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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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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How to Get Organized & Enjoy More Time with Your Family

How to Get Organized & Enjoy More Time with Your Family

A few months ago, I shared my secret to the Best Place to Begin Organizing Your Entire Home.

I wrote the post because I wanted to inspire other busy moms like me to find their starting point when it comes to putting some organzational systems in place.

Amazingly, it's been one of our most read posts this year!

Obviously it's not just me who is working toward a more organized home ;)

So with Mother's Day coming, I thought I would share another post that's "just for Mom" -- even though we all know that anything that's done for Mom actually benefits the whole family ;)

Today, we'll look at some AMAZING books that can help us to get control of clutter, make meal planning simplier, inspire us to take time for ourselves and give us more time with our families!

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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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10 New Kids' Books about Fall

10 New Kids' Books about Fall

Enjoy these new kids' books about Fall & Autumn!

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

Gorgeous children's books about the forest and woodland animals!

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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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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Christmas Play Ideas using Items from Nature

Christmas is a wonderful time to invite nature into the house!

We love creating & crafting with natural items during the holidays -- they're not only free but plentiful.  Not to mention, some of them have such a wonderful scent!

And then there's the research that shows having a connection to nature helps to reduce stress during the holidays :) 

Oh yea, we all need that!

So enjoy these great play activities, books and crafts from nature that are perfect for the holiday season!

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Teaching Kids about Veterans Day & Remembrance Day

Talking to kids about unhappy moments can be tough -- BUT it's a necessary thing in life. 

Educating them about Veterans Day, Remembrance Day and war is one of those occasions -- it's not a pleasant topic to discuss but one that needs to be talked about with the next generation.

It's important for our children to honor and appreciate what others have done for all of us and to understand some of the sacrafices that each person makes during wartime.  So today, we're sharing some great resources for introducing kids of all ages to the topic of wartime and service to your country.

 

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Non-scary Pirate Books & Movies for Kids

Did you know September 19th is International Talk like a Pirate Day? 

Aarrghhh!

The perfect day to have some fun searching for hidden 'treasure', playing dress-up, reading a few good books and even enjoying a family movie together.

And we have everything you'll need for this fun day in our Kids Activities Pirate Blog Hop including some great crafts, fun activities and not-so-scary books & movies the whole family will enjoy!

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16 Classic Kids Books for Fall

I love sharing classic books with my kids, especially ones that I enjoyed as a child and Fall books are my favorites! 

So I've started a quarterly series on great Vintage Kids Books to feed my need for nostalgic reading :) 

My goal is to help parents & teachers introduce their kids to the books they loved to read & hear as children in order to provide a steady diet of classic literature in addition to the new and more contemporary books your kids love to read.

If you missed the other lists for Summer, Spring and Winter, you can find out them all at Classic Kids' Books for Every Season

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11 Inspiring Books for Kids who Want to Start a Club

Did you have a chance to download the free printables in our 3 Reasons Your Kids Should Start a (Secret) Club post?

Starting a club or fort is a rite of passage for kids -- a statement that says "I'm ready to bond with my peers" if you will.

Kids love the idea of creating their own secret handshake, club badge and map directions!

But maybe the kids aren't sure what kind of a club to start.

It's a good question -- one that takes some thought and a few inspirational reads.

So this week's book list is all about the fun & adventures that happen when you create a club of your own!

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Kids Books about Fractions & Hands-on Math Activities

We have a running joke in our house about the 'bigger half'.

My daughter started it when she was younger -- we would ask if she wanted to split a sandwich or cookie with someone and her reply was always "Yes, but I want the bigger half!"

We tried to explain that half meant two equal amounts -- but that didn't go over in her mind.

"Just cut it like this Mommy" as she showed me a line that clearly allowed one part of the item to be larger than the other.

"But that's not half, Honey.  If we split it, than we would both get the same amount."

Her reply -- "Oh, than I don't want half.  I want more." :)

What I realized as a parent is that we introduce the idea of fractions very early in a child's life --

Half a cookie or the slices of a pizza

Counting out an equal number of blocks or legos on a playdate so everyone has equal amounts

Using measuring cups when kids cook with us in the kitchen

All those activities involve fractions but I know that I'm not always the best about pointing out when we are learning with fractions.  So today we're sharing great books & easy hands-on activities that help kids learn about the idea of "parts of a whole" -- and it's part of an awesome month-long series on maths hosted by Peakle Pie & 20 bloggers who love to share unique ideas for math activities!

 

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Awesome Travel Journal Ideas for Kids {with free printables!}

Use these travel journal ideas to help your kids document their trip!

Summer travel is the perfect opportunity to inspire the kids to do some writing.

I think downtime during the summer months is really important for kids but I've also seen what happens when they don't pick up a pencil for a few months (yikes!)  It can be a rude awaking when they head back to school so I'm always looking for fun ways to encourage them to write a little throughout the summer.

Since we're heading out on a mega road trip this month, I thought I would include some travel journal pages in our Road Trip Binder (which already has 40+ Free Printable Road Trip Activities you might want to check out!)

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