Kids Free Summer Reading Programs 2017

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With spring break behind us, summer will be here before we know it, which means it’s time for Kids FREE Summer Reading Programs 2016 I have compiled for you.  Make sure to also check out the free story times around the Atlanta area, while they’re still in session!  Super-special thanks to This Mommy Saves Money for sharing this list!

If you like this then you might also be interested in this list of Good Report Card Freebies.

Kids Summer Reading Programs

  • Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program:  This Summer, continue to read books! Children in grades 1 – 6 get ready for a Summer of reading adventures! Read any eight books this summer and record them in your Summer Reading Journal . Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 16th and September 5th, 2017.  Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured on the back of the journal.

[Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

15 Books You Should Read with Your Kids

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



15 Books You Should Read With Your Kids

Recently I shared with you reasons WHY you should read to your children, now let me offer a selection of great books you should read with your kids.  Remember, whether you’re reading aloud, reading together, or reading the same book separately and discussing, the important thing is to simply READ.

Do you agree with this list?  Do you see any books you’d add?  Do you see any books you would not have included here?  Any surprises?  How many of these books have you read as a child, or TO your child?  Would love to know your thoughts.  🙂

15 Books You Should Read with Your Kids

  1. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – My kids LOVE hearing this one at bedtime – they’ve got it memorized, and my two-year-old son will “read” it to himself frequently.  There’s a little bit of Max in all of us, I’d say.15 Books You Should read with Your Kids - Where the Wild Things Are
  2. Charlie and the Charlie Factory by Roald Dahl – I’m frequently floored when folks seem surprised that there’s a book to go along with the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  (Check out more  Books No One Knew About Until the Movie, if you’re curious.) I am a collector of Roald Dahl, and have enjoyed just about anything he’s written – including the charming tale of Charlie and his adventures that begin with the Golden Ticket.  This was the first book I read aloud to my 4th graders, many years ago – daily, they sat, perched at their desks listening, anticipating what would happen next.  <3 it!15 Books You Should read with Your Kids - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  3. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by James Dean and Eric Litwin – (Confession: I added this book, replacing another book I wasn’t familiar with.)  When a book ends with “no matter what you step in, keep moving along and singing your song because it’s all good”, I’m sold.  The accompanying catchy tune you can find on YouTube is but mere icing on the literary cake here.  Should you skip over Pete the Cat?  GOODNESS NO!
  4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss – This was the first book my daughter read to us, from beginning to end.  (Yes, at age four, she is a reader!)  It’s a great “gateway” book for beginning readers to gain confidence in their budding skills.  And if they learn a thing or two about trying new things along the way, well, consider it a bonus.15 Books You Should read with Your Kids - Pete the Cat
  5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown – Sometimes a classic is a classic for a reason.  Goodnight Moon is certainly no exception here.  You’ll scarcely find a parent who doesn’t fondly think about how they read it to their babies, likely long after they were babies.15 Books You Should read with Your Kids - Goodnight Moon
  6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling –  Yes, your kid will likely want to read this series when he’s older, but this is a fantastic read aloud book to introduce your kids to the magical world of Harry Potter at an early age.  And then take them out back and play a li’l Quidditch together, followed by a few rounds of butter beers.15 Books You Should read with Your Kids - Harry Potter
  7. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney – Perhaps this story holds more meaning to parents than their children, but every child should hear the tale of just how very much a parent loves his child.  And that’s all I’ll say.  Go read it for yourself.15 Books You Should read with Your Kids - Guess How Much I Love You
  8. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst –  The ultimate “bad hair day” book remains a classic, as Alexander shares his (obviously) bad day – and even moving to Australia won’t make things better.  Or will it?15 Books You Should read with Your Kids - Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day
  9. No David!  by David Shannon – If you’ve ever spent any amount of time living with a two year old, you will catch a glimpse of him or her in this sure-to-be classic story, based loosely on the author’s childhood days.   It’s adorable illustrations complement the simple text, together painting a rich, sometimes devious picture to which both parents and children will relate.  And you may just find yourself calling your child “David” when they start to resemble a holy terror.  Also don’t forget David Goes to School and David Gets in Trouble, to round out the lovably mischeivious collection.15 Books You Should read with Your Kids - No David
  10. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey – Again, it’s a classic for a reason.  The adorable tale of Sal picking blueberries with her mother will delight readers -both young and old- as they watch the paralleled story of the mother bear and baby bear collecting blueberries for hibernation.15 Books You Should Read With Your Kids - Blueberries for Sal
  11. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff – I still remember sitting in the library in Kindergarten, hearing the librarian read this to us.  I love the cause and effect, and how it all ties back together at the end.  I’ve collected all the other “If you Give a…” books by Numeroff.15 Books You Should Read With Your Kids - If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
  12. The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne – What child (or adult) doesn’t have some degree of affection for the willy, nilly, silly ol’ bear?  The classic tales take kids back to a simpler style of children’s literature, which require a little more imagination, and less illustrations.  Nonetheless, they are absolutely worthwhile.15 Books You Should Read With Your Kids - Winnie the Pooh
  13. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter –  Not unlike David Shannon’s main character (see #9), Peter Rabbit finds himself frequently in sticky situations, particularly with the ornery Mr. McGregor.  Watch how Peter Rabbit’s leanings towards naughtiness make for great adventures.15 Books You Should Read With Your Kids - Peter Rabbit
  14. My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie and Rosemary Wells – No child’s library is complete without a little Mother Goose. Period.15 Books You Should Read With Your Kids - Mother Goose
  15. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – This was the first chapter book my daughter and I read together.  She was four at the time, and was so fully-engaged throughout – which honestly surprised me.  She loved hearing about Charlotte, Fern, and even rascally Templeton.  Her eyes welled up with tears when Charlotte passed away, but a smile crept up over her face when her babies were born, and then floated away.  As a treat, we enjoyed watching the movie, and comparing it to the book.15 Books You Should Read With Your Kids - Charlotte's Web

[Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

7+ Great Toddler Action Books

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Toddler Action Books

In my continued effort to share good books to promote literacy, I have a list of cute little toddler action books that my kids have enjoyed over the years.  By “action book”, I mean books that have flaps to lift, doors to open, pop-ups, etc – anything tactile to get a toddler engaged in the story at -ahem- hand.  Do you have any favorite action books you’d add to this?

Toddler Action Books

  1. Hop, Dance, Jump: Action Words and Fabulous Flaps by Maureen Roffey – This dandy little book is one of my son’s current favorites.  It’s got flaps to lift up, and flaps to lift down, with action words and (near) opposites on every page.  Each page depicts a character doing one action, you lift or lower a flap, and she’s doing the opposite, or near opposite: laugh/cry, sit/stand, walk/run, etc.
  2. The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle – One of my all-time favorite children’s authors is at it again.  This adorable story, with repetitive phrases tells the tale of a very busy spider spinning his web.  On each page, your child can feel the spider web, and watch in wonder as the busy spider’s web grows.
  3. What Makes a Rainbow: A Magic Ribbon Book by Betty Ann Schwartz – Your toddler will enjoy watching the rainbow grow, as they turn the pages of this colorful book!
  4. Ten Chirpy Chicks and Ten Little Ladybugs by Debbie Tarbett – These delightful books, just two out of a whole collection, help a child count backwards from ten, and allow for counting, touching each chick or ladybug as you go, and watch each one disappear as you turn the page.
  5. Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz – Well, you’ve got to lift the flaps to help baby.  That belly button won’t find itself, in this delightful playful book.  You can also check out Karen Katz‘s other interactive books for tots.
  6. Spot the Dot by David A. Carter – The toddler book based on the popular app.  Yep, a book based on an app – but your kids will LOVE it, and stay engaged!
  7. The entire Bizzy Bear series by Nosy Crow – With chunky sliders to push and pull, this robust little board book is perfect for active toddlers. Rich in visual detail and with touches of humor, it is sure to become a classic in the family library.


 

You may also like:

Check out these great summer reading list from other fantastic Georgia parent bloggers:

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

In Search of the Next Good Book

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WhatchaReading

Note: this was initially posted on one of my old, personal blogs, back on January 30, 2010.  There are some “current” event clues that may suggest so…  I stumbled across it recently, and thought the discussion worth re-hashing, as I am constantly in search of the Next Good Book.    I’d love to hear y’alls thoughts on great reads.  🙂

 What’cha Reading: In Search of the Next Good Book

The author of one of America’s most beloved books passed away this week.  May you rest in peace, Mr. Salinger.  Your spirit lives on in Holden Caulfield.  How many Americans even knew of this, save for a scarce reference on their friends Facebook pages?  Heck, how may people are familiar with him at all these days?  Sadly, not enough can make that claim…  Shame on us!

The Catcher in the Rye

I digress.  The passing of a true American icon, with no disrespect to the Brittany Murphies of the world (God rest your soul), made me reflect on the literature that has shaped my life, and how many of them left their mark on us.

I cannot begin to explain how much joy I still get from reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.  Please do not confuse these with Disney’s Alice in Wonderland – although one of my favorite movies of all time, it is not literature.  The fact that Lewis Carroll broke out of the mold so long ago, refusing to create children’s stories designed to frighten, ultimately to have a moral, was pretty advanced for his time.  To create a story -heck! an entire world- for the sheer JOY of reading, and fantasy, is still inspiring to me today.  Thank you, Mr. Carroll, for helping me enter the wonderful world of children’s literature. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Little Free Library in Dunwoody!!

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



This summer, maintaining reading skills is of utmost importance for your kids, as well as for the adults, too!  One valuable resource I’ve seen around town lately is the utilization of the Little Free Library, which has multiple locations around the metro Atlanta area.  Since you may already know the sheer benefits of reading with your children AND you may also be familiar with a few great books you should read to your kids, then you’ll further appreciate and understand the concept of the Little Free Library.

Little Free Library logo

What makes the Little Free Libraries across the country so great?  It’s such a simple concept, based off the “take a penny, leave a penny” idea – except they call it “take a book, return a book”.  When you’re in need of another good book, visit a local Little Free Library and peruse the selection.  Pay it forward by adding books of your own, that you’re ready to pass on.  See?  Simple.

Little Free Library at Brook Run

You may have spotted a Little Free Library around town – they’re popping up ALL OVER the nation, and have almost 200 locations in Georgia alone.  My childhood neighborhood has one near the pool; there’s one on the way to my church.  And now, there’s one at a popular park: Brook Run in Dunwoody!  Super special thanks to Post Alpha-bits, for providing this box, and to Brent Walker and the City of Dunwoody, for their assistance in getting this installed!  And a million thanks, also, to Lauren Nolan of Hunter PR for her kind outreach to me, as well as patience and persistence in helping to get my Little Free Library installed.

Little Free Library contents

I recently got to visit the Little Free Library, and -while my son was excited to see “Superwhy” on the side of the library box, I was thrilled to see new books already turning up in the library.  Locating the Little Free Library at a park was strategic, as there are plenty of benches and other cozy spots for parents and kids alike to settle in with a good book and read.  And the park allows folks from all walks of life access to free books.

Little Free Library in Dunwoody

Would you like to put a Little Free Library in your neighborhood?  Find out how you can do so!  Have you been to the Little Free Library in Dunwoody?  If so, I’d love to know what books you got, or dropped off!  🙂

 

You may also like:

7+ Great Toddler Action Books

Toddler Action Books

Alpha-Bits Spelling: Encouraging Emerging Readers

Alpha-Bits Spelling collage

Alpha-Bits Snack MixAlpha-Bits Snack Mix - banner

15 Books You Should read with Your Kids

15 Books You Should read with Your Kids
A Dozen Reasons to Read with Your Children

Reasons to Read with Your Children

 

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Chalk Preschool – FREE Online Curriculum

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



This is a sponsored campaign with Mums the Word Network and Chalk Preschool . However, all opinions are my very own.

Chalk Preschool collage

Now that school is out for the summer, I am constantly searching for ways to keep my kids actively entertained.  While we want to be outside as much as possible, we also need to take frequent breaks from the sun!  (Remember, I have two fair-skinned gingers!)  Since I want to maintain my rising daughter’s budding reading skills before she heads to Kindergarten in the fall, and DON’T want her to park her brain, I’m tapping in to FREE resources I/she can utilize at home.

Enter: Chalk Preschool

It’s super-easy: sign up for a FREE account here for each child.  Each day you have new lessons that are in video format and also printables that go with it. The lessons are simple and easy but are fun for kids too. Plus, did I mention, everything is FREE!

The premise behind Chalk Preschool comes from their brick and mortar schools in Chicago and in Los Angeles.

My 5-year-old daughter and I set up an account for her the first week after school was out, and she started watching the videos.  What I liked about the program is it completely reinforces concepts she learned last school year in pre-K, and does so in a fun manner.Chalk Preschool Orange Room Collage

I also created an account for my 2-year-old son, who LOVES “pwaying on da iPad”, so introducing him to the fun and games available to him through Chalk Preschool was an easy step.  And to sneak in learning was a bonus!  😉

For both kids, I was even able to differentiate the printable activity, which was the letter “f” this time.  For my 5-year-old daughter, who is a reader, we talked about words that begin with the /f/ sound.  Had I not just donated a handful of magazines, I would’ve had her cut and paste pictures representing the /f/ sound.  *sigh*

For my 2-year-old son, who can recognize letters and numbers, I had him identify the letter presented to him, trace it with his cute, pudgy fingers, then talked about how the letter “f” makes the /f/ sound.  He got to basically hear that when I discussed it with my daughter.  He got to color the letter “f”, and we followed up with finding frogs, fingers, and a football around the house.

Here’s what you’ll find with Chalk Preschool:

  • Preschool lessons align with Early Childhood Learning Standards
  • Hands-on activities
  • Integration of cooking, geography, and weather
  • Play-Based teaching methods
  • Both indoor and outdoor activities
  • References using real life visuals
  • Optional activities that continue the learning beyond the computer

As I’ve mentioned before, this is a great way to supplement what you’re already doing.  You cannot rely solely on one program or app or online program to teach your child, but Chalk Preschool is a great way to reinforce what you’re already doing, and to help maintain skills while on long-term school breaks.

To stay abreast on the lastest with Chalk Preschool, go “like” Chalk Preschool on Facebook – also check out the Chalk Preschool Blog, and the Chalk Preschool News Room.  And if you’re not sure where to start with the Chalk Preschool program with your child, check out the Parent Portal to help get you started.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Free Story Times Around Atlanta

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Story Times Around Atlanta

Story times around Atlanta are just one of a gajillion perks of being a parent of little ones in this city.  Story time is an extended benefit of parents reading aloud to their children, as it also helps a child’s social side grow, as well as prepare/supplement listening skills for preschool and school.  Following a list of mostly retail places around the metro Atlanta are that offer story times, open to the community.

First, don’t forget, you can also check with your local library, as well – despite budget cuts these last few years, story times are still going strong.  Local counties have their times listed online: Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Clayton, Cobb, Sequoyah regional and Forsyth. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Alpha-Bits Snack Mix

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Post Alpha-Bits cereal and the Little Free Library.  I was given a form of compensation in exchange for this post.

Ever have one of those moments when you realize YOU are in charge of snack for your child’s class, and you only have an hour to throw something together?  Yeah, I’ve been there more times than I care to admit.  And the idea of plying my child and her classmates with junk food just because it was easier simply doesn’t sit well with me.

So when I found myself in this quandary about a week ago, I was lucky to have a good supply of pantry items I could mix together to make a snack mix.  Thanks to the good folks at Alpha-Bits, it was something the kids seemed to really enjoy, too!  Bonus: it’s so easy, even my five year old can make it, but not without sampling it as she goes.

This really is simple.  Like not even really recipe-worthy.  But I’m going to recipe it up for y’all anyway. 

Alpha-Bits Snack Mix

  • 1-2 part raisins
  • 2 parts pretzels of choice
  • 1-2 parts marshmallows (I used the very same ones I used for Peppermint Chocolate Popcorn)
  • 2 parts Alpha-Bits cereal

Alpha-Bits Snack Mix ingredients [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Alpha-Bits Spelling – Encouraging Emerging Readers

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Post Alpha-bits cereal and the Little Free Library.  I was given a form of compensation in exchange for this post.

Alpha-Bits Spelling

My freshly-five-year-old daughter is becoming an emerging reader, and thus an emerging speller these days.  (Yep, I’m gonna pat myself on the back just a little bit for that!)  We’ve practiced sight words to no end, but now that she’s interested in spelling, I decided it was time to start seeing what she could do with her writing/spelling skills.

Yesterday we had the perfect opportunity to play around with her spelling skills.  And snack a little too.  We used a little glue, cardstock, markers, sight word cards (for reference), and assorted Post Alpha-bits cereal pieces.  We dubbed it “Alpha-Bits Spelling”. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

A Dozen Reasons to Read with Your Child

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



reasons to read with your child

Do you really need reasons to read with your child???  Parents are told constantly to read to their children, or with their children – but perhaps having a little further explanation would help you understand WHY reading with your children is as essential as brushing your teeth twice a day.  This list is from the Georgia Preschool Association Newsletter.

Reasons to Read with Your Child

  1. Build a lifelong interest in reading.  “Getting children actively involved in the process of reading and having them interact with adults is key in a lifelong interest in reading,” said BeAnn Younker, principal at Battle Ground Middle School in Indiana.
  2. Children whose parents read to them tend to become better readers and perform better in school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  3. Reading to children helps them with language and speech development.
  4. Reading expands vocabulary and teachers pronunciation.
  5. Reading to toddlers prepares them for school, when they will need to listen to what is being said to them, similar to what is being read to.
  6. Reading to older children helps them understand grammar and sentence structure.
  7. Children and parents can use reading time as bonding time.  It’s an excellent opportunity for one-on-one communication, and it gives children the attention they crave.
  8. Being read to helps children learn how to express themselves clearly and confidently.
  9. Curiosity, creativity, and imagination are all developed while being read to.
  10. Being read to builds children’s attention spans and helps them hone their listening skills.
  11. Children learn appropriate behavior when they’re read to and are exposed to new situations, making them more prepared when they encounter these situations in real life.
  12. When read to, children are able to experience the rhythm and melody of language, even before they can understand the spoken or printed word.

Now that your motivation to continue reading with your child is renewed, check out these top 10 board books to read to your infant, as well as other  great books picks in my “Whatcha Reading” series.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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