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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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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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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alphabet games and toys that teach the alphabet

 

 

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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gratitude journal for children