Effective and Fun Study Tips for Kids/Tweens/Teens

One day a group of moms and I were sharing information about our hobbies, jobs, and businesses. I told the group that I just started a YouTube Channel with Fun Accelerated Learning Tips for Kids. One mom asked me to make a video of Study Tips for Tweens/Teens. Excitement was my feeling because I love doing research, telling others what I have learned, and solving problems. My response was “I will work on it!”

Below is what I have experienced and found to be effective study habits and strategies for kids. 

Let’s Get Going!

Want More Tips? Get 3 Tools Every Household Needs to Boost Children’s Academic Success.

How Can I Help my Kid study?

Create conversations

You can assist your child with their school work by being involved in their studies. Ask your child about the topics they are learning about in school. Create conversations during dinner, car trips, or walking the dog about that topic and share what you know. If you don’t know much about the topic, have your kid teach you about the subject. You may also do your own research on the topic and share what you learned. 

Being Involved

Another way to assist your child is to attend parent conferences, open houses, or back-to-school nights. Students usually do better when they are supported in their academic life. As a parent, request meetings with teachers and other staff just to check your child’s progress. These meetings should happen whether your child is doing well or need some extra attention with school work. Open Houses or Back-to-School nights are when parents learn about school programs and polices and other opportunities your child may take advantage of.

Some Basic Necessities

 It is important for parents to provide the basic necessities children need to study such as nutritional meals and sleep. Nutritional meals can help your child focus and increase their attention span. Children need the proper amount of sleep in order to be alert during the day. Parents can help by turning off electronic devices at certain hours and creating time limitations.

Conducive Study Environment

Children should have a conducive studying environment. This includes having  the tempature between 74º and 77º.  It is helpful to place desks or tables away from distractions. Some parents find putting their child’s desk in the corner of their room away from the door and facing the wall helpful. Natural light is the best light to study with; however, if this is not available, ensure there is proper lighting  in your child’s study area.

Another tip is to have a distraction sheet near your child in case they have ideas pop in their head that are not related to school work. The child can write down their thoughts to prevent them from constantly thinking about it during study time. 

What are the habits of Successful Students?

Learning Outside the Classroom

 Two habits of successful students are learning outside the classroom and doing practice exams. Many successful students don’t just read the text book provided by their school, they take the initative to learn about a topic through reading other books, watching educational videos, and through experience. For example, if a child is learning about the American Civil Rights Movement, they may read about civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, watch a documentary on the movement such as Eyes on the Prize, or visit a history museum. 

Practice Exams

Successful students often do practice exams. A practice exam can be informal when a parent is having an analytical dialogue or asking the child questions about the topic. It can also be formal where the parents create a practice test for their child. Practice tests can also be found in the back of other textbooks on the subject. Sometimes, you can find older editions of textbooks at your local library. 

How Can I Improve my Child’s Interest in Studies?

Children will be interested in their studies when there is a connection to what they are learning. I remember in high school disliking my geography class because I felt no connection to other countries. My interest in geography did not come alive until I started to travel internationally while in college. 

Let’s say your child is taking geography, then observe your child and see what they like and offer a connection. For the child who loves sports, have them research Sports played in the countries they are studying. If your daughter loves fashion, have them research the dress and fashion trends in the countries they are studying. Take it a step further and compare their findings to what happens in their home country. 

Another way to spark interest in studies is to encourage the child to find how it applies to their lives. Another subject I did not like in High School was Physics. However, if I would have done some hands on physics experiments then I would have been more engaged in my studies. For example, a great physics lesson is visiting a playground and studying how the two opposing forces of a seesaw lever and fulcrum (placed in the middle) counterbalance each other, creating a smooth ride through the air. My only exposure in high school to physics was in a book and I did not connect with it.

4 Ways to Improve Study Habits

Chunking information

Chunking is the process of breaking information into smaller pieces so the brain can digest it more easily. As a second grader writing a short story in class, I could not remember how to spell the word together. I got up and asked my teacher and she said three words “to” “get” “her.” From that time on, together has never been a word I have forgotten to spell. 

Chunking can be done in many ways. Kids can group together information by categories. For example, if your child is learning the symbols of the periodic table, they can remember them by groups. First they may learn the Group 1 which are the alkali metals, then move on the Group 2, the alkaline earth metals, and so on. 

Mind mapping

Mind mapping is one of my favorite ways to learn new things. It is an easy way to get information in and out of your brain. With mind maps you can study, take notes, create new ideas and plan projects. It consists of words, colors, lines, and pictures, which coincides with how our brain thinks.

There are 5 steps to Mind Mapping.

  1. Get a blank paper with colored pens, pencils, markers, or crayons.
  2. Draw a picture in the middle of the page that sums up your topic or subject.
  3. Draw thick curved, connected lines coming away from the picture, one of each for the main ideas you have about the topic.
  4. Name each of these ideas and it is helpful to draw pictures of each.
  5. For each of the ideas, draw other connected lines spreading like tree branches.
    • These represent the details.

We remember information better with pictures because it uses both sides of the brain. For example, it is natural for photographs, books and magazines to bring back our memories. If you want to remember all your favorite things, just draw a color coded picture like below.


If you wanted to Mind Map an article, use the basic elements below in your picture.

  1. What?
  2. Where?
  3. When?
  4. Who?
  5. Why?
  6. Conclusion

Creativity

Get creative with how new information is studied especially if it is a subject you are not fond of. If you love making home videos, create a show on the information you are studying and perform it for family and friends. Another idea is to make up questions about the subject and play a trivia game with friends in your class. Have all your friends bring a certain amount of questions for the game. If you like music, write a song about the information and put it to a catchy beat. 

Please note: As you are preparing for your creative way of studying, ensure you understand the material first to pinpoint any area of confusion you have. 

Get creative with how to study information

  1. Create a You Tube video teaching others about the topic.
  2. Create a commercial or role play on the information.

Schedule but with a Catch

It is helpful to set up a daily schedule of when you will study. However, it is important to include fun things like hobbies, time with friends or playing video games, and digital media time. You are more likely to complete tasks when you have playtime and work time on your schedule. This allows you to create in your mind something to look forward to. 

Association

One of the easiest ways to remember information is to associate it with something in which you are familiar. For example, make up a sentence using the letters in the formula to remember the area of a rectangle which is A = lw. The sentence could be Laura and Will had a big baby named Adam. Try to use items that you will remember like name of friends and family.

I hope you have found these tips helpful!!!

Use these studying strategies above to make studying revelent, interesting, and fun!

Happy Learning!

Other Resources

Thomas Frank’s video on How to Study Effectively: 8 Advanced Tips-College Info Geek 


Mind Maps for Kids by Tony Buzan

4 Fun & Simple Activities/Games That will Teach Kids about Germs

germs activities

As adults, we most likely want  to prevent children from getting sick. It disturbs their playtime and they often look helpless lying in bed during an illness. One way to keep kids healthy is to teach them how to prevent germs.

I have provided 4 FUN and SIMPLE activities that will complete this mission! These activities will have your child wanting to help with chores and pinpoint the importance of good hygiene.

Want More Games? Here is a Video on 6 Games/Activities for Kids and Parents That Will Make Your Morning Routine Efficient!

Let’s get started by answering basic questions about germs/microbes.

How are germs spread by hands?

 When you cough or sneeze, this is the lungs’ way of doing their job to force bad germs/microbes out. Some people cough in their hands if they don’t have a tissue.  Coughing in your hands leads to germs being left there. When you touch anything such as a doorknob, pen, sink, utensils, or someone else’s hand, you will spread germs.

How can you prevent germs from spreading?

 There are good and bad germs. You want to keep good germs and get rid of bad germs. Good germs can help make vitamins that your body needs. Foods that increase good bacteria or germs are asparagus, beans, spinach, and bananas.

One way to prevent bad germs from spreading is to cough or sneeze into a tissue or elbow. Furthermore, if you don’t cover up at all while sneezing and coughing, the germs can go really far. Some germs can travel 100 miles (160km) per hour and spread over 100,000 more.

Another way to prevent germs is to wash your hands frequently with soap. Soap helps to remove dirt and microbes. Hand washing should occur before eating, after using the bathroom, when playtime is complete, after using public transportation, or visiting public places.

How can kids prevent germs?

 Germs can enter the body through the mouth, nose, breaks in the skin, eyes and genitals (privates). Below are 5 ways to prevent germs…

  1. Using tissues to wipe and blow your nose.
  2. Staying home from school when you are sick.
  3. Keep hands out of mouth.
  4. Do not use other’s forks, spoons, or drink from the same cup. 
  5. Teach kids to wash their hands.

 

How do you teach a child to wash their hands?

Have kids do the following steps to wash their hands…

  1. Wet their hands with warm or cold water.
  2. Use soap to lather their hands while singing “Happy Birthday” twice.
  3. Scrub between fingers, on the backs of hands, and under nails.
  4. Rinse well and dry with a clean towel.

 Tip: Create a colorful chart with the steps above and display in all bathrooms.

Here’s a Great Book that Teaches Kids about Germs

Have you ever asked a child to wash their hands and they asked “Why?” The story, Do not lick this book* by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost, provides a fun and engaging way to answer this question.

How this Book makes Learning about Germs Fun!

This book is about an oval shaped microbe character named Min, who teaches children about germs, by going on an adventure. Min begins her journey ON the book and involves readers by asking them to take her various places.

For example, the book says “Let’s take Min on an adventure! See the circle on the next page? That’s where Min lives. Touch the circle with your finger to pick her up. Min is now on your finger!”

Taking your Child on a Germ Journey

During Min’s travels, she meets friends and takes them along the way. Somehow Min and Rae end up on the reader’s shirt! At each stop, the authors show children a microscopic view of their destination. Additionally, commentary from other microbes explain how they function. While Min and Rae on are the reader’s shirt, one microbe says “Can you give me a hand spreading this dirt around?” Another microbe says “We’re making this shirt smell.”

While Min and friends are on the reader’s belly button, one microbe asks, “Did I tell you about the time soap got all the way in here? Another microbe replies “I don’t like scary stories!” This book teaches children the importance of brushing their teeth, washing clothes, and taking a bath in a humorous manner.

At the end, the authors show readers what microbes really look like and where they can be found.

Let’s apply it with 4 FUN Activities!

 Use the activities below to….

  1. Teach your Child about germs.
  2. Encourage them to help with chores.
  3. Promote Hygiene and Self-Care.

 

I do these activities with my son and he loves it!

Create the Germ/Microbe

  1. Have your child draw a germ/microbe.
  2. Tell the child to give the microbe a name.
  3. Have your child draw the microbe a friend and name it.
  4. Tell your child the microbe is going to travel to three places…
    • Their clothes
    • On their teeth
    • On their hands
  5. Tell your child you are going to get rid of the germs by doing the next three activities.

Laundry

  1. Explain to children that microbes get on our clothes and make them dirty and stinky.
  2. While doing laundry have your child help you put the clothes in the dryer and washing machine.
  3. While your child is handling the clothes say the following…
    • “Let’s get the Microbes off the clothes by putting them in washing machine.
  4. Make it fun and urgent by saying the following…
    • “Oh no! The microbes are multiplying let’s put them in the washing machine quickly!
    • Make it into a race against the Microbes.

Brushing Teeth

  1. Explain to children that microbes get on our teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities.
  2. Explain that cavities are holes in your teeth.
  3. The microbes also cause your breathe to stink.
  4. These microbes love sugars like candy.
  5. In order to get them off, they must floss and brush their teeth.
  6. While your child is brushing their teeth say the following..
    • “Hurry Hurry, the microbes are running because they know we are about to brush your teeth!
    • Let’s brush your teeth to remove them now!”
    • I hear the microbes saying, “No, No don’t brush your teeth! We don’t like the smell of toothpaste!”
  7. When your child is rinsing their mouth and spitting, say the following…
    • “The microbes are down the drain and they are yelling “No, No!”

Washing Hands

  1. Explain to children that microbes get on our hands as we touch various things like the doorknob and sink.
  2. We often touch our noses, mouths, and eyes allowing microbes to come into our bodies and make us sick.
  3. We need to wash our hands to decrease our chances of getting sick.
  4. While your child is washing their hands, laugh and say the following…
    • “We are going to get those microbes by washing our hands with soap!”
    • “The microbes are scared of soap so let’s keep scrubbing!”
  5. When your child is rinsing their hands, say the following…
    • “The microbes are down the drain and they are yelling “No, No!”
    • “Yes! We conquered the microbes!”

When I forget to do these activities, my son usually asks me to play the Microbe Games!

Get creative with your children on how to remove microbes!

Happy Cleaning!

 

How Dads Can Help Children Become Better Readers

How Dads Can Help Children Become Better Readers

The Benefit of Dads Reading Aloud to Their Kids

I remember going to the local library and listening to an Education Expert lecture about the importance of reading aloud to your children. This expert said children whose dads read to them are more likely to become avid readers in adulthood.  One of the reasons is men’s lower voices tend to command more attention and sometimes can be better heard from children due to the lower frequency of the sound wave. For example, people with slight hearing loss find it easier to hear men’s voices than women and children’s voices.  Also, a Harvard University study found that dads reading bedtime stories is better for children’s language development.

How Can Dads Help a Child Become a Better Reader?

Dads should read aloud to their child frequently. Also, children can observe how their dad enunciates words and his reading rhythm. Furthermore,  do hands-on activities where the child can experience the words in the book. For example, if the child is reading about animals on Wednesday, take the book with you to the zoo on Saturday. Show the child the animals in the book while observing them at the zoo. This allows the child to see the words and experience it simultaneously.

Below is a video of Read Aloud Strategies to Make Books Fun For Kids!

How do Books Help Children’s Development?

Children will learn life skills through experience. However, books can help a child’s development because they see how book characters solve problems and handle difficult situations. This is why it’s important for dads to read various types of books frequently to their children. The child receives a male’s perspective on how to handle issues through discussion encouraged from reading books. Also dads are given the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics through books which can range from friendship to feelings and emotion.

A Fun Book Dads Can Read to Children

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

These reasons, along with others, is why I like to find books where a dad is one of the main characters. I found a book, Be Glad Your Dad Is Not an Octopus! by Matthew Logelin, Sara Jensen, and Jared Chapman, that is entertaining and educational.

Why We Like This Book

Along with the benefit of dads reading aloud, this book highlights the positive aspects of fathers such as telling funny stories or singing silly songs. It also stresses the negative side of dads, from a kid’s perspective, like being bossy or grouchy. Sometimes kids wish their dad’s were someone else, but the author warns children to be careful what they wish for because it be could way worse.

The book gives humorous scenarios of how it could be worse. One page reads, “Be glad your dad is not a tortoise because everything would take forever.” Another example is “Be glad your dad is not a Dung Beetle, because he would pile poop in your room, (Seriously, that would be really gross.)”

Fun Educational Components of the Book

The animals discussed in this book provide children with insight on how they function. At the end, the author gives more information about each animal in the book. When dung beetles pile poop and eat it, they help rid the earth of it. If they didn’t, the whole world would be covered in it!

My husband and son had a great time reading this book! My son found this funny and entertaining!!!

Fun Ideas to Supplement Book

Take it a step further and do a fun activity to supplement this book. Below are some ideas…

  1. Role play a tortoise and do everything around the house slowly.
  2. Get a balled up brown sock, representing poop, and leave it beside your child’s bed.
    • Leave a note saying “Daddy the Dung Beetle left this poop for you!”

Get this book and let your child laugh and learn while dad reads.

P.S. If dad is not present, get other family members and friends, like granddads, uncles, and mentors, to read to your child.

Happy Reading!

Holiday Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids

HolidayLaughOut LoudJokesForKids

Wouldn’t it be great for your family to have access to Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids this holiday?

This time of the year promotes relaxation, reminiscing, and laughter with family. Below, I have provided you with jokes to share with your loved ones after you all have opened your presents!

Children and adults will have a great time guessing the answers.

These jokes came from the book The Complete Laugh-Out-Laugh Holiday Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott. This book is filled with jokes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If you want more jokes,  get his book!

Let’s get started!

Also, download our FREE Printable Holiday Card so your children can showcase their artwork to family and friends this Holiday Season!

  1. What do snowmen eat for Lunch?

    • Brrrr-itos
  2. What is a Christmas tree’s least favorite month of the year?

    • Sep-timber
  3. What did Frosty wear to the wedding?

    • His snowsuit
  4. Why was Santa dressed up?

    • He was going to the snowball
  5. Why do snowmen always change their minds?

    • Because they are flaky!
  6. What does Santa give Rudoph when he has bad breath?

    • Orna-mints
  7. Who bring Christmas presents to a shark?

    • Santa Jaws
  8. What did the gingerbread man do when he sprained his ankle?

    • He iced it.
  9. What do grumpy sheep say during the holidays?

    • “Baa, baa, humbug.”
  10. Why do elves go to school?

    • To learn the elf-abet
  11. Why did the math teacher get sick after Christmas dinner?

    • He had too much pi.
  12. What does an elf listen to on the radio?

    • wrap music
  13. How do snow spend their Christmas vacations?

    • Chilling out
  14. What does Santa give his reindeer for a stomach ache?

    • Elk-a-Seltzer
  15. Why didn’t the rope get any presents?

    • Because it was knotty
  16. What did Mrs. Claus say to Rudolph when he was grump?

    • “You need to lighten up!”
  17. What is something you can throw during the holidays but catch?

    • A Christmas Party
  18. Why was the cat afraid to climb the Christmas tree?

    • It was scared of the bark.
  19. Why did the baker give everybody free cookies for  Christmas?

    • Because he had a lot of dough!
  20. What is a skunk’s favorite Christmas song?

    • “Jungle Smells”

 

5 Reading Games/Activities For Kids

Infants Can Read?          baby smiling

Did you know that children show signs of reading as infants? Reading is all about discovering meaning and this is what your baby did  when they first responded to your smile.

Sometimes discovering meaning can be lost with traditional ISOLATED learning methods such letter sounds and worksheets. Reading should follow the natural way that children learn which is through a variety of experiences and following their interests.

Following Your Child’s Interest

If children are offered reading material that follow their interests, then they will want to seek meaning from words. From this desire, they will learn word recognition and phonics skills.

Children learn best from discoveries they make from exploring the world around them. They gather conclusions from their experimentations and creative play. For example, in water play, they learn about volume, capacity, and the properties of water as they pour it cup to cup.

What You Can Do As a Parent

Your job as the parent is to describe their play and provide them with language.  During water play, use descriptive words such as wet, splash, ripples, warm, and cool.  Then expose them to similar words by reading books dealing with water such Splish, Splash Ducky by Lucy Cousins or Spot Goes to the Swimming Pool by Eric Hill.  This is the beginnings of  you making connections with language and play.

The games/activities provided below will  help you make more connections with words through creative play.

Want to know what Games/Activities, Tips, and Resources were used to get my 3-year-old son to read on a 3rd grade level? Access my e-book, Teach Your Toddler to Read through Play, here. 

Let’s Get Started!

Change the Story

Children should be provided opportunities to apply knowledge from books through imaginative play. Below is a way to stimulate your child’s ability to problem solve, sort information, and develop new ideas through creative-thinking questions. Below is how to do it…

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read the story multiple times to your child.
  3. Have your child change the ending.
  4. They may communicate their version of the ending through the following…
    • Drawing a picture
    • Creating a sculpture with Playdoh or Clay
    • Creating a dance
    • Role playing with props
    • Simply telling the story

play doh

Clues from the Story

The following activity will develop your child’s listening skills. It is also great for reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary.

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read the story multiple times to your child.
  3. Gather clues from the story you have read. Clues from the story can include…
    • Characters
    • Setting – where the story took place.
    • The conflict or problem in the story.
    • The story’s resolution
    • Basically anything in the story
  4. Let your child guess what you are thinking from the story with the clues you give them.
  5. Use descriptive words to describe your clue such as…
    • “I’m thinking of a humongous animal with a large trunk.”
    • Then let your child give you the answer which is elephant.
  6. Now let your child think of something and give you clues.
  7. Another variation of this game is to have your child get clues by asking you yes/no questions about a mystery item.
    • “Is it large?
    • “Does it make a loud noise”

Treasure Hunt   treasure hunt

This game is great for reading comprehension. It also helps your child learn how print and pictures carry meaning.

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read the story multiple times to your child.
  3. Tell your child they are going to do a treasure hunt.
  4. Find one vocabulary word, item, or character from the story.
  5. If you have the item in your home, you may use it for the hunt.
  6. If you don’t have the item, you may draw a picture and briefly describe it on separate piece of paper.
  7. Hide the item in your home.
  8. Leave a series of notes or pictures to help your child find the item.
    • For example, write “Go to the dining room table” or draw a picture of the  dining room table.
    • On the dining room table, have another note ready stating, “Go to your bedroom” or draw the child’s bedroom.
  9. Your child will continue finding and following instructions on notes or drawings until he/she locates the item from the story.
  10. Once your child has found the item, ask them to identify the item and how it fits in the story.

Charades

You will need more than one child for this game. This game is great for reading comprehension and promotes in-depth learning. In-depth learning is when you learn about something in various ways. Charades will allow your child to learn words through physical activities, reading, and application (identifying where it fits in the story)

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read it multiple times to your child.
  3. Write vocabulary words or characters from the story on index cards or paper.
  4. Players will take turns picking these cards from a plastic bag and acting them out.
  5. The other players will guess the word.
  6. Once the word is identified, then have the child identify where the word fits in the story.
  7. Another variation of this game is to have the player draw a picture of the word while the other players guess the word.

Spy a Word

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read it multiple times to your child.
  3. Omit a word and let your child fill in the blanks.
  4. Let’s say you read a story where a mouse is trying to find cheese.
  5. You say “In the story, the mouse is trying to find……
  6. Let your child say “cheese.”
  7. Keep stating the plot of the story and let your child fill in the blanks.
  8. Another variation of this game is to fill in the blanks with silly words and let your child correct you.
  9. You state  “In the story, the mouse is trying to find a cat to eat him.
  10. Let your child correct you with the word “cheese.”

black father reading to son

Have Fun Reading and Playing!

Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE course on How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

170 Children’s Books with Black Characters

170 children's books with black characters

I love reading good children’s books with my three-year-son and recommending them to my friends who are mothers. When I recently sent them a book recommendation, one mom requested books with black characters.

This mom and I have black children and it is important for us to have books with characters that resemble them. It helps our children make a connection with the characters, plot, and setting.

Suddenly I started creating a list of books we have read with black characters. At first, I thought the list would consist of 25 books. However, as I began writing, it went from 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, and then finally to 170 books!

Some of these books I have read to my son, and then some he read independently.

Below is a video of Reading Games/Activities for Kids

Read these books below and make them come alive to your children.

Let’s get started! 

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

1. Max Goes to the Barber by Adria F. Klein/Mernie Gallagher-Cole

  • This book explores a boy’s visit to the barber as he gets his hair cut and combed.

2. Max Goes to the Dentist by Adria F. Klein/Mernie Gallagher-Cole

  •  This book describes what a trip to the dentist entails. As a result, Max learns how to take proper care of this teeth.

3. Max Goes to School by Adria F. Klein/Mernie Gallagher-Cole

  • Learn about Max’s day at school, as he listens to a story, draws a picture, plays on the playground, and eats lunch.

4. Max Goes to the Library by Adria F. Klein/ Mernie Gallagher-Cole

  • Max, who loves to read, discovers all the services available to him during a visit to the library.

5. Max Goes to the Zoo by Adria Klein/Mernie Gallagher-Cole

  • Max and his friend, Lily, spend a day exploring the zoo. Read this book and find out what animals they see.

6. Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn/Rosaline Beardshaw

  • Lola and her mom go to the library weekly. Find out what fun she has and the friends she meets.

7. The Snowy Day by Erza Jack Keats

  • This work reveals the adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day.

8. Peter’s Chair by Erza Jack Keats

  • Learn how Peter’s world is turned upside down with the arrival of a new baby sister.

9. Goggles by Erza Jack Keats

  • Peter and his friend find motorcycle goggles. Find out what happens when the older boys from the neighborhood want the goggles.

10. Pet Show by Erza Jack Keats

  • Archie faces a dilemma  when he wants to enter a pet show but his cat runs away. Read how he uses fast thinking to solve his problem.

11. Whistle for Willie by Erza Jack Keats

  • Learn about Peter, on a hot summer day, who wants to whistle for his dog, Willie.

12. Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang

  • This book is about bedtime fun and a countdown to pleasant dreams.

13. Whose Toes are Those by Jabari Asim/LeUyen Pham

  • Kids will enjoy this interactive book that celebrates the game, This Little Piggy.

14. I Am So Brave by Stephen Krensky/Sara Gillingham

  • Discover how this boy grows out of toddlerhood with courage and success!

15. I Know A lot by Stephen Krensky/Sara Gillingham

  • Discover how this girl grows out of toddlerhood with new knowledge to share!

16. Shades of Black: A Celebration of our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney/Miles Pinkney

  • This book explores the various skin tones, hair texture, and eye color of black children.

17. Shanna’s Teacher Show by Jean Marzollo/Shane W. Evans

  • Today Shanna is playing a teacher who knows how to make learning fun! She also teaches kids creativity and how to problem solve.

18. God Bless the Child by Billie Holiday/Arthur Herzog, Jr.

  • This book is based off the song by Billie Holiday, “God Bless the Child.”

19. Harper Counts Her Blessings by Kristi Guillory Reid/Jerry Craft

  • This book shows children the importance of taking the time each day as a family to reflect upon their blessings and to thank God.

20. Peek a Boo Morning by Rachel Isadora

  • A toddler plays a game of peekaboo with her family.

My son reading a book.

21. Peek a Boo Bedtime by Rachel Isadora

  • A fun-loving toddler delights in entertaining his family, friends, and puppy with his special game throughout the day.

22. Green Pants by Kenneth Kraegel

  • Jameson only wears green pants. When he wears green pants, he can do anything. If he wants to be in his cousin’s wedding, he is required to wear a tuxedo, with black pants. What will he do?

23. Brown Boy Brown Boy What Can you Be by Ameshia Arthur

  • Read about Matthew as he considers all the things he can accomplish and the careers he can do.

24. Dad Who Will I Be? by G. Todd Taylor/Jorge Hernandez

  • This book inspires, encourages, and educates young readers to be great by introducing them to heroes of color from a number of different professions.

25. Full Full Full of Love by Trish Cooke/Paul Howard

  • For the youngest member of an extended family, Sunday dinner
    at Grannie’s can be full of hugs and kisses, tasty dishes, happy faces, and love. This book has a special focus on the bond between little Jay Jay and his grannie.

26. I Look Up to Michelle Obama by Anna Membrino/Fatti Burke

  • This board book reveals Michelle Obama’s excellent qualities with text designed to share and read aloud.

27. Mary had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer/Vanessa Brantley-Newton

  • This little Mary has swag! In this fun take on Mother Goose, fashionable Mary helps childhood’s characters go glam.

28. Dream Big, Little One by Vashi Harrison

  • This book showcases black women who changed the world.

29. Marvelous Me: Inside and Out by Lisa Bullard/Brandon Reibeling

  • There is no one else quite like Alex as he is one of a kind. This book will encourage children to embrace the things that make them unique.

30. Baby Dance by Ann Taylor/Majorie van Heerden

  • For the babies who respond to music and movement, this work provides a playful poem that has a father and child dancing.

31. Milo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott/Purple Wong

  • Milo is excited about her class trip to the museum.  However, Milo realizes that the people from her community are missing from the museum. Milo takes matters into her own hands and opens her own museum!

32. Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee/Tonya Lewis Lee

  • This book explores the thrills of bringing up a baby! Families everywhere will want to share in these precious moments again and again.

33. Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn/Ruth Hearson

  • On Wednesdays, Leo and his mom go to Baby Time, where he plays peek-a-boo, sings, and meets new friends.

34. Leo Can Swim by Anna McQuinn/Ruth Hearson

  • Leo and Daddy go to swim class where they kick, bounce, and dive like little fish.

35. Pretty Brown Face by Andrea Davis Pinkney/Brian Pinkney

  •  Join the fun as a baby boy discovers the unique features on his face. This board book also celebrates the loving closeness of an African American family.

36. I Love My Hair by Natasha Anatasia Tarpley/E.B. Lewis

  • Keyana discovers the beauty and magic of her special hair, encouraging black children to be proud of their heritage and to enhance their self-confidence.

37. Afro-Bets 1,2,3 by Cheryl Willis Hudson

  • Children will enjoy learning numbers 1 through 10 as the Afro-Bets take turns stretching and bending into numbers.

38. Afro-Bets ABC Book by Cheryl Willis Hudson

  • The Afro-Bets ABC book uniquely presents letters A through Z for young children to discover with the fun-filled, captivating Afro-Bets Kids.

39. Afro-Bets Book of Colors by Margery Brown/Culverson Blair

  • Learn the colors in a fun way with the Afro-Bets Kids.

40. Afro-Bets Book of Shapes by Margery Brown/Culverson Blair

  • Learn the shapes in a fun way with the Afro-Bets Kids.

41. Riley Can be Anything by Mrs. Davina Hamilton/Elena Reinoso

  • This inspiring rhyming story follows Riley as he discovers some of the wonderful things he can do when he grows up.

42. Chocolate Me by Taye Diggs/Shane W. Evans

  • The boy in this book is teased for looking different than the other kids. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. She helps him to see how beautiful he is.

43. Mixed Me by Taye Diggs/Shane W. Evans

  • This story is about a boy named Mike who has to answer many questions about being mixed. Learn about the day in the life of a mixed-race child with this book.

44. I Am Mixed by Garcelle Beauvais/Sebastian A. Jones

  • This book follows twins, Jay and Nia, who explore what it is like to be of mixed ancestry, proving that a child is more than the sum of their parents.

45. I Love you More Than by Taye Diggs/Shane W. Evans

  • This story is perfect for families who are separated, whatever the circumstances. Its message of love highlights the bond between parent and child in ways that little ones will understand.

46. Lullaby (For a Black Mother) by Langston Hughes/Sean Qualls

  • The poet, Langston Hughes, celebrates the love between an African American mother and her baby.

47. Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty/David Roberts

  • Ada learns the value of thinking her way through problems and continuing to stay curious.

48. When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner/David Catrow

  • This book inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan.

49. Monster Trouble by Lane Fredrickson/Michael Robertson

  • Nothing frightens Winifred Schnitzel, but she needs her sleep. The neighborhood monsters WON’T let her be! What’s a girl to do? (Hint: Monsters HATE kisses!)

50. Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker/Eda Kaban

  • This energetic picture book has plenty of fun ideas to help kids cope when they’re feeling overwhelmed.

51. Hank’s Big Day by Evan Kuhlman/Chuck Groenink

  • Hank is a pill bug with a busy life.  His daily routine involves nibbling a dead leaf, climbing up a long stick, avoiding a skateboarder, and playing pretend with his best friend, a human girl named Amelia.

52. Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett/Noah Z. Jones

  • Norman the goldfish isn’t what this little boy had in mind. He wanted a different kind of pet. When he tries to trade Norman for a “good pet,” things don’t go as he planned.

53. Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper

  • Grandpa promises Max that the moon at his house is the same moon that will follow him all the way home. When the sky darkens and the moon disappears behind the clouds, he worries that it didn’t follow him home after all.

54. These Hands by Margaret Mason/Floyd Cooper

  • Joseph learns that people joined their hands to fight discrimination so that one day, their hands could do anything in this world.

55. Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham/Charles Waters

  • Two poets, one white and one black, explore race and childhood in this  collection tailored to provoke thought and conversation.

56. I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni/Ashley Bryan

  • Nikki Giovanni’s collection of poems celebrates the importance of a child feeling loved.

57. The Word Collector by Peter Reynolds

  • Jerome discovers the magic and power of words all around him.

58. Max Speed by Stephen Shaskan

  • Max, a tiny speed racer, is off on the adventure of a lifetime in this  picture book. It proves that all you need for a big adventure is a little imagination.

59. Goodnight Lab: a Scientific Parody by Chris Ferrie

  • This book pokes fun at the clutter and chaos of a science lab life. Kids can laugh and learn at the same time.

60 . Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed/Stasia Burrington

  • This book is about Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words. This paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space.

61. Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly/Laura Freeman

  • This book is based on the New York Times bestselling book and the Academy Award–nominated movie. Author Margot Lee Shetterly and illustrator Laura Freeman bring to you the inspiring true story of four black women who helped NASA launch men into space.

62. Have You Thanked an Inventor Today? by Patricia McLaurin & Dian Wang

  • This is a book of African-American inventor contributions to the American landscape. This book was written to appeal to African-American youth, inspiring creative thought and innovation.

63. I Want to Be a Police Officer by Laura Driscoll/Cantalina Echeverri

  • This story teaches readers about police officers who protect people, investigate crimes, and even work with trained dogs.

64. I Want to be a Doctor by Laura Driscoll/Echeverri

  • This story teaches readers about Doctors, who help sick people feel better. When little brother Jack hurts his foot, the family gets to meet all kinds of doctors.

65. The Penny Pot by Stuart Murphy/Lynn Cravath

  • This book shows kids how to count and use money. It also addresses the concept of saving to get what you want.

66. Elevator Magic by Stuart Murphy/G. Brian Karas

  • This book teaches kids subtraction. Ben sees crazy things every time the door opens to the elevator. Ride along as he subtracts his way down to the lobby, and decide for yourself if it’s elevator magic.

67. Early Sunday Morning by Denene Millner/Vanessa Brantley-Newton

  •  June is a girl who collects helpful pieces of advice on how to be less nervous about her big solo.

68. A Wild Cowboy by Dana Kessimakis Smith/Laura Freeman

  • When a little boy gets to spend the day at Grandma’s house, he’s really preparing to go on the cowboy ride of his dreams. With his imagination working, he and his partner ride their horses  to meet their ranch hand.

69. Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan

  • Blackbird was voted the most beautiful bird in the forest. The other birds, who were colored red, yellow, blue, and green, begged Blackbird to paint their feathers with a touch of black so they could be beautiful too. Black-bird warns them that true beauty comes from within, however the other birds persist.

70. Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee by Andrea Loney/Keith Mallett

  • This is a story of James  who opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance–politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith–and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too.

71. Who is Barack Obama? by Roberta Edwards/Who HQ

  • This is a biography about Barack Obama who made history as our first African-American President. Children will learn his life story and become big dreamers.

72. The Seven Days of Kwanzaa by Ella Grier/John William Ward

  • This is a story that celebrates and honors the richness of African-American culture and traditions. It includes lyrics to songs and four simple recipes to make a holiday feast.

73. Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins/Bryan Collier

  • This work consists of empowering poems that celebrate black children and  inspires young people to dream big and achieve their goals.

74. Pretend You’re a Cat by Jean Marzollo/Jerry Pinkney

  • This interactive book consists of rhyming verses asking the reader to purr like a cat, scratch like a dog, leap like a squirrel, and bark like a seal.

75. Angels Watching Over Me by Julia Durango/Elisa Kleven

  • This book reassures young children that someone is watching over their well-being.

76. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes/Gordon C. James

  • The reader will understand the feelings of a young African American boy as he gets a “fresh cut. ”  This trip to the barbershop changes the way he feels about the world and in turn how the world perceives him. This book is for older or mature children.

77. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex T. Smith

  • Little Red is on her way to visit Auntie Rosie with a basket of goodies and  medicine. Along the way she meets the Very Hungry Lion, who wants to gobble her up. The Lion’s plan doesn’t work out the way he wanted.

78. Penny and the Magic Puff Balls by Alonda Williams/Tyrus Goshay

  • Penny wanted to wear her hair “down” like all of the other girls in her class. She wondered why her friends had long straight hair and she did not.  Penny’s mom assured her that her hair is perfect. Penny learns through a series of fun adventures, that wonderful and magical things happen when she wears her puffballs.

79. I’m A Pretty Little Black Girl by Betty Bynum

  • Mia finds that pretty is within herself and her friends, and being pretty is way beyond what the mirror shows.

80. I Am Enough by Grace Byers/Kenturah A. Bobo

  • This book encourages girls to love who they are, respect others, and be kind to one another.

81. This Little Light of Mine by Public Domain/E.B. Lewis

  • “This Little Light of Mine” is an African-American spiritual song dating back to the days of slavery. The song is included in this book so that you can learn to play and sing.

82. World of Reading: Black Panther: This is Black Panther (Level 1) by Alexandra C. West/Marvel Press Artist

  • Kids will learn how T’Challa, an African Prince, protects his nation and becomes the Super Hero Black Panther.

83. Marvel’s Black Panther: Meet Black Panther (Level 2) by R.R. Busse

  • T’Challa, the Black Panther and warrior King of Wakanda, teams up with elite members of the Dora Milaje–Wakanda’s special forces–and C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross to defend his kingdom.

84. Black Panther Little Golden Book by Frank Berrios/Patrick Spaziante

  • Children, ages 2-5, will love this action-packed Little Golden Book as they learn about the Black Panther–from his Wakandan origins to his powers as well as his friends and enemies.

85. Caribbean Dream by Rachel Isadora

  •  Children will learn about a place where they can run, splash, and sing, on an island in the West Indies. Rachel Isadora’s book celebrates the things that make the Caribbean a very special home.

86. Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner/John Parra

  • This is an inspiring story of a humble man and the heroic difference he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

87. Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

  • Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He has finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test. He’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. Find out why he still needs his father for encouragement.

88. Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin/Lauren Tobia

  • This is a story about the human family and how wonderful it is to be just who you are.

89. Lottie Paris and the Best Place by Angela Johnson/Scott Fischer

  • Lottie Paris has a favorite place. The library! She loves to go there and read about space. She knows there are rules at the library, but sometimes they are difficult to follow.

90. Lottie Paris Lives Here by Angela Johnson/Scott Fischer

  • Lottie Paris loves to dress up, play on the slide, and prefers to eat cookies instead of vegetables. She has a great imagination and sees the possibilities in the simplest pleasures.

91. Seeing Into Tomorrow Haiku by Nina Crews/Dr. Richard Wright

  • A selection of haiku poems by the acclaimed 20th-century African-American writer, Dr. Richard Wright. This work reflects the timeless realities of African-American youth.

92. I Can be Anything!  Don’t Tell Me I Can’t by Diane Dillon

  • Zoe embraces all the wonders of our world and its possibilities. “I can be anything I want to be!” she tells us, presenting herself in a range of careers. “But what if you fail?” asks a voice of doubt that attempts to undermine her confidence.

93. Billy Boo is Stuck in Goo by Jennifer Hamburg/Ross Burach

  • Billy Boo is stuck in goo. When others try to rescue him, they get stuck as well. How will they get out of this situation?

94. My Name is Judah by Pamela Denise Mack

  • This is a story about a little boy named Judah, who meets three new friends. He shares the meaning of his name which is Praise. Judah and his new friends, Suzie, Jorge, and Tom share a fun-filled day together.

95. It’s Great Being a Dad by Dan Bar-el/Gina Perry

  • Mythical characters are roaming around a magical land having a great time. However, Bigfoot gets his foot stuck in a tree trunk and Unicorn gets her horn impaled on a table and Robot’s saw-arm gets rusted into position.  Dad is there to fix things–even when a Sneaky Flying Alligator Pirate steals the Fairy Queen Ballerina Doctor’s wand.

96. The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath by Julia Finley Mosca/Daniel Rieley

  • Patricia Bath made it her mission to become a doctor. When obstacles like racism, poverty, and sexism threatened this goal, she persevered and created a game-changing treatment for blindness!

97. Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman/Andy Elkerton

  • Have you ever thought about bringing your dragon to the library? Don’t do it! You might have the best intentions, but that dragon will cause nothing but trouble.  This book has diverse characters and discusses library etiquette in a humorous way.

98. Phoebe Sounds it Out by Julie Zwillich/Denise Holmes

  • Meet Phoebe whose name doesn’t look quite like it sounds. At school, her classmates practice writing their names, but she struggles. Her teacher tells her to “just sound it out.” Phoebe doubts herself and procrastinates before resolving to try. Find out what she does to overcome her problem.

99. Not ‘Til Tomorrow, Phoebe by Julie Zwillich/Denise Holmes

  • Phoebe’s day is full of tomorrows: Mama says they can make pancakes, her teacher announces musicians will visit the class, and Phoebe will get ice cream after her haircut—but none of it ’til tomorrow. Phoebe feels frustrated and impatient. Why can’t these good things happen right now?

100. The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

  • Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. When she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades.

101. Manners with a Library Book by Amanda Doering Tourville/Chris Lensch

  • Should you let your baby sister play with a library book? This book shows how good manners can help everyone enjoy library books.

102. The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires

  • Lou and her friends are BRAVE adventurers. They run faster than airplanes, build mighty fortresses and rescue wild animals. But Lou has never climbed a tree before, and she’s sure she can’t do it. So she tries to convince her friends to play a “not-up-a-tree” game.

103. I like Myself by Karen Beaumont/David Catrow

  • This book encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Here’s a little girl who knows what really matters.

104. For You are a Kenyan Child by Kelly Cunnane/Ana Juan

  • Imagine you live in a small Kenyan village, where the sun rises over tall trees filled with doves. You wake to the sound of a rooster’s crow and rather than kicking a soccer ball across a field, you kick a homemade ball of rags. Despite this, things aren’t that different for a Kenyan child than they would be for an American kid.

105. If You Were a Kid Docking at the International Space Station by John Gregory/Jason Raish

  • Tim and Lucy, whose cousin Marie, is getting ready to blast off into space finds out how people travel to and from the space station. They also learn what life is like for astronauts in space, why space exploration is important, and much more.

106. Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer by Tonya Bolden/Eric Velasquez

  • A young boy wakes and has forgotten to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful moon lights the city around him. As the moon slowly makes its way across the heavens, the boy offers a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.

107. The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Taye Monatgue by Julia Finley Mosca/Daniel Rieley

  • After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye wanted to become an engineer. However, sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream.  She kept her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted.

108. Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood by James Baldwin/Nicholas Boggs

  • James Baldwin’s only children’s book, Little Man, Little Man, celebrates and explores the challenges and joys of black childhood.

109. We Love You Rosie by Cynthia Rylant/Linda Davick

  • Rosie is a very busy little dog. Sometimes she’s good, and sometimes she’s bad. Sometimes she wants to go out, and other times she wants to stay in. But no matter what, Rosie’s family loves her!

110. 3 x 4: Toon Level 1 (Toon Easy-to-read Comics, Level 1) by Ivan Brunetti

  • This book features a black male teacher who gave his class an assignment to draw sets of twelve. He encourages them to use their imagination to come up with creative solutions. Young readers will delight in the counting game while learning the basics of multiplication.

111. Kick it Mo (Mo Jackson) by David Adler/Sam Ricks

  • The soccer season is starting, and Mo has been working hard on his kicking skills. When he gets on the field on game day, it seems like all he gets to do is run back and forth. Will Mo ever get the chance to show his team what he can do?

112. Don’t Throw It To Mo! (Mo Jackson) by David Adler/Sam Ricks

  • Mo is the youngest kid on the Robins, his football team. His classmates don’t mind, but the kids on their rival team tease him for being a “butterfinger” who’s too tiny to catch the ball. How will Mo handle this situation?

113. Pass the Ball, Mo! (Mo Jackson) by David Adler/Sam Ricks

  • Mo loves basketball. He’s determined to learn how to pass, but as the shortest member of the team, he can’t seem to launch the ball high enough. Can Mo learn to pass in time to help his team win the big game?

114. Get a Hit, Mo! by David Adler/Sam Ricks

  • Baseball season has arrived and Mo is all set to play with his team, the Lions. Mo always bats last, and he always plays right field—and no balls ever come to right field. Will Mo ever get his chance to help the Lions win?

115. Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamie Wilson/Andrea Pippins

  • Children will meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement. This is a collection of stories about change makers to encourage, inspire and empower the next generation of youth.

116. Snow Day! by Candice Ransom/Erika Meza

  • Two siblings have woken up to snowy weather! Read along as they engage in their favorite winter activities with their neighborhood friends on their day off from school.

117. I am Human A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde/ Peter H. Reynolds

  • I Am Human shows that it’s okay to make mistakes while also emphasizing the power of good choices. This picture book is a celebration of empathy and encourages children to see themselves as part of one big imperfect family.

118. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina/Javaka Steptoe

  • Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy offers a fresh perspective of young men of color by depicting thirteen views of everyday life: young boys dressed in their Sunday best, running to catch a bus, and growing up to be teachers, and much more.

119. Kele’s Secret by Tolowa M. Mollel/Catherine Stock

  • A young Tanzanian boy named Yoanes overcomes his fear of the scariest place on his grandparents’ farm, the spooky shed, when he follows Kele, his grandmother’s hen, to see where she lays her eggs.

120. You Can Do It by Tony Dungy/Amy June Bates

  • Tony Dungy’s little brother, Linden, is a third grader who is having a bad day at school. Linden is the youngest of the Dungy family and the least motivated because he hasn’t found “it.” In a family where everyone seems to have found their special talent, all Linden knows is that he wants to make people happy.

121. We are Brothers by Yves Nadon/Jean Claverie

  • Every summer, two brothers swim to the rock, and one jumps off. But this summer, it’s time for both of them to take the leap. In this story, a younger brother discovers newfound strength and courage.

122. Thank You, Omu by Oge Mora

  • Everyone in the neighborhood loves Omu’s delicious stew! They follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

123. Two Problems for Sophia by Jim Averbeck/Yasmeen Ismail

  • Sophia quickly learns her new pet comes with two giraffe-sized problems. Learn what she does to solve these problems.

124. One Word from Sopha by Jim Averbeck/Yasmeen Ismail

  • Sophia tries various techniques to get the giraffe she always wanted. Find out if she is able to convince her Mom, Dad, Uncle, and Grand-mama.

125. Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty/Julia Sarcone-Roach

  • Everyone in the Ellis family is excellent–except Ed, the dog. Ed wonders if this is why he isn’t allowed to eat at the table or sit on the couch with the other children. He’s determined to find his own excellence.

126. Brave by Stacy McAnulty/Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

  • This book encourage kids to be brave in all the ways they can. This book will inspire kids to follow their hearts and to have courage, no matter the situation.

127. Goal by Mina Javaherbin/A.G. Goal

  • In a township in South Africa, Ajani and his friends have earned a brand-new, federation-size soccer ball. When a crew of bullies tries to steal their ball, find out if Ajani and his friends are able to beat them at their own game?

128. Me and Uncle Romie by Claire Hartfield/Jerome Lagarrigue

  • James can’t wait to get on board the train and go visit his uncle up north in New York City. He also  wishes he could take a little bit of home along with him. Will Uncle Romie, who’s a great artist, be able to help James?

129. Celebrate with ZaZa by Mylo Freeman

  • It’s Rosie’s birthday and Zaza is having a party for her. It’s time to celebrate!

130. Sleep Well, Siba and Saba by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl/Sandra Van Doorn

  •  Sisters, Siba and Saba, are always losing something. Sandals, slippers, sweaters— – you name it, they lose it. When the two sisters fall asleep each night, they dream about the things they have lost that day. Until, one night, their dreams begin to reveal something entirely unexpected….

131. Danitra Brown, Class Clown by Nikki Grimes/E.B. Lewis

  • Best friends, Zuri Jackson and Danitra Brown, respond very differently to the start of school. For Zuri, there are so many things to ponder — a new teacher who replaced the old one she liked so much, passing math, and worrying about her mother’s health. But for Danitra, the only real deal is being true to herself, having fun, and supporting Zuri in any way she can.

132. Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes/Floyd Cooper

  • This book introduces young readers to Danitra Brown and her best friend, Zuri Jackson.”

133. World of Reading: Doc McStuffins All Stuffed Up: Pre-level 1 by Disney Book Group/Catherina Happy

  • Donny’s teddy bear keeps making him sneeze! Teddy is sad and doesn’t know why Donny won’t play with him anymore, but Doc is on the case!

134. Doc McStuffins Out of the Box (Flap ‘n Tab) by Disney Book Group/Marcy Kelman

  • Little Jack, Doc’s jack-in-the-box, is having trouble popping out of his box. His father, Big Jack, asks Doc to take a look, but Little Jack is too scared to let Doc examine him! Through this format, children can play along with Doc, Little Jack, and the rest of the toys using die-cut tabs and lift-the-flaps for a unique, experience.

135. Doc McStuffins Little First Look and Find – PI Kids by Editors of Phoenix International Publications/

  • Kids can search 7 amazing scenes for Doc McStuffins characters and objects. Then, go to the back of the book for extra Look and Find challenges!

136. Doc McStuffins Pet Vet by Disney Book Group/Disney Storybook Art Team

  • Donny’s new toy dog, Fetchin’ Findo, stops doing what he does best: fetching! Can Doc, the vet, find out what’s wrong with the little pup? This story is based on a special Pet Vet episode and includes lots of fun stickers!

137. The Ring Bearer by Floyd Cooper

  • Jackson’s mother is getting married, and he gets to be the ring bearer. But Jackson is worried . . . What if he trips? Or walks too slowly? She’s supposed to be the flower girl, but Jackson’s not sure she’s taking her job as seriously as she should.

138. Tea Cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons/E.B. Lewis

  • Tosh loves listening to Grandma Honey tell family stories.  This story celebrates the important bond between grandchild and grandparent and the stories that make a family strong.

139. Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio/LeUyen Pham

  • When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, she decides to be the first. She immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school’s mock election!

140. I’m a Big Brother Now by Katura J. Hudson/Sylvia L. Walker

  •  This picture book explores the  excitement and pride of a young boy who takes on an important new role as a big brother.

141. The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller/Frank Morrison

  • It’s the day before the big parade and Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist.  Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race?

142. A Beach Tail by Karen P. Williams/Floyd Cooper

  • This is story about a father-son bond. A boy named Gregory is lost on the beach  after his dad warns “Don’t go in the water, and don’t leave Sandy.” This work reassures the young reader that there is hope even in Greg’s moment of worry at finding himself lost and alone.

143. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown/Frank Morrison

  • At age seven, Melba fell in love with a big, shiny trombone, and soon taught herself to play the instrument. By the time she was a teenager, Melba’s extraordinary gift for music led her to the world of jazz. She joined a band led by trumpet player Gerald Wilson and toured the country. Overcoming obstacles of race and gender, Melba went on to become a famed trombone player and arranger.

144. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña/Christian Robinson

  • Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus?  Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty in their routine and the world around them.

145. My Kicks: A Sneaker’s Story by Susan Verde/Katie Kath 

  • When a child finds that his toes have outgrown his favorite shoes, and they’ve gotten too dirty and smelly, his mom says it’s time for a new pair. Resistant to let go, the boy reminisces about all the good times he’s had with his favorite kicks on the city streets.

146. Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller

  • Wherever Aria goes, someone wants to touch her hair. However, Aria has had enough!

147. Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe

  • This is the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings that became famous in the 1980s.

148. What’s Special About Me, Mama? by Kristina Evans/Javaka Steptoe

  • This a great story about family, self-love and celebrating what makes one unique.

149. Knock, Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty/Bryan Collier

  • Every morning a boy awaits the sounds of his dad knocking on the door. But what happens when, one day, that “knock knock” doesn’t come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.

150. When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Here and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill/Theodore Taylor III

  • From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill’s book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ. He invented music that would define a culture and transform the world.

151. Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews/Bryan Collier

  • From the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” was a prodigy,  leading his own band by age six. Today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.

152. Grandma in Blue with a Red Hat by Scott Menchin/Harry Bliss

  • When a young boy learns about what makes art special, he realizes that these same characteristics are what makes his grandmother special, too. As a result, he finds the inspiration to create his own masterpiece that’s one of a kind.

153. Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue/Corinne Nadon

  • Nine-year-old Ron loves going to the library. Today, Ron is ready to take out books by himself, but in the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950s, there is resistance. Children will learn how Ron desegregated his library through peaceful resistance.

154. Bippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley/E.B. Lewis

  •  Miles makes his first trip to the barbershop with his father. Like most little boys, he is afraid of the sharp scissors, the buzzing razor, and the prospect of picking a new hairstyle. But with the support of his dad, the barber, and the other men in the barbershop, Miles bravely sits through his first haircut.

155. Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure by Wynton Marsalis/Paul Rogers

  • World-renowned jazz musician and composer Wynton Marsalis and acclaimed illustrator Paul Rogers takes readers (and listeners) on a rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood.

156. The 5’o Clock Band by Troy Andrews/Bryan Collier

  • After letting his band down by missing rehearsal, Shorty has some serious questions about what it means to be a leader. He hits the streets of New Orleans to find some answers and soak up inspiration.

157. All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold/Suzanne Kaufman

  • Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms.  A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions

158. Ben Doesn’t Like to be Hugged by Zetta Elliott/Purple Wong

  • A little girl uses rhyming verse to describe the unique traits of her autistic friend. Benny likes trains and cupcakes without sprinkles, but he can also be fussy sometimes. The narrator doesn’t mind, however, because “true friends accept each other just the way they are.”

159. The Day you Begin by Jacqueline Woodson/Rafael Lopez

  • Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical book reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. Sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

160. Around Our Way on Neighbor’s Day by Tameka Fryer Brown/Charlotte Riley-Webb

  • Neighbors gather on a hot summer day for a block party: Kids play Double Dutch; men debate at the barber shop and play chess; mothers and aunts cook and friends dance.

161. The Joys of Being a Little Black Boy by Valerie Reynolds/Chris Turner

  • Roy is a boy who will take  your children on a journey of joy with some of the world’s most notable Black men who were all at one time young Black boys.

162. Love your Hair by Dr. Phoenyx Austin

  • This book takes girls on a  journey, lead by a super-cute, confident  girl named Phoenyx, who loves her hair and wants every beautiful brown skin girl to love their hair too!

163. I’m a Pretty Princess by Crystal Swain-Bates

  • Makayla is a pretty black princess who lives in a castle  far away. Although she has cute dresses, a sparkling tiara, and a shiny wand, she knows that being a princess isn’t just about her fancy things. She wants to be the best princess ever!

164. Look What Brown Can Do by T. Marie Harris/Neda Ivanova

  • Every Brown child who’s still dreaming about what to be when they grow up should read this book. It encourages them to dream big and provides inspiration.

165. Naturally Me by Crystal Swain-Bates

  • This book is designed to boost self-esteem and build confidence in children of all ages. It follows a freckle-faced girl and a gap-toothed boy throughout their day as they show the reader how they celebrate their appearance and feel comfortable in their own skin.

166. I am a  Brilliant Little Black Boy by Betty K. Bynum/Joshua B. Drummond

  • The book  is a self esteem builder for young boys of color! It is a book of poems and a must for your library.

167. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

  • Grace loves stories. When she gets a chance to play a role in Peter Pan, she knows exactly who she wants to be. However she meets resistance from those in her class when she does not look the part.

168. Big Hair Don’t Care by Crystal Swain-Bates/Caroline Binch

  • Lola has bigger hair than the other kids at school. She is confident and  sings the praises of her big hair throughout this rhyming picture book.

169. Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin/Sara Woolley

  • Charlotte likes quiet-time. However, wherever Charlotte goes, she is surrounded by noise. Where can Charlotte find a quiet place? Find out when you read this book.

170. This is the Rope by Jaqueline Woodson/James Ransome

  • This is the story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer.  For three generations, that rope is passed down, used for everything from jump rope games to tying suitcases onto a car.

Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE course on How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Also, download our FREE Printable Holiday Card so your children can showcase their artwork to family and friends this Holiday Season!

10 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve Others

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10 KIDS SERVE OTHERS

What Kids can Learn from Serving Others?

Encouraging kids to serve others is a great way to teach citizenship. Citizens understand there is a world greater than themselves. They make it a better place to live through helping others.

How Kids Benefit from Serving Others?

Kids who are involved in community service tend to be more confident because they have periods where they can forget about themselves and focus on others.

When kids are constantly thinking about themselves, they tend to focus on their flaws. This is where low self-esteem is usually developed because they constantly compare themselves to others.

Other Benefits of Community Service?

Serving others opens your eyes to those who are less fortunate than yourself. Also it boosts a child’s self esteem when they can apply their talents and skills to the benefit of others.

Children, as young as three years old, can learn about serving others. I have provided creative ways kids can help others below.

These service ideas are a collection of my personal experiences and recommendations from the book 77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve by Sondra Clark. The author gives wonderful ideas for kids to assist people, animals, and the environment.

Let’s get started!

1. Collect Tennis Balls for Animals Shelters

Volunteers use the balls to interact with the animals

  • Contact local tennis clubs and ask if they have old balls they don’t need.
  • Ask tennis high school team coaches (if you have one) to announce that you are collecting balls  for animals in shelters.
  • Contact local parks and the recreation department for tennis balls.
  • Set up a drop-off time with animal shelters in your area.

tennis balls

2.  Prepare Birthday Bags for Children Living in Shelters 

It’s difficult for parents living in shelters to provide birthday parties for their children, but you can help.

3. Give Giggle Bags 

Bring joy to kids in the hospital with giggle bags.

birthday bags

4. Help Habitat for Humanity – Even if you are too young to build

 

Go to the Bottom of this Post and Get Access to Service and Gift Ideas from Real Moms. These Moms Share the Service Projects they have done with their Children.

5. Build a Rock Garden for a Senior 

6. Recycle at Home

  • Have a family meeting about ways to recycle.
  • Make a list of ideas like buying in bulk, use reusable containers for lunch, recycle old batteries at the local drugstore, and donating old clothes and furniture to charity.

recycling kid

7. Collect Coins for Those in Need

  • Provide for people who suffer from war, disease, poverty, or natural disasters a gift.
  • Go to the World Hope Website and find the gift catalog to choose a category such as education.
  • Have children collect coins for the need they would like to fill.
  • Call World Hope at 888-466-4673 and decide on the best way to deliver the money.

8. Create Senior Emergency Kits

9. Give Stuffed Animals to Offer Comfort

  • Firefighters and police officers frequently deal with kids going through tough situations and stuffed animals can help comfort these children.
  • Ask the police and fire stations if they would like stuffed animals.
  • Get stuffed animals by looking through your old toys and asking friends and relatives.
  • Ask local stores and office buildings for boxes to store animals.
  • Get ribbons to put around the stuffed animals’ necks.

stuffed animals

10. Pack Up Backpacks for Foster Kids

  • Help foster children by collecting backpacks and small suitcases to help them as they move to a new home.
  • Call your local Social Services or Child Protective Services Office to see if they could use backpacks.
  • Write letters to big stores like Wal-Mart or Target and ask them to donate back packs.
  • Ask local schools for backpacks in their lost and found boxes (that are not claimed).
  • Add a stuff animal in the bag if possible and deliver them to the Social Service agencies you contacted.

There are many ways kids can serve others. Please share your ideas in the comments below!

Happy Serving!

Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE course on How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Also, download our FREE Printable Holiday Card so your children can showcase their artwork to family and friends this Holiday Season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Toys for Young Boys Who Love to Build and Create

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The Best Toys for Boys Who Love to Build and Create

I love toys where children can use their imagination to build and create various objects. These types of toys exercise children’s brains by teaching early math skills and spatial awareness.

Below are imaginative toys that my son loves!

These toys occupy his time, provide fun educational opportunities, and bring out his inner engineering skills.

Let’s get started!

 

1. Magnetic Tiles

This is such a versatile STEM toy. My son has built letters, numbers, rocket ships, ferris wheels, towers, and cars with this toy. It has an instruction book to teach you how to build various objects. It is a great way for kids to use their creativity and engineering skills!

 

We built a rocket ship!

 

This is the letter B!

 

 

2. Learning Resources Gears

Gears are a great STEM toy that encourages kids to sort, group, count, construct, design and solve problems. My son has built homes and traps for his action figures with this toy. He also likes to build letters and numbers with the gears and widgets.

 

This is the letter T!

 

This is the letter P!

 

 

3. Legos DUPLO Town Truck & Tracked    Excavator

 

 

This is a great toy for children who love cars, trucks, and construction vehicles. Whenever we pass by a construction site, my son can name all the vehicles because of the books we have read and hands-on learning provided with these Legos. We have also created stories around the characters and vehicles to incorporate literacy. The package says it’s for children ages 2-5 but my 7-year-old cousin played with these and had a great time!

 

Multiples of 3 Lego City!

 

4. Sum Blox

 

This amazing toy taught my son how to add numbers 1-10. The “height of each number corresponds to its value.” For example, the “1-block” is the shortest number and the “10-block” is the tallest number. If you stack the 5-block on top of another 5-block, then they will equal the same height as the 10-block. Your child will learn that 5+5=10 by building creative structures such as walls, towers, bridges, etc. These blocks are a bit pricy but worth it, in my opinion.

5+5=10

 

He created a tower for his cars to go through!

 

5. Wikki Stix

 

My son and I love this simple yet fun toy. It keeps his attention through church services and in waiting rooms. Wikki Stix allows your child to create any object they want. They come in fun colors and require no mess. Boredom is NOT an issue when it comes to this toy.

wikki stix 2
Making a football

 

wikki stix
All done!

6. Flexi Rods

 

This is not exactly a toy but a hair product. I had unused flexi rods in my closet and gave them to my son to play. He played with these for 45 minutes! These rods twist and turn in to various shapes and objects. My son likes to create letters and numbers with them. My pediatrician said it strengthens his hands and is a great fidgeting toy.

 

He built these letters and put them on my computer.

 

7. Automoblox

 

I discovered these during a playdate. Your child can take these cars apart and rebuild them. It teaches kids to problem solve, color recognition, and coordination. When my son and I are racing the cars, sometimes I will take one apart and pretend he is a mechanic. His job is to rebuild the car so we can race again. He loves this game!

corban cars
Building the car!

 

corban car 2
Put the car together with success!

8. Steam Dinosaur Toys

This is a great toy for kids who like dinosaurs. Children can take the dinosaurs apart and rebuild them using kid-sized screwdrivers. It develops hand-eye coordination, puzzle solving skills, and patience. The dinosaurs have wheels on the bottom so you can slide them on the floor and race them.

Triceratops is being taken apart.

 

A race is about to happen between two dinosaurs!

 

9. Snap Circuits Jr.

This toy is recommended for children ages 8 and up; however, my three-year-son and I love building with it. This kit allows you and your child to build working models of a photo sensor, flashing light, and adjustable-volume sirens. Your child should have a basic knowledge of letters, numbers, and putting together puzzles in order to maneuver this toy.  Parental supervision is needed if your child is under 8. I advise you to learn how the circuits work then present it to your child.

 

Starting to build an electric light and switch.

 

Success!

 

He just built the flying saucer!

 

10. Bristol Blocks

My son received this toy for his birthday. He has built cars, airplanes, robots, letters and more with these blocks. They have built his hand strength and eye coordination. He has learned how various geometrical shapes can be connected to make a masterpiece. Our favorite activity is to build something and make up a story around what was created.

He likes building letters! Here is letter E!

Please tell us which toy your children like! All of these are a hit in our household!

Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE course on How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Also, download our FREE Printable Holiday Card so your children can showcase their artwork to family and friends this Holiday Season!

17 Children’s Books that Creatively Teach Kids Practical Skills

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17 book that teach life skills

I love reading!! I am the person that can spend all day in the library and bookstore soaking up knowledge from various books. When I became a mother, I hoped my son would share the same love of reading as I do.

It turns out that he does. However, I found ways to make books fun and interesting for him.

We often use books and hand-on activities to learn new skills within our household. I wanted to share with you 17 books that promoted fun interaction and  used creativity to teach my son a new concept.

*Click on the links and you will find a book review and  hands-on activities that we have done to supplement the books!

  1. Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories For All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers.

 

In this book, each letter has a word and short story related to it. The stories have various themes such as humor, gratefulness, and the art of thinking.  This book also helps children learn how to solve problems through its story telling.

 

  1. The Question Song by Kaethe Zemach

 

This book teaches kids to solve everyday problems. It addresses issues such as injuries and selfishness. My son found it interesting because it contains repetition, rhythm, and rhyming words.

 

  1. Emily’s First 100 Days of School by Rosemary Wells

 

This book is about a bunny named Emily who is starting school. Emily tells the reader about her first 100 days of school through short stories. This book  encouraged my son to create other stories with numbers. It helped him learn the numbers 1-100 through imaginative play.

 

  1. Big Words for Little Geniuses by Susan and James Patterson

 

This book is colorful and introduces kids to big words in alphabetical order. The first word was ARACHIBUTYROPHOBIA!!!! This word means a fear of peanut butter sticking to the top of your mouth. At first, I thought this book would be too advanced for my toddler. However, I decided to give it a try.

It became a great learning and bonding experience for my son and I. He learned how to pronounce all the words in the book. We also try to use the words as we are talking daily.

  1. The Great Dictionary Caper by Judy Sierra.

 

This is a fun, interactive, and flashy book about parts of speech, literacy, and language arts. This book addresses topics such as actions verbs, homophones, palindromes, onomatopoeias, contractions, etc. The Action verb page has various words like somersault, jump, glide and ricochet. Each word is written and drawn to portray their action.

 

  1. What’s On Your Plate? Exploring the World of Food by Whitney Stewart

 

This book highlights countries such as Mexico, Ethiopia, China, and Greece, and gives the reader information on their locations, foods frequently eaten, and recipes. The enticing food pictures in this book will make you hungry. My son gained an interest in learning about geography and connected with this book instantly. He learned that he eats similar foods to people all over the world.

 

  1. Meet Black Panther by R.R. Busse and This is Black Panther by Alexandra West

 

 

These two books introduced the characters and their roles for the Black Panther Comic Books. It also addressed themes such as good vs bad, courage, hard work, intelligence, instinct, loyalty, etc. One of the books identified vocabulary words and asked the reader to find them within the story. My son became excited when he saw the words in the story! I took it a step further and introduced my son to settings, geography, action verbs, and science.

 

  1. Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak, PhD.

 

 

This book uses a diverse group of young characters to educate its reader on the powerful brain. A few concepts addressed in this book are parts of the brain and their functions. I was thrilled when we read the fact, “Making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns and grows.” Many children get frustrated when they are learning something new because mistakes are made, which is a part of the process. This book has taught me one way to handle my son’s frustration as he experiences the trial and error process.

 

  1.  I Want to Be a Doctor by Laura Driscoll

 

 

This story is about a boy who broke his leg by jumping off the top bunkbed. His family takes him to the emergency room, where his inquisitive older sister takes the reader on a journey to learn about the various doctors helping her brother.  Children will learn about specialized professions such as Radiologists, Orthopedists, Neonatologists and Dentists.

 

  1. Find Your Way in Space By Paul Boston

 

This book will take your young reader on a space mission using math and mapping skills. This book encourages children to solve a mystery. Mathematical concepts addressed in this book are counting, addition, shapes, identifying relationships between objects, colors, length, height, map coordinates, and telling time. The concepts are introduced through questions the reader must answer.

 

  1. The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Stan and Jan Berenstain

 

 

In this book, Brother Bear was cautious and wary of strangers. Sister Bear, similar to my son, was “friendly to a fault” and said hello to everyone. Brother intervened and told his sister to stop talking to strangers, but he couldn’t articulate why. This book explains to the young reader what to do around strangers.

 

  1. My Weird School Fast Facts – Space, Humans, and Farts by Dan Gutman

 

 

This book contains a lot of fun, humorous, and engaging information for kids. Your child will discover a love of science from reading this book! If you have a younger child, read these facts to them and see how amazed they become.

 

  1. When Miles Got Mad by Sam Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller

 

 

This is a great book that teaches kids to use their words to express their feelings. It also uses an image, a red monster, to represent anger and rage. The red monster makes a connection to what a child feels when angry feelings overwhelm them. This book addresses other themes such as empathy, self-control, keeping hands to self, and problem solving.

 

 

  1. How Does My Home Work? By Chris Butterworth

 

The author brings awareness to actions kids take every day in the home such as flipping on the light switch, accessing water from the faucet, and taking a drink from the refrigerator. He then uses the book to show children how these things happen. This book made my son more curious about how our home functions. He became more conscious of turning off the lights and water before he leaves a room! It also encourages a greater appreciation for your living space.

 

  1. Treasure Map by Stuart Murphy

 

 

This book is about a group of friends, the Elm Street Kids’ Club, following a treasure map to find a time capsule. The author shows the reader how to follow a map by giving clues that identify landmarks and directions. Other concepts presented in the book are decision-making skills, interpreting symbols, and scales. The author provides teachers and parents activities to supplement learning. Furthermore, he includes other books that address map reading skills.

 

16. Milo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott

 

This book’s plot was unexpected but refreshing. It is about a girl named Milo who takes a class field trip to the museum with her grandfather as a chaperone. As they were exploring the museum, Milo admired the art but something was missing. Children will witness a child taking the initiative to create an idea, plan and execute it. They will learn vocabulary words and will have access to a guide on how to create their own exhibit in the back of the book.

 

17. 3 x 4 a Toon Book by Ivan Brunetti

 

This comic book is about a teacher who gives his students a homework assignment of drawing 12 things but in sets.  He is addressing multiplication in the book. The story goes on to show the reader the process that each student executes to complete their homework assignment based on their interests. At the end, you will find tips for parents and teachers on How to Read Comics with Kids.

All of the books listed were fun and interesting to read. They opened my son’s mind  to learning something new and applying what he learned.

Let us know which book was your favorite and what activities you did to supplement the book.

Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE course on How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Also, download our FREE Printable Holiday Card so your children can showcase their artwork to family and friends this Holiday Season!

Happy Reading!

 

4 Fun and Thoughtful Holiday Activities for Kids

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4 holiday activities

It is a great time to do fun and thoughtful holiday activities with kids! I love this season because it is so full of life, joy, and love! It is also a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, spend time with family, and to give thanks for our presence here on earth. What I love most of all about the holidays is GIVING to others!!

Yes, the act of giving makes others feel good but it benefits the giver as well. It boosts “neurochemical drivers of happiness” and helps to normalize levels of serotonin which promotes feelings of comfort and well-being. I wanted my son to give and experience these feelings.

Therefore, we have done the following activities below to share and receive the pleasant feelings of holiday giving!

Paint Rocks and Give as Gifts

Last Christmas, when my son was two years old, I encouraged him to give gifts to family members. We chose to find big rocks in nature and paint them. We packaged them in colorful wrapping paper and gave them away.

My son was so excited that he could give gifts! He asked me 5 consecutive days before Christmas if it was time to give the rocks away. His rocks from last year are currently displayed in my family’s homes and he is proud. This is a simple yet fun project.

Materials Needed

  1. Place Newspaper on table for easy clean-up.
  2. Pour soap and water in plastic container to make soapy water.
  3. Clean rocks with soapy water and toothbrush.
  4. Empty soapy water and put clear water in container to rinse rocks.
  5. You can also run water over rocks to rinse them.
  6. Pour water in cup for cleaning paint brushes of previous color.
  7. Put napkins in paper plate #1 to dry paint brushes.
  8. Pour small sections of various color paints on paper plate # 2.
  9. Place rock on table with newspaper or magazine paper.
  10. Let your child be creative and paint the rock.

 

soapy water and rocks
Washing rocks in soapy water!

 

washing rocks
Rinsing the rocks in water!

 

paint set up
Setting up our supplies!

 

painting rocks
He likes mixing the paint.

 

rocks
Finished product!

 

Count Money and Buy a Gift

When I was young, it was my job to take my parents’ loose coins and put them in a money jar. Every year, about three weeks before Christmas, I would put the pennies in wrappers. Afterwards, we took a trip to the bank to exchange the coins for dollars. I took this money and bought gifts for my mom, dad, and older brother.

There are so many lessons learned within this activity such as: counting, money recognition, sorting and the purpose of banks. Another skill I learned was awareness of others. A child may buy his dad green socks because it is his favorite color or mom a cup because she loves drinking tea in the morning.

Materials Needed

 

  1. Have the child gather loose coins and put into money jar.
  2. Count coins and sort into money wrappers using the Nadex Sort and Wrap Set.
  3. Take coins to the bank or credit union and exchange for cash.
    • If you don’t have enough coins to fill wrappers, then check with your local bank about the loose coin conversion policy.
    • Some banks and credit unions convert coins into cash for customers only.
    • Some grocery stores have coin machines but will charge a fee.
    • Check out this article for more ways to convert coin into cash.                                                                                                                
  1. Brainstorm with child what family members or friends they will purchase gifts for.
  2. Have the child list the person’s interest and favorites.
  3. Make a tentative list of gifts for each member or friend.
  4. Your list may change once you go shopping.
  5. Go shopping.
  6. Help the child the wrap gifts.
  7. Watch their faces light up when family members or friends open their gift!

 

money roll 2
Inputting Coin Wrapper in Nadex Coin and Wrap Set.

 

money roll 3
Inserting the coins

 

money roll
Coin Wrapping is complete!

 

Melissa & Doug Stained Glass Race Car Ornaments 

  • Please note that you can make other items such as hearts and rainbows.

This is a simple project to make with kids. There are two cars in the kit. Kids will enjoy the experience of decorating their cars with colorful stickers. This activity also helps with spatial awareness, creativity, and focusing. This would be a great gift for children to give to  family members.

 

Materials Needed

  1. Follow directions in the Kit for the best results.

car activity 1
Just getting started

 

car activity 2
One car is complete and another left to go!

Create Your Own Christmas Cards Artwork

Instead of buying birthday cards for family members and friends, my son likes to make his own. The personal touch of a handmade card from a child is priceless. The time and effort it takes to create a masterpiece for a loved one fills their soul with joy. The person knows the child took time to make something especially for them. So why not have this same experience during the Holidays?

My son has started to make his Holiday cards already. It is a symbol of appreciation for the person’s role in his life. Your child can create their own masterpiece and present it to family and friends. They can use crayons, stickers, markers, glitter and whatever their minds come up with to decorate this card!

Happy Holidays to You!Here is the Masterpiece I Created for You!

 

holiday card 4
Creating a Masterpiece on the Holiday Card.

 

Finished Product!

 

Complete the Form Below to Download Holiday Card!

Below are details about the card…

  • Downloadable 5 x 7in postcard
  • Child can create artwork in the white rectangular space
  • Ability to type in white rectangular space with computer
  • Plenty of room for child to create artwork
  • Child can deliver or mail postcard to recipient

 

Please print and cut the postcard on 100lb card stock paper for best results.

Before you download, please know:

  • Simply Outrageous Youth Printables are for Personal Use Only
  • You may not modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
  • Please do not remove the credits/watermarks.

I hope you try some of the ideas given here. My son and I had fun doing these hands-on projects! A bonus is we learned a lot in the process!

Tell me about your holiday projects. I want to know as I am always learning!

Don’t forget to Sign Up for our FREE Course of How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Happy Creating and Learning!