17 Summer Reading Logs & Rewards {with free printables}

17 Summer Reading Logs & Rewards {with free printables}

Inspiration for Summer reading with fun reading logs & rewards for kids!

As parents, we know that connecting the kids with books throughout the summer months is SUCH a good thing. 

Summer reading helps them to keep their vocab and comprehension skills strong so those first weeks back to school are much easier!

But honestly, keeping them reading can be a challenge with all the other fun activities they have going on -- like the pool and friends and s'mores by the fire ... not to mention the availability of technology and the desire to get sticky, dirty and wet any chance they get ;)

Which is why this first post in our 105 Days of Free Summer Fun includes awesome ideas & freebies that will not only inspire your kids to read but also allow us to retain our 'cool Mom/Dad' status without constantly bugging them to pick up a book!

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Teaching Kids about Water Conservation & the Water Cycle

Teaching Kids about Water Conservation & the Water Cycle

Activiites & books about that teach our children about water conservation and the water cycle!

March 22nd is World Water Day.

It's a day for all of us to remember that water is an important resource in our life and clean water is a limited resource for many around the world. 

Everyone can make a difference in preserving this natural resource, even the youngest among us! 

In fact, our kids might even teach us adults a thing or two.

Join us as we explore some great books, learn about the water cycle and share tips for easy ways to conserve water.

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12 Inspiring Outdoor Activities: The Lorax & Ecology for Kids

12 Inspiring Outdoor Activities: The Lorax & Ecology for Kids

Use The Lorax and these fun outdoor activities to teach ecology and inspire your kids to change the world!

Today we're combining a few of our favorite things -- books & nature -- to kick off some early Spring exploring.  

In honor of Read Across America Day (celebrated on Dr. Seuss' birthday), let's take a look at how books and outdoor activities can teach our kids more about the environment.

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Dr. Seuss Activities: Wacky Wednesday Ideas, Zoo Game & Idioms

Dr. Seuss Activities: Wacky Wednesday Ideas, Zoo Game & Idioms

Enjoy these Dr. Seuss activities that include Wacky Wednesday ideas, a Create Your Own Zoo Game and learning about idioms.

Earlier this month, we shared some fun facts and resources about Dr. Seuss

Being such a fan of Seuss books, I had a difficult time choosing only one for this post.  In fact, on our library visit this week, I found a newly published story that I never read as a child which was a treat!

So explore some fun ways to turn these awesome Dr. Seuss books into hands-on activities.  Plus, you'll find 165 more activities that pair with Dr. Seuss books!

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10 Math Books & Tools: Learning Measurement

10 Math Books & Tools: Learning Measurement

Explore measurement with these fun math books & tools for kids!

One of the most popular book requests I receive comes in the form of "Do you know of any good books that can help my child enjoy math?"

This request is not at all foreign to me as I've shared before that my child-who-can't-read-books-fast-enough is also the same kid that does not gravitate toward math.

However, put a math concept in the pages of a great book and presto!

So let's just say that my newest 'talent' is finding wonderfully engaging books that also highlight math concepts :)

And the second trick I've learned when it comes to math -- "It's all about the gear!" 

Kids LOVE using math tools and are more likely to ask questions and want to explore various concepts if they can do something other than just pencil & paper math.

Today's book list will focus specifically on stories & fun math manipulatives (tools) that explore different types of measurement plus some great hands-on activities and challenges your kids can try too!

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Tornado in a Bottle Science Experiment

Tornado in a Bottle Science Experiment

Upcycle items from around the house for this easy tornado in a bottle science experiment!

Sometimes an activity can introduce us to something that we aren't able to experience in real life and today's science project does just that!

Spring brings all kinds of weather across the country and one of the worst types of storms are tornadoes.

Living in Kansas, we've had to duck-and-cover quite a few times, huddled in the basement until the storm sirens sound the all clear but thankfully, we have never been caught in a tornado!

But kids will be kids and ask all those great questions -- 'how do tornadoes start?' and 'what makes them so dangerous?' so we thought we'd take a closer look at these storms by creating our own tornado in a bottle!

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Gift Ideas for Book Lovers that Aren't Books

Gift Ideas for Book Lovers that Aren't Books

Got bookworms? Try giving these gift ideas that aren't books!

We have a LOT of books in our house as you might suspect from our numerous kids' book lists!

One of the things I did well as a parent was to raise readers -- I always found a way to tie books with a favorite project, vacation or any interest our kids have had over the years.

But when you have book lovers, you have to make a decision when it comes to gift buying -- either move into a library (we haven't found one for sale yet :) OR find some book-related gifts they'll love since your bookshelves are already chocked full.

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Tree Activities for Kids: Animal Habitats, Tree Types & Nature Facts

Tree Activities for Kids: Animal Habitats, Tree Types & Nature Facts

I know that Fall inspires some popular tree activities for kids -- creating leaf rubbings, watching the leaves change color and heading out on a leaf hunt.

But if we look a little deeper, we'll also find that trees play a crucial role to many of our neighborhood animal friends.  So today, let's head outside and be nature detectives as we look at the lives of trees!

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Kids Books about Voting, Elections & Washington DC

Kids Books about Voting, Elections & Washington DC

This week's book list is a collection of great reads for kids about voting, service to our country and our capital city, Washington DC.

Every four years, we have the opportunity to introduce our kids to how the political system works in our country. And while I'm not at all thrilled with any of the candidates this year, I still feel that it's important for the next generation to understand the how's and why's of Election Day.

This can easily be done without actually discussing politics too -- Books are the perfect way to kick-start a discussion and introduce ideas such as voting, the party system, the various layers of our government and how it all fits together.

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10 New Kid's Books about Fall

10 New Kid's Books about Fall

I love creating book lists and I think that some of my favorite are our Kids Books about the Fall & Autumn season!

There's just something about the gorgeous colors, seasonal changes and cozy text that make me want to cuddle up and keep reading (usually with a cup of tea for me a cocoa for the kids :)

Today's book list covers some of the newest reads you'll find out this season for your kids!  Fall colors, animal friends and inspiration for outdoor adventures await in the pages of a book ...

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Kids Books about Life in the Forest

Kids Books about Life in the Forest

Fall is the perfect time to read these books about life in the forest & get out to explore! 

You don't need a large area at all -- even a small wooded area will do -- in order to experience a whole new world hidden among the trees.  I especially love to introduce kids to the forest in the Fall because of the changing leaf colors and animal activity.  So many of our woodland friends are preparing for winter at this time of the year.

So grab a few of these gorgeous books & let's go for a walk in the woods!

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Books that Inspire Kids to Learn

Books that Inspire Kids to Learn

Many thanks to Hallmark for sponsoring this post and helping to create communities where all children have the chance to grow up as healthy, productive & caring persons.  All book choices and thoughts are mine alone.

 

Today's book list was inspired by a young lady who fights for quality education for all children around the world.

Malala Yousafzai was 15 when she was shot by the Taliban for attending school in Pakistan.  It was against the law for girls to go to school and yet, every morning Malala would get up and not only get herself to school but encourage other girls in her village to attend as well.  She survived the attack and has since become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient who now travels the world with her father to share their story.

In honor of both Malala & Ziauddin Yousafzai, I wanted to share a book list that will inspire kids to speak up for what they believe, to change the world and to appreciate the opportunity to get an education.

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The Best Books to Read with a Magnifying Glass

The Best Books to Read with a Magnifying Glass

Sometimes sitting down with "just a book" can be a little overwhelming for kids.  All those words and pages -- especially if they're just starting to read or not overly crazy about reading.

And then there's the whole sitting part of reading -- not something our kids EVER really did; they would constantly move and always enjoyed having something to do during reading time.

So over the next four weeks, we're going to feature a series of fun books for kids can read with their favorite STEM items!

Today's list includes favorite stories to read with a magnifying glass (think mysteries, nature detectives and hidden pictures!)  -- because who can resist reading a book when you have a cool science tool in your hand, right?!

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Geography for Kids: 8 Awesome Atlases

It's so important for kids to understand (and appreciate!) geography these days! 

The world has become a much smaller place now that social media has taken a front seat in our lives.  It seems to be a daily discussion at our house -- a current event, the coming of the Olympics, a great photo in my Instagram feed illicits the question "Where is that place?"

And one of my FAVORITE ways to introduce the places & culture from around the world is by using an atlas.

Unlike when we were kids, atlases aren't just a 'boring book of maps' -- they include so many cool details.  In fact, the one item on our 10 Things to do Before Your Next Road Trip list that is so popular with our readers is the Kids' Atlas! 

So sit back, relax and browse some of our favorite books that explore the world along with some fun map activites the kids will love too!

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Dr. Seuss & Cat in the Hat Games {with free printables!}

Enjoy these creative Dr. Seuss & Cat in the Hat games with your kids and inspire a love of reading.

There's nothing like a game to encourage a child to pick up a book! 

And some of the best books that lend themselves to being turned into a game are those created by Dr. Seuss -- so creative, colorful and full of fun ideas. 

With March being the celebration of Dr. Suess' birthday and such a big reading month, I thought a collection of Dr. Seuss games was in order!

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