Paws-itive Reading Progress: Reading Therapy Dogs and How They Help

Red Apple Reading - Reading therapy dogs and how they help

Every child is different, and developing each individual’s reading ability needs a combination of approaches. There are probably many things you’ve already tried – so how about something you may not have heard of? Reading to therapy dogs is gaining popularity as a way to develop reading ability in children, as well as improve their confidence and social skills.

Studies of therapy dogs in medical settings have proven that interaction with a friendly canine helps to lower blood pressure and stress hormones. This demonstrates that they create a calm and relaxed environment. Dogs can encourage children to read by being non-judgmental and unconditionally supportive. They do not appear to be superior, and do not correct the child as an adult might. The focus of the session becomes the dog, rather than the child, which is valuable for those with self-esteem issues or social anxieties.

Positive Outcomes
Reading therapy dog sessions allow your child to make new, happy associations with reading and speaking aloud. Many parents of children who have undertaken the programs report more motivation and excitement for reading even after the session has finished, as well as increased confidence and communication skills.

More detailed information can be found on the Particular Paws website.

Contributed by freelance writer Jocelyn Brown


Want Your Child to Be Creative? Read a Bedtime Story

I’m sure that most of you understand that a bedtime story is not just a story. It is an opportunity to instill creativity in children, and help them develop their decision-making abilities and skills. Reading to kids can also be treated as an instrument to help build their personality and character.

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Improved problem solving skills & creative thinking
Bedtime stories can easily become an educational tool for parents. Focus on reading interesting, catchy stories to instill creativity and put the minds of your little ones to work. Focus on books with unexpected twists, so that you can grab the attention of your child and make them want to know more. Right before the end, make a pause and invite your child to read too. The task won’t be seen a chore, and little by little they will grow fond of reading in their free time.

Improved communication skills
When reading stories to your kids, you have the chance to make the process fun and interactive. Make sessions enjoyable by discussing the storyline and the characters. Keep in mind that when reading, your kids will stumble upon an array of new words and phrases. Pronounce them together, and then ask your child to make a new sentence with a new word. This improves communication and boosts vocabulary.

Increased attention span
A lot of toddlers and preschoolers enjoy bedtime stories because they’re fun, interesting and at the same time educational. As a parent, the best way to do instill creativity is through the use of hand movements and facial expressions. Both reading and listening to catchy stories on a regular basis improves attention span and helps children become active listeners.

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An inspiration source
Many children’s stories offer good moral advice at the end of the book. This can be extremely helpful for kids because meaningful messages instill life skills such as courage, respect, honesty, generosity, and more. Inspiring stories or circumstances might motivate your child to be an excellent human being, chasing success but also having good morals and choosing the right path in doing so.

Logic and comprehension
When small children are exposed to stories that are attention-grabbing, they may develop a sense of logic and deep comprehension that are fundamental in expanding their communication abilities and development. Kids learn the main components of a bedtime story, as well as how to predict what’s happening and how to recall events in a pre-defined sequence. The more you read to them, the better the chances to teach them how to make sense of real-life circumstances using characters that are entertaining and imaginative.

Reading readiness
Bedtime stories prepare kids for reading. This is particularly true when toddlers are in preschool. Their brains are developing at an insane pace and they develop a hunger for knowledge. They want to see and do things, so expose them to books as much as possible. Reading helps develop their comprehension skills. When reading to them before bedtime, invite them to participate, teach them how to pronounce certain words, and expand their vocabulary. This is essential when attempting to turn your child into a bookworm.Image3 - Want Your Child to be Curious? Read a Bedtime Story - Red Apple Reading

Studies have shown that reading stimulates the brain, particularly when that brain is underdeveloped and hungry for information. Choose top books to read before bedtime and get to know more about annual bestsellers to be sure you are giving them the best possible information in the most entertaining way.

Guest post by Steve Brown

Posted in All

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!


Three Children’s Book Authors to Check Out

It seems like anyone can call themselves a children’s book author these days as the comedian and The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon has a publishing deal for his second book. Although his first book, titled Your Baby’s First Words Will Be DADA, received better reviews than most people expected, there are a handful of storybook writers that don’t receive nearly half as much media attention as they deserve.

There are quite a few notables in the world of children’s literature, but we’ve decided to put the spotlight on lesser-known authors with works that the entire family can enjoy.

Tomie dePaola

Tomie Depaola

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After picking up a pencil and discovering what he could create with it, Tomie dePaola realized his life’s calling. Studying at the Pratt Institute in New York and the California College of Arts & Crafts in California, his career led to designing stage sets and greeting cards before finally illustrating his first book, Sound. Since then, he has gone on to write and illustrate over 200 books, including award winners like Giorgio’s Village and What the Mailman Brought. dePaola’s accolades throughout his 30 years as a published author make him one of the most prestigious children’s book writers and illustrators to date.

Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry, Author

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Unlike dePaola, Lois Lowry never knew that she would pursue a career in children’s literacy until she was approached by the world renowned publisher Houghton Mifflin. Her work in photography and journalism intrigued the literary powerhouse and eventually published her first book A Summer to Die. Lowry has a collection of children’s and young adult fiction that take on a rather serious tone to explore themes different from what kids may be used to, like Number the Stars which references the Holocaust. But she also shows her funny, light-hearted side from time to time, with humorous series like Anastasia Krupnik.

Chris Riddell


Accepting the title of Children’s Laureate just last June, Chris Riddell has had an amazing career that inspired families and urged children to embrace their creativity through his artwork. As Tootsa MacGinty iterates, Riddell has been delighting us with his work since the 1980s, earning him a number of awards, such as The Nestlé Children’s Book Prize for his literary and illustrative work in the Ottoline and the Yellow Cat as well as The Emperor of Absurdia. The titles of his books are imaginative and unconventional, often with a fantastical twist to bring out a sense of adventure and inspire children to become great readers and thinkers.

Exclusively written for Red Apple Reading
By Reader-Dreamer