Veterans Day Activities for Kids

 

Veterans Day is on November 11 and schools and businesses will observe the holiday on Friday the 10th. What will your family do to commemorate this important day? Red Apple Reading has some suggestions that will not only remind your family about the importance of Veterans Day but also promote literacy development. That’s a win-win!

 

 

  • Veterans Day Word Search – This Veterans Day themed word search is a great way to get the kids thinking about the holiday. If you want to add a little challenge, print off multiple copies and see who can complete it first. Thanks Going Crazy! Wanna Go? for this fun activity.
  • Letter Writing – Unfortunately, our society often forgets about the sacrifice our troops have made and continue to make on our behalf. Why not send a letter of thanks to one of these heroes this Veterans Day? Operation Gratitude has a letter writing program that sends your letters to deployed troops, new recruits, and veterans.
  • Veterans Day by the Numbers Video – History.com is an excellent teaching resource. You’ll want to check out this Veterans Day by the Numbers video with your kiddos. While you’re at it take a look at the other Veterans Day related resources on the site.
  • Veterans Day Mini Book – Teachers Pay Teachers has several freebies available for the taking. This mini book from Melissa Shutler is a great teaching tool for 3rd – 5th grade students and costs nothing to download!
  • Veterans Day Printable – Here’s another great freebie! This printable activity from The Kindergarten Connection is a great project for young students. It involves unscrambling a sentence, cutting, pasting, and writing. This project makes for a great discussion starter!
  • Veterans Day Crossword – Here’s a fun activity for older elementary children. Have them complete this crossword and discuss what they’ve learned about Veterans Day. Thanks ThoughtCo. for this great resource!
  • Interview a Veteran – Most people have a family member or friend who was or is currently a member of a branch of the armed forces. Set up an interview with this hero so your kids can learn more about the serviceman’s experience. Make sure to have your kiddo compile a list of questions in advance so they have an idea of what they want to know.

Veteran’s Day is a great time to discuss the sacrifices made on our behalf by armed force members. It’s important for our children to recognize the valuable work these heroes perform for our country. Take time together this weekend to commemorate this special day and thank a veteran who is in your life!

 

Fall Literacy Activities

Autumn officially arrived on the 22nd of September this year, and we have three whole months to enjoy the perks of the season! Autumn probably conjures up thoughts of pumpkins, turning leaves, and crisp weather in your mind. We want to encourage you to also turn your sights to literacy this fall. After all, literacy and autumn are two great things that go great together! Check out these fun fall literacy activities courtesy of Red Apple Reading!

Campfire and a Spooky Story
Nothing beats roasting marshmallows over a camp fire in the fall. Campfires also make the perfect backdrop for a spooky story. Check out a scary story from the library and read it aloud to the kiddos while sitting around the fire. If your little one doesn’t enjoy a good scare, then choose a fall-themed book to read instead.

Football-Themed Books
Nothing signals fall like the beginning of football season. If your little one is a football fan, encourage his interest with a football-themed book. Check out this list of fun books about football from Fantastic Fun and Learning.

Sight Word Trees
If you have an emerging reader, you are probably frequently reviewing sight words. You and your little one may be growing bored with the usual review methods; try something different! In honor of autumn make a sight word tree! Have your kiddo write her sight words on paper leaves and place them on a paper tree. These leaf templates are perfect for the project.

Fall Acrostic
This easy literacy activity is great for young writers. Simply write the word fall vertically down a piece of paper then have your kiddo write a word or phrase describing autumn by each letter. For example: football, apple pie, leaves, and long walks! Afterwards let kids decorate their acrostic using crayons and stickers. Older writers can do the same using the word autumn.

Pumpkin Seed Spelling
Take advantage of pumpkin carving time this year with your little one by sneaking in a little literacy! As you are working on your creepy creation, talk about what letter pumpkin begins with and brainstorm other words beginning with the letter P. Don’t throw away those seeds after carving your pumpkin this year. Set them aside and encourage your little one to form letters using the seeds.

Monster Slime
Here’s another great activity for the Halloween season. Kids are sure to love this sensory writing tray activity from The Imagination Tree. Practice letters, sight words, spelling words, and phonics using your fingers to trace letters in this gooey, gross monster slime. Parents will love that it only requires a few supplies and kids will love the mess!

Thank You Notes
Thanksgiving will be here before we know it! There’s no better time than the fall season for expressing gratitude to those special people in our lives. Gather your letter writing supplies and children around the table and spend the afternoon writing thank you notes. Teachers, neighbors, friends, armed service members, and public service workers are always pleased to receive a word of thanks.

Autumn-Themed Books
Whether your little one wants to read about pumpkins, leaves, Thanksgiving, or Halloween, we have the book for you! Check out these fun fall-themed titles we compiled especially for your kiddo.

Your little learners are sure to enjoy these fall-themed literacy activities and you will enjoy making memories that will warm your heart for the rest of the year. Red Apple Reading wishes you and your family a wonderful autumn!

Fun Family Labor Day Activities

It’s hard to believe Labor Day weekend is already here! The lazy days of summer are coming to an end and it’s time to get back into the swing of a new school year. Before we say goodbye to summer though, let’s have one more memorable family weekend. Check out these fun Labor Day activities the whole family is sure to enjoy!

Outdoor Movie
Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to host an outdoor movie night in your backyard. You’ll need to gather some supplies in advance so get the word out to friends and family and combine resources. Visit Babble for How to Host an Outdoor Movie Night in 5 Simple Steps. Enjoy your night under the stars!

Indoor Game Night
We all talk about how fun a family game night would be, but most of us rarely get around to making it happen. This weekend dust off the board games in the closet and gather the gang around the kitchen table. You might even surprise the family with a new game from the store. Need some ideas? The Realistic Mama has compiled a list of 20+Top Board Games for Families.

Outdoor Game Time
It’s a long weekend, so (weather permitting) why not also schedule some time for outdoor games? Corn hole, horse shoes, Frisbee, and touch football are outdoor classics that never grow old! However, if you’re looking to spice up the gaming a bit, check out these 27 Insanely Fun Outdoor Games from Buzzfeed.

Backyard Barbecue
Is it even possible to celebrate Labor Day without having a backyard barbecue? We think not! So get ready to fire up the grill and invite your favorite group of people over to celebrate with your family. Be sure you don’t forget the veggies! Grilled vegetables are delicious and are sure to be a hit with your crowd. Visit Gimme Some Oven for their Easy Grilled Vegetables recipe.

S’mores Bar
If you’re looking for a crowd pleasing treat to serve this weekend, you can’t go wrong with s’mores! The great thing about s’mores is they are as much fun to make as they are to eat. No need to prepare a camp fire for these yummy delicacies – you can do tabletop s’mores for very little cost. The Crafting Chicks have DIY Tabletop S’mores instructions.

It can be hard to say goodbye to summer, but memories made from a fun family weekend will keep you smiling through the remainder of the year. Take advantage of the long weekend and plan some activities the whole family will enjoy.

Preparing for Summer Break

With school wrapping up for the year, school children across the country are itching to begin their summer vacation. Parents, however, realize what a mixed bag summer break can be. We love a more relaxed schedule but hate fighting the battle against mind numbing entertainment. How can parents plan a balanced summer for their little ones? Can we really have a fun break that also includes some education and structure? Red Apple Reading is helping parents plan the perfect summer for their little ones.

Ask yourself some questions
Think about what you would like your summer to look like. Are there any goals you have for your family? Do you want to spend more time outside? Read a certain book series? Teach the kids a new skill? Do more crafts? You’re more likely to have a productive break if you begin with some clear objectives.

Embrace a little structure
Once you know what you would like to accomplish, you can begin making a plan.  Start by making a loose schedule. For instance, you may want to dedicate the first part of the day to chores, have outside time before it gets too hot, and spend part of the afternoon reading. Your schedule will depend on your goals for the family. If you are a working parent who has someone come in to keep your child during the day, communicate your schedule to the babysitter.

Remember to be flexible
It’s always good to have a goal in mind for the day, but hold your schedule loosely. If your kiddo wakes up cranky you might need to give her some extra cuddle time on the couch. You may let your little one bring his tablet along on a day you have several errands to run. Remember, you rule the schedule, it doesn’t rule you.

Include some academics
The transition back to school in the fall will be easier if your kids have engaged their brains throughout the break. One of the best things you can do for your children is to have them read regularly throughout the summer. Many kids lose gains they made in reading during the school year when they neglect summer reading. You can also review math skills, perform science experiments and visit a museum.

Don’t forget the fun
Remember that summer break should be fun! Even if you don’t have any big trips scheduled you can still incorporate some fun activities into your week. Need some inspiration? Check out our Summer and Outdoor Fun Pinterest board.

Make this summer break the best yet! If you don’t have a subscription to Red Apple Reading’s online reading program, consider getting one for your kid this summer. It’s a great way for kids to have fun while brushing up on their reading skills. Try our free trial today!

 

Earth Day for Toddlers

Toddler-hood is a great time to introduce your kiddo to environmental conservancy. If you’ve been the parent of a toddler for any length of time, you understand just how quickly they are able to catch on to ideas. A simple activity can go a long way in increasing your toddler’s awareness about environmental issues. Here’s a list of ten simple Earth Day activities you can do with your toddler, courtesy of Red Apple Reading:

  1. Re-purpose a Cardboard Box – Here’s an Earth Day activity every toddler is sure to love! Demonstrate the importance of recycling by re-purposing a cardboard box you have around the house. Cut windows and a door in a refrigerator box to make a house, or turn a smaller box into a car. Be sure to take the “well loved” treasure to the recycling bin when your little one is done playing with it.
  2. Take a Nature Walk – Make a point to get out of the house regularly to enjoy a little outdoor exercise with your toddler. Visit a local walking trail or arboretum. A simple stroll in the sunshine is sure to nurture your kiddo’s love of nature.
  3. Plant an Alphabet Garden – Your little one can practice their ABC’s as they play in an alphabet garden from Mom Inspired Life. This activity is super easy to put together and your kiddo will love “planting” their alphabet flowers in the green play dough.
  4. Clean Up a Park – Take a trip to a nearby park and after a little play time, pick up trash around the area. This will teach your child how to take care of outside areas as well as provide an important lesson on the importance of not littering.
  5. Set up Earth Day Sensory Play – Toddlers love sensory play! This year create a special Earth Day sensory bin for your toddler to explore. Place items such as soil, rocks, animal figures, and tree figures in a plastic bin. Allow your child to play using the items however she wishes.
  6. Have a Snack – Celebrate Earth Day with a special snack. Your tot will love these Dirt Pudding Cups complete with squishy gummy worms wiggling around the top! Visit Oh Nuts for instructions.
  7. Read a Book – When it’s time to read your toddler a bedtime story, choose a book that applies to Earth Day. Fortunately, there are several Earth Day themed titles from which to choose. Check out these suggestions from The Jenny Evolution.
  8. Go on a Scavenger Hunt – Create a nature scavenger hunt for your toddler. Cut out pictures of things like leaves, grass, rocks, sticks, etc. and have your child collect the nature items on the list.
  9. Create Chia Pet Pictures – You’ll definitely want to create one of these Chia pet picture planters with your kiddo. You’ll love having the photo of your little one and they’ll love seeing themselves with long grassy hair! Check out this example from Apartment Therapy.
  10. Construct a Bird Feeder – Construct a simple bird feeder with your toddler using the cardboard tube from toilet paper or paper towels. Afterwards, put out a blanket and watch your feathered friends enjoy a snack. Follow these easy instructions from The Resourceful Mama.

When it comes to introducing toddlers to new activities, keep it simple. You don’t have to have elaborate Earth Day plans in order to make a meaningful impact on your little one. An ecological lesson that is fun and simple is the perfect introduction to Earth Day. Try one out with your toddler today!