10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… We are fast-approaching the season of the countdown. Children are getting more and more excited counting down the days, lighting candles, opening advent calendars of all shapes and sizes—my family will be having a book-a-day for our advent season. Parents are getting more and more frantic to get organised as the days disappear. It’s the time of year that everyone practices counting.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… A study several years ago by researchers from the Institute of Education in London found that children who receive bedtime stories from their parents as infants perform better in vocabulary and spelling but also in math. Reading supports numeracy. Books are full of numbers and images for counting.
“Each rhyming verse leads on to the next. 1 through to 12 and a sweet goodnight.” — Summer from @readingisourthing
I Know Numbers!, by Taro Gomi
“If you have a little learner that’s getting digit-curious, check this book out.” — Katie from @afriendlyaffair
365 Penguins, by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joëlle Jolivet
“As with all the best learning opportunities, it’s done in such a clever way that children will barely notice that they are learning.” — Claire from @alittlebookhabit
Eight Jolly Reindeer, by Ilanit Oliver and Jacqueline Rogers
“Young readers will love counting down from eight to one in this adorable board book featuring Santa’s famous reindeer! .” — Leah from @astoryaday
10, 9, 8 … Owls Up Late!: A Countdown to Bedtime, by Georgiana Deutsch and Ekaterina Trukhan
“It is engaging for little ones –– with peep-through cut-outs and cheeky little owls to count as well as repetitive text that they will soon be able to join in with reading the story.” — Kim from @bookbairn
Numerical Street, by Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell
“It’s quintessentially Australian and nostalgic through the architecture and details in the story, such as the myna birds throughout and the lamingtons/caramel slice/jam rolls and custard tarts at the bakery.” — De from @books_and_babycinos
Roar by Stuart Lynch
“I couldn’t resist the cute little dinos in this board book that introduces little ones to counting from 1-5.” — Carissa from @bookskidslove_
One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!, by John Micklos Jr. and Clive McFarland
“Dance through the night with some fabulous felines whose numbers increase two at a time.” — Wendy from @homegrownreader
William’s Winter Nap, by Linda Ashman and Chuck Groenink
“This bedtime tale and it’s kind cast of characters is sure warm your winter chilled heart.” — Heather from @kidlitbookbits
One Family, by George Shannon and Blanca Gomez
“This book works on so many levels: it’s a simple counting story, a little bit of seek and find, and (my favorite!) a lovely introduction to and celebration of diversity in families.” — Anna from @kidlitcrafts
Let’s Count Kisses, by Karen Hull“This is a gentle bedtime story incorporating a lift-the-flap design, Australian animals and counting from 1 to 10.” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday
One Big Turkey, by Anne Vittur Kennedy
“It’s simple and sweet rhyming text gets children counting everything they have to be thankful for, including food, friends, and full bellies!” — Michelle from @the.book.report
And one more for good luck!
How Many Legs?, by Kes Gray and Jim Field
“The book introduces us to a myriad of crazy critters turning up to a party with a varying number of legs and asks us “How many legs?”.” — Fiona from @fee_loves
Your turn: What are some of your favorite counting books for children? Feel free to share in the comments.
Disclaimer: We are celebrating a new book release from the creator of Goodnight Moon thanks to our sponsor HarperCollins!
5 Tips On Getting Energetic Kids to Fall Asleep for Bedtime Let’s talk about sleep. Bedtime shouldn’t be a battle, right? But for many children and parents bedtime can be one of the most stressful times of the day especially if you have energetic children who have trouble falling asleep.
One of our favorite bedtime rituals is reading time! We’ve long been fans of Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. This classic picture book was originally released 70 years ago but a new padded board book edition just came out in June of this year. We were so excited to also learn about a previously unpublished book from Margaret Wise Brown that just came out October 3rd. Good Day, Good Night uses the same signature word pattern as Goodnight Moon and is paired with beautiful illustrations by Loren Long. The little bunny returns to delight at hidden surprises of both the nighttime and the daytime! It’s quickly become a new favorite for bedtime reads.
Before having children I used to know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, but I didn’t appreciate it nearly as much as I do now. Sleep is critical to a child’s development. That’s why it’s important to establish and maintain consistent bedtime routines starting at an early age. Once you get past the middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes phase, consider storytime and these other simple strategies I use to put bedtime problems to rest.
1. Create an inviting environment for sleeping
I once read the keys to making people feel welcome is all about focusing on sight, sound and smell. If something is appealing to the eyes, the ears and the nose, people are more likely to be attracted to it and feel comfortable with it. To implement this at bedtime I simply fluff up my kid’s pillows, dim the lights, arrange all of their stuffed toys, pull down the covers, light a lavender candle in their room and play some soothing music. I also make sure their room is neat and tidy with no toys or other objects lying around on the floor. Once they’re out of the bath, they walk into their room relaxed, clean and ready for storytime.
2. Read books This one is pretty simple and straightforward. We read a variety of things before bed: board books, picture books, early chapter books (read alouds) and children’s magazines. We typically read for at least 15 – 30 minutes before bed. Storytime is also great for snuggling and bonding with your child at the end of the day. One of our classic bedtime favorites is Goodnight Moon and we are loving adding Good Day, Good Night into the reading rotation.
3. Ban screen time one hour before bed To ease the transition to bedtime, keep things quiet during the hour before bedtime. Put away mobile devices, video games and toys. Turn off the TV and any computers. Limit children to quiet activities, such as reading, coloring or doing puzzles. Sleep may be more appealing if kids slows down before bedtime.
4. Get the wiggles and giggles out Sometimes we like to wind down by doing stretching and a few yoga poses. Another trick I learned from another mommy blogger I follow is to practice deep breathing in a hugging position with your child. It really seems to work! I set a timer for about two minutes and we do it together sitting on the floor. All you do is hug your child and then you start deep breathing. Most children will automatically start deep breathing too, but if they don’t ask them to join you in taking a few deep breaths. Give it a try!
5. Don’t let weekends throw you off.
Sleeping in on the weekends doesn’t help anyone catch up on sleep and can, instead, throw off our internal clocks. A policy of staying up late “because it’s the weekend” could jeopardize your child’s sleep the following week, so try to avoid that if you can.
Bottom line is to make bedtime a priority. A predictable, calming bedtime routine is often the key to a good night’s sleep. What the bedtime routine involves is up to you. Experiment to find what works best for you — but once you settle on a routine, follow it consistently every night.
Your turn: What are your tips and tricks to getting kids to fall asleep? Feel free to share in the comments. And keep reading for more about the creative team for Goodnight Moon and Good Day, Good Night – plus a giveaway!
AboutGood Day, Good Night This previously unpublished picture book by beloved children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown uses her signature word pattern from the classic Goodnight Moon that has soothed generations of children to sleep. Paired with Loren Long’s gorgeous illustrations, readers will take comfort in the reassuring world of the little bunny and delight at the attention to detail and hidden surprises on every page.
About Goodnight Moon In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight. In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day, complete with a soft, padded cover and sturdy board book pages.
About Margaret Wise Brown Margaret Wise Brown, cherished for her unique ability to convey a child’s experience and perspective of the world, transformed the landscape of children’s literature with such beloved classics as Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Other perennial favorites by Ms. Brown include Nibble Nibble, My World, Where Have You Been?, Christmas in the Barn, The Dead Bird, and Sneakers, the Seaside Cat.
About Loren Long (illustrator of Good Day, Good Night) Loren Long is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture books Otis, Otis and the Tornado, Otis and the Puppy, An Otis Christmas, and Otis and the Scarecrow. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of President Barack Obama’s picture book Of Thee I Sing and the re-illustrated edition of The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. He lives in Ohio. To learn more, please visit www.lorenlong.com.
About Clement Hurd (illustrator of Goodnight Moon)
Clement Hurd (1908–1988) is best known for illustrating Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, the classic picture books by Margaret Wise Brown. He studied painting in Paris with Fernand Léger and others in the early 1930s. After his return to the United States in 1935, he began to work in children’s books. He illustrated more than one hundred books, many of them with his wife, Edith Thacher Hurd, including the Johnny Lion books, The Day the Sun Danced, and The Merry Chase. A native of New York City, he lived most of his life in Vermont and California.
Being able to relate to the characters in a book is such a vital piece of enjoying it. It is through these characters that we find the courage and strength to be who we truly are. Trials and tribulations are at the heart of every story, and the way that characters triumph over them can be the essence of what readers are searching for in their own lives. It’s no coincidence then that so many characters can feel lost, alone, and full of doubt. The uncertainty that haunts the beginning of a book, though, can be washed away by the end, leaving behind a sense of hope and fortitude that we, as readers, need from time to time. It is this self-confidence that we hope to instill in the young readers who glance into unknown pages and hopefully are able to see themselves reflected back.
During January, @kidlitpicks shared books we could see ourselves and others in, and we’re excited to share our round-up for the month. A special shout-out to Wendy from Homegrown Reader for the theme!
“In the end, the little white arch learns that it doesn’t need to be defined by one characteristic alone, but that what makes it so beautiful is that it has a little bit of each color.” — Clarissa from @book.nerd.mommy
“With 52 stories, divided by month, this artistic collection is both a visual delight and a chance to relish conversation and story telling together. Certainly one I wouldn’t hesitate giving as a gift.” — Miranda from @bookbloom
“Odd Dog Out and stories like it are not only messages for those who feel lost and alone. It is also a message for those around them, spreading the word about empathy, love, and acceptance.” — Wendy from @homegrownreader
Fang Fang’s Chinese New Year, by Sally Rippin
“Growing up between the Chinese and Australian cultures, I absolutely shared Fang Fang’s self-consciousness about being different. But to all the little Fang Fangs out there, I hope you find yourself surrounded by good people and books that encourage you to embrace and celebrate what makes you unique.” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday
Your turn: What books would you add to this list? Feel free to share in the comments.
Synopsis Step into the world of Ida B. Wells as she uses her life experiences and obstacles as motivation to achieve many firsts in editing and journalism in the United States of America and abroad. Read along as she flourishes in the wake of family tragedy and ever changing life situations. “Power in My Pen” encourages penmanship, free thought, and historical lessons from a highly influential leader in the early 1900’s. The strong intelligent woman we know as Ida B. Wells proved, no matter who you are, you can share your message and your truth to the world through the power of the pen. Reflection I think Ida B. Wells is one of the fiercest ladies from the 19th century. Every time I hear her name I am reminded of the legacy of one of the most inspiring women to ever live. Born on July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs, Mississippi, Ida quickly became a prominent journalist and activist for civil rights and women’s suffrage. After getting fired from her job as a teacher, she became an editor before age 25 of two papers in Memphis, which she continued to run even after her printing press was destroyed by an angry mob. Later in life, she became editor of the Chicago Conservator and married Chicago attorney Ferdinand Barrett. In 1909, she was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The book Power in My Pen gives little readers a snippet of the life of Ida B. Wells. At a very young age, Ida was known to be a leader. She helped care for her five brothers and sisters until they were all grown up after her parents became very ill. Later in life, Ida went on to become a teacher at the neighborhood school. It was in the classroom where she learned the power that lies in her pen. By expressing herself through teaching and writing she was able to communicate powerful messages to people and do her part to make a difference in the world.
What I like most about this book is the overall messages of always telling the truth and making a difference – no matter how small it may be. Ida’s grandmother told her, “the first step in making a difference is to shine the candlelight of truth.” While we can’t make our children tell the truth at every turn, we can have a major influence in their moral development by reading them books like this one.
Another great thing about this book is children are exposed to a bit of history with a modern twist. They get to learn a little about an amazing historical figure with vibrant and relatable images of diverse children. Power in My Pen also encourages penmanship, journalism and free thought. The back matter includes a cursive writing activity to help children become familiar with writing cursive uppercase and lowercase letters. Check this one out with your little readers!
Hello, November…it’s National Picture Book Month once again!
What is Picture Book Month?
Picture Book Month is an international initiative to encourage everyone to celebrate literacy with picture books during the month of November.
Every day in November, there will be a new post on the website http://picturebookmonth.com from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. There will also be a literacy activity to do with your kids. Check out the calendar shown below.
This year’s list of picture book champions are: The 2016 Picture Book Month Champions are: Kwame Alexander, Kevan Atteberry, Phil Bildner, Elizabeth Bluemle, Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Laura Gehl Chamberlain, Matthew Cordell, Pat Cummings, Doug Cushman, Erzsi Deak, Josh Funk, Marita Gentry, Paul Hankins, Verla Kay, Lester Laminack, Minh Le, Adam Lehrhaupt, Sylvia Liu, Ralph Masiello, Laura Murray, Carmen Oliver, Todd Parr, John Parra, Jan Peck, Alexandra Penfold, Jeanie Franz Ransom, Isabel Roxas, Jodell Sadler, Andrea Pinkney, Ashley Wolff.
In this digital age where people are predicting the coming death of printed books, picture books need love now more than ever. And the world needs picture books. There’s nothing like the physical page turn of a beautifully crafted picture book.
Join the celebration and party with a picture book! Be sure to check out the hashtag #picturebookmonth (on Instagram) for additional picture book suggestions to read with your little ones.
Disclaimer: I signed up to be a Picture Book Ambassador simply to support this initiative and share the information. I did not receive any compensation to write this post.
Your turn: Will you be celebrating National Picture Book month? Which picture book champion are you looking forward to reading about this month? Feel free to share in the comments.
Are you planning to gift your little readers with a book subscription box this holiday season?
I love monthly subscription boxes because they offer unique educational experiences. They can give kids of all ages the chance to learn by reading great books, doing fun projects, crafts and activities. Many subscription boxes on the market today are designed to include everything you need to spend quality time together with your children. Today, there are subscription boxes that appeal to all sorts of different interests and passions. Below you’ll find a huge list of book subscription boxes for kids (and young adults) to choose from. Enjoy!
Books for young readers featuring diverse characters and themes that invite them to think, laugh, question, and learn about themselves and others. Each box includes an activity and discussion guide, materials for two book-themed crafts and a snack recipe. They have picture books (ages 3-5), books for growing readers (ages 6 – 8) and tweens (ages 9 -12).
Booklandia delivers 2 Bilingual and/or Spanish books every month. Your box choice will contain beautiful wonders of carefully selected books everyone will enjoy from babies to middle schoolers. Choose from hardcover/paperback board books, picture books or chapter books.
Bookroo makes reading exciting for kids and affordable and convenient for parents. Each box contains either 3 board books or 2 picture books and the combined retail value of the books always exceeds the subscription price. Bookroo is also in the process of rolling out a new Junior Box for kids ages 7-10. Check out my review of this subscription box here.
Brown Toy Box was founded to help parents of children of color find toys, books, gifts and games that reflect them culturally. Each themed box contains fun and engaging toys, books and games that feature brown children in all their awesomeness.
Early Literature is an exclusive service that is geared toward helping educators experience an effortless and exclusive way to grow their classroom libraries every month. Each month teachers and early learning programs will receive a box of 4-5 curated books. Books that are new, upcoming releases, and classics!
Geared for ages 2 through 12, literary experts choose the perfect books for your child’s age and reading skill. You pick the theme, including favorite fiction for boys or girls, fantasy, page turners, new releases, around the world, classics or historical fiction, and the literary experts can pick out the perfect book — or you can make your own substitutions.
The first ever monthly subscription box specially curated to teach children ages 5 to 12 about Black History and geography of the countries of Africa. Each month children can expect to receive a package alternating between Black History and African geography content! Each box will include exciting games, activities and a relevant book or souvenir for the African travel package. Check out my review of this subscription box here.
Hey Let’s Read HEY! Let’s Read! has spent a lot of time researching and securing access to thousands of African American and Diaspora themed books. From classic children’s books, foam and board books, award winners to books written by newly minted authors, HEY! Let’s Read! relies on the expertise of a 36 year Education veteran to carefully curate and select books and resources for your child and classroom each month. Your monthly subscription will afford your children the opportunity to expand their imagination with books selected just for them!
Ivy Kids is a monthly educational subscription box for children ages 3-8. Have the tools at your fingertips to ensure your child has a solid foundation in math, literacy, and science. Help your child build confidence and be well-rounded in all disciplines to ensure future academic success. The activities in the Ivy Kits have been created by certified early childhood teachers with children of their own. Each kit contains books, activities and a parent guide for each activity.
The Just Like Me! Book Box was built on the foundation of exposing children of color to literature, characters, authors and stories that are reflective of them. Each box contains two to three age appropriate African-American books and other learning tools for your child. Once the contents of the box are selected the final product is a complete Just Like Me! Book Box filled with fun books, educational tools and fun gifts to encourage positive child development. Check out my review of this subscription box here.
Each KidArtLit delivery includes a hardback picture book, all the high-quality supplies you need to complete a related, open-ended art project two times, and our mini magazine with easy-to-follow instructions & ideas for exploring the box’s theme. Plus, each box includes a Ready-Set-Go Pack that your child can interact with the moment you open your box.
Lillypost is a monthly book subscription box that sends beautiful children’s books and other goodies to your door! Each month, tiny fingers will eagerly open hand-wrapped packages and discover carefully curated books, a lovely little note and stickers for fun! We offer two options so you can choose the box that best suits the age of your child. Our Board Book Box is perfect for ages 0-2 and our Picture Book Box is great for ages 3+.
Each month you will receive a new release book (you may select a board book, picture book, or young adult novel) in the mail every month! But we are more than just a monthly book subscription…each month you will also receive 2-3 creative and quirky book-themed items to go with your new book!
Each Little Fun Club box contains three age appropriate books for children ages birth – 12 years old. The final product is a box filled with education, fun and opportunities for positive child development.
Little Proud Kid is a place to celebrate all people… one people. They focus on bringing an array of multicultural toys, books, resources, greeting cards, and more to help you teach and celebrate the uniqueness in each and every child.
Outside The Box is a monthly subscription box for families with a focus on community and giving. Each box provides an opportunity for your family to connect, create and give to the community. Each box contains items based on the monthly theme: a children’s t-shirt or fun wearable item, a hand-selected children’s book, 2 – 4 crafts or activities that reinforce the monthly theme, community cards that inspire intentional ways to share Outside The Box, plus a spotlight on a different non-profit, community service or give-back company each month.
Every month Owl Crate send you a magical box tailored to a chosen YA theme (e.g. paranormal, first love, dystopia.) Each box will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish keepsakes to help set the mood for your literary adventure. They also offer Owl Crate Jr. book boxes for kids!
Launching November 15, 2016!! A monthly book box that introduces children ages 4-8 to different topics in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). I think this new STEM Reads Book Club is a great way to introduce children to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Club members receive handpicked STEM books in a monthly subscription box. I signed up for a chance to earn 12 free months of membership and you can too! Check this out by clicking on the link or image above to earn free books, too, or just to learn more.
When you subscribe to The Story Box, your family will receive a monthly box that is curated by a nationally certified speech-language pathologist. Each box contains 2 children’s books and a guide for parents. Use the books and guide to make the most of your family reading time, enhance your child’s language skills, and improve your child’s chances of becoming a successful reader. The books in their boxes are most appropriate for children between the ages of 1-year old and 7-years old.
A portion of each subscription fee is used to purchase books and other educational materials to benefit children with disabilities and children from low-income families. Check out my review of this subscription box here.
Did you see this subscription box featured on Shark Tank? Each box contains all the necessary supplies for two activities, a book and yummy snack, plus fun extras. All the things your child needs for unplugged learning. Surprise Ride works with experts to design hands-on courses for kids ages 5+. Subjects include art, geography, history, science and more!
The Conscious Kid Library
The Conscious Kid is an education, research and policy organization dedicated to reducing bias and promoting positive identity development in youth. They partner with organizations, children’s museums, schools and families across the country to promote access to children’s books centering underrepresented and oppressed groups. They also offer book subscriptions for board books and picture books. With their new book-a-month subscription option families and teachers can sign up to receive a diverse board book or picture book each month.
Each book bundle contains a mix of 2-3 brand new hardcover and/or softcover diverse books as well an activity guide filled with great, informative tips. WAM’s book selections feature a wide range of multicultural, diverse characters and reflect stories that will engage and excite children everywhere!
Well Read Well Read Inc. mission is to promote enhanced literacy in the African-American community by providing exciting and culturally relevant books to children ages 3-12 through our monthly subscription service.
A key part of our mission is to reduce the literacy gap in the African-American community.
Your Turn: Do you have a favorite kids book subscription box? Is there an awesome subscription book box for kids missing from my list? Please let me know in the comments.
Have you heard the good news? There’s another new diverse subscription box for kids that recently launched called Culture Chest. Created by Rose Espiritu, a half-Filipino, half-Nigerian woman, Culture Chest allows you to introduce your child to different cultures every month. Growing up in Houma, Rose said there weren’t a lot of books about different cultures available. Much of what she learned about her own identity came from her family. Rose wanted to make learning about other cultures more accessible to families thus Culture Chest was created.
Culture Chest is a monthly care package designed to empower your child to learn about other cultures in our interconnected world. Each box offers the perfect way to nourish your child’s pride in their culture, learn about other worlds, while promoting tolerance and tradition.
Here’s what you need to know:
• Each box contains 1-3 books about different cultures based on a monthly theme such as music or food
• Every box also has 1 activity for you all to do together such as a recipe or a fun arts and crafts project
• The price of each box is: $25 (shipping included) for 1-3 board books or paperback books and 1 activity. You can also choose hardcover picture books for $35 (shipping included).
• Culture Chest currently caters to two different age groups: 0-2 (board books) and 3-8 (picture books)
• Monthly subscribers are charged on the 15th of every month. For example, their monthly subscribers were charged on September 15th for their October box.
Music and dancing is part of September’s culture box theme. We received a beautifully curated box that contained two Hispanic books in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month: Tito Puente, Mambo King and My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz. We didn’t previously own these books so I’m happy we now added them to our home library.
Our box also included an activity card with instructions on how to make a shoe box guitar using a shoe box, a paper towel roll, craft sticks and paint. Since I am more of a visual person (and I’ve never made a shoe box guitar before), I would have liked to see example pictures of completed projects included so I’d have an idea of what our finished product should look like. I ended up going to Pinterest and printed off pictures from there. We definitely plan on making our own guitar – what a fun family project! Thanks for the idea, Culture Chest!
October’s theme will include a combination of Asian cultural traditions and cuisine. They will be sharing two stories about the influence of food in two Asian cultures. Hint: One story is about the popular Filipino food, pancit! The October Box and all future boxes will ship on the 5th of the month and are expected to arrive between the 10th and 14th of the month.
To get 10% off the first order, subscribe with an email address at culturechest.com or get 15% off by entering the promo code GETCULTURED for a limited time.