Choose Kind

“When elementary students performed three acts of kindness per week they significantly increased their acceptance of peers compared to kids who did not perform three kind acts of kindness. Students who are taught kindness are more empathetic, more socially aware and connected, and they receive higher grades too. Be kind—it is free and the payback is good for all!” –Stopbullying.gov

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Kindness can truly change the world. Children show the first signs of compassion as toddlers and it is our job as caregivers to cultivate this sentiment. We can teach children through play, by showing them what it looks like to care for others, or through books. Stories are a great tool because books open doors for discussion. It can help your child to picture what someone else’s life is like. Happy You, Happy Family has created the Ultimate List of Children’s Books About Kindness . This list is so detailed and holds the BEST of the BEST. Help your children choose kind.

Happy reading!

A Peek in the Box

GIRAFFE SUBSCRIBERS, Ages 0-3…Be on the look out, you may be receiving this fun book!

We are excited to include Rosie & Rex A Nose for Fun by Emmy Award-winning creator of the Nick Jr. preschool television series Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Bob Boyle. This story brings to life a vibrant, playful friendship story about robots, featuring Rosie and Rex. Young readers will delight in this exciting, humorous picture book in which robots meet all the fun of tea parties.

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You can learn more about Rosie & Rex on Harper & Collins website.

Happy reading!

#pRaiseAReader

One of the most important ways to encourage your reader is to offer praise when goals are accomplished. Big or small, when your child overcomes a challenge, it is a celebration!  It can be anything from learning their sight words for the week, moving up a reading level, finishing a long book, or reading independently, etc. Your child’s confidence will grow each time their effort pays off.

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Grayson, age 6, has moved up a reading level! We are so proud of all the extra work he is putting in to become a ready reader.

Kids Reveal Book Box wants to celebrate with your family.  To have your child spotlighted in our new feature, email us a photo and a reading goal they have accomplished!

Organizing New Books for the New Year

It happens all the time. You fear you have hit capacity for the amount of books you have in your home. No worries, I am here to help!

Donate any books your child hasn’t read in the last 6 months. I try to trim down the books without my kids in the room, otherwise every book is their favorite book. No matter if I remind them the joy that donating books brings them or that maybe a baby would love to have that peek a boo book they completely forgot about, the books are always “theirs.” You can often donate them to a local library or school.  My area hosts a 3 day long book fair where profits go 100% to local reading programs for children so we always donate to them.

Picking out storage is the most time consuming thing for me. I need something that can fit in a small space. I need something that can hold a good amount of books in a compact space. Keeping children’s books in their line of sight helps them choose reading as as activity while playing. That is something I always keep in mind while looking for storage.

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This blue one from The Home Depot is a great choice because it holds many books and has a sleek style. The top rows keep covers facing out which is eye-catching to children.

This is a great choice from Amazon, as it also offers a seating option on top to make the perfect little reading nook. The bottom slots are great for sliding those canvas bins  full of books in. My niece likes to use those to organize her books. She keeps a bin for non-fiction and fiction.

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We really loved this option also from Amazon. The clear wall shelving provides a unique look that frees up floor space! I love thinking of changing out the front displayed book to coordinate the seasons or holidays. How do you organize your books?

Happy reading!

 

New Year Family Traditions

Happy 2019! Every year seems to pass more quickly than the last. Do you practice any New Year traditions as a family? I typically focus on self or professional goals for the year, but this year I would like to also have a family goal of enjoying each other more. Taking the time to slow down and soaking up this sweet time with my 5 and 6 year olds. There will come a time where my children won’t want to spend their Friday nights at Nana’s for dinner, or participate in living room camp outs with my husband and I. It is my hope that by starting this tradition now, we can continue it for many years.

We are going to write down activities on a scrap of paper and fill a jar. Twice a month, someone will choose from the jar and our family days will begin! My kiddos enjoy most activities we do as a family, so we will incorporate favorites as well as new adventures. I am looking forward to starting this tradition.

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Here are some of our ideas. A few are weather specific, so I plan to add those to the jar as the seasons change. A few our specific to our location but can be easily exchanged for places that are local to you.

  1. Play laser tag outside in the dark.
  2. Go camping.
  3. Make snow ice cream.
  4. Have a water balloon fight.
  5. Play in the rain.
  6. Watch movies and eat snacks for dinner.
  7. Have a game night at Nana’s.
  8. Visit the St. Louis Arch.
  9. Watch a movie at the Omnimax Theater.
  10. Go to the Zoo.
  11. Visit the City Museum.
  12. Go on a hike.
  13. Pick up trash in a park.
  14. Go swimming.
  15. Go to a skating rink.
  16. Watch a baseball game.
  17. Wear pajamas all day and do nothing but play.
  18. Eat sno-cones.
  19. Make homemade pizza.
  20. Tie-Dye t-shirts.
  21. Stay up as late as you want.
  22. Go to a builder’s class at a hardware store.
  23. Attend a painting class geared towards children.
  24. Have an egg hunt.
  25. Jump in the leaves.
  26. Visit a new park.
  27. Family camp out in the living room.
  28. Make an indoor obstacle course.
  29. Put on a shadow puppet show.
  30. Paint rocks.
  31. Have blind taste tests.
  32. Play flashlight tag.
  33. Read a new book, child’s choice.

We wish you peace, happiness, and lots of great books in this new year!

 

Reading With A Purpose

Reading is fun but who says it also cannot be done with a purpose in mind?

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If your kiddos are like mine, they could spend many hours at the library. They love to wander the aisles, taking in all of the books and choices at their fingertips. Occasionally, they can be overwhelmed which makes decision making harder. I always want reading to be a fun hobby so I started this new approach with my children and so far, it has kept our library visits fun!

If you can relate, try introducing your children to reading challenges. As an adult, I have done these any time I go through a book slump. It feels so good to cross something off a list and kiddos can benefit from that feeling as well. This can help children explore outside of genres they may typically read. Who knows what new adventure they will stumble upon? I found these great ones for January, but you can adapt them for different months throughout the year:

Bookish Fun for Winter: A January Reading Challenge brought to you by Brightly

Winter Reading Challenge by Growing Book by Book

New Year Reading Challenge by Scholastic’s On Our Mind Blog

 

Happy reading!

Encouraging a Reluctant Reader

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Being a book-loving mama, it is so hard to put myself in the shoes of my reluctant reader. Lately, we have been making so many strides in our reading adventure and I am looking forward to stepping up my game during winter break. Here are some things that we are going to try:

  • Building a reading fort. Winter days are perfect for building forts and snuggling up with blankets. Changing up your reading environment can lead to an entirely new interest.

 

  • Breaking bedtime curfew for extra reading time. Staying up late feels like a great privilege to a young child. We plan to take advantage of days off of school to let go of the schedule and just enjoy our time together.

 

  • Using closed captions. This may seem like an off the wall approach, however our children always enjoy their favorite cartoons or movies. Cold weather usually results in more screen time and I read an article that makes me excited to try this out. We will spend some time with cartoons on and sound off. My kids want to know what their favorite characters are up to. With the sound off, reading the captions will be the way to soak up the story line.

How do you encourage your reluctant reader?