Tag Archives: reading

It’s Fall!!!

Image courtesy of Dundee Photographics at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Dundee Photographics at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had mentioned in a previous post that I LOVE Fall (you can find said post right here)!! I love everything about it and seeing as it is Friday I thought I would round-up some of my favorite Fall activities, books and recipes to help you jump-start your weekend.

I love these great Leaf Lacing cards from Gift of Curiosity. Lacing cards are so great for developing fine motor skills and with the help of a laminator, hole punch and some yarn they are a super easy activity to put together for the kids.

I am a HUGE fan of pretty much anything 1+1+1=1 puts out! She is amazing! But for Fall I am loving these Fall Leaves and Trees Coloring Printables. Soph is on a major coloring kick right now so to have these for her to color and hang up have been great!

I am so grateful to The Measured Mom for the amazing Emergent Readers that she shares for FREE on her site. They are amazing and I love reading them with the kids. Her newest set is perfect for Fall and I am sure we will be reading these MANY, MANY times!

I loved doing leaf rubbings as a kid. There is just something about that instant picture that you get that I loved. I found a great tutorial over at Edventures with Kids that also has some great book recommendations and examples of using the leaf rubbings as a way to teach your kids about the different parts of a leaf!

Buggy and Buddy has a great Moon Journal printable to help the kiddos chart the many phases of the moon (I can’t help but think that I Took the Moon for a Walk would be a great tie in to this activity). This journal is such a fun way to introduce the kids to phases of the moon.

I also really love the Fall Bucket List of sorts over at Edventures with Kids with 40 great activities to do as a family this Fall! We are planning on checking off as many as we can.

Image courtesy of num_skyman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of num_skyman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now let’s talk books, here are a few of my favorite Fall books:

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt

Leaf Man

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

Let It Fall

Lastly, let’s talk about my favorite subject: FOOD!! Here are some of my favorite Fall inspired recipes (you will notice quite a few desserts, what can I say I like my dessert!)

I am pretty sure you can’t go wrong with Rice Krispie Treats and these ones from Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke are no exception and perfect for Fall.

The Best Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Averie Cooks are truly amazing and pretty easy to make as far as cinnamon rolls go.

This recipe for Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from Six Sisters Stuff are a great way to use up some of the apples you picked up at the apple orchard and makes for a perfect breakfast on a nice, crisp Fall morning.

Pumpkin + Cheesecake + Snickerdoodle! There is nothing wrong with those three words together, as a matter of fact I can’t think of anything better. You have to try these Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles from The Recipe Critic they are seriously AMAZING!

I love this recipe for Easy 15-Minute Maple Bars over at Butter with a Slice of Bread. These are so good and a great start to a Fall day!

Last but certainly not least you have to try these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Frosting from I Heart Naptime. You want to talk about Fall, I don’t think it gets much more Fall than this!

What fun things are you doing to celebrate the beginning of Fall? Let me know in the comments below or over on Facebook or Twitter!

Until next time!

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Books We Are Reading This Week – September 16, 2015

PicMonkey Collage

Welcome back to another look at some of the great books we are reading this week. Hopefully you will find a few titles here that you can share with your family!

First up is Wingsby Christopher Myers, this is a beautiful story about a boy in a new school named Ikarus who is taunted for having wings. He decides to exile himself and a young girl goes on a search to find him. This story offers a great lesson to little ones on acceptance and individualism. This is a lesson I try to share with my children as much as possible and we really enjoyed sharing this story.

Secret Pizza Partyis the cute story of a raccoon who LOVES pizza (who doesn’t!). He spends most of his time outside a local pizza place much to the pizza man’s dismay. Raccoon devises a clever plan to have his own secret pizza party. Things don’t go exactly as planned and we get to follow Raccoon along on his adventure to have some yummy pizza! My pizza loving kids really liked this book!

Where’s the Pair?is a beautifully illustrated seek-and-find book filled with all sorts of animals and encourages kids to find the matching pair on each spread. There’s a good mix of difficulty levels that made it fun for both Soph & Jack. It also has great rhyming text that flows nicely and uses great vocabulary. We really had a great time with this book.

Silly Sallyis a cute, fun, short book all about being silly! We follow along as Sally walks through town (not quite in the way you might think). I love that is shows that it’s OK to be silly sometimes! It has great watercolor illustrations that made the kids laugh! It has a great rhythm to it that makes it a great read-aloud.

Finally, Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!is a great book about Buddy who loves collecting and examining rocks. His mother suggests that they head out to their local nature center. They meet up with a Ranger who teaches Buddy all about rocks. As a mom with a three-year-old who loves to collect rocks we really enjoyed the illustrations and learning all about rocks!

That’s all I have for this week. Please comment below, on Facebook or Twitter and let me know what you are reading this week!

Until next time!

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Books We Are Reading This Week – September 9, 2015

PicMonkey Collage

Welcome back!! I have 5 fantastic books to share with you this week. Hopefully you will find a few that your family will really enjoy.

I Dare You Not to Yawn is a very funny book structured as an instruction manual to help kids avoid being sent to bed early by their parents. There are lots of sound effects throughout the story which make it a great read aloud bedtime story. As a mom with two kids that have become increasingly anti-beditme this really hit home!

Dinosaur Rescue! is a beautiful picture book about the Dinosaur Rescue Team coming to the aid of a pickup truck that gets stuck on some railroad tracks. We see all the dinosaurs working together to make sure everyone is safe. Once all is right in their little dino world we get to see how they rest and play. There are also a ton of fun sound effects in this story and great end notes featuring the names of the dinosaurs and vehicles in the story.

The Story about Pingis the sweet story of Ping the duck who sets out for the day with his family on a boat and ends up getting left behind. We follow Ping as he sets out to find his family. Along the way he makes quite a few friends and finds his share of trouble. This book is another beautifully illustrated book perfect for reading aloud as a family.

The Seals on the Busis a fantastic take on the classic “Wheels on the Bus”! It is a great sing-along that is perfect for little animal lovers. My kids love anything that they can sing and dance along with and this was no exception. The bus is full of all kinds of animals and we honk, roar, eerp and so much more along with them on the bus.

Greenby Anita Loughrey is a great book to help little ones learn all about the color green. Anita Loughrey was a school teacher for 17 years before becoming a full-time writer. She has taken her knowledge from her many years teaching young children and mixed it with beautiful, bright and bold illustrations to help very young children start to understand the concept of the color green.

That’s it for this week! Please let me know below what you are reading this week or find me over on Facebook or Twitter!

Until next time!

Full Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

Apples, Apples Everywhere!!

Apple Tree

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I LOVE Fall! It is by far my favorite season. I love the colors, the temperature, the fashion, I love it all! In our family we signal the start of Fall with a trip to the apple orchard. So in honor of our upcoming trip to the apple orchard I thought I would share with you a few of the fun apple activities we have planned to help us get geared up for the trip!

We are huge fans of Do-a-Dot Sheets at our house. They are great for using Dot Markers (which the kids love) or using stickers which are always a big hit. I love the ones I found in the A is for Apple Preschool Worksheets over at Crystal & Co.

I love the pattern template and cards found in A Teaching Mommy’s Apple Preschool Pack.

Since we have been all about the play dough lately we will be trying this homemade apple scented play dough recipe I found when visiting The Preschool Toolbox.

I love some good messy fun so I am super excited to pull out the paints and cinnamon and do some painting. I found this idea over at From ABCs to ACTs.

I am so excited to try the Erupting Apple experiment I found over at Little Bins for Little Hands! Everything you need for this fun example of a chemical reaction can probably be found in your home. It’s super simple, fun and easy to put together!

I love these Apple Number Puzzles from Totschooling. They are a super clever and cute way to work on counting, number recognition, and one-to-one correspondence.

Apple Stamping is a super easy and fun way to really spice up painting time. I found this idea over at Teaching Mama. The kids have such a good time using unconventional tools to paint! They love to paint anyway but when we can use something unique and that we already have around the house it is even better!

Apples

Image courtesy of tuelekza at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you are looking for some great books that go with all things apples here are a few of our favorites:

Ten Apples Up On Top!

Apples for Everyone

Apple Farmer Annie

How Do Apples Grow?

Johnny Appleseed

Apples

I would love to know if you give any of these ideas a try! Let me know below or comment over on Facebook or Twitter!

Until next time!

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Books We Are Reading This Week – September 2, 2015

PicMonkey Collage

Happy Wednesday!! Welcome back to another look at some of the books we have enjoyed this past week.

The Moon Book is a great non-fiction book that has a ton of information written at a first to second grade level all about the moon. I love introducing higher level non-fiction books to my kids. I am sure they don’t pick up on and understand all the information but building a foundation for these concepts is really important to my family. In this book we learn all about the phases of the moon, the moon’s role in Solar and Lunar eclipses, it’s effects on the world’s oceans and so much more. It also goes into moon folk-lore from around the world. At the end of the book there is a great lesson on making your own solar eclipse viewer.

Love Monsteris the story of Monster, a monster that is different from all the other monsters found in “Cutesville”. He is lonely and doesn’t have anyone to connect with because he is different. He heads out in search of someone who will love him just the way he is and finds it in an unexpected place. It’s a great lesson for the kids and the bright, bold illustrations really helped engage the kids in the story.

Have You Seen My Duckling? is a cute seek-and-find book that the kids really enjoyed. We follow mama duck and her seven ducklings as they search for their missing sibling. They explore the pond and try to get help from several other creatures that call the pond home. The fun part for the kids was realizing that the little missing duckling is never far away and in fact the kids can find him hiding on each page. It’s a fun little game watching Soph & Jack try to find the duckling in each picture.

It’s a Firefly Nightis a great summertime book that is beautifully illustrated using deep, rich colors. We follow a young girl around her yard as she chases and catches fireflies with her dad. After counting them she very sweetly releases them. This is a great story made even better by the awesome end notes with some great facts about fireflies!

A Camping Spree With Mr. Mageeis a fun read along all about Mr. Magee and his faithful pooch enjoying a nice, peaceful camping trip when all of a sudden they find themselves flying down a mountain and on the precipice of a waterfall. Follow along to see how they get themselves out of trouble this time.

As always let me know what you are reading in the comments below or over on Facebook or Twitter! I would love to know!!

Until next time!

Full Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

Books We Are Reading This Week – August 26, 2015

PicMonkey Collage

Welcome to another Wednesday! I decided to expand on yesterday’s post about my decision to start my own business and become an Independent Barefoot Books Ambassador and share with you my family’s five favorite books in the Barefoot Books Library.

Soph’s favorite is Animal Boogie. This is one of Barefoot Books AMAZING singalongs. We boogie along with other children through an Indian jungle and learn all sorts of actions we can do along with the animals. I love when the kids act out the story. They stomp with the elephant, shake like the bear and slither like snake. I also love the creativity and imagination it brings out in Soph and Jack. Soph has come up with many of her own verses and will randomly sing them along with the chorus throughout the day. Each story comes with a CD featuring an audio track and an animated video great for impromptu dance parties!

The Gigantic Turnip is a sentimental favorite of mine. This is the first Barefoot Books book that I ever got my hands on and read. This is a fun, humorous tale of an old man, an old woman and ALL the animals on the farm working together to try to harvest a particularly big turnip! It is great to work on counting with your child and the rhyming and repetitive text really keeps the kids engaged through the whole story.

The Boy Who Grew Flowers is a great story all about accepting people for who they are. It is the story of a boy who grows flowers all over his body every time there is a full moon. He meets a young girl with her own secret and they discover ways that they can help each other. It is such a great message to teach our kids. We love this one in our house!

I Took the Moon for a Walk is a magical bedtime story about a boy who imagines taking the moon for a walk. I love the lyrical text and the illustrations are just beautiful. If you look closely you will notice the moon’s red shoes and if you watch them throughout the story you will notice a little story within a story revolving around the moon’s shoes. The end of the book features some great educational end notes about the different phases of the moon and some information on nocturnal animals. Soph and Jack both really enjoyed this story.

Lastly, Mama Panya’s Pancakes is a heartwarming story all about the importance of sharing, even when you don’t have much to give. This was a really great lesson that I was happy to share with my own children. This one takes place in Kenya and this one also includes some great end notes at the end of the story. Children can learn about the culture, people and animals of Kenya!

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments below or find me over on Facebook or Twitter!

Until next time!

This post contains affiliate links. As an Independent Barefoot Books Ambassador I will receive a commission from any sales made from these links.

My Newest Adventure!

Table Display

Welcome back!!

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday but things have been kind of crazy around here lately and I am prepared to share with you why!

Reading with Daddy

I have been looking for a way to supplement our income for quite a while. As our schedules are I knew it had to be something extremely flexible, and since this is effectively for “fun” money (we need a vacation!) I needed it to be fun.

If you have hung around here for any amount of time you have probably noticed that I am a bit of a bookworm and am trying my darndest to instill a love for books in my children. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find great, quality books that my children, husband and I all can enjoy together.

Enter: Barefoot Books! About six months ago I was fumbling around on my phone trying to find something new and different that the kids and I could listen to on the way to daycare each morning and I came across the Barefoot Books Podcast. Each episode is essentially a short audio version of a children’s story. These quickly became a favorite with my children, especially Soph, every time we get in the car she asks if we can listen to a story (love it!!). At the end of each episode it encourages you to check out their website. After a few weeks of listening to the podcast I finally decided to check it out.

I was blown away by what I found. If you are not familiar with Barefoot Books they are a children’s book publisher and I think their Mission Statement sums them up pretty well:

At Barefoot Books, we celebrate art and story that opens the hearts and minds of children from all walks of life, focusing on themes that encourage independence of spirit, enthusiasm for learning and respect for the world’s diversity. The welfare of our children is dependent on the welfare of the planet, so we source paper from sustainably managed forests and constantly strive to reduce our environmental impact. Playful, beautiful and created to last a lifetime, our products combine the best of the present with the best of the past to educate our children as the caretakers of tomorrow.

These are some of the most beautiful books I have ever seen. The illustrations are so bright and vibrant. They really capture and keep the attention of everyone from the youngest baby to the older independent reader and even grown ups.

One of the beautiful large format books offered by Barefoot Books that features peek-a-boos instead of lift the flaps to really extend the life of the book (they think of everything!) I love pairing it with the little owl finger puppet for a bit more fun!

One of the beautiful large format board books offered by Barefoot Books that features peek-a-boos instead of lift-the-flaps to really extend the life of the book (they think of everything!) I love pairing it with the little owl finger puppet for a bit more fun!

My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words is another great example of some of the amazing illustrations found in these books!

My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words is another great example of some of the amazing illustrations found in these books!

Every story is beautifully told and encourage the very values that I strive to instill in my children everyday. They inspire creativity and playfulness, kindness, compassion, they teach the importance of teamwork and sticking up for what you believe in just to name a few.

My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words is a great vocabulary book for young children and the World Atlas is absolutely stunning and filled with amazing information about the people, culture, weather, animals and more around the world.

My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words is a great vocabulary book for young children and the World Atlas is absolutely stunning and filled with amazing information about the people, culture, weather, animals and more from the many regions around the world.

Inside our beautiful atlas.

Inside our beautiful atlas.

I love their focus on raising cultural awareness in children and instilling a respect for the planet. I love that my children can pick up these books and not only hear a great story but learn something about many different cultures from all over the world.

Kids can travel the world in these beautifully illustrated tales from around the world. I think my children spend more time looking at the bright and bold illustrations in these books than actually reading them. They are gorgeous.

Kids can travel the world in these beautifully illustrated tales from around the world. I think my children spend more time looking at the bright and bold illustrations in these books than actually reading them. They are gorgeous.

Each "travel the world" book features beautiful end notes that teach children all about the history and culture of the country they visited in each particular story.

Each “travel the world” book features beautiful end notes that teach children all about the history and culture of the country they visited in each particular story.

I am  by no means a sales person and had you told me just a month and a half ago that I would become an Independent Barefoot Books Ambassador I would have told you that you are crazy!! But the great thing about this company is that it is so inline with my values and I have such a passion for these stories that I don’t feel like I am selling them, I feel like I am sharing a great product with my friends, and that feels amazing!

The Barefoot Books singalongs have lead to some of the most fun times we have had in our house lately. We put these on and the kids start singing and dancing instantly!

The Barefoot Books singalongs have lead to some of the most fun times we have had in our house lately. We put these on and the kids start singing and dancing instantly!

These stories with accompanying CD are great if you need to get things done around the house. We just hand one of the kids a book and pop in the audio CD and they are content for quite a while!

These stories with accompanying CD are great if you need to get things done around the house. We just hand one of the kids a book and pop in the audio CD and they are content for quite a while!

Barefoot Books has everyone covered from board books....

Barefoot Books has everyone covered from board books….

...to early reader chapter books!

…to early reader chapter books!

I am so excited to share this news with all of you! This is just the beginning and I can’t wait to see where this newest journey takes me!

If you are interested in learning more please head over to www.katiesbooknook.com or visit my Facebook Business Page.

Please leave comments below or find me over on Facebook or Twitter!

Until next time!

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