone! While I was spending time with my girls over their spring breaks, I hit 2000 followers on Instagram! I am thrilled that so many people are excited to get good books into their children’s hands, and I’m happy so many of you are looking for fun, laid-back ways to help your kiddos develop into independent and excited readers and writers. It’s hard enough to be a parent, so I’m glad I can help make one thing a little more fun and easy!

Since it’s been so long since I did an intro, I thought I’d take this first day back to share a bit about myself… You may be wondering who I am, why I do this, and what experience I have in the areas of literacy, so here goes! Continue reading “A Little About Me”

Subconcious Messages Through Children’s Book Choices

Subconcious Messages Through Children’s Book Choices

If you have children or work with children, you probably know they LOVE to listen to the same story over and over… and over… again. In fact, one of the earliest literacy tip posts I did on Instagram was about the benefits of repeated readings!

Pictured above are 3 books that have been on heavy repeat in our house these last few weeks. They’re all drastically different, with different characters, plots, and themes. And this variety made me wonder— do these book choices tell me anything important about my children? Would paying more attention to those choices would give me a little window about what my girls are processing or needing right now? Continue reading “Subconcious Messages Through Children’s Book Choices”