6 Great Nighttime Reads for Curious Kids

Putting a Curious Soul to Bed - 6 Great Nighttime Reads - Red Apple ReadingBeing a parent can be a challenging experience. It takes plenty of patience to educate children well and help them understand why certain things should be done. What is your trick when trying to put your curious little child to bed at night?

Here are six great nighttime reads that may come in handy for parents trying to ensure the best childhood experience for their little curious souls:

A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh
First on our list is A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles. Why? Surprisingly, this is not only an interesting nighttime read to consider but also one that can calm your child down and get him ready for a good night’s sleep. Even if you never though it was possible to introduce your child to meditation at this age, it is actually highly-recommended. This read will help you do so. Playful activities and fun are ensured for you and your child right before bed!

6 Great Nighttime Reads for Curious Souls - A Handful of Quiet - Red Apple Reading

I Am Yoga by Susan Verde
How about introducing your child to yoga through fun activities that are appropriate for her age? This will feed her curiosity and get her ready for bed in a pleasant, calm manner without hassles and arguments. I Am Yoga is a child-friendly guide to 16 innovative poses that will make your child feel the thrills of fun interaction, not to mention the fun you will be having on the side!

Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
This is a great nighttime read that parents should consider when they want to teach children about friendship, living with pets and living through fear even at early ages. Your child will certainly end up imagining himself being Splat on his first day of school with his pet mouse friend, Seymour to have his back. Learning all about making new friends and the amazing adventures on the first day of school will ensure a great night of sleep for your child while dreaming about another world.

6 Great Nighttime Reads for Curious Souls - Splat the Cat - Red Apple Reading

Unstoppable Me: 10 Ways to Soar Through Life by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Here is another recommendation for you – Unstoppable Me: 10 Ways to Soar through Life. It allows you to teach your child all sorts of valuable lessons that she will enjoy learning. She will learn all about living without fear and adopting a life without limits. Your happy kid will discover new ways of never having to just fit in and live her life to the fullest. You may get new insights for the child living inside of you as well.

Skippjon Jones by Judy Schachner
Get ready to introduce your child to a very special kitten. There is nothing ordinary about this character and the lessons he can teach your kid. Let El Skippito, the great sword-fighter against banditos around the world, teach valuable lessons in a fun way. Your child will fall asleep imagining himself being on a new adventure and will learn all about the way in which positive characters always win the battles against negative ones – all with the help of a frisky cat!

6 Great Nighttime Reads for Curious Souls - Skippyjon Jones - Red Apple Reading

Dreams Come True: All They Need Is You by Mike Dooley
Teach your child a valuable lesson right before bedtime: dreams always come true if she trusts herself to make things happen. Read all about the magnificent land of dreams where young friends are headed towards the greatest adventure of their lives. Let your child enjoy the thrills of living a new adventure every time she goes to bed and learn valuable lessons about life with the help of Dreams Come True: All They Need is You.

Every night before bedtime, introduce your child to a new world packed with valuable lessons and entertaining dreams that will keep him sleeping like an angel and waking up well-rested and ready for new activities. These reads will help you get started!

By Steve Brown and LoveReading.co.uk!


Must-Have School Supplies

Must Have School Supplies

Summer vacation is over for most and the new school year is here. It’s time for back- to- school shopping (if you haven’t already)! If shopping for school supplies isn’t at the top of your list of fun things to do, take heart! There are a lot of nifty back to school supplies waiting to cheer you (and your little one) up and make going back to school more exciting! We have great finds for the eco-friendly, the tech-savvy, the trendy and the fun-loving!

  1. Kids’ Deluxe Book Pack – Made of weatherproof durable material, these classic backpacks will stand up to the toughest wear. (L.L. Bean $15 – $39.95)
  2. Mackenzie Lunch Bags – These lunch boxes come in all kinds of cute designs. Kids will love the look and parents will love the quality! Interior is easy to clean and made of environmentally safe materials. (Pottery Barn $15 – $29.50)
  3. LEGO School Supplies – If your little one loves LEGOS, he is sure to go crazy over these cool supplies for school. LEGO stationary supplies (pencils, pens, markers, erasers, etc.) snap into the nifty pencil case. (Target $5.99-$39.99)
  4. Shopkins Pencils – Shopkins are all the craze right now! If your child can’t get enough of these cuties, then you need to make sure she has these pencils in her book bag. (Walmart 8 Pk. $2.49)
  5. Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils – Kids will love these vibrant colored pencils. They come pre-sharpened and have erasers!  (Walmart 24 pk. $5.97)
  6. Bethany Mota Color Your Own Notebooks – If your kiddo enjoys coloring let her customize her own notebook! The matte cover of these composition and spiral notebooks has cool patterns for coloring. (Target $2.99)
  7. Yoobi Mini Highlighters – These mini highlighters are perfect for school notes. They’re small enough to fit easily in a purse or backpack and the colors are nice and vibrant! For every Yoobi item purchased, one item will be donated to a classroom in need in the U.S. (Target $4.99)
  8. Emtec Flash Drives – Preteens and teenagers will enjoy these flash drives! With designs ranging from DC Comics to Peanuts characters, your child is sure to find one that fits his personality. (Office Depot/Office Maxx $7.99 – $16.99)
  9. Post-it Flag Combo Pack – This nice combination of 1/2” to 1” Post-it flags are ideal for color-coding, indexing, and drawing attention to important notes. A nice variety of eye-catching bold colors. (Staples 320 pk.$10)
  10. Just Solutions Sort It Locker Organizer – Does your kid need a little help in the neatness department? If so, this locker organizer will do the trick. It has a built in mirror as well as places to store accessories. Strong rare earth magnets hold the organizer in place. Great for dorm rooms and refrigerators too! (Walmart $29.99)

Load up the kiddos and take care of your back to school shopping today! We’re sure they will love the items on this list as much as we do. Who knows? Maybe gathering supplies for the new school year will help generate some excitement about returning to school!

Celebrate Poetry!

Celebrate PoetryJoin us as we celebrate poets and their amazing work for Poet’s Day (August 21st)! This is also a good time to reflect on the benefits of poetry for children, some children’s poets we can introduce them to, and explore ways we can encourage them to create their own poetry!

What’s the Big Deal?

When we introduce our kids to books and materials that focus on rhyme, they learn to hear the natural rhythms of spoken language. Rhymes help children hear the phonetic connections between words with similar spellings and sounds. This is one reason that poetry should be an important part of our home libraries.

Have you ever noticed how your little one loves for you to read and re-read those books with rhyming sing-song words? I think I could still nearly quote Good Night Moon from memory after all the years of reading it to my kids! Poetry is also easy to memorize. Think about how many nursery rhymes you still know by heart! When kids commit a poem to memory, they begin to learn that stories have a beginning, middle and an end. They also are able to “read” the poem by themselves – even if they really don’t know how to read yet.

A Few Poets to Get You Started

Since we know that poetry is an important part of a child’s reading development, what can we do to help increase their interest in poetry? We can start by introducing them to great poets! You can begin with the following:

  • Robert Louis Stevenson – You probably know him better for his classic works like Kidnapped and Treasure Island; but Stevenson was also a very accomplished poet. A Child’s Garden of Verses is a great collection of poems to have in your home!
  • Shel Silverstein – The beloved author of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic is a fun poet for children to begin reading.
  • Langston Hughes – Hughes was one of the earliest pioneers of jazz poetry. Poetry for Young People is a wonderful resource for introducing young people to his amazing work.

Helpful Web Sites and Apps

Another way you can foster a love of poetry in your child is by introducing her to cool websites and apps that promote poetry. Here are a few to check out today:

  • Poems by Heart from Penguin Classics – With this app kids can learn to recite over two dozen poems by heart! A fun and challenging way to learn poetry. Ages 12+.
  • Acrostic Poems – This site allows children to create and save their very own acrostic poetry.
  • ShelSilverstein.com – Kids will love perusing this fun site. It’s filled with fun, games, animations, and other cool resources from Shel Silverstein.

 We hope you will join Red Apple Reading in celebrating Poet’s Day. After all, we could all use a little more poetry in our lives!


Is the Public Library a Dying Institution?

When was the last time you or your children visited the library? Devoted patrons sing the praises of their local libraries, but others don’t really see the point of visiting any longer. In fact, with the rise of the digital age, many people are wondering if libraries are a dying establishment. We believe there are several reasons local public libraries are still a valuable resource to the public.Are Libraries a Dying Institution? Red Apple Reading blog

Red Apple Reading offers up a few reasons why visiting your local library is still a good idea!

  • It’s fun! – If you give me unlimited access to a building filled with books – that’s enough for me! However, there is so much more to experiencing a library than wandering the bookshelves (though you really should give that a try sometime!). I find that one of the best outings I can offer my younger son is a trip to the children’s section of our local library. He can use the cool interactive Promethean table, visit the pet turtle, and play with all of the cool blocks and games they have available.
  • Peace and Quiet – Parents know how challenging it can be to get work done at home. However, I can always pack up my laptop and head to the library. Not only do I have access to free WiFi, I also have access to a peaceful and relatively quiet environment.
  • Technology – It’s easy to think of libraries as antiquated buildings with dusty books, but in reality most libraries have changed with the times. Our local library has several computers available for public use. They also have a wonderful website that allows me to checkout or renew books online, download books, and view computer tutorials.
  • Public Services – Libraries also offer wonderful services to the community. Very often they present classes on government programs, personal finance, and computer seminars. They also often have weekly story time and activities for children. A quick check of the library website will show you what services are available in your town.
  • Socialization – While it is super convenient to take care of tasks from the comfort of your own home, this doesn’t allow you to interact with other people. Local libraries afford visitors the opportunity to socialize with one another. Book clubs, creative writing classes, story time, and movie viewings are just a few examples of ways libraries encourage socialization.
  • Books! – Yep, this one is a no-brainer, but it bears reminding that libraries offer access to a wide variety of reading materials. Sure, I could download any book I want onto my tablet, but it might not be free!

Perhaps, instead of heading toward extinction, libraries are merely evolving. Whatever your views are about the relevance of libraries, we think you will be touched by this heartwarming story about a secret library in Syria. You’ll be amazed at how one library has changed the lives of a war torn community.


15 Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschooling

15 Best Pinterest Boards for Homeschooling Resources

Halfway through summer many homeschool families are enjoying a much needed break. Summer has a way of slipping away though, and before you realize it, school is back in session! While you may not be ready to break out the curriculum just yet, it’s never too early to get some ideas for the upcoming year. Red Apple Reading would like to help you get started with these 15 fantastic Pinterest boards for homeschooling resources.


  1. Organized Homeschool (Dr. Melanie Wilson) – If you’re looking to get your homeschool organized, you’ll want to check out this board.
  2.  Choosing Curriculum (Curriculum Choice/Tricia Hodges) – This board will help you with the overwhelming task of choosing curriculum.
  3.  Home Education Ideas (Jen Dunlap) – Peruse this board for a plethora of practical homeschooling ideas!
  4.  The Ultimate Homeschool Board (Creator – The Encouraging Homeschool Mom. Various Contributors) – This is truly the ultimate homeschool board! With over 57,000 pins and 191 contributors, you could spend the entire day looking through this board!
  5.  Must-Follow Homeschool Bloggers (Creator – Sarah Avila. Various Contributors) – Great posts from top homeschooling bloggers.
  6.  STEM Education (K12 & Learning Liftoff) – If you’re looking for science, engineering, math, and technology resources, this is the Pinterest board for you.
  7.  Enchanted Homeschooling Mom Blog (Enchanted Homeschooling Mom) – This board is filled with all sorts of goodies – lesson plans, crafts, recipes and more! Best of all – tons of great printables!
  8.  Montessori Homeschool (The Natural Homeschool) – If you are homeschooling according to the Montessori method, you’ll want to check out this one. It’s chock full of wonderful Montessori educational ideas!
  9.  Elementary Lessons, Tips, and Classroom Ideas (No Time for Flashcards) – This board contains a variety of helpful ideas for schooling your little one.
  10.  Homeschooling (Creator – This Reading Mama. Various contributors.) – Over 3,000 pins designed to help homeschoolers on this board. A great variety of contributors with great ideas.
  11.  Charlotte Mason Homeschool (Joy in the Home) – Homeschoolers who teach using the Charlotte Mason method (or who want to) should check out this gem!
  12.  Teachers Pay Teachers (Various Contributors) – It was impossible to pick a single board to focus on from Teachers Pay Teachers, because of the massive variety of contributors! However, as I was researching homeschooling pin boards, it seemed like almost all of them had pins from Teachers Pay Teachers. Don’t be put off by the name – there are many freebies!
  13.  Not Consumed Homeschool (Kim Sorgius. Various Contributors) – This is a good, all-around helpful board for those seeking homeschool encouragement and ideas. With  78 contributors and 18,000 pins, this board provides plenty of ideas!
  14.  Year Round Homeschooling (Misty Leask) – If you prefer a year round homeschool option, you need to follow this board. Contains great year round homeschool products, ideas, and encouragement!
  15.  Nothing But Books for Kids (Red Apple Reading) – Last (but not least) come check out our Pinterest board containing book lists and recommendations for educators and parents. If you are searching for a specific type of book for your kiddo, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here!

Red Apple Reading loves homeschool families! We hope you’ll find these Pinterest boards helpful as you prepare for the school year ahead. We invite you to take a look at all of our Pinterest boards too. You’re sure to come away with several great ideas for your homeschool.