All posts in 2) Preschool

Preparing for Kindergarten: Activities to Do with Your Child

Getting Kids Ready for Kindergarten

I am getting my 5-year-old ready for kindergarten and I thought this is a great list of fun activities to work into the summer plans.  The activities cover:  fine motor, scissors, sensory, mid-line crossing, developing handwriting skills, ocular motor control, and  eye-hand coordination.  This article is by Loubina Buxamusa, an Occupational Therapist and Ann Mahoney, an Early Childhood Specialist. Read more…

earth day arthur turns green marc brown pragmaticmom pragmatic mom

Celebrating Earth Day with Picture Books

New Picture Books to Celebrate Earth Day

I have a pretty extensive Arthur (the Aardvark, who knew, right?!) collection that my first two kids read obsessively but for some unknown reason, I haven’t read this series with my youngest. I guess it’s because I have them (finally!) all nicely organized on a bookshelf downstairs and there are so many books that once they migrate upstairs they will overtake his room. Read more…

SAT vocabulary words in picture books, picture books to build vocabulary

SAT Vocabulary Words from Picture Book The Scarecrow’s Hat

SAT Vocabulary for Kindergarten

The words for Week 8 are from the picture book, The Scarecrow’s Hat by Ken Brown. Lest you be alarmed that it’s freaky to be teaching SAT vocabulary words to Kindergarteners, I wanted to REITERATE that all the words in this series are from a picture book; however, I failed to notice which picture book on earlier posts. This brings me to another point: picture books often have richer language than easy chapter books, not to mention gorgeous art work. I am a HUGE fan of picture books for all ages. How else can one be transported to a different time and place and/or walk in the shoes of another in the short space of 24ish pages? I digress, onward for the words. Read more…

Appealing Non Fiction Book: 100 Most Disgusting Things on Planet (ages 4-12)

Non-Fiction for Reluctant Boy Readers

100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet: Prepare for the Worst by Anna Claybourne is a book that delights those with a fascination for grossness that occurs in nature. But this book is also a clever guise to get reluctant readers reading and readers of all ages engaged in life science non-fiction.  This book gives equal weight to Disgusting Nature as to Disgusting Humans delving into  interesting creatures as  poo-covered beetles, Surinan toads that hatch their young below a layers of their mother’s skin on their backs to maggot cheese and snot.  Yes, this book is hard to resist! Read more…

Korean-American Picture Book Teaches Multicultural Lesson

Picture Books That Communicate Across Language Barriers

I am just discovering picture book author Soyung Pak. I wanted to interview her so I tried my usual Google sleuthing but she seems to keep a pretty low social media profile. I’ll let you know if I am able to track her down but so far, no such luck.

I love, love, love her book Sumi’s First Day of School Ever which is a lovely and realistic story of the first day at school for a child who doesn’t speak English. And it had a happy ending which is probably not always the case in real life. Read more…

SAT Vocabulary Words for Kindergarteners from Caps for Sale

SAT Vocabulary Words in Picture Books for Kindergarten

My son’s Kindergarten teacher is really up on the latest ideas on early childhood education. She believes in big words for little people and uses these six new words during daily conversations at school and during activities. We are also encouraged to use them at home and to make a game out using them. So I asked my 6-year-old son what “ordinary” means and he gave me this long-winded story about how from one day to the next, the books in the bookshelves of an “ordinary” day would not be disturbed. I think the smile/laugh value of hearing kids relate these words to their every day lives is well worth this exercise. I think the same of my son’s karate class — it’s like an episode of Saturday Night Live, only actually funny.

These words came from Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, one of my favorite old-fashioned picture books!! Read more…

Our favorite Pokemon Books for playing Pokemon Go

Top 10: Pokémon Books for Kids

Best Pokémon Books for Kids

My five-year-old son has been obsessed with Pokémon for over a year now.  He wanted to be a Pokémon master when he was four but now he realizes that there are no wild Pokémon to catch where we live and we won’t allow him to wander the earth unsupervised.  That was a sad day for everyone!  Still, he continues to love Pokémon and memorizes a large database of factoids on Pokémon.  

I suppose while there will never be a need to recall this information on a standardized test, it’s not so different from learning a database of factoids of information on something more educational like dinosaurs.  So until he learns to read his Pokémon books on his own, I am getting my master’s degree in Pokémon.  But since I seem to lose every Pokémon battle, I don’t expect to graduate.

For those seeking a book form of the Pokédex, try Pokémon:  The Complete Pokemon Pocket Guide, Boxed Set, $16.99.

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Barefoot Books, multicultural books for kids, The Boy Who Grew Flowers

Barefoot Book Fairy

Multicultural Books for Kids from Barefoot Books

I recently reconnected with the folks at Barefoot Books and I was so impressed by how they handled my feedback that I am now a very satisfied customer ready, willing and able to sing their praises far and wide. To me, it’s a superb example of extremely great customer service. Read more…

Best Picture Books That Teach Counting

Picture Books for Counting

I remember how much I enjoyed a counting book with a twist. I do completely believe in the power of picture books to teach math concepts but I do need a little something extra as I am reading the book for the tenth time. My own counting picture book library was not too robust so I trolled through a 4 foot stack of counting books to find these treasures.  I hope that you and your child enjoy them. What are your favorite counting books? Please leave a comment and I’ll keep adding to this list. Read more…