Why Kindle Kids Edition Belongs in Your Family Library

Why Kindle Kids Edition Belongs in Your Family Library

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

As a parent creating a literacy-rich home environment, you may have considered purchasing an e-reader for the young readers in your family. As much as children benefit from exposure to traditional picture books and chapter books, there’s no doubt that e-readers have many advantages.

  • They’re light and portable, making it easy for your child to have reading material handy at all times.
  • E-readers can store thousands of books, making it possible for your family to own titles without worrying about physical storage.
  • Reluctant young readers often find an e-reader more exciting and “cool” than a traditional paper book.
  • Struggling readers benefit from the ability to adjust brightness, contrast, and most importantly, font size.
  • Embedded tools such as dictionaries boost comprehension on the spot.

These advantages make e-readers a powerful part of a literacy-rich home environment.

If you’ve been thinking of adding an e-reader to your family library, you’ll want to check out Amazon’s Kindle Kids Edition.

No Apps, No Videos, No Games – Just READING

Here’s what I love best – unlike tablets or phones, Kindle Kids Edition is only for reading. There are no apps, no videos and no games. If you’ve ever thought your child was using a tablet or phone to read, only to discover they were watching YouTube videos or playing Minecraft, the Kindle Kids Edition may be just what you’re looking for.

Designed for smaller hands, Kindle Kids Edition measures 6.4” x 4.7” x 0.5” and weighs just over 10 ounces. It comes with your choice of four cute cover designs, and the covers are built to withstand heavy use. A fully charged battery can last for weeks of daily reading sessions.


A Gift That Packs a Punch

Kindle Kids Edition comes with one free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. This is what makes it a terrific gift option. Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is a monthly subscription that offers more than a thousand popular titles for children ages three to twelve years old.

When you give Kindle Kids Edition to a child in your life, you are also giving them more than a thousand books.

                                               It’s hard to imagine a gift with more impact on a young reader.


With Kindle Kids Edition, parents and kids can set reading goals together, and kids can earn “Book Worm” and “Over Achiever” badges. There are three built-in features which enhance comprehension and study skills. Word Wise provides quick “pop up” definitions above difficult words, and the Kindle Dictionary allows kids to look up words themselves. The Vocabulary Builder turns words that have been looked up into flash cards for extra practice.

Kindle Kids Edition comes with a 2 year worry-free guarantee. If anything happens to your Kindle Kids Edition, you can return it and Amazon will replace it for free.


Part of a Literacy-Rich Home Environment

Kindle Kids Edition makes it so easy for kids to always have books at their fingertips – it has a well-earned place in every literacy-rich home environment.

 

 

 

 

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11 Powerful Reasons to Make Audiobooks Part of Your Family Life

11 Powerful Reasons to Make Audiobooks Part of Your Family Life

If you are trying to create a literacy-rich home environment and raise kids who are passionate readers, be sure to add listening to audiobooks to your list of family activities.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

Here are eleven compelling reasons to make audiobooks a regular part of your family life – or to give the gift of audiobooks to the families on your holiday gift list.

1.  Listening to audiobooks promotes a literacy-rich home environment. Kids who grow up in a literacy-rich home environment tend to learn to read easily, and develop a lifelong passion for books and reading.

2.  It fosters your family’s identity as readers and book lovers. Prioritizing time to listen to audiobooks together sends the message loud and clear, “We are a family that loves stories and books.”

3.  Enjoying audiobooks together creates shared memories you’ll treasure forever. My husband and young adult children still reminisce about listening to Holes by Louis Sachar on a road trip to Sedona, Arizona.

4.  Listening to audiobooks can involve all family members, no matter their age level. You’ll be amazed at how many children’s chapter books and novels are enjoyable for adults, too. Did you know that kids’ listening comprehension levels are typically two years above their reading comprehension levels? Younger children who may not be ready to fully understand a story can sit nearby and enjoy quiet activities or a snack while listening and being a part of family time. You can choose a wide variety of books without worrying about leaving anyone out.

5.  Listening to audiobooks together leads to terrific family discussions. Listen to a chapter while cooking dinner, and then discuss it together as you eat dinner. While listening in the car, pause after each chapter to let everyone share their thoughts and reactions to the story.

6.  Relaxing by listening to an audiobook reduces stress and calms the mind and spirit. When life gets crazy and the energy level in your home is too rambunctious, load up a favorite audiobook and feel the chaos subside.

7.  Listening to audiobooks improves language development and vocabulary in children of all ages, and improves speech articulation in younger kids. Audiobooks are a fantastic way to expose your children to the rich vocabulary found in high quality literature. Skilled voice actors model crisp, clear pronunciation and speech articulation.

8.  Audiobooks help kids improve their listening and visualizing skills, which are crucial for good comprehension. Children who listen to audiobooks develop the ability to listen carefully and visualize the events in the story.

9.  Listening to audiobooks is a powerful, effective way to support struggling or reluctant readers. Listening while following along on a device or in a book improves decoding, fluency and comprehension.  It also builds confidence and motivation by giving kids access to the same popular books their peers are reading.

10.  It improves fluency in readers of all ages, by modeling reading rate, phrasing, tone and expression. Kids start to model their own oral reading after the expert readers and voice actors who narrate audiobooks.

11.  Audiobooks offer an attractive, persuasive alternative to screen time. Instead of breaking out the tablets in the car, load up an audiobook. Experiment to find other times to substitute an audiobook for screen time. Once your kids have become accustomed to listening, you might be surprised at how willing they are to accept this alternative!

 

Listening to audiobooks is a powerful strategy for developing literacy in your children.

 

Fortunately, audiobooks are easy to find these days, and the cost doesn’t have to be prohibitive.

My favorite way to get audiobooks for free is through Overdrive, a network of libraries and schools. With a card from a participating library, you can check out any eBook or audiobook for as long as 21 days. Unlike many sites that feature free audiobooks, Overdrive provides access to just about any title available. This is important because you will want access to quality children’s literature.

The easiest way to purchase audiobooks is through Audible by Amazon. You purchase credits by the month or in bulk, and then use them to buy audiobooks. (Each audiobook costs one credit.) Credits start at $14.95 per month for one credit and range up to $229 for 24 credits.

Credits do roll over from month to month, but not indefinitely. Be sure to check the current terms of service. The selection of available titles is vast and up-to-date, and Audible offers a 30% discount on any additional titles you purchase.

To start your family’s free 1 month Audible trial, click here.

Looking for a thoughtful, meaningful gift for a birthday or holiday? Audiobooks are a fantastic gift option for anyone from families to individuals of any age. To give the benefits of audiobooks through Audible by Amazon, click here.

I hope you’ll make audiobooks a part of your family culture today. The benefits are priceless, and I promise you won’t regret it!

 

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Delight Your Baby With These Adorable Interactive Books

Delight Your Baby With These Adorable Interactive Books

Babies and toddlers need sturdy books that have simple, clear illustrations with minimal text, and also present early learning concepts in an engaging way that invites interaction.

Keep reading to discover highly unique, carefully crafted, interactive books for babies and toddlers.

When you give these books as a baby shower or birthday gift, you’ll introduce the recipient to a whole new world of delightful books. You’ll also find charming books for your own baby or toddler, that are sure to become treasured family favorites in no time.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission. 

First Focus Frieze Books

Does your baby resist tummy time? Then these First Focus Frieze books are for you! Each book folds out and stands up, so you can position it in front of your baby. High contrast, simple pictures capture your baby’s attention and make tummy time easy and fun.

black and white books for babies for tummy time

 

Little Red Penguin Books

On each page of the Little Red Penguin “lift the flap” books, this adorable little guy asks your baby or toddler a question. Then, your little one can lift the flap to reveal the answer!

 

Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Books

Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Books include a sensory element, with each animal having a different texture for babies to feel. With lots of colors, objects and adjectives in the simple text, these books are great for vocabulary development. High contrast illustrations make these books especially appealing to babies and toddlers. books for toddlers

 

Baby’s First Rolling Books

The cardboard wheels on Baby’s First Rolling Books actually roll, adding an extra element of fun to these books. Help your little one develop sequencing and memory skills in Baby’s Very First Bus Book. Each book also develops critical thinking skills with questions that involve the reader in the simple story.

books for toddlers

 

Baby’s Very First Slide and See Books

Baby’s Very First Slide and See books are perfect for helping older babies and toddlers develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They also teach cause and effect, as children operate the simple slide mechanism to change the picture. These books are super engaging physically, with just a little bit of text on each page.

books for toddlers

 

Baby’s Very First Playbook Words

Baby’s Very First Playbook Words is a series of unique books that combine fine motor activities with cheerful illustrations and vocabulary development. Each book contains grooved “fingertrails” for your baby or toddler to trace, plus plenty of holes to poke at and peek through.

books for toddlers

books for toddlers

 

What’s Happening?

The What’s Happening? series of books is an introduction to the “look and find” genre for older babies and toddlers. Each two page spread has questions about the illustrations. Little ones will love searching the colorful pictures and gleefully pointing to the object that answers the question. These books provide lots of opportunities for conversation and interaction with your child.

two books for babies

 

Very First Book of Things to Spot

The Very First Book of Things to Spot series is a set of “look and find” books for ages 18 months and up. These books provide endless hours of entertainment for toddlers. They’re perfect for teaching concepts such as shapes, sizes, colors, animals, counting and MUCH more. Children develop listening and thinking skills as they listen to your prompt and then search for that object.

books for babies

 

That’s Not My…Board Books

That’s Not My…Board Books are simple and delightful. Each book features repetition, different textures and clear illustrations that are similar and consistent across the whole series. Once you and your child fall in love with one of these books, you’ll want all the others that feature your family’s favorite themes. And there are a ton of themes, ranging from fairies to monsters to unicorns to trains. These are a “must-have” for any baby or toddler’s library.

books for babies

books for babies

 

My First Word Books

Each of these My First Word Books has over 200 words with matching pictures. They are AMAZING for helping your toddler develop vocabulary. Start off by pointing to a picture and saying its name. As time goes on, ask your little one, “Can you find the _______ ?” Finally, see if your child can touch a picture AND say the name by themselves.

books for toddlers

Are You There?

In each of Are You There? books, a different little animal is hiding. Peeking through die-cut shapes in the pages, you’ll think that you have caught a glimpse of the hiding animal. But when you turn the page, you’ll discover something entirely different. For example, an elephant’s trunk turns out to be a snake. Kids love the thrill of turning the pages and being surprised, until finally the hiding animal is revealed at the end of the book.

books for toddlers

 

Click through to add a few of these carefully designed, gorgeously crafted books to your family library today. Share in the comments – which ones did you choose?

 

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happy baby laying on its tummycovers of interactive books for babiesInteractive Books for Babies and Toddlers Interactive Books for Babies and Toddlers

 

 

 

How to Fire Up Your Child’s Motivation to Write (Check Out This Video!)

How to Fire Up Your Child’s Motivation to Write (Check Out This Video!)

I love to provide kids with “cool” writing supplies. It’s a fun, effective way to increase motivation and interest.

With this idea in mind, I designed this “make your own” or “create your own” blank comic book for kids. You’ll see that I left the front cover entirely blank. It’s a good idea to have your child design the cover on a separate piece of paper and then glue it to the front of the book. This avoids disappointment and drama if it takes a few attempts to get the artwork right. Or if you prefer, your child can use Sharpie or other permanent markers to create their design right on the cover.

The inside has blank comic book pages. This blank comic strip format is really flexible, because younger or struggling writers can tell their story mostly through illustrations with just a few sentences. Older or more confident writers can compose longer text, with fewer illustrations.

Comic strip stories can be just a few pages long, or you could use the whole book to tell one long story.

Take a closer look at our “Make Your Own Comic Book” in this video.

This blank comic book would make a great daily journal for kids. They can illustrate what happened during the day, with dialogue or captions to go along with the pictures.

Wouldn’t this make a fabulous family keepsake as a travel or vacation journal for kids? The possibilities are endless! Fire up your young writer’s motivation with this “Make Your Own Comic Book.”

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Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Interactive Activity Books for Kids – Part 2

Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Interactive Activity Books for Kids – Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of “Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Activity Books for kids. Hopefully you’ve read part 1 of this epic list of activity books for kids. If not, click over and check it out!

Interactive activity books for kids are an appealing alternative to screen time, and just what you need to keep boredom at bay on long summer days. Enjoy the list below and add a few to your family library today.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

Drawing Books

These Step-by-Step Drawing books make it easy for kids to draw people, animals, dinosaurs and more. The directions and illustrations are clear, and space is provided for practice right in the book. Use these as inspiration for sidewalk chalk art this summer! 8.5″ by 10″, ages 4+, and totally appropriate for older kids and even adults.

Usborne Books Step By Step Drawing Books

 

And here’s another set of clear step by step drawing books.

Usborne Books I Can Draw Books

 

Little Transfer Books

Each 7″ by 9″ Little Transfer Book has fun scenes to fill in with hundreds of included “transfer stickers.”  Just rub the front of the image directly onto the page and watch it transfer quickly and easily. Ages 4+.

learning activity books for kids

 

Rub-Down Books

The 9.5″ by 11″ Rub-Down books are a more “grown-up” version of the Little Transfer Books, with beautiful nature themes. Ages 5+.

educational activity books for kids

 

Rubber Stamp Activities Books

These three Rubber Stamp Activities books include clear instructions to complete fun scenes by stamping simple shapes to create animals. 10″ by 9″, ages 4+.

Discover and Follow Your Child's PassionsMake regular trips to the library and/or the bookstore so that your child can explore different types of books.

 

Fingerprint Activities Books

There are five books in this series of Fingerprint Activity books. They are full of colorful scenes waiting for your child to add their own “fingerprint art.” Each book includes a handy attached ink pad with seven vibrant colors. 9″ by 10,” ages 6+.

Discover and Follow Your Child's PassionsMake regular trips to the library and/or the bookstore so that your child can explore different types of books.

 

Fold & Fly Books

This Fold & Fly series includes books with flying dinosaurs, dragons, bugs and spaceships. And of course, plenty of planes! Tear out the page you want and follow the detailed instructions to create your Fold & Fly craft. 6″ by 9,” ages 6+.

Usborne Books Fold and Fly

 

Paper Doll Books

Two Paper Doll books are available. One has a cover that becomes a stand-up backdrop and the other one includes outlines of clothes to draw on and design original outfits.

Usborne Books Cut Out Paper Dolls

 

Activity Books with Stickers

Each of these Activity Books is chock full of activities, puzzles, pictures to color, mazes and plenty of stickers. Themes range from “Beastly Bugs” to “Dangerous Animals” and “Telling Time” to “Fractions and Decimals”

Usborne Activity Sticker Books

 

Mosaic Sticker Books

These unique Mosaic Sticker books allow your kids to create a range of different pictures and scenes using simple, geometrically-shaped stickers. Ages 6+.

Usborne Mosaic Sticker Books

 

Maze Books

These Maze Books let your child explore their way through imaginatively illustrated mazes to find lost friends, escape danger, and discover treasure. Ages 6+.

maze books for kids

 

Find and Color Books

Each page of these Find and Color books challenges your child to find and color specific items within the black and white illustrations. Coloring in the rest of the scene is fun, too. These books are great for improving visual discrimination and attention to detail.

spot and find and color activity books for kids

 

Foil Art Books

Introduce a new art form to your family with these unique Foil Art books. Each book contains ten adhesive “picture cards,” which are divided into little shapes. Peel the paper backing off one shape at a time, and then place a piece of colored foil on top, shiny side up. Rub the foil, and it transfers into that space. Once the picture has been foiled, it’s time to use it for a craft. Each book contains several pages of ideas and examples such as birthday cards, picture frames, or nameplates.

Usborne Books Foil Art

 

Muddle & Match Books

In these Muddle & Match books your kids can make up their own funny stories and create crazy characters as they flip through the split pages.

Usborne Books Muddle and Match Books

 

Color & Pop-Up Books

These Color & Pop-Up books combine two favorite kids’ activities –  coloring and pop-up books! Color each scene and then each pop-up character. Follow the directions to fold and glue each character to its own two-page spread, and you’ve made your very own pop-up book!

Usborne Books Pop-ups

 

Magic Painting Books

Magic Painting books are gorgeous updated versions of simple water painting books of the past. Brush water over the detailed black and white illustrations and watch the colors appear.

Usborne Books Magic Painting Books

 

 

Treat your kids to a few of these interactive activity books, and watch their imagination and creativity soar. They’re a confidence-building alternative to screen time, and provide opportunities for kids to improve attention and build concentration skills. Which ones will your kids love?

Did you see Part 1 of “Banish Summer Boredom With the Best Activity Books for Kids?”

 

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travel activities for kidsActivity Books for Kids Activity Books for Kids

 


11 Colorful Books About Rainbows Your Kids Will Love

11 Colorful Books About Rainbows Your Kids Will Love

Spring has sprung, and springtime rains and happy sunbeams bring rainbows to bright blue skies. Celebrate spring evenings with bedtime read-alouds from this list of wonderful rainbow books for kids. Or, choose a few to read aloud while your little ones enjoy rainbow arts and crafts.

Books about rainbows are a great way to teach little ones about colors, and older kids are fascinated by the science that creates these wonders of nature. There’s something for kids of all ages on this carefully curated list. Read on to find the perfect rainbow books for your family.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

Light Makes a Rainbow by Sharon Coan

Light Makes a Rainbow is part of an excellent “Science and Literacy” series of books by Teacher Created Materials. It provides a very clear, easy-to-understand explanation of how and why rainbows appear. The explanation is perfect for kids of any age, and the text itself is an “early reader” level.
rainbow books for children

 

All the Colors of the Rainbow by Allan Fowler

All the Colors of the Rainbow is another “early reader” book, part of the Rookie Read About Science series. books about rainbows

 

My Color is Rainbow by Agnes Hsu

My Color is Rainbow is a sweet story about a white arch searching for his color and all the other colors he meets on his journey. You may find your family talking about being “green and helpful,” “orange and friendly,” or “blue and peaceful” as you go about your day.

 

children's books about rainbows

 

Ava and the Rainbow (Who Stayed) by Ged Adamson

Ava and the Rainbow (Who Stayed) is the story of the most beautiful rainbow ever, who came one day after a rainstorm…and stayed. Ava is so happy that her friend stayed, but is staying what rainbows are really meant to do? This is a poignant story about appreciating things that are special.

rainbow books for children

 

What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz

In this clever little book, a different colored ribbon loops across the top of each page, which features pictures of familiar items of that same color. After you follow the ribbon through the book, you’ll come upon a special surprise on the last page. What Makes a Rainbow? is a unique and imaginative take on rainbow books for children.

 

A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman

If you know Corduroy, then you’re familiar with the gentle, distinctive artistic style of Don Freeman. In A Rainbow of My Own, a little boy embarks on a search for the end of the rainbow, and imagines what it would be like if he found it.

 

How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney

In How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow, the sun and clouds have always cooperated to take care of Earth. Their favorite task is to create rainbows, until one day an argument sends both of them off to sulk. With no rainbows, all the colors fade away and world becomes a gloomy, sad place. Fortunately, a single box of crayons still exists, and escapes their classroom to save the day. This cute book teaches children about persistence, teamwork and friendship.

 

Rainbow by Marion Dane Bauer

Rainbow by Marion Dane Bauer is part of the “Weather Ready-to-Read” series of books for early readers. It shares the “science” of rainbows with a short, easy-to-read narrative story and artistic illustrations.

 

The Rainbow Goblins by Ul De Rico

This book is similar to an old-style Grimm’s fairy tale, so bear that in mind when considering it for your children.  However, the story is utterly captivating in that fascinating way that original fairy tales are, and the illustrations are detailed and sophisticated. The Rainbow Goblins is the tale of seven colorful brothers who prowl the land to feed on rainbows.

 

Rainbow by Jane Cabrera

Rainbow by Jane Cabrera is the perfect rainbow book for babies and toddlers. It’s a board book with die-cut pages, full of colorful objects and animals to point to and name. Each object is labeled, so this is a good book for early readers, too.

 

Penguins Love Colors by Sarah Aspinall

Penguins Love Colors features adorable wide-eyed baby penguins on a quest to create a special gift for Mommy. It’s a simple, straightforward story that little kids love. The illustrations are bold, bright, and clear.

Add some color to your family library today with a few new rainbow books for kids.

 

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rainbow books for childrenbooks about rainbows for childrenchildren's books about rainbows

 

 


 

Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Interactive Activity Books for Kids – Part 1

Banish Summer Boredom with the Best Interactive Activity Books for Kids – Part 1

I love activity books for kids. They are a great way to show kids that books and reading are FUN. Carefully chosen interactive activity books provide enrichment for avid readers and motivation for struggling or reluctant readers. They’re available as both fiction and non-fiction, allowing kids to be exposed to a variety of texts.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

How to Use Activity Books for Kids

When my kids were little, I used this type of book as an alternative to screen time on weekends and school breaks, and in the car. I kept a few on hand in our craft cupboard, and would stock up before school breaks or road trips.

My family lives in a hot part of the country. During the summer it’s often too hot to play outside in the middle of the day. I pulled out activity books after lunch, to use until the late afternoon hours when it was cool enough to head for the front yard or the park. Of course, activity books are great for rainy or snowy days, too.

Activity books are great for adding some structured entertainment to play dates. I loved to take a few along to family gatherings to provide a fun experience for the cousins to enjoy together.

Do you ever feel that opportunities for casual family conversation are disappearing in our fast-paced, technology-driven lives? I sure do! Pull out a few interactive activity books for your family to work on together, and listen as the bonding begins.

Activity books are welcome gifts for your children’s friends; keep a few on hand to avoid last minute trips to the store.

In this post I’ve reviewed my favorite interactive activity books by Usborne Books & More. They offer beautifully designed, brightly colored books that come with toy vehicles, jigsaw puzzles and of course, STICKERS! Usborne Books & More has gorgeously illustrated books that feature painting, drawing, coloring, and paper crafting (such as origami or making paper airplanes.) There are detailed “Search & Spot” books, and classic puzzle books with games, mazes and puzzles.

Interactive Activity books are a fantastic addition to any family’s library. Scroll to take a peek at my favorites, and choose a few to banish summer boredom at your house!

 

Wind-Up Books

Wind-Up books come with a little themed wind-up vehicle which zooms around a track inside the book. The pages in between the tracks have a fun and engaging story to read aloud.  Each 10″ by 12″ book has a compartment to hold its matching wind-up vehicle so it doesn’t get lost. And winding up the vehicle provides some fine motor skill practice for your little one! Ages 3+.

Usborne Books Wind Up Books

 

Pull-Back Busy Books

The Pull-Back Busy Books come with a little matching vehicle or insect to go along with the story. To make one of these little toys move, pull it back on its wheels and let it go! Each 9″ by 11″ book has four tracks. The illustrations are detailed but clear, with lots of little items to look for as you go along. Parents and older siblings love these books, too! Ages 3+.

learning activity books for kids

 

Book and Jigsaw Puzzle Sets

These matching Book and Jigsaw Puzzle Sets come in a variety of subjects to suit kids of all ages. The puzzle images are beautiful illustrations, and range from 30 to 300 pieces. Some also include a black and white version for kids to color in with their own crayons, markers or colored pencils. These make a perfect activity for a quiet afternoon at home. Ages 6+.

educational activity books for kids

 

First Sticker Books

There are almost twenty First Sticker books to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that will delight your child. Each 8.5″ by 11″ book features themed scenes that your child can complete with the dozens of included stickers. The stickers are a little bigger than most, so that little hands can manage them easily. Many of them are labeled, providing opportunities for building vocabulary. These stickers can be re-positioned a few times before sticking permanently. Ages 4+.

 

Little Stickers Books

Each 16 page Little Stickers book comes with dozens of reusable stickers for tons of fun. The themes are perfect building vocabulary and background knowledge in your child; pets, the zoo, the aquarium and the farm. Plus, there’s a unicorn Little Stickers book! Keep one of these in your purse to pull out for spontaneous on-the-go fun.  Approximately 7″ by 9,” ages 3+.

Usborne Books Little Sticker Books

 

Sticker Dolly Dressing

The Sticker Dolly Dressing book series features a wide variety of themes ranging from sports to pets to princesses to weddings. Each 9″ by 12″ paperback includes hundreds of stickers to dress the characters. Ages 6+.

Usborne Books Sticker Dolly Dressing

 

Sticker Dolly Dressing Fashion Designer

This Sticker Dolly Dressing Fashion Designer set of books is more limited with only five titles, each related to the fashion world. The text offers design suggestions for dressing the characters. 9.5″ by 12″, ages 6+.

Usborne Books Sticker Dolly Dressing Fashion Designer

 

Little Sticker Dolly Dressing

These little 7″ by 9″ Little Sticker Dolly Dressing books are darling. Nine themes include unicorns, mermaids and princesses. Several of the titles are available in Spanish.  Ages 4+.

Usborne Books Little Sticker Dolly Dressing

 

1001 Things to Spot

These 1001 Things to Spot books will keep your child happy and busy for hours. Each 9″ by 10.5″ themed book features beautifully illustrated two page spreads with hidden items to find. Improve your child’s counting and observation skills with these nifty books. Ages 3+.

Usborne Books 1001 Things to Spot

 

Picture Puzzle Books

These jumbo 10″ by 12″ Picture Puzzle books are also full of hidden images to find. Each super-detailed two page spread contains hints and challenges. For instance, the clue “who has a mouthful of leaves?” is on a page full of different dinosaurs. Children develop thinking skills as they look for similarities, differences and various characteristics. These sturdy books are for ages 4+.

Usborne Books Picture Puzzle Books

 

Crossword Puzzle Books

These conveniently sized 5″ by 8″ Crossword Puzzle books are perfect for travel. In fact, one of the themes is “Travel” and another is “Vacation!” The puzzles in each book start out easy and increase in difficulty. The questions/prompts are in a variety of formats – some offer synonyms, and others are fill-in-the-blank facts. Ages 6+.

crossword puzzle books for kids

 

Trivia Books

These three 5″ by 8″ Trivia books are full of fascinating facts about animals, dinosaurs, and general knowledge. Ages 6+.

trivia books for kids

 

Logic Games

These 5″ by 8″ Logic Games and Logic Puzzles books are full of mind-bending logic puzzles, questions and games. Answers and solutions are included. Ages 6+, but these are pretty challenging and are better for slightly older kids, perhaps 8+.

Usborne Books Logic Puzzles

 

Color By Number Books

This set of four Color by Number books features detailed illustrations to color by number. As the spaces are filled in with color, objects and scenes are revealed. 8.5″ by 10″, ages 6+, except for My First Color by Numbers, which is for ages 4+.

color by number books for kids

 

Patterns to Color Books

These 8.5″ by 10″ Patterns to Color books feature much more detailed, intricate themed patterns. Ages 6+, but in my opinion these are better for kids with well-developed coloring skills. Once completed these could be framed and displayed or given as gifts.

Usborne Books Patterns to Color

 

Doodling Books

This collection contains a variety of books and card sets that offer a combination of doodling, drawing and coloring. Thick pages prevent markers from bleeding through. Sizes vary, generally for ages 6+.

Usborne Books Drawing Doodling and Coloring

 

This list of the best interactive activity books for kids grew so big we needed to split it into two posts. Don’t miss Part 2 – it’s got tons more awesome activity books.

Check out Part 2 of “Banish Boredom With Activity Books for Kids.

 

 

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travel activities for kidsActivity Books for Kids activity books for kids Activity Books for Kids

 


20+ Fun Toys and Games That Make it Easy to Learn the Alphabet

20+ Fun Toys and Games That Make it Easy to Learn the Alphabet

Toys and Games That Teach the Alphabet – In this post, I’ve curated a list of games and toys that make learning the alphabet easy and fun for everyone. Note: please check recommended ages and make sure products are appropriate and safe for your little ones.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

Bath Letters and Numbers

Foam Bath Letters and Numbers by Little Tykes help you create a literacy-rich learning environment everywhere in your home! They’re a great way to make alphabet learning part of bath-time fun.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Alphabet Bean Bags

Alphabet Bean Bags are a versatile tool for reinforcing alphabet knowledge in a hands-on, kinesthetic way. They come with an activity guide with directions for hands-on alphabet games. Measuring 2.75″ by 2.75″, these felt beanbags are lightweight and easy for young children to handle.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Alphabet Cookies

These cute 2″ Alphabet Cookies help reinforce letter recognition and beginning sounds, plus CVC words and vocabulary. They come in a sturdy jar with directions for four different games. You get the full alphabet plus extras of the letters that are used more often. Aside from the games that are included, you could use these for matching games, sorting games and bingo markers!how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden ABC/123 Blocks Set

This Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden ABC/123 Blocks Set is a classic.  The 1″ blocks are carved or printed with letters, numbers and pictures.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Jumbo ABC-123 Rug with Game Cards

This Jumbo ABC-123 Play Rug by Melissa & Doug can be used as decor in a kids’ room and as a game! It comes with 36 over-sized double-sided playing cards to match to the letters and numbers on the rug. It’s highly durable with a nonstick rubber backing. Best of all, there’s plenty of room for more than one child to play at a time.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Learning Resources Alphabet Marks The Spot Floor Mat

The Alphabet Marks The Spot Floor Mat is one of the the best ways I’ve found to let kids use gross motor skills and movement to learn the alphabet. It’s perfect for rainy or snowy days. Although the rug above is awesome, this mat is great because it can be stored away when not in use.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

LEGO DUPLO Play with Letters

The LEGO DUPLO Play with Letters set is a versatile choice that offers endless opportunities for hands-on alphabet learning.

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Alphabet Soft Foam Blocks

These lightweight 5.5″ Alphabet Soft Foam Blocks are printed with uppercase letters. They provide opportunities for gross motor skill activities to build letter recognition.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Alphabet Robot Transformer Action Figure Autobots

What a creative way for kids to work with the alphabet! These Alphabet Robot Transformer Action Figure Autobots are irresistible manipulatives for learning the alphabet.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Alphabet Soup Sorters

Alphabet Soup Sorters offer plenty of opportunities for sorting and matching to learn letters and sounds. Each can holds little cardboard photos of items that start with that letter, plus the letters themselves. These are great for imaginative play as well as more structured activities.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Alphabet Dinosaurs

These Alphabet Dinosaurs help kids learn lowercase and uppercase letters while developing fine motor strength and dexterity.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Alphabet Memory Game

This Alphabet Memory Game is a terrific way to build lowercase and uppercase letter recognition and practice letter sounds. Add this to family game night!

how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Alphabet Go Fish Letter Matching Card Game

Alphabet Go Fish is a classic that every child should play! Add this to family game night for extra practice with letters and sounds.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Alphabet Bingo! Letter Learning Game for Kids

Alphabet Bingo is another classic for your game shelf. Instead of using a “caller” to say letters, this game has players reach into a bag and pull out a letter token, then check for a match.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

The manufacturer of these two games, Peaceable Kingdom, has a whole line of themed, educational games for kids. They’re awesome.

 

Alphabet Island – A Letter & Sounds Game

Alphabet Island – A Letter & Sounds Game provides practice matching lowercase and uppercase letters, and matching uppercase letters to letter sounds.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Alphabet Slap Jack

I love these Alphabet Slap Jack cards for so many reasons. They are the size of a deck of standard playing cards and perfect to drop into your purse or keep in the car. Uppercase and lowercase letters are on separate cards, which adds tons of flexibility in playing games (directions included). The vowel cards feature pictures with the short vowel sound, which is much more useful than the long vowel sound. These are perfect for families on the go!how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Melissa & Doug ABC-123 Abacus

The little spinning tiles on this Melissa & Doug ABC-123 Abacus are so appealing to kids. This toy develops hand-eye coordination while providing practice with sounds and uppercase letters.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train

V-tech’s Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train is designed for your youngest learners, ages 1 to 3. It can be used as a push toy, a riding toy, or for floor play.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Alphabet Phonics Bus

Oh my goodness, my parents gave this LeapFrog Alphabet Phonics Bus to my son 20 years ago! My kids spent endless hours intently pushing those letter buttons to see what sounds they would make. This updated version has four modes – letters, animals, games, and music. Each mode integrates letters and sounds in some way.LeapFrog Alphabet Phonics Bus

 

Spinning Lights Learning Hippo

Also by Vtech, this Spinning Lights Learning Hippo helps kids learn numbers in addition to the alphabet. Pull the bird “handle” down to learn about letters, sounds, objects, and animals. Press the ABC button to sing along to the alphabet song.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

AlphaPup Toy

The AlphaPup Toy by Vtech is a classic pull toy for toddlers and preschoolers. When your little one pulls AlphaPup along by the leash, 3 different educational songs play. Push the colorful stripes on AlphaPup’s sweater to hear letters and sounds. This cute toy comes in green or purple/pink.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Deluxe Letters and Numbers Wooden Stamp Set

This Deluxe Letters and Numbers Wooden Stamp Set by Melissa & Doug is a fantastic addition to any family’s arts and crafts cupboard. It comes with an alphabet and numbers activity pad.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

Alphabet Train Lacing Beads

Also by Melissa & Doug, Alphabet Train Lacing Beads develop fine motor dexterity while helping kids learn letters and sounds. These wooden “beads” can be used for matching, sorting, sequencing and spelling.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet

 

Alphabet Wooden Lacing Cards

These Alphabet Wooden Lacing Cards are old fashioned lacing cards themed with alphabet letters and matching images. Each lacing card features an uppercase and lowercase letter on one side with a matching picture on the other. They’re great for exposure to letters and sounds while kids are busy developing fine motor skills and dexterity.how to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabet
You’re sure to find something on this list that will boost your child’s alphabet knowledge and help create a culture of reading and literacy in your home. What toys or games will your add to your family’s collection? Let me know in the comments!

 

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How to Make it Easy for Your Kids to Develop a Gratitude Practice

gratitude journal for kidsThis post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission.

Today I’m sharing our gratitude journal for kids. It’s one of my favorite items from our line of Draw and Write Journals for Kids on Amazon.

365 Days of Gratitude – A Draw and Write Journal for Kids is a great tool for helping children develop a gratitude practice early in life.  At the same time, it gives parents a concrete strategy to support the development of reading and writing. Plus, it’s a valuable way to spend quality time together.

The journal is 8.5” by 11” and has 183 pages. This allows it to lie almost flat while your child is drawing and writing. Each two page spread has four spaces for your child togratitude journal for children draw and then dictate or write what they are grateful for.

There are so many ways to use our gratitude journal for kids. One easy way is to have your child draw a picture of what they are grateful for. Then, have them dictate a response to fill in the prompt “I am grateful for…” and write it down for them.

Dictation is a great way to model writing for younger children, and develop concepts about print. After you write, be sure to read it back to your child, touching once under each word. If it seems easy and casual and things are going well, ask your child to count how many words are in the sentence. Or, have them show you a particular word that you think they might know, perhaps the name of a sibling or a simple sight word.

Instead of drawing, your child could cut pictures out of a magazine. Or, you can find images online and print them out.

You could also use photos of family vacations and outings, or daily activities like eating dinner or playing outside. Your child will love to express gratitude about family members pictured in photos, or about the various rooms in your house. A fun option is to have your child pose with the item or person they are grateful for, take a digital photo and then print it out.

Instead of having your child dictate, they could fill in the prompt themselves, using their own spelling. Or, you could make it more of a shared task, encouraging your child to ask you when they are unsure about how to spell a word.

Depending upon the age of your child and the amount of time you have to record that day’s entry, you can choose if you want to illustrate with a drawing or a photo, and if you want to have your child dictate or write more independently.

This Draw and Write gratitude journal for kids is undated, so you can start it at any time. The beginning of a new calendar year in January is a great time to start. Or, a child could begin journaling after receiving this as a birthday gift.

No matter how you use 365 Days of Gratitude – A Draw and Write Journal for Kids, in the end your child will have a treasured keepsake.

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7 Awesome Book Subscription Boxes That Will Delight Young Readers

7 Awesome Book Subscription Boxes That Will Delight Young Readers

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, A Family of Readers earns a small commission. 

I was so excited when book subscription boxes for kids became popular.

For years I’ve created themed gifts based on a specific book, or a specific subject. For instance, I might give a child The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and include a couple of related toys. Or, I might pick three favorite dinosaur books and add a plush dinosaur. One of my favorites was when I chose books for a friend’s two boys, and found matching pillowcases!

Subscription Book Boxesfor KidsWith book subscription boxes, I can give themed book gifts to the children in my life, and the giving goes on all year. This also gives me a way to connect with the recipients as the months go by. I like to check in every now and then by email or text to see what books and goodies have arrived. This gives my young reading friends an authentic reason to write, as they dictate to a parent or use budding keyboarding skills to reply.

Giving a book subscription box is a great way to build a child’s personal library, and expose them to new genres and subjects. For a reluctant reader, receiving a box in the mail each month creates a ton of excitement, which often transfers to the books themselves.

Read on to discover the best book subscription boxes for children of all ages.

 

 

Bookroo

Bookroo is geared for kids ages birth to 10. Depending on age, kids receive board books, picture books, or early chaptersubscription book boxes for children bookroo books, beautifully wrapped. For board books and picture books, the curators of this box are aiming for what they call “hidden” gems, rather than classics. Books are chosen through a rigorous review process which includes input from 12 families with young children.

Older children receive one “hidden gem” early chapter book, and one well-known “classic” early chapter book. Bookroo is a great book subscription box option for families who want some help expanding their library in new directions. $19.95 per month.

 

Reading Bug Box

book subscription boxes for kids Reading BugThe Reading Bug Box offers three options for book subscription boxes for kids. The Baby Bug Box is for ages 0-30 months, and includes three board books each month. The personalized Reading Bug Box is for kids ages 0-13, and includes three or four books based on the recipient’s age, gender, and interests. There is even a Reading Bug Box for 2, a personalized book subscription box for two children at the same address. $19.99 per month.

 

 

OwlCrate Jr.kids' subscription book boxes owlcrate jr

OwlCrate Jr. is a book subscription box for kids ages 8-12. Each box includes a middle-grade novel, as well as related goodies that are fun and educational. Examples are science or art activity kits, notebooks, bookmarks, writing tools and collectible toys. $27.99 per month.

 

 

The Story Box

book subscription boxes for childen The Story Box

The Story Box is for younger children, ages 0-6 years old, with three options to choose from. The Board Book package includes two board books each month. The Picture Book package includes two hardcover picture books each month. The Family package includes one board book and one picture book.

Books are chosen by a team that includes a speech pathologist. This team looks for books that have attractive illustrations, strong vocabulary, fun story lines, rhyming, and alliteration. A unique feature of these book subscription boxes is a helpful parent guide, with easy tips for supporting children’s speech, language, and pre-literacy skills. $14.99 per month.

 

 

Kid Curated Bookskids' book subscription boxes Kid Curated Books

Kid Curated Books offers boxes for four age groups ranging from 0-14. Parents provide detailed information about their child’s reading level and preferences, including what types of books to avoid. Parents can provide monthly feedback so that future book choices will better match their child’s needs and interests.

Each shipment contains four books. There’s a 15% discount when you sign up a sibling, and gift cards are available. $34.99 per box, with the option to deliver as often or as seldom as you like.

What I really love about Kid Curated Books is their stand alone book boxes for baby showers, holiday gifts, or birthdays. The baby shower boxes are my favorite. They include a variety of classic books with a matching onesie. Absolutely adorable, and so much easier than trying to track down so many themed items.

There are two STEM boxes for young engineers and scientists, and two “Girl Power” boxes for both younger and older girls. These boxes are beautifully packaged and include a card and a bookmark.

 

Amazon Prime Book Box

gift book box subscriptions amazon prime book boxAre you a Prime member? Amazon has added another benefit to its Prime membership. The Amazon Prime Book Box program is set up to send your child either four or two hardback books in each box, at up to a 40% discount from Amazon’s list price.

Age groups are baby-2 years old, ages 3-5, ages 6-8, and ages 9-12. A unique feature is that you can specify delivery every 1, 2 or 3 months. Five days before shipment, Amazon will send you a curated list to choose from, or you can let it be a surprise. $19.99 per box.

 

STEM Reads Book Clubsubscription book boxes gifts for kids STEM Reads

The STEM Reads Book Club is a monthly book club for children (ages 4-8) who love to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). 

Each themed box includes two (or more) handpicked, kid-friendly books, exclusive author notes, engaging learning activities, and fun surprises. Boxes often include new or recently released titles, including some from up-and-coming authors or publishers.

Books are chosen by a team of advisers with advanced STEM degrees and professional experience in science writing and editing. Subscriptions do sell out, so don’t delay if this book subscription box sounds like a good match for your young reader. $34.95 per month.

A book subscription box is a great gift for kids, and a fantastic way for you to support and encourage any young reader in your life. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!

 

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Subscription Book Boxes for Kids