De-Mystifying Math: 7 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Math Education (ages 3-6)

7 Tips for Supplementing your Child's Math Education (Age 3-6) | Tipsaholic.com #math #learning #education #kids #supplement

tipsaholic-7-tips-for-supplementing-your-childs-math-education-age-3-6-title

Whether your child attends public school, a charter school, uses private school or tutoring or is homeschooled, you probably already know how important it is to reinforce classroom learning at home. Fortunately, there’s an overabundance of information online to help you teach your little ones at home, especially during the summer, BUT where do you start?

Math especially is often difficult for young children to grasp since it deals in abstracts.  Supplemental math education doesn’t have to be tricky.

Here are 7 super useful tips for applying Math concepts to your home life:

 

1.  Always consider the individual. 

We all know that everyone learns in different ways.  Keep your specific child in mind when considering your approach and remember to tailor their supplemental learning.

If you need some help identifying the best ways to teach your child, you can take a “multiple intelligences” quiz online and answer the questions as if you were your child.  The following quiz from edutopia breaks down learning styles into percentages and offers specific information each style.  Multiple Intelligences Learning Styles Quiz

 

2. Appeal to his/her interests.

If you want your child to enjoy learning with you, you’ll need to make it fun for them.  Pay attention to their hobbies and likes, be it cars, drawing, singing, dressing up, collecting leaves or what have you.  Use these to create learning experiences that coincide with things they already love.

 

3. Keep it simple.

The best way to teach a young child is with hands on activities that don’t take a ton of resources or explanation.  Most of the time, your most successful teaching experiences will incorporate things you already have around the house and will require little planning on your part.

 

4. Keep it short.

Generally speaking, a young child can only focus on one learning activity for about 10-15 minutes at a time.  Don’t plan long or involved math lessons that take longer than this to accomplish, or you are sure to lose your child’s interest.  You can do multiple different math activities within a specific span of time, but they will each need to be short and simple.

 

5. Be hands-on

Whatever learning style your child prefers, math concepts tend to “stick” better when children can “handle” the things they’re learning about.  Allowing them to use their hands or bodies gives each abstract math idea more meaning.

 

6. Give math concepts an everyday application.

When you’re at the grocery store, you can have your child count out individual items (“I need four apples…) or help you use the scale.  They can also get a basic understanding of money if you let them pay and handle change.  When you’re walking to your car you can count steps.  Take giant steps and mini steps and talk about the difference in number.  While you drive, you can play “I Spy” with shapes.  At home, you can play sorting games with almost anything – folding socks, putting groceries away, etc. If you make math a part of everyday life, it won’t seem like a chore.

 

7. Most importantly, keep it fun! 

You don’t need worksheets to teach math! Use games, songs and rhymes, props/toys/manipulatives, and books!

 

DON’T FORGET: little learners need a functional, organized space to keep them engaged and attentive.  Check out these super organized school-related spaces on Remodelaholic!  Tons of easy to implement solutions to keep kids excited about learning!

 

* For more tips and ideas, check out these links!

Blog Me Mom – “Math Play” and “ABC’s of Math” series

Mom’s Heart – Living Math for Preschoolers

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

8 Hands-On Math Activities for 3-6 Year Olds

Hands-on Math for Toddlers and Preschoolers | Tipsaholic.com #education #math #kids #games #fun #learning

 

tipsaholic-8-hands-on-activities-for-3-6-year-olds

Supplementing your child’s math education is a big job, but reinforcing school-taught concepts is important.  Fortunately, math concepts can be fun and easy to review – all it takes is a little creativity and imagination.  You can make abstract math much more concrete and natural for your child with just a small effort. Here are 8 clever hands-on math activities your 3-6 year old will love!

 

GAMES

1. Delia Creates has a post dedicated to “Chalk Games”.   Here you’ll find “Math Race” with bikes (or just running!) that works on number or shape recognition and “Number Twister,” a mathematical take on the classic party game.  And be sure to check out the sundial using a paper towel holder where she keeps track of a daily routine.

2. Adventures in Learning shares a great matching game using beans as manipulatives that will help with counting and number recognition (or simple equations).  It’s called Apple Seed Math.

3. Teach Preschool shows how to use dominoes for teaching math – work on patterning with black and white dominoes, or use giant foam board dominoes and plastic lids to work on matching dots and to talk about number recognition.  (Colorful dominoes - like the ones shown here – are sure to attract kids’ attention!)

4. Also from Teach Preschool, check out her Salt Box Shapes.  They are a fun take on the salt box sensory learning activities usually used for letters or to write numbers.

5. Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational has a phenomenal idea called “Catapult Math” that you can apply to number or shape recognition.  She includes directions for making your own mini catapult!

6. Nurture Store uses “Lego Math” to measure and graph things, work on symmetry, add and subtract, sort colors and shapes, and create patterns.  (side note: you can find legos in bulk right here for a great price!)

 

SONGS

7. Songs, rhymes and finger plays are excellent ways to get your kids counting.  Find the lyrics and music to the following examples (and more!) at Topmarks.

  • Five Little Monkeys
  • Five Little Speckled Frogs
  • Five Bears in the Bed
  • Six Little Ducks
  • Once I Caught a Fish Alive

 

PROPS/TOYS

8. The best hands-on experiences can also be the simplest!  Give your children small items they can touch and manipulate in order to count, match, sort, pattern, etc.  This is the easiest way to introduce addition and subtraction, too.  You can see an example of this type of manipulative play at No Time For Flashcards – Candy Apple Math Game.

Here’s a list of favorite inexpensive or free manipulatives: buttons, dried beans, plastic lids, beads, craft pom poms, legos, edibles (chocolate chips, goldfish, raisins, m&m’s).

Just make sure they are easy for little hands to grasp.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning

How to Raise Kids Who Love Learning - Tipsaholic.com

The human brain is blessed with a huge capacity for learning, especially during the childhood years. Unlock your children’s innate ability to teach themselves and ensure that they fall in love with the wonderful act of learning! Here’s a few tips you can use to encourage your kids to love learning.

tipsaholic - how to raise kids who love learning

1. Provide little (or no) instructions.

This sounds weird, but it works. Sergio Juárez Correa’s students (in Matamoros, Mexico) flourished when the teacher decided to take a different approach to teaching. For example, instead of showing students how to reach the correct answer to a math problem, he asked them how they would figure it out. And figure it out they did. These students went on to score the highest on the achievement test in the country.

Ideas of what you can do:

  • Give them a toy that has several functions (bleeps, flashes, rolls, etc) and just let them figure out how to play with it without showing them anything.
  • Hand them a tablet or a computer with a newly purchased app or game and let them explore.
  • Take your kids to a museum and let them guide you to whatever exhibits they want to see.
  • Give them a board game and let them teach themselves how to play.
  • Toys like the Bilibo don’t even come with instructions, so every kid plays with them in different ways. Hand them this cool toy and watch them create new ways to play!

2. Allow for lots of time for play.

Recess is generally thought of as a break from learning, but recent studies have shown that playing is actually vital for optimal brain development. Playing helps develop problem solving skills, creativity, stimulates curiosity, and more. This in turn helps children do better at school, learn better, and love learning.

Things you can do to encourage your kids to play more:

  • Host more play-dates at your home or at a playground.
  • Bring in more games of all kinds for your kids.
  • Engage in play with your kids whenever you can.
  • Rotate your kids’ toys so there’s always something “new” to play with.
  • Have your kids join an after-school program.

3. Let them teach themselves how to read.

This article claims that young children can teach themselves how to read, if they are allowed to do so. Different kids do it in different ways, but generally, parents of these children provide an environment in their homes that is conductive to reading. When young kids are able to read, they are able to teach themselves new things. They’ll love learning thanks to their love for reading.

Here’s what you can do to create a reading-friendly home:

  • Make lots of books available to your kids.
  • Take them to the library often.
  • Let kids see you reading books and enjoying it.
  • Don’t force kids into reading.
  • Read to them on a regular basis when they’re young.
  • Have them see you use a variety of reading materials to accomplish things, such as following instructions to complete a DIY project or trying out a new recipe.

Once a child loves to learn, they can teach themselves anything and there won’t be a limit to what they can do.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

Loving Literacy: 5 Tips for Supplementing Your Child’s Literacy Education (ages 3-6)

5 Tips for Supplementing Your Child's Literacy Education | Tipsaholic.com #education #preschool #kindergarten

tipsaholic-5-tips-for-supplementing-your-childs-literary-education-title

Literacy education is vital to a person’s ultimate success academically, socially and in the workforce.  Begin literacy education at a young age with your child, and they will grow to love reading, writing and even grammar!  It’s never too early to introduce important literacy building blocks, such as alphabet recognition, communication, syntax and proper grammatical structure.  Enhancing kids’ schooling at home when they are in preschool or lower elementary grades will help to build their confidence and increase their understanding, knowledge and grades.  It doesn’t have to be a chore, and when done properly will be an enjoyable and fun experience for you and your child.  Whether they attend private school, a charter school, public school or are home schooled, here are 5 tips for supplementing your child’s literacy education for ages 3-6 that can help you out.

 

1. Know the benchmarks and developmental norms.

Use these as guidelines as you watch, teach and learn with your child.  Every child learns differently, but these developmental benchmarks are there to help raise red flags – so pay attention to them!  Additionally, these milestone markers help you to understand what you can reasonably expect from your child.  (The following articles from WebMD outline these language and cognitive milestones by age group: 3-4 Year Old Milestones, 4-5 Year Old Milestones)

 

2. Know your child.

Each child learns a little differently, and one teaching technique does NOT fit all.  Figure out what kind of learning-style your child has, and gear all your supplemental teaching towards that.  Know what techniques, methods, approaches will help your child feel confident and at ease and which ones to avoid because they cause frustration and stress.  (Here’s a wikihow article than can help to determine your young child’s learning style.)

 

3. Don’t underestimate the mundane.

Literacy development in preschool age kids involves language acquisition and communication skills, as well as letter recognition and letter sounds.  So supplementing their education can be as easy as talking to them.  They need to hear proper communication in order to learn it!  Sing, talk, read – basically just interact with your young child and you’ll be well on your way!

 

4. Keep it simple.

Don’t use overcomplicated methods to aid in your child’s education.  At this stage, short, simple, easy lessons and activities are best since your child has a short attention span and can be easily distracted, bored or frustrated.  As you introduce new lessons, pay attention to your child’s cues and know when to stop or move on.  Frustration at this early age can make you AND your child want to give up!

 

5. Encourage discussion.

Even before your child begins to grasp proper grammar, when their utterances are not fully developed or standardized, encourage conversations with your child.  When someone asks them questions, allow them to answer, don’t answer for them.  Clarify only when necessary.  Correct them by expanding on their sentences and ideas rather than telling them they are wrong – for example, if your child says: “Her go school” you can respond, “Yes, SHE WENT to school earlier today” instead of “No.  SHE, not her.”  This way, you are emphasizing the correct grammar for your child, showing them prepositional use, and expanding their vocabulary by example and avoiding negative associations with correction.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

10 Math Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love

10 Math Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love | Tipsaholic.com #learning #kids #math #books #reading

tipsaholic-10-math-books-3-6-year-olds-will-love-title
If you’re in the market for different techniques to supplement your child’s school-taught math education at home, don’t overlook something you’re probably already doing!  Reading to your child encourages all kinds of skills – from letter and sound recognition to imagination to critical thinking and problem solving skills.  With the right kind of picture books, your 3-6 year olds will love learning about math concepts too! Check out these fun and entertaining math books.

 

1. Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

Every other number is worth something, but when Zero looks at herself, all she sees is a big hole in her center.  If she could look like the other numbers, she’d count too.  This book is not only a lesson in personal worth, but a fun way to learn about numbers and counting.

2. One by Kathryn Otoshi

Blue is a quiet color who, for some reason, Red is always picking on.  Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do about it?  This combines learning about primary and secondary colors, as well as counting.  But it also teaches an important lesson about standing together and making a difference – even if you are only one.

 

3. My Very First Book of Numbers by Eric Carle

Do you know how many apples there are?  How many cherries?  This is a puzzle book in which the reader identifies the numeral and number of black boxes on the top half of the page and then matches this to the correct number of fruits shown on the bottom half of the page.  Colorful, vibrant, graphic and fun, this book makes number recognition, counting and matching a game!

 

4. I Spy Numbers by Jean Marzollo

This book uses simple picture clues and rhyming riddles to guide young children through learning about numbers, counting and simple math concepts.  It’s specifically geared to preschoolers and kindergarteners who will love all 12 of the bright, colorful, interesting spreads.

 

5. Rainbow Fish Counting by Marcus Pfister

Young children learn numbers 1-10 with dazzling illustrations of undersea creatures and plants, including the well-loved Rainbow Fish himself!  Bold numerals shown along with the appropriate sea creatures help with number recognition while appealing visually to a young audience.

 

6. Ten Apples Up On Top! by Theo LeSieg

This classic story introduces kids to three lovable characters who can perform all kinds of giggle-inducing tricks!  The Lion, dog and tiger discover that they can do a lot of fun things – from drinking milk to jumping rope and roller skating – all while balancing apples on their heads.  How many can they keep up?  Will they let them fall?  Kids love to count along.

 

7. How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Young readers love these familiar dino characters and their crazy antics!  They’re at it again, this time teaching kids to count from 1 to 10.  The pages are full of rhyming text and silly illustrations that are sure to capture attention.  It makes learning numbers and counting BIG fun!

 

8. Gobble, Gobble Crash! by Julie Stiegemeyer

It all starts with four naughty, noisy turkeys and soon the whole barnyard is awake!  Did they really intend to wake the farmer in the middle of the night as well??  Kids will find the illustrations hilarious as they count up to 10 and all the way back down in fun rhyming text.

 

9. The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

Bored with his current situation, a triangle visits a local shapeshifter to have some alterations made.  Adding another angle makes him a quadrilateral!  But that’s just not enough for this greedy shape.  Children will love finding out what happens as the triangle adds angle after angle until he is completely transformed!  What a fun introduction to shapes and basic math concepts!

 

10. Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald

Each page of this bright, vivid book reveals another shape clue about a creature from long ago.  The die-cut pages are full of attention-grabbing colors and shapes that come together in a large, fold-out page for the grand reveal.  Circles become eyes, triangles become scales… will your young reader deduce what awaits on the final page?

 

Also check out this list of 10 Language and Literacy Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

10 Language and Literacy Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love

10 Language and Literacy Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love | Tipsaholic.com #kids #reading #books #literacy

tipsaholic-10-language-and-literacy-books-3-6-year-olds-will-love-title

Supplementing your child’s literacy education doesn’t have to be boring – in fact it can be a lot of fun!  The very best way to encourage literacy education in your preschooler?  Reading to them, of course!  Introducing books to your children at a young age can lead to a life-long love of reading.  You can strengthen letter recognition, practice starting and ending sounds, teach rhyming and speak proper grammar out loud, to name just a few skills.  Here are 10 language and literacy books 3-6 year olds will love.

 

1. Alpha Oops by Alethea Kontis

Z is sick and tired of being last all the time.  The rest of the alphabet agree to go backwards, but it isn’t long before they all get ideas of their own!  It’s every letter for himself in this funny, mixed up romp through the alphabet.  It’s filled with humorous drawings and whimsical details that round out the story of chaos and mayhem!

 

2. The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni

A fierce wind is threatening the letters of the alphabet tree.  What can they do to stand against it?  In this darling story the letters learn to band together into words, then sentences to offer a message to the wind.  Will it help?  It’s not only a book about the alphabet and sentences, it also teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of the written word.

 

3. Storybook Treasury of Dick and Jane and Friends by William S. Gray

A compilation of classic and well-loved first-reader storybooks that follow Dick and Jane, along with some new tales.  Parents will love the nostalgia and kids will love the cute and classic tales.

 

4. Not Another Boring ABC Book by Sharon Cohen

A isn’t just for apple anymore!  In this adorable story, kids can join along with Nina, a spunky princess as she has adventures that start with the letters of the alphabet!  Kids have an opportunity to learn the alphabet, along with lessons about alliteration, the power of words, and more.

 

5. My First BOB Books by Lynn Maslen Kertell

This set of tiny first readers is a scholastic award-winning reading program that teaches pre-reading skills and basic literacy concepts.  Through a cute cast of characters and humorous plots, these books lay an important foundation for reading that will appeal to young kids.

 

6. The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst

At every turn, these letters are full of surprises!  Can your kids discover anything else hidden in the alphabet?  These graphic, colorful pictures are full of fun for kids!

 

7. LMNOPeas by Keith Baker

This cute little alphabet book is filled with jaunty, busy little peas – from acrobats to zoologists!  Follow the peas on their daily pursuits through rhyming text and fun pictures.  Your kids will fall in love!

 

8. Caramel Tree Readers Starter Level: Alphabet Storybooks 1-5 by James Rogers and Sally Crust

Each of these storybooks feature easy to follow and read story lines with cute illustrations.  Each letter has an accompanying song to help retain learning.

 

9. My Very First Book of Words by Eric Carle

Kids will learn to read simple words while matching pictures with words.  These clever matching puzzles are a hit with kids, and Eric Carle’s beloved illustrations are delightful.

 

10. Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood

The lower case letters have been working hard and are finally ready for school.  On the way there, i loses her dot and the letters must race to find a substitute.  Small s offers her a star, h a heart, but will they find a suitable replacement?  The cute plot along with engaging illustrations will delight little readers.

 

Also check out this list of 10 Math Books 3-6 Year Olds Will Love.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

10 Awesome Kids’ Books (you may not know about)

Is your children’s library a bit stale?  While we all have favorite kids’ books, sometimes reading the same well-loved tale over and over can be kind of… boring.  It’s great to stock up on the classics – stories you read as a child, gems from favorite authors, characters your kids love – maybe you need a little inspiration.  This top ten list of awesome kids books may give you a few new ideas!

10 Awesome Kids Books (you might not know about) via Tipsaholic

10 Awesome Kids Books to Add to Your Shelf

Ducks Don’t Wear Socks by John Nedwidek 

Nedwidek tells the story of Emily – a VERY serious girl who likes doing VERY serious things like playing the cello.  But one day, she runs into Duck – who is definitely NOT serious.  Duck likes to plant crops in the park, ride a stick horse around town, and above all: wear things a duck is NOT supposed to wear.  Through a series of humorous run-ins, Duck teaches Emily (and the reader!) the importance of laughter and fun.

 

Roar of a Snore by Marsha Diane Arnold 

Jack Huffle’s peaceful sleep is disturbed by one big roar of a snore!  At first, he blames his faithful dog, but upon discovering it isn’t him the two set off on a search for the culprit.  They wake Mama Gwyn, Papa Ben, Baby Sue and more, to no avail.  Each family member joins the search in turn and they follow their ears to make a most surprising discovery!  Kids will be delighted with the rhymes and cadence, and will particularly love roaring along with the snorer!

I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rosetti Shustak 

This book of charming illustrations features a silly toddler and his stuffed bear with fun rhyming text.  It not only teaches children about emotions, but also portrays the great love parents have for their little ones.

 

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

This is a very atypical Dr. Seuss book, but a great read, nonetheless.  In this book, Seuss describes emotions and moods using colors, animals and actions.  His rhyming text is accompanied by bright, vivid paintings which create a sensational experience for the reader.  Kids will easily relate to the book which uses such imagery as a bright red horse kicking his heels, a very sad purple dinosaur, and a cool, quiet calm, green fish – among many others.  This book is a great way to give words and meanings that a child will understand to what can be potentially confusing and abstract ideas.

 

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis 

This cute book features a quirky little rabbit and just one old cardboard box.  Or is it?  Children will learn the importance and fun of imagination as they follow this rabbit in his imaginative play.  From a firetruck to a mountain to a rocket ship, little rabbit shows how imagination transports us to a world with no limitations – where anything is possible.

 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems 

Pigeon is not a BIT sleepy.  Nope, not at all!  But we aren’t allowed to let him stay up past his bedtime.  Kids will laugh along with you as Pigeon runs through all of his excuses, wheedling, reasons, and temper tantrums in order to escape bedtime.  Will he succeed?

 

Ish by Peter Reynolds 

Reynolds paints a vivid picture of Ramon, a carefree spirit who loves drawing.  Nothing makes Ramon more happy that drawing, that is until his brother offers him a single thoughtless remark.  With that one careless comment, Ramon’s joyful sketching turns into an aggravated struggle.  Can he ever enjoy drawing again?  Luckily for Ramon, his little sister is there to open his eyes to thinking “ish-ly” and he discovers that getting everything perfect is not all it’s cut out to be.  Kids and adults alike will love this story of encouraging creativity and innovative thinking.

 

An Awesome Book by Dallas Clayton 

With this book, kids learn to dream big and reach higher than they think they can.  Clayton shares whimsical scenarios replete with bright, vivid, quirky illustrations and fun, thoughtful rhymes.  The moral?  Hold on to the imagination of your youth and don’t be afraid to dream big!

 

Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal 

This is the cute tale of Spoon, a happy utensil.  Though he’s always been fairly satisfied with life, lately he has started to feel as if being a spoon is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Fork, Knife and Chopsticks seem to have it better than him.  Perhaps greater things await him… but do they?  Kids will love the unconventional characters and relatable storyline as they learn about celebrating differences and appreciating the things that make us unique.

 

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers 

What is happening in the forest?  The animals grow more and more confused as branches and then whole trees go missing.  Confusion turns to alarm as more of the forest disappears and their investigative work turns up empty.  A single eyewitness lead opens their eyes to bear, the culprit who’s been stealing the trees and dragging them to his home to… do what?  The police are called, an interrogation ensues and the animals hold a trial.  But none of them are expecting what happens next.  Kids of all ages will love finding the clues, learning the story of bear, and searching the funny little illustrations all while learning the importance of friendship, conservation and recycling.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Eight Historical Fiction Books for Early Teens

Historical Fiction for Teen Readers and Parents via Tipsaholic

Historical fiction for teens is a robust genre full of exceptional choices. A mixture of classic and contemporary titles, this list of provoking stories is sure to pique your teen’s interest and help promote the good practice of daily reading. 8 Historical Fiction Books for Teens via Tipsaholic

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

It’s 1960 and twelve-year-old Anita de la Torreis lives with her family in the Dominican Republic under the terror of the Trujillo regime. Eager to escape the dictatorship, Anita and her family prepare to flee to America but quickly discover freedom comes at a cost.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

Author Mildred Taylor expertly captures the effects of harsh racism, poverty, and betrayal in the lives of an African American family living in the 1930s Deep South. Reminiscent of the classic To Kill a Mocking Bird, this is one piece of historical fiction no one should miss.

The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak

A heralded favorite of both teens and adults, The Book Thief is a captivating story about the redemptive power of books set against the backdrop of 1939 Nazi Germany. The film adaptation of this #1 New York Times bestseller hit theaters last year, and you can rent or own it now. 

Then by Morris Gleitzman

Felix and Zelda escape the death camp train but now they’re running for their lives. How can two kids survive Nazi-occupied Poland?  This courageous story of hope, love, and family is a page-turner your teen won’t want to put down.

Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer

Author Carolyn Meyer has a special knack for teen fiction and has written numerous books about famous women in history. This story focuses on the tumultuous teen years of Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VII and half sister to Queen Elizabeth.

The Samurai’s Tale by Erik C. Haugaard

A story of redemption and honor, The Samurai’s Tale follows the orphan Taro on his quest to become a samurai and reclaim his family legacy.

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

This beloved classic tells the story of the American Revolution through the eyes of young Tim Meeker and his family. With the threat of war, and division among his own family members, Tim must decided where his loyalty lies.

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

The Chosen is a wise, mature tale centered around two boys, their fathers, and the Jewish faith. Growing up in 1940s Brooklyn, Reuven and Danny forge an unlikely friendship and together face the challenges of adolescence and religious convictions.

 

About the Author: Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and now calls Chicago home. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, running along Lake Michigan, or checking out a new restaurant.  If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.

5 Favorite Potty Training Books

5 Great Potty Training Books via Tipsaholic.com

Potty training isn’t a lot of fun, but you can make the experience much more fun and bearable for you and your toddler by bringing out these five potty training books. These books are funny and cheerful, but they also come with important potty training lessons.

 

5 Best Potty Training Books via Tipsaholic.com

Potty by Leslie Patricelli

This cute little board potty training book tells the story of a little toddler who doesn’t want to go in his diaper, but is unsure what to do next. He observes where his cat and dog “goes” and then figures what he needs to do next. My toddler loves the book and requests to read it every time she sits on the potty.

Danny is Done with Diapers by Rebecca O’Connell

If your toddler is learning his ABCs at the same time he’s learning how to use the potty, this book will hit two birds with one stone. With the use of lots of alliteration and detailed, colorful drawings, this potty training book shows a wide variety of potty designs and different ways to go potty, including moms and dads on the toilet and public bathrooms.

Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea

This is a very silly and lighthearted potty training book that will have your toddler laughing and roaring at the dinosaur. The boisterous little dinosaur drinks water, plays in water, and plays in the rain and doesn’t need to go to the potty… or does he? Even though this is just a fun book, there’s still a good lesson in it: when you need to dance around the floor, it probably means that you need to go to potty!

Where’s the Poop? by Julie Markes

Flap books are popular with toddlers and this book is no exception. Teach your toddler that every animal and person needs to go to potty, including elephants, panda bears, and even penguins. For the toddler who’s scared to poop in the potty, this potty training book will alleviate that fear and show that it’s perfectly normal and good!

Even Firefighters Go to the Potty by Wendy Wax and Naomi Wax

This potty training book shows that everyone uses the potty, from firefighters to doctors, and that it’s ok to stop what you’re doing to relieve yourself. That’s an especially important lesson for busy toddlers who don’t want to stop playing to go to the potty!

 

For more books for your toddler, check out these seven essential children’s books for ages 1-3!

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

5 Ways To Teach Your Baby To Love Reading

5 Ways To Help Your Baby Love Reading via Tipsaholic #baby #reading #parenting #books


Reading is important. We all know this. But is it important to read to babies? Will they even notice? Will it make a difference? YES! It is never too early to start! Here are some ideas to help teach your baby to love reading from an early age.

5 Ways To Help Your Baby Love Reading via Tipsaholic.com

1. Start sooner than you think you should

You’d be hard-pressed to teach an 18-month-old how to read, and a newborn isn’t going to know the difference between you reading and you babbling at her. So why read to them when they’re so young? Because it helps you form a habit of reading to them. That habit will prove beneficial down the road when they reach an age where they can learn to read, when they start writing their first book reports, and on through their school years. If you start reading to them daily from day one, you’re more likely to keep reading to them as they grow.

But what do you read to an infant? Simple. Skip the picture books and find something you want to read. Before my oldest turned one, we made it through The Hobbit and the entire Harry Potter series, one chapter at a time, as I nursed her before bed. Hit up the library, find yourself a good novel or memoir or self-help book, and read it aloud to your baby. If you have older kids, read age-appropriate books to them and baby at the same time. Hooray for double-dipping!

 

2. Make it a daily routine

Children thrive on predictability, so don’t just make a habit of reading to them every day; make a habit of reading to them at a certain time every day. Whether that is right after breakfast, before nap time, or after you get home from work is not important. What matters is that you make it part of your daily routine. You might be surprised at how much you both look forward to your fifteen minute break from the busyness of the day to snuggle and read together.

 

3. Choose books with bold, bright pictures and/or rhythmic, rhyming words

Once your baby becomes more social, you’ll probably want to put down Bossypants and start reading picture books together. Even before they fully understand the words you’re reading, they’ll appreciate great illustrations. Bright images are help stimulate brain development, and they help make books more interesting and memorable. Interactive books — such as Pat the Bunny or this pop-up version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar –are also great entertainment for short attentions spans.

As language develops, rhythm and rhyme will start to interest your baby as much as the pictures do. Don’t you think simple song lyrics are much easier to remember than long, boring sentences? Your baby feels the same way. He is more likely to be engaged if the story has a sing-song quality to it. He is also more likely to start memorizing those words later on, which is a good first step toward reading.

 

4. Read the same books over and over

It’s good to read a variety of books with your baby, but choose a few that you rotate through every few days. I have probably read Green Eggs and Ham and Goodnight Moon a thousand times, but my girls still love them. Repeatedly reading old favorites is not only comforting, but as language develops it will help them start to memorize the words. As I mentioned before, that is a good first step toward learning to read.

 

5. Make it fun!

Let’s face it: a lot of children’s books are boring for adults, especially if you are reading them over and over and over again. So shake things up a little. Share a bowl of strawberries while reading The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. Do an overly dramatic reading of Llama Llama Red PajamaSing when you read Miss Mary Mack. (Come on…you remember how the tune goes!) Use puppets or stuffed animals to act out a story, or pretend to have them read it instead of you. Whatever you do, have fun with it. Your baby will be delighted at your antics, and you’ll be actively engaged instead of bored out of your gourd.

The takeaway here is that if you want your baby to learn to love reading, you should love reading too. And the only way for your baby to see that is for you to show her how much you enjoy it. So don’t be afraid to get silly and have some fun!

 

Jen is the mother of two sweet girls; her days are filled with Dr. Seuss books and laundry, block castles and pink tutus. Reading is her first passion. Finding and testing out delicious recipes is a close second. She and her husband are working on making their fixer-upper home into something amazing. It’s a satisfying but painfully slow process. Read more from Jen at her blog: Nothing Can Come Of Nothing

7 Great and Classic ABC Books for Every Family

There is no lack of variation on the alphabet book theme, and every family with young kids probably has at least one or two ABC books. However, some authors manage to take a simple subject and make it new and fun again. Here are seven great ABC books that are favorites at our house.

7 Great Classic ABC Books for Every Family | Tipsaholic.com #reading #books #abcs #kids


7 Great Classic ABC Books via Tipsaholic

Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss

Big D, little d, what begins with D? Dr. Seuss at his finest, laying on the nonsense rhymes that somehow stick with you. After having read this one a hundred times together, my two-year-old likes to tell me she’s “itchy itchy Ichabod, I, I, I!” when she gets a mosquito bite.

Animal Alphabet: Slide and Seek the ABCs by Alex A. Lluch

First you see “A is for…”, then you slide a little panel over to reveal an alligator. Each letter gets its own window and animal. Not only is it beautifully illustrated, it’s also sturdy enough for little hands to slide the panels back and forth without sustaining much (if any) damage. A definite plus for parents with, ahem, enthusiastic little readers!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

All the lower-case letters are racing each other to the top of the coconut tree…until they come crashing down! With simple, bright images, an easy rhythm, and a silly premise, it’s no wonder this one is a perennial favorite among toddlers.

A Is for Angry: An Animal and Adjective Alphabet by Sandra Boynton

This book takes alliteration to silly new levels, with as many words as possible worked in for each letter. It’s silly and funny…exactly what you’d expect from Sandra Boynton.

B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC by June Sobel

If your kiddo loves big trucks and heavy machinery, this is a must-have. The pictures show bulldozers, cranes, and excavators hard at work, as simple rhymes take you through the alphabet.

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

There’s no story here; just gorgeous illustrations. Not only will this book help your child learn the alphabet–both upper- and lower-case letters–but it will also introduce them to delicious fruits and vegetables that begin with each letter.

Animalia by Graeme Base

This book is as much fun for parents and older kids as it is for the little ones. The words are simple alliterations–”crafty crimson cats carefully catching crusty crayfish” for example–but the pictures are what makes this book a treasure. Every page is full of exquisite details, and you could easily lose track of time searching for all the things that begin with any given letter.

 

Jen is the mother of two sweet girls; her days are filled with Dr. Seuss books and laundry, block castles and pink tutus. Reading is her first passion. Finding and testing out delicious recipes is a close second. She and her husband are working on making their fixer-upper home into something amazing. It’s a satisfying but painfully slow process. Read more from Jen at her blog: Nothing Can Come Of Nothing

6 Kids Crafts to Make the School Year Even Better

Nothing beats the squeak of new sneakers in the hallway and the smell of Poptarts on back-to-school mornings. Excitement in the first weeks of school can be found in every new pair of jeans and on the tips of every fresh crayon. But if your kids have settled in and suddenly become less than thrilled about leaving summer barbeques and weekends at the lake behind, surviving the rest of the school year can be a challenge. If you’re looking for a solution to the post-summer-blues, getting your kids’ creative juices flowing with these custom kids crafts might really make it happen.

Washi Tape School Supplies

Picture 1 of 7

(image via Unsophisticook)

Your kids will always know which #2s belong to them if you use this simple trick – and if you haven’t met a little something called washi tape yet, this is a great way to introduce yourself to its powers of versatility. Grab a few rolls (Amazon has a great selection!) and get the kids to work.

 6 Kids DIY Projects for Back to School via Tipsaholic.com

1. Decorated School Supplies

Your kids will always know which #2s belong to them if you use this simple trick– and if you haven’t met a little something called washi tape yet, this is a great way to introduce yourself to its powers of versatility. Grab a few rolls (Amazon has a great selection!) and get the kids to work.

 

2. Customized Binders

If you picked up a couple of binders during your back-to-school shopping, your kids may have been less than impressed with the flat, single-color options that most stores carry. They may change their minds when they see what can be done when they really get their craft on.

If simplicity is your goal, a bit of bright patterned paper may be all you need. But don’t be afraid to go a step further and try colored duct tape, fabric, or even family photos!

If your child really wants to get expressive, a collage is another great way to go!

 

3. Personalized Pencil Boxes

And we can’t forget the everloving pencil box. That wonderful bit of plastic that leaves home in September filled to the brim with dazzling new crayons, freshly sharpened pencils, and unopened glue sticks… and returns at school’s end with nothing but broken bits of wax, a stub or two, and the dry, shriveled remains of that glue, along with whatever other horrors one collects in the classroom. But if you try this craft, at least it looks snazzy in the process.

 

4. Backpack Style

With all those great, personalized supplies, the kiddos are going to need something a bit more spectacular than your typical pack to haul them around. Take a look at these ideas for DIY custom backpacks!

 

5. Stylish Shoes

Two words: Canvas. Shoes. All the rage, right? And many of them come in plain colors – that’s a cool craft just waiting to walk the halls on your kid’s feet. Stripes, polka dots, rainbows, superheroes… the options are endless!

 

6. Candy

And when all else fails, bribe them with candy. You can always bribe a child with candy. Especially if there is a corny bit of wordplay you can stick to it.

Getting back into the swing of school days may be tough, but the mood can certainly shift when you pull out all the stops and get those little minds pumping with a craft or two. If nothing else, the kids will be excited to show off their new and totally custom supplies and accessories to all of their friends! Mission accomplished.


6 Easy Kids Crafts for Back to School via Tipsaholic.com

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyineperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Seven Essential Children’s Books for Ages 1-3

There’s no better way to start your baby’s library than with classic board books. Your little one will love having the freedom of turning the pages themselves as they learn to recognize colors, sights, and sounds. Help them develop their imaginations with fun, relatable stories they’ll cherish for years to come.

Here are seven essential children’s books for ages one to three, all available in board book form. Start building your library today!

7 Essential Children's Books for Ages 1-3, via Tipsaholic

7 Essential Children's Board Books for Ages 1-3 via Tipsaholic.com 

Good Night, Gorilla

Called “a must have board book for all babies”, this charming story follows a night watchman as he makes his rounds at the local zoo. The night gets interesting when a gorilla slips the watchman’s keys from his pocket and starts to unlock the animals’ cages one by one.

Corduroy

A timeless story of a bear in a department story, Corduroy has been a family favorite for generations. Don’t miss Corduroy’s nighttime adventures while he waits to be taken home by some lucky boy or girl.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

You and your child will love following the caterpillar as he eats his way to becoming a beautiful butterfly. This modern classic will also help your child develop their counting skills and learn the days of the week as they grow older.

Good Dog Carl

The first in a series of picture books, the charming story of Good Dog Carl is told almost entirely with vivid illustrations. It will capture your baby’s attention from the very first page.

Dear Zoo

Who could resist a story that begins: “I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet. They sent me an…”? Your little one will love discovering what animals the zoo has sent with this interactive, lift-the-flap book.

Goodnight Moon

No children’s book list would be complete without this beloved classic. Goodnight Moon is the perfect bedtime story and one that your child will ask for again and again.

The Going To Bed Book

Another bedtime story favorite, this book is about an ark of animals getting ready for bed. Follow along as these goofy jokesters do everything from exercising to brushing their teeth.

About the Author: Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and now calls Chicago home. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, running along Lake Michigan, or checking out a new restaurant.  If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.

Seven Essential Children’s Books for Ages 4-8

Reading is one of life’s great joys. Build your at-home library with these seven essential children’s books for ages four to eight.

There’s no denying that between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be. Reading is one of life’s great joys. When a child begins learning how to read, books take on a whole new meaning. This is one habit you definitely want to encourage!  (and making a special reading nook will make it even more fun!)

 

Seven Essential Children's Books for Ages 4-8

Seven Essential Children’s Books for Ages 4-8

To help you build your library, here are seven essential children’s books for ages four to eight.

 

The Napping House

“There is a house, a napping house, where everyone is sleeping.” Perfectly paced prose accompanied with colorful illustrations, this charming story will  hold your attention until the very last page. Fun and mishaps are sure to be had when a snoring granny, dreaming child, dozing dog, snoozing cat, and slumbering mouse are involved.

 

Make Way for Ducklings

This 1941 classic set in the Boston Public Gardens follows Mr. and Mrs. Mallard on their quest to find a safe home for their eight ducklings. A Caldecott Medal winner, this book is a delightful masterpiece of children’s literature. If you’ve never flipped through its pages you and your kids are definitely missing out!

 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

The first in a series of books by author Mo Willems, Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus! will have you and your kids smiling and laughing from start to finish. This simple tale follows a determined pigeon eager to take over a bus driver’s duties. It’s up to the reader to make sure he doesn’t succeed!

 

McElligot’s Pool (Classic Seuss)

You can never go wrong with Dr. Seuss. Although McElligot’s Pool is not as well known as say The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs & Ham, it doesn’t disappoint. A tale of patience and optimism, a little boy eagerly tries to catch a fish and other treasures from a small, forgotten puddle. “If I wait long enough, if I’m patient and cool, Who knows what I’ll catch in McElligot’s pool?” The illustrations are as unique as Seuss’ clever rhymes.

 

I Want My Hat Back

“Have you seen my hat?” This soon to be classic tells the story of a bear searching for his lost hat. Told in a repetitive style, your young readers will love reading this one aloud to you. The humorous illustrations and dialogue are sure to induce a fair amount of giggles.

 

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum loves her uniquely beautiful name, but when she goes to kindergarten that all changes. Kids in her class start teasing her for being named after a flower. Her self-assured demeanor is shattered until a special teacher steps in to save the day. This is a perfect book to help teach your school-aged children the importance of self-confidence and treating others kindly.

 

If You Want to See a Whale

“If you want to see a whale, you will need to know what not to look at.” begins this beautiful picture book. Follow along as you learn what it takes to catch a glimpse of one of earth’s most majestic and elusive creatures. Named one of the top children’s books of 2013 by Amazon.com, this quiet tale makes for a wonderful bedtime story.

 

About the Author: Clarissa Fidler is a 20-something trying to find her place in this world. She grew up in Seattle, attended college in Utah, and now calls Chicago home. In her free time you’ll find her reading the New York Times, cuddling with her cat Harper, catching up on her favorite blogs, running along Lake Michigan, or checking out a new restaurant.  If you’d like to read more by Clarissa, check out her blog West Hawthorne Place.