9 Terrific Books about Turtles

9 Terrific Books about Turtles

Enjoy these fiction and non-fiction books about turtles and introduce kids to one of the few animals that takes their house with them as they travel!

When we take our evening walks through the neighborhood, we often see various animals -- other dogs, squirrels, deer, sometimes a wild turkey and believe it or not -- one very large turtle!

Actually, he's a tortoise and his owner give him the run of their backyard on these nice days :)

And then there are all the turtle we see at the pond in our local park -- more than a dozen peek their heads up when we head over to feed the fish.

So in honor of World Turtle Day on May 23rd, I thought we'd share some of our favorite books plus a few really cool turtle facts this week!

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17 FREE Summer Reading Programs & Book Logs for Kids {with printables}

17 FREE Summer Reading Programs & Book Logs for Kids {with printables}

FREE Summer reading programs and book logs for kids & teens -- earn free books & more!!

As parents, we know that connecting 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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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, huddling 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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12 Classic Easter Books & Movies for Kids

12 Classic Easter Books & Movies for Kids

Enjoy these classic children's Easter books and movies with your family this year!

One of my favorite things about reading with my kids is sharing books that I loved as a child. 

I especially enjoy reminiscing with Easter books - they always bring back memories of dressing up in our new Easter outfits (the ones Mom wouldn't let us wear until that day), large family gatherings and egg hunts around the house.

Plus, Easter books also make great basket stuffers to balance out all that candy (I hear the Bunny is a big reading fan too ;)

So today's list features some of our favorite vintage reads for the holiday (and a few wonderful movies too!)

 

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17 Everyday Math Activities for Kids

17 Everyday Math Activities for Kids

These everyday math activities are the perfect way to introduce hands-on math ideas to kids!

Do you know today is?

March 14th...

3/14...

3.14

Ring a bell at all?

Ok, how about if you flash back to high school math class?

Yes, that's it -- Today is Pi Day!

And Pi Day is a great time to get your kids more keen on how math is part of our daily lives.

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17 Dr. Seuss & Cat in the Hat Games {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 (Read Across America is March 2nd!) and such a big reading month, I thought a collection of Dr. Seuss games was in order!

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55 Spring Science Activities for Kids

55 Spring Science Activities for Kids

Explore science this Spring with these fun & easy activities and experiments about weather, gardens, space, trees and the human body!

This newer Dr. Seuss series makes it so easy to introduce science, geography and other real life concepts to preschool and elementary age kids --

just take one familiar and loveable book character (The Cat),

insert TONS of cool facts and details on a non-fiction topic, 

add in some kid-sized humor ;)

and you have the perfect books that transition kids from picture stories to non-fiction reading!

Today's post is part of a 5-week series featuring books from The Cat in the Hat Learning Library along with crafts, science experiments, learning activities and other hands-on fun!

I want to give you a peek inside some of our favorites along with some great activities you can do to bring the books to life!

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50+ Read Aloud Books Online

50+ Read Aloud Books Online

Find more than 50+ FREE read aloud books online and stories read aloud for kids at these amazing websites - perfect for reading on the go!

Kids love to hear stories - ask any child and I'll bet they tell you that one of their favorite parts of their day is read-aloud and storytime! 

Listening to a book read aloud helps kids of all ages to develop better concentration and listening skills, engages their imagination, increase their vocabulary and enhance their desire to be a reader as they grow.

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40 Animal Habitats Project Ideas & Science Activities

The topic for this week's Dr. Seuss science activities for kids is animal habitat project activities & science ideas!

This is always a wonderful learning opportunity - it seems no matter what your age, watching animals is something we all enjoy.

While kids love to observe animals, they usually don't give much thought about how and where an animal lives until you begin to discuss the idea of 'habitats'.

Can a camel live in a forest?

Are there sharks in our local pond?

And why is it that polar bears and penguins will never meet since they both live in icy places?

So many great questions :)

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25 Marvelous Math Picture Books for Kids

25 Marvelous Math Picture Books for Kids

Preschool, elementary & middle school kids will LOVE these math picture books that teach early and advanced mathematical concepts!

So here's the issue at our house -- we've got one child who is a math whiz and another who wouldn't mind if math was wiped off the face of the earth.

The one thing they both have in common is neither enjoys any math homework: 

"It's boring, Mom!"

"Yes, I know.  Worksheets aren't always the best way to enjoy math." 

But you still need to do your homework. 

This is how it goes for so many things in life, right.  Practice isn't always as much fun as 'the real thing'!

So since math is important in life, I try to introduce them to non-school, non-worksheet ways to gain a better understanding of math concepts.

As a parent, I have to find ways for them to practice, enjoy it and find it relevant to their life.  Otherwise, I will be forever helping them to figure out if they have enough allowance money to buy the souvenir they want when we're on vacation!

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15 Best Children's Magazines for Toddlers, Kids & Tweens

15 Best Children's Magazines for Toddlers, Kids & Tweens

When my kids were young, I loved to take them to the library. 

We would search the shelves for our favorite books and attend storytime sessions.

And sometimes we would explore a new area of the library -- which is how we found the children's periodical section on one cold and snowy Tuesday.

It's kind of hidden at our library, tucked back behind the non-fiction books in the corner.  But once you know where to look, there's so much to see!

So on that first day, we checked out a copy of Ladybug Magazine for Kids.  We read the short stories, enjoyed poems, sang songs and challenged ourselves with the puzzles.

And we put the magazine shelf on our weekly list of places to explore!

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25 Free Online Read Aloud Books for Christmas & Holidays

A wonderful list of FREE read aloud books online for Christmas and winter holidays is sure to inspire holiday reading! 

One of our most loved and read posts is Finding Free Kids Books Online -- so I thought we should create a special Holiday Edition as our gift to each of you! 

So many families are traveling at this time of the year but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a story with your kids or 'bring along' some seasonal favorites.  These are especially great to take on family road trips during holiday travel!

The following links will take you to FREE online editions of great kids holiday books for reading on your iPad, Kindle, computer or smartphone!  Then you won't have to worry if you didn't get to pack some books (or if you get stuck in line at Target and need something to keep the kids happy ;)

Plus, we've included a few holiday 'treats' that feature audio books & music too!

UPDATED:  This is always such a popular post during the holidays and some of the online sites have changed their book selections. 

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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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8 Apple Activities for Kids

8 Apple Activities for Kids

Favorite apple activities for kids: apple picking, cider mills and fun STEM ideas!

Fall is apple season! 

Trees are blooming with ripe apples, ready for the picking.

There are a number of fun apple activities & outings that your kids will really enjoy during autumn.

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24 Great Back-to-School Books for Preschool thru Middle School

24 Great Back-to-School Books for Preschool thru Middle School

Great back to school books for kids in preschool, elementary or middle school!

I know many kids have mixed feelings about starting a new school year and some are a little anxious about heading back to school and moving up a grade.

As a parent and educator, I can tell you that most kids don't just come out and tell you about their back to school fears and concerns. 

Kids tend to hold things in and then the first week of school you might notice them losing sleep, being more anxious or showing signs of nervouseness.

Try reading a few books (or having older kids read themselves) about the grade they are about to enter. 

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