July 2013

3 Ways to Talk about Sharks With Your Kid

by On July 29, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

Parent lesson #593: There are different ways to teach your kids about sharks, not all of them good.

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Create Your Own D.I.Y. Summer Reading Program

by On July 25, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

Many libraries offer summer reading programs that feature a variety of fun themes and are designed to help foster summer learning and the discovery of new interests and flights of imagination through reading. Why not create your own program, tailored to your child’s reading level and interests? With Bookboard, it’s easy!

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Every Child Ready to Read Early Learning Practices: Singing

by On July 23, 2013 in Childrens Books

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My family spends a lot of time hanging around the ocean during the summer. My almost-4-year-old son loves running up and down the beach, looking for crabs, shells and other flotsam, while my husband and I love breathing in the salty air and remembering to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the coastline. Life feels a lot simpler when you’re standing on the shore looking out across the vastness of the sea, and there’s something very soothing about remembering how small we are in comparison.

<iframe src="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_befdc56714609f2838d9f/index.html?embed=true" width="650" height="440"></iframe><!–more–>

If you take a trip to the seaside with your family this summer, try to extend your visit by reading some books like the ones I put together in our ocean collection. Little ones love talking about the experiences they’ve had, and sometimes a book is a great jumping-off point for reminiscing about the whales they saw, or the jelly fish they poked with a stick (remember not to touch jellyfish, even if they’re dead!)

I’ve included some of my favorite books in here; <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_befdc56714609f2838d9f/index.html?selectedBookID=310">What the Sea Saw</a> is a visually stunning picture book with gallery quality artwork, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_befdc56714609f2838d9f/index.html?selectedBookID=76">Seal Song</a> is a tale about a <a href="http://www.thefreedictionary.com/selkie">Selkie</a>, and the Smithsonian Books are fantastic non-fiction books (though<a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_befdc56714609f2838d9f/index.html?selectedBookID=371"> Great White Shark</a> does have some accurate information about how sharks eat; look through it before sharing it with your little one).

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6 Tips for Smoother Road Trips (start by packing Bookboard)

by On July 18, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

My family loves road trips, especially by car and train, which allow you to slow down enough to enjoy the passing scenery and the act of traveling itself. However you travel – whether by car, train, plane, bus or ship – packing is always an issue. You want to travel as lightly as possible, while still having plenty of items on hand to occupy children during long travel days and tedious stretches of road.



Two of the many benefits of Bookboard are its ease and its portability, which make it a natural travel companion. Instead of bringing many books, you only have to bring one tablet device to have hundreds of books at your child’s fingertips.

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Read Along with American Camp Association’s Explore 30 Summer Reading Program

by On July 15, 2013 in General, Reading

Many parents are rightly concerned about summer learning loss, and yet still want their children to have the unique outdoor and cultural experiences that traditional summer camps afford.  Enter the American Camp Association’s Explore 30 Camp Reading Program, in which participating camps address summer slide by ensuring that campers read at least 30 minutes every camp day.


Photo: Susan Sachs Lipman

Explore 30 is a win/win in that kids receive all the benefits from camp, while also getting in some valuable reading time, not to mention necessary quiet time to read from a camp bunk or outdoors in a beautiful spot. The program provides participating camps with tools and resources to ensure their success, such as reading lists, staff training, reader incentives, and ideas for incorporating reading into the camp day.

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Are you a “Creativity Crusher?” (A confession and a quiz)

by On July 11, 2013 in General

Bookboard parents, have you ever, in spite of good intentions, crushed or at least crimped your kids’ creativity?

I have a confession.

Normally, I think of myself as a parent who fosters creativity in my kid.?Art supplies, craft projects, cool toys, check.? Nature walks, star gazing, daily reading, check. Hours of “Let’s pretend we’re sisters stranded on an island!” Check.

So it was disconcerting this week when I realized I could be a “creativity crusher.”

IMG_2494Incident #1: My daughter and I both had our eyes on a cool blank book that came in a set of Golden Books. I wanted to eventually create an original story for her. But Hope kept asking, “can we please use it to make a Powergirls book together?” I finally agreed.

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Read-to-me books: 3 first reactions, 3 lessons learned

by On July 8, 2013 in General

I’ll confess. When it comes to change, I’m sometimes stubborn.

Photo credit: http://ar.gy/38fP

Photo credit: http://ar.gy/38fP

For example, I held onto a “print books only” mentality for a very long time when it came to reading to our little girl. Participating as a Bookboard beta testing family helped open my mind to e-books. So did seeing our daughter read for the first time using Bookboard! Today, personal books, library books and Bookboard are all reading staples in our house.

Yet when Bookboard recently announced their new read-to-me audio feature for over 100 titles, I felt resistant to change again. My three knee-jerk reactions were quickly followed by three lessons learned:

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Kids and Reading: Watch One, Do One, Teach One!

by On July 2, 2013 in General

girls reading togetherMy daughter has latched on to a phrase I sometimes use:? “watch one, do one, teach one.”? I explained this learning strategy to her as first watching someone complete a task or skill, then trying it ourselves, then learning even more by teaching someone else to do the steps. (Yes, it’s chilling that this is a known medical residency mantra, but in other settings, it’s a kind of cool learn-by-doing approach.)

In recent weeks, Hope tried the “watch one/do one/teach one” approach to master laundry folding and flower planting. I played the student. Then last week, I was thrilled to see her use Bookboard and the occasion of a summer play date to explore the “watch one, do one, teach one” strategy as it applies to reading. ?(Yay! Take that, summer slide!)

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