Thursday, July 29, 2010

Best Books for Babies, Part I

There are so many good quality books for babies that it is hard to choose my top 10 - I have at least 100 favorite baby books!!! But for the sake of your sanity (and mine), I'll only list my top 20! Here are numbers 1-10, in no particular order (it was hard enough to narrow down my choices! I wouldn't dare begin to rank them!)

Goodnight MoonWhere's Spot? Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? [BROWN BEAR BROWN BEAR-BOARD BK]

 "More More More," Said the Baby Board Book (Caldecott Collection) Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Baby Board Books)Peek-A Who?

Moo Baa La La LaBaby Faces (Look Baby! Books)What's On My Head? (Look Baby! Books)

That's Not My Teddy (Usborne Touchy-Feely Board Books)

Related Posts:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ten Benefits of Reading to Baby

Too often, people think that children will learn to read when they go to school. However, the process of learning to read, begins at birth. This doesn't mean that parents should rush out and buy flashcards and expensive reading programs! The journey towards becoming a reader is as close as your local bookstore or library! Reading to your baby has many advantages:
  1. It is a bonding experience between the adult and the child.
  2. A baby's brain is still developing; reading significantly stimulates this brain development.
  3. Infants learn to listen to and comprehend language.
  4. Reading exposes children to new vocabulary and concepts.
  5. Babies learn literacy fundamentals such as: associating pictures with words, turning pages in a book, holding a book the "right" way, etc.
  6. Infants begin to learn the significance of various tones of voice when parents read with expression.
  7. Attention span, listening skills, and memory are increased.
  8. Children are exposed to literacy concepts such as rhyme, rhythm, and repetition.
  9. Babies are more likely to grow up with a love of reading; studies show that children who enjoy reading are more likely to experience future academic success.
  10. Children's knowledge of the world around them is increased when parents and teachers choose books that include relevant text and engaging illustrations.
Related Posts:

Monday, July 19, 2010

P is for Popsicle by Marcia Maynard

Remember having fun making Popsicles when you were a kid? Share the joy of making ice pops with your child.

Items needed:

1. ice cube tray or small paper cups

2. toothpicks or Popsicles sticks

3. aluminum foil

4. juice or lemonade

5. Small pitcher

First, put juice into a small pitcher.

Next, help your child pour the juice into the ice cube tray or cups.

Then, cover the tray or cups with foil.

Then, poke toothpicks through the foil (once ice pops are frozen, the toothpicks will become the ice pop stick).

Next, put the tray or cups into the freezer.

Wait about 2 hours.

Finally, take the foil off, choose an ice pop and enjoy.
Marcia Maynard is a certified reading specialist and early childhood educator. She is the mother of two boys and blogs about preschool activities at
If you would like to write a guest post, please contact me!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's the PROCESS, not the "Product" by Marcia Maynard

A wonderful quality about preschoolers is their love to just DO something. When making art projects, they're happy just squirting glue or cutting paper. They don't need a fancy final product.

If your child can use scissors by himself, supply him with different types of paper. Magazine pages, junk mail, a finished coloring book, empty tea boxes (thick cardboard, such as cereal boxes can be hard to cut, look for thinner boxes). Place a paper bag on the floor next to the table where he's cutting. He can put the cut pieces into the bag for recycling.

If your child is just learning how to cut, sit with him and hold the paper while he cuts. He may need to hold the scissors in both hands in order to cut.

Have a no project art project morning and enjoy.

Marcia Maynard is a certified reading specialist and early childhood educator. She is the mother of two boys and blogs about preschool activities at

If you would like to write a guest post, please contact me!

* Image of magic markers: from

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

K is for Kick: A Soccer Alphabet

K is for Kick: A Soccer Alphabet (Alphabet Books)
  • Make flags to represent some of the World Cup Teams.
  • Learn some World Cup Facts in this quiz from National Geographic for Kids; older kids may be able to take the quiz independently.
  • At the easel or art table, provide white paper cut in circles. Encourage children to design their own soccer balls.
  • More World Cup Activities such as 100 Facts About the World Cup, The 2010 World Cup Anthem, Soccer Dictionary, and a ton of other links from Teacher Planet.
  • Still more World Cup activities from Activity Village, a UK site.
  • Get a soccer ball and learn some easy soccer moves or try these inflatable soccer balls ($9.99 per dozen) from Oriental Trading.
  • Learn about South Africa in these BBC Learning Zone Clips.
  • Check out these Soccer Printables from Kaboose.
  • Compare American Football with Football (i.e. soccer). For example:
    • Similarities: both sports use a ball; both players wear a uniform; both sports have a goal; etc.
    • Differences: one ball is round, the other is oblong; you can use your hands in football but not in soccer; players wear helmets in football; etc.
More Soccer Books:

Soccer World: Mexico: Explore the World Through SoccerFroggy Plays SoccerMy Soccer Book


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