Celebrate Read Across America With Dr. Seuss!

Read Across AmericaRead Across America Day is right around the corner and observed every year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday –  Monday, March 2nd! Red Apple Reading wants to help your family prepare to celebrate this special occasion! Check out our list of fun Seuss-themed activities that will inspire your kiddos to read, read, read!

  • Dr. Seuss Book Marathon – This is the perfect day to binge read all of the Dr. Seuss books you can get your hands on. What better way is there to honor the great author than by enjoying his extensive collection of books? So head to the library, bookstore, or your own personal bookshelf and dig into all the Seuss books you can find!
  • Get Crafty – Do your little ones enjoy crafting? If so, you are in luck! There is no end of Seuss-themed crafts out there for the creating. Check out these 12 adorable Dr. Seuss crafts from the folks at Blissfully Domestic. You’ll find crafts inspired by The Lorax, Fox in Socks, The Cat in the Hat, and more!
  • Snack – No day is complete without at least one snack break. Surprise your child with a Seuss snack on March 2nd! Do you like green eggs and ham? Dish some up for your kiddo and find out if she does! The Happy Home Fairy also has some great snack ideas for your Seuss-themed day. Check them out here!
  • Learn About the Man – Hopefully, your children are already familiar with Dr. Seuss classics such as Hop on Pop, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and Oh, The Places You’ll Go. But do they know about the man behind the stories? Theodor Seuss Geisel was a very interesting character himself and your kids will enjoy reading more about him. Visit catinthehat.org to learn more about this author.
  • Dr. Seuss Digital Book Apps – If you have tech-savvy kids who would rather interact with electronics than read a book, never fear! Ocean House Media has several Dr. Seuss digital book apps that your children can enjoy. These interactive book apps will entertain and educate!
  • Buy a New Book – Read Across America day only comes around once a year. Why not treat your child to a new book in honor of the special occasion? Take a trip to your local bookstore and let him pick a book to buy. Or surprise him with a book you know he’s been wanting to read. While you’re at, get a book for yourself!

We at Red Apple Reading hope you’ll take advantage of fun Dr. Seuss-inspired activities to be enjoyed in the coming week! For more information about Read Across America or more activity ideas, visit www.seussville.com.

Phonemic Awareness: A Foundation for Reading

Phonemic Awareness: A Foundation For Reading - Red Apple ReadingRed Apple Reading is committed to children’s literacy! Here we will explore the importance of phonemic awareness as a foundation for reading. You probably already understand the concept even if you don’t immediately recognize the name. Now for the definition:

Phonemic awareness is the ability to understand how the spoken word is made up of individual units of sound, and how manipulating these sound units changes the meaning of words.

Why is Phonemic Awareness Important?

Why does a frequent portion of my kindergarten child’s homework involve me asking what sound he hears at the beginning of the word pat, cat, and bat? Does it really matter if he knows that the sound in the middle of the word, pot is short O? Yes it does! According to the International Literacy Association, “Research has shown that a child’s awareness of the sounds of spoken words is a strong predictor of his or her later success in learning to read.” Because phonemic awareness plays such an important foundational role in your kiddo’s ability to read, it’s important to help your little one develop this skill.

How Can I Help Improve My Child’s Phonemic Awareness?

Segmenting, blending, rhyming and identifying sounds are just a few ways you can help your child improve her phonemic awareness.

  • Segmenting – Breaking words down into their individual sounds. For example, you can ask your child to break the word dog into its individual sounds – /d/ /o/ /g/.
  • Blending – This is pretty much the opposite of segmenting. Try asking your kiddo to blend the sounds, /c/ /a/ /t/ together. Cat, of course, is the word she should make.
  • Rhyming – Reading books with lots of rhyming words is a great way to build phonemic awareness in kids. You could also ask your child if two words rhyme. They can give a thumbs up if they do rhyme and thumbs down if they don’t!
  • Identifying Sounds – Ask your kid what sound he hears at the beginning of the word pot, or what’s the last sound he hears in the word pig. You can do this with all kinds of different words.

Mastering phonemic awareness is foundational to becoming a strong reader. Want more ideas on increasing your little one’s phonemic awareness? Check out these excellent resources!

  • Kids Activities Blog: Have some phonemic awareness fun with these great activities using alphabet sound tubs!
  • Imagination Soup: Discover 5 ways to play with sounds in words using picture cards.
  • Fun-A-Day: This series of posts on teaching kids about rhyming is a valuable resource for teaching phonemic awareness
  • Red Apple Reading: This informative YouTube video gives a brief explanation of phonemic awareness, and how you can help your kid improve his.


Valentine’s Day Fun

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! How will you make this day memorable for the little loves of your life? This year make the entire day special from start to finish with these fun-filled activities that even Cupid himself couldn’t resist!

  • Decorate – When your children wake up on Valentine’s Day this year, surprise them with a festively decorated house! Hang these heart paper chains (TeachWithMe) all over your home after your kiddos go to bed on February 13th.
  • BreakfastA Bird and a Bean has a great take on the traditional “Egg in a Nest” breakfast treat. Instead of a round cookie cutter, use a heart shaped cutter when making your “toast nest”. Your kiddos will love this tasty heart start to the day!
  • Learning Activity – Conversation hearts are a staple Valentine’s candy. This Valentine’s Day use these free printables from Totschooling to sharpen your youngster’s letter and color recognition (and if a few heart candies are consumed along the way… that’s okay too!).
  • Lunch – Are your kiddos bored with peanut butter and jelly? This valentine’s twist on the classic kid-friendly sandwich will have your little ones running to the lunch table! Meaningful Mama shows you how to make these cute sandwiches.
  • Building Fun – I don’t know about your kiddos, but my kids love to build! This simple construction project requires only two items: toothpicks and heart-shaped marshmallows. Visit the Buggy and Buddy website for more information about this valentine activity.
  • Snack – When the kids come calling for a snack this Valentine’s Day, surprise them with these treats -complete with a message of love. Love notes written with edible marker on delicious fruit will make for a happy and healthy kid! Check out these fun fruit valentines from Cake Whiz.
  • Supper – Is the way to your child’s heart through his tummy? If so, Makezine.com has a yummy heart-shaped pizza recipe that is sure to please. Don’t have time to make this from-scratch recipe? Feel free to use a pre-made crust and sauce!
  • Good Night Story – There’s no better way to wrap up a fun day than with a good book. Why not treat your little Valentine with a book from this list of 100 Valentine’s Day picture books from Lasso the Moon? A book beats candy any day for a valentine treat!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Red Apple Reading!

Fun Winter Activities for Kids

Fun Winter Activities for Kids

Does the winter weather have your little ones experiencing cabin fever? If you’re out of fresh ideas for entertaining the family during the chilly winter days, Red Apple Reading is here to help! Check out this list of 10 winter activities your kids are sure to love.



  1. Winter Walk – It’s tempting to stay in a warm house when it’s cold outside; but there’s no rule that says walks are strictly reserved for warm weather. In fact, winter walks can be beautiful. Quiet snowfall, frozen lakes, and trees filled with winter berries make for a scenic stroll to remember.
  2. Supplies for Shelters – The cold weather season is an ideal time to think of others who have fallen on hard times. Gather up some gently used blankets, scarves, hats, and gloves and deliver them to the local homeless shelter. You will not only bring a little warmth to someone in need but also teach your kids the importance of social outreach.
  3. Camp Fire – Who says fires are only for camping? Gather up your family and some firewood and enjoy an evening by the fire. While you’re at it, roast some marshmallows and enjoy a few s’mores. You and your children will look back on those fireside nights with fondness.
  4. Winter Reading – There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book on a blustery winter day. Encourage your little one to peruse her book shelf and find a good read. For some great cold weather themed titles, check out Buggy and Buddy’s favorite winter themed children’s books!
  5. Ice Skating – This winter embrace the cold temps and lace up those skates! Ice skating is good, classic cold weather fun. No outdoor ice rinks in your area? No problem! Indoor ice rinks can be every bit as fun as the outdoor ones.
  6. Hot Chocolate Bar – Hot chocolate has been pleasing cold kiddos for ages! Add a little zing to the next frosty day in your area with a delicious hot chocolate bar. Grab the mugs, lay out your hot cocoa fixings (marshmallows, whip cream, caramel, etc.) and enjoy! Take a look at these great ideas for spicing up your hot chocolate from Lifehack.
  7. Make Your Own Snow – Maybe you’re like me and live in an area of the country that doesn’t see much snow. Don’t fret – you can make your own snow! Growing a Jeweled Rose has a simple sensory snow recipe that your kiddo will love!
  8. Snow Spelling – Here at Red Apple Reading we love creative hands-on-learning. Take advantage of the latest snow fall in your community and have an outdoor spelling lesson. Kids love to play in the snow; so find a stick (or a spray bottle with water and food coloring) and let your little one practice his ABC’s in the freshly fallen snow!
  9. Family Game Time – If the winter weather has your brood stuck indoors, then bust out the board games! Children value time spent together as a family and playing a fun game together is something everyone will enjoy. If you have little ones who aren’t ready to play on their own, then let them team up with you or a sibling. A little friendly family competition is sure to cure the winter doldrums!
  10. Red Apple Reading – Get online and play some Red Apple Reading games with your child. Your kiddo will love the fun games and you will love the improvement you see in their reading! Check out our free sample lessons today!


10 Must Read Children’s Books from 2014

2014 is behind us. Fortunately, the great books that made their debut in 2014 are still with us! We thought it would be fun to compile a list of some of the best books for kids that were released in 2014. It wasn’t easy – there were a lot of great titles to choose from – but Red Apple Reading has chosen 10 must read children’s books of 2014!
The Farmer and the Clown


The Farmer and the Clown (Marla Frazee) – This wordless picture book will delight young readers and parents alike. A baby clown has taken a tumble off the circus train and landed in a farmer’s field. Kids will enjoy watching this unlikely friendship unfold.







Gaston (Kelly DiPuccio) – There’s been a bit of a mix up. Gaston the bulldog and Antoinette the poodle have somehow ended up in the other one’s family. When the discovery is made and set straight the families look right – but don’t feel right. Preschool and early elementary students will like this sweet story of family.







Flashlight (Lizi Boyd) – The night isn’t so scary when a little light is shed on it. Early readers will love this wordless picture book . Discover what’s hiding in the shadows when illuminated by a flashlight.








My Teacher is a Monster (Peter Brown) – What’s Bobby to do when he discovers his monster-of-a-teacher has discovered the park he loves visiting? 4 – 8 year olds may just find out there’s more to their teacher than they originally thought after reading this book.





The Right Word



The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus (Jen Bryant) – Kids will delight in the lyrical prose and beautiful illustrations in this gem of a biography. 2nd – 5th graders will learn about the interesting life of Peter Roget and how his love of words and organization led to a very important reference book.





El Deafo



El Deafo (Cece Bell) – Middle readers will find this graphic novel memoir both touching and humorous. Author Cece Bell relates her experience of becoming deaf at a young age. Will Cece be able to manage the bulky phonic ear that she wears on her chest; and more importantly, will she find a friend?








Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Jeff Kinney) – Jeff Kinney has done it again! His latest installment in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is as funny as the previous eight. When the Heffley’s go on a family vacation hilarity ensues! An amusing title for middle readers!








The 14th Goldfish (Jennifer L. Holm) – Ellie is attending middle school – with her grandfather (who may have just discovered the secret to immortality!). 3rd – 7th graders will not only be amused but will also learn about some interesting real life scientists when they read this fun book.






Guys Read True Stories



Guys Read: True Stories (Jon Scieszka) – Can boys enjoy works of non-fiction? They sure can! The 5th installment in the Guys Read series introduces 8-12 year old boys to 10 true stories by several talented writers!









We Were Liars (E. Lockhart) – This book is receiving tons of praise for its surprise ending. If your teen enjoys mystery and intrigue they may not be able to put this book down. A girl in a prominent family has a dark secret. What really happened? Find out by reading this exciting thriller.