Unlucky Reads for Kids on Friday the 13th

Are superstitions real? Or is it all just hocus pocus? The only way to find out is by reading about them! In honor of Friday the 13th, here are some kid-friendly books to check out.

Unlucky Reads for Kids on Friday the 13th - Red Apple ReadingThere’s a Monster in My Closet by Linda Polistina
Do bad things really happen on Friday the 13th? And what really is in Timmy’s closet?

Beware! It’s Friday the 13th by Kate McMullen
This book is unlucky #13 in the Dragon Slayers’ Academy series.

Arthur and the Bad-Luck Brain by Stephen Krensky

Friday the 13th from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Is it truly going to be an unlucky day? Find out in this story!

Call Me Friday the Thirteenth by Betty Bates

Sleepover Club on Friday 13th by Louis Catt
Five girls end up in monkey business on the dreaded day.

Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm by Megan McDonald
Judy wins and does well at everything… until something terrible happens to her lucky penny!

Bad Luck Boswell by Diane Dawson Hearn
Black kitty cat Boswell is surrounded by superstitious townspeople. Will the new witch in town turn it around?

Knock on Wood: Poems About Superstitions by Janet S. Wong

After reading these books, you and your kids are sure to have developed some opinion about superstitions. Enjoy the reads, and don’t step on a crack!


Last-Minute Gifts for Mom

Mothers deserve more than just one day a year for their hard work and unconditional love, but it’s important to make them feel special this Mother’s Day. Even if you haven’t had the chance to get something for your mom, you can always call or visit and just let her know how much you love her! Or, if you are heading out at the last minute, try one of these dozen gifts that moms will appreciate:

Homemade Gifts:

Signs of LoveMother's Day image - Red Apple Reading
Decorate a sign for mom, whether it’s a declaration of your love, or a clever saying like, “Home is Where the Mom Is.” Mothers are sure to love the creativity and thoughtfulness.

Painted Pots
Buy some small pots for planting and paint away! Fill with dirt and a flower of your mother’s favorite color/kind and watch her smile light up the room!

Mama’s Mason Jar
Mason jars are all the hype these days – there are so many uses for them! Here is another: fill a mason jar with confetti, tissue paper, and a gift for mom, such as nail polish, lip balm, mini lotions, or even her favorite chocolate will do just fine!

Bake Her Favorite Dessert
Or cook her favorite meal! Mother’s will love the delicious thought that you spent time just for her.

A Heartfelt Card
Sometimes words can say it better than gifts. Grab scrapbook paper, letters, stamps, and any other crafts and make mama a card with a love letter and a thank you.

DIY Picture Frame
We love this idea from BYOU magazine to make a picture frame out of yarn. Don’t forget the picture!

Buy For Moms Who Like to Read:

Coloring Book & Fancy Markers
Help your mother relieve any stress she might have through the art of coloring! Buy a fun coloring book she’ll like and include some Prismacolor colored pencils or pens to spruce up the gift!

If your mama loves to read, she might have quite the collection of books. Help her keep those books straight with some fancy bookends!

Have her try this candle from Bliss Home & Design while she reads.

Check-Me-Out Library Kit
A fun gift from ModCloth your mom will find amusing to use.

You can never have enough! We like these ones from Cost Plus World Market.

A Book!
See what she’s been reading and Google similar titles she doesn’t have already. She’ll love that you know what genre she likes!

Red Apple Reading wishes all mothers young and old a very special Mother’s Day!


May the 4th Be With You! Star Wars Books for Kids

The Star Wars saga is a big deal in my household. My parents let me watch the original trilogy on VHS at a young age, and when the prequels came out in theaters, my sister and I were just the right age to enjoy the thrilling adventures. Now that “The Force Awakens” is making an impact on today’s kids, here are seven favorite Star Wars themed books they will enjoy.

Star Wars Books for Kids - Red Apple ReadingStar Wars: The Force Awakens by Golden Books & Caleb Meurer
Ages 2-5
The well-known Little Golden books has picked up on Star Wars. Retell the seventh episode in book picture format to young ones.

Star Wars: Rolling with BB-8! by Benjamin Harper
Ages 3-5
This interactive book is great for little tikes who want to have fun while reading and play alongside good-natured droid, BB-8!

Luke Skywalker’s Amazing Story by Simon Beecroft
Ages 5-7
Get to know Jedi Luke from young boy to matured man.

Star Wars: 5-Minute Star Wars Stories by LucasFilm Press
Ages 6-8
This novel is filled with eleven Star Wars legends that include main characters from all episodes!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Rey’s Survival Guide by Jason Fry & Andrew Barthelmes
Ages 6-9
It’s a tough world living on planet Jakku. Learn all of Rey’s secrets and hints to making a living and surviving on the unwelcoming planet.

Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy by Matthew Reinhart
Ages 7-12
Your child will love getting to know the Star Wars galaxy through pop-up fun!

Star Wars: Jedi Academy series by Jeffrey Brown
Ages 8-12
Join the Star Wars characters during their middle school ages!

Believe it or not, there are literally thousands of books that revolve around the seven epic Star Wars films. The movies have brought families together for years, and now so can these great reads. Happy Star Wars Day from Red Apple Reading!


April and May Showers Bring Indoor Wow-ers

What’s there to do while waiting for nicer weather to come? While some people think there’s not much to do when it’s raining or cold outside, there are actually countless fun activities families can do together to make the most of any stormy day. Here are five favorites:

  • Camp in the Great Indoorscamping indoors pic
    Who ever said camping has to be outside only? Set up a tent indoors, light your fireplace, hang string lights for stars, and roast marshmallows over the fire. Children will love the different pace of this exciting indoor adventure. Take a hike around your house, point out wild animals (your pets!), and fall asleep in your tent under the twinkling stars.


  • BakeApril baking pic
    One of my personal favorite things to do when it’s raining outside is to bake cookies and cakes. It’s cold outside, but it’s nice and toasty inside with the warm oven on. Have your children help you bake cookies or other treats, then unleash their creativity with food coloring, cookie cutters, and sprinkles!


  • Create CraftsApril crafts pic
    One craft idea is to make a time capsule. With your child, take an airtight container (like Tupperware) and fill it with some of their favorite little things. Pack in stickers, photos, little toys, and have them write a note to their future selves! On a later sunny day, bury it in the backyard and wait 10 years to open it! For more time capsule ideas, check out this article from MyKidsTime blog.


  • Build a FortApril fort pic
    Take pillows, blankets, and clothes pins and build a big fort in front of the TV. Choose a movie that’s a family favorite, pop some popcorn, and eat snacks just like at the movie theater. Watch the movie in your fort and enjoy the show! Read about the developmental benefits of children building forts and fun fort ideas on Kinstantly.


  • Have Fun in the Rain April rain pic
    There’s nothing wrong with getting out into nature when it’s raining! Put on your best rain gear and rain boots or some warm clothes you don’t mind getting wet. Go outside to jump in puddles, sing and dance, catch rain drops in your hands, and look up at the rain falling. Then enjoy some cocoa and a warm bath or shower after. It will be a memory you and your children won’t forget!

April showers can bring more than May flowers- let those rainy days bring happiness and fun memories! Red Apple Reading wants your family to have a blast!


Earth Day Educational Ideas

Earth Day Educational IdeasThe beautiful thing about Earth Day is that you can celebrate it all year long! Whether you teach in a traditional classroom or homeschool your kids, you’ll love these different activities that allow you to instruct while using an Earth Day theme. If your little ones attend a public or private school, choose something to do when they arrive home in the afternoon. However or whenever you choose to include these activities, you and your kiddos will have a blast and learn a lot in the process!

Reading – We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a good book. Fortunately there are several great titles to choose from! Start by checking out these picks from our 2014 Earth Day Post.

Math – This fun sensory math bin from Fun-A-Day will allow your child to practice number identification, counting, and addition. The blue and green rice (just use food coloring!) is reminiscent of earth’s oceans and land masses. The only other items you need are green and blue plastic Easter eggs, marbles, and condiment cups.

Science – Kids will love this earth science project from Education.com. Children build their very own worm hotel! This cool experiment allows little ones to learn how important worms are for maintaining healthy soil. Your kiddo will love seeing how the earth worms burrow down into the dirt and mix up the layers of sand and soil.

Geography – Students research different bodies of water around the world in this investigative activity. Children will study where their body of water is located, how it has influenced the people groups alongside of it, and answer several other probing questions. Get this Water Question Worksheet for free from Discovery!

Art – It’s always good to remind our kids of ways they can reuse old materials. This art project allows students to make lovely silhouettes of animals from strips of recycled magazine pages. Visit MPM Ideas to get instructions for this fun art project today!

Recess – Why not take a nature hike when it’s time for a break? Even if you’re not able to visit a local nature trail, a stroll around your own backyard can yield fun finds. Encourage kids to keep their eyes open for bugs, flowers, leaves, and animals. Consider taking a magnifying glass and binoculars so children can have a closer look!

Earth Day lends itself perfectly to the learning portions of a school day. Don’t let it pass by without trying at least one or two of these fun educational activities.

Happy Earth Day from Red Apple Reading!