Target Read With Me Giveaway Winner

I want to thank everyone who entered the Read With Me Sweepstakes.  It was fun to host and get to read all of your comments regarding your favorite children’s literature and your reasons for reading to the kids in your lives.

I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it again:  Simple Kids readers are a pretty amazing group of people.  I’m thankful the kids in your lives have you to share this love of reading with them.

So, without any further ado, the winner of the iPad and selection of children’s books is:

Nina ~ Netc_phila@

Congratulations! Nina, please check your email for further instructions from me.

Nina said, “Why do I think reading is important? Because it’s a time to sit, snuggle, connect, use nice voices, explore and learn together. It’s some of my best memories As a child in bed with my three sisters while we cried as my mother read us grimke fairytales where the little mermaid died or we were terrified by the many witches. It taught me that books transport you to other worlds and words make you whole or break your heart and it filled me with a great love of them as I hope my son grows up to have.”

I want to thank Target for sponsoring this sweepstakes.  Don’t forget that U.S. residents can still sign the pledge by visiting the Target website for details.

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Target Read With Me (iPad Giveaway!)

I‘m excited to announce that Simple Kids is joining in to support Target’s reading initiative, Target Read With Me. Target’s goal is to launch a national conversation about the importance of reading with children and the critical role parents and caring adults play in nurturing a love of reading among children.

This giveaway is now closed.  The winner will be announced Wednesday, January 19.  Thank you!

Focusing on a goal of helping U.S. kids read proficiently by the end of third grade, Target is asking people to make a pledge to make time for reading to the children in their lives.

Target is asking you to make a commitment to reading with your kids on a regular basis.

“Whether that means starting each day by exploring the newspaper, being a reading buddy in your community, or reading an extra bedtime story on the weekends, every page is a step toward success.”- Target website

Target is helping adults make this commitment with resources and reading tips for pre-K to ages 4th grade and up on their website.  They’ve also got a pdf file with tips for a Family Reading Night.

By the end of 2015, Target plans to donate more than $500 million to support education, doubling its support to date, for a total of more than $1 billion.  And, you can do your part by taking the pledge to read to the kids in your life.  When when you take the pledge, Target will donate books to kids in need, donating up to 2 million age-appropriate books.

I know from past conversations we’ve had on this blog that reading to our children is important to Simple Kids readers.  I’m asking you guys to join in me in taking the Read With Me pledge.

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Weekend Links

More Winter Fun: Doing the Unexpected

The following is by editor Kara Fleck.

The weatherman told us this week that 49 of the 50 U.S. states have snow.  Chances are, if you are living in an area that doesn’t currently have a snowy forecast, you’re dealing with gray skies and unfriendly weather, or perhaps are just in the mid-January dull-drums.

Maybe you’ve been snowed in for most of the week and are running short on ideas and inspiration.  What can be done to shake up an ordinary winter day?

I have gathered up a few ideas for you today that involve being a little bit silly, doing things that are unexpected, and that hopefully will be a lot of fun on these January snow days.

Winter Fun: the Unexpected

Have an Indoor Picnic – Sometimes what we need is a change in perspective, doing something familiar in a new way.  Spread a tablecloth on the floor and have dinner together tonight as an indoor picnic.  I’m planning to set up my family with dinner in front of the fireplace in the living room (the warmest room in our house right now).

Mix Up the Seasons – Wear  your Hawaiian printed shirts (perhaps over your long underwear?), break out summer’s fancy drink umbrellas and swirly straws, make cocoa popsicles, cuddle up with a few beach towels during story time, let the kids play with the sandbox shovel and pail in the bathtub tonight (if you live at my house, you might want to make sure they aren’t still sandy first), camp out in the living room.

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Inspiring Readers in a Digital Age

The following post is by contributor Emily Carter of The Pilot’s Wife.

We live in a world that is changing constantly.  It seems I am just getting the hang of the latest technology when something newer and shinier comes along. Even my toddler has technology skills that astound me. I have trouble imagining the digital world he will live in as an adult, but I’m sure it will be incredible.

My concern, though,  is this: how do we, as parents and teachers, cultivate a deep love for reading when so many light-blinking-touch-screen-noise-making distractions call to our children more loudly than books with simple text and pictures?

Developing a Love for Books

There are some simple things you can do to encourage your children to pick up a book instead of the latest gadget.

1. Create a reading routine.

Even if only for 15 or 20 minutes, make time during your day to sit with your child and read. Bedtimes and before naps are our family’s typical routine, and my son knows instinctively to go find a few books during these times.

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