10 Ideas to encourage your kids to read after school (A Bullseye View guest post)

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Today I’m over at the Target Bullseye View blog sharing 10 ideas to encourage kids to read after school.  Head over there to read my tips and take a peek at the Pinterest Board that compliments the article, too.

From the article:

We all know that reading plays a vital role in a child’s education. For some kids, a love of reading comes naturally, while other children might be reluctant readers.

Once the school bell rings, it is up to parents and caregivers to help develop reading skills with their kids and create a home environment that promotes and encourages reading.

[Read the rest at A Bullseye View]

 

The Friday Five: 5 favorite reading spots in our home

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Happy Read Across America Day!  This is a day we set aside to remember that you are “never too old, too wacky too wild, to pick up a book and read with your child.”

For today’s Friday Five I’m sharing 5 of our favorite reading spots in our home – the places where we love to curl up with a good book.

5 Favorite Reading Spots in Our Home

Reading

1. Amelia’s favorite spot is on Daddy’s lap with all of her siblings around her (I know I’ve shared this picture before, but it is one of my favorites of my favorite people).

Amelia’s favorite book right now is Where is Baby’s Belly Button by Karen Katz, which her big brother Max gave to her for Christmas because of her obsession with belly buttons or “gong gongs” as she calls them.

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Busy hands: finding light in Winter’s dark days

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Are you getting tired of me telling you about how the days have been dark, rainy, and cold lately?   Well, I’m certainly getting tired of writing about it.  I know there are still some February days left on the calendar, but I’m ready to turn the page to March so that I can officially begin anticipating Spring.

We’re getting a bit stir crazy having to stay indoors and cabin fever?  Well, we’re doing our best with Legos, games, puzzles, good books, and art projects … but sometimes it still sinks in.

I’m handling my Winter blues by keeping my hands busy.  Well, okay, with four children my hands are usually pretty busy, but I’m specifically talking about reading and crafting.

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Nurturing the creative spark, open ended play, and Kid Made Modern: a Q & A with Todd Oldham

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Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

Those of you who are regular readers know that my kids and I are fans of the Kid Made Modern line of art supplies and creative kits from Target.  The watercolor sets, papers, art kits, decorative tapes, and more are regular players in our home craft supplies line-up.

What some of you might not know is that Kid Made Modern was created by American designer Todd Oldham, whom I’ve been a fan of for a long time.

The story of Kid Made Modern begins with the book by the same name, which was written as a response to the loss of art programs in schools.  From there, the project grew to include a line that “celebrates creativity and fun through inspiration and information.”

I recently got to ask Todd Oldham some questions and I’m pleased to share his answers with you today.  I think you’ll really enjoy getting to know this designer and author a bit better and I know that you’ll appreciate his thoughts on open ended play and nurturing the creative spark in our kids.

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Hop on the Orangutan Van with SteveSongs

SteveSongs Orangutan Van cover art
The following is by Jennifer of Swing, Whistle, Zing.
Okay, is your “math brain” ready?  How many orangutans can you fit in a van?  If you count the number of times we’ve repeated that song in our own car, it could be well over 100.  But if you’re asking Mr. Steve, it’s a little it closer to 11.

This quirky math based song is one of many that we’ve come to love off of the just released album of the same name, Orangutan Van, by Steve Roslonek of SteveSongs.

Orangutan Van

While you may also know him as Mr. Steve, co-host of PBS KIDS preschool destination, don’t stop there thinking his music is strictly for the preschool set.  He writes songs to educate and entertain with an emphasis on humor that is not lost on the more sophisticated ears in the room.

This album will bridge the gap between preschool and grade school with songs that appeal to kids in both age categories.

[Read more...]