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!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!


Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall


Although fall officially begins on September 23rd this year, for most of us Labor Day signals the end of summer and the unofficial beginning of fall. While it is sad to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer, let’s keep in mind all of the great things we will be saying hello to! Here are five things we are excited about here at Red Apple Reading:




  • School is in Session – Although I love a relaxed summer schedule, I have to admit by the time September rolls around, I’m not altogether sad to see my kiddos heading off for school! With the new school year comes structure and routine, and let’s face it, that’s not only good for our children, it’s good for us parents as well!
  • Fall Athletics and Activities – I live in the south and around here, football is king. So this weekend we anticipate the beloved beginning of college football. As a parent of four kids though, my focus will be marching band and soccer practice. There’s something about picking out your child in the midst of the halftime show and realizing that she totally rocks that geeky band uniform! And who doesn’t love watching the entire 6-year-old team clumped together around the soccer ball? They’ll learn strategy soon enough – and it won’t be nearly as cute!
  • Cooler Weather – Labor Day weekend also reminds us that cooler weather is around the corner! Waking up to a brisk morning is good for my soul. Mild, pleasant days are a welcome change from the summertime heat (did I mention I live in the South?). Plus, chilly fall evenings mean Saturday nights spent eating s’mores with the kids around a backyard fire!
  • Comfort Food – Perhaps one of the best things about fall is the food! Sure, there’s no rule to what you can eat during the summer, but it somehow seems wrong to eat a bowl of chili when it’s 95 degrees outside. So bring on the chicken and dumplings, vegetable soup, and apple crisp – it’s fall!
  • Turning Leaves – It happens every year and it never ceases to please me – the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows of the turning leaves! There’s something about the beautiful backdrop of colorful trees that makes the outdoors even more appealing. The multi-colored leaves may only last a few weeks, but look on the bright side: once they fall off the trees, the kids can rake them into piles and jump in them!

If you’re mourning the end of the summer season, cheer up! There’s so much to look forward to with the return of fall. Thank goodness that reading is an enjoyable and productive past time whatever the season! Why not grab a book now and cuddle up with your kiddo and spend some quality time reading? It’s always a good idea!

Fall is also a great time to sign up for our full Red Apple Reading Program. For a limited time you can save up to 40%. Visit our website and discover how Red Apple Reading makes serious learning seriously fun!

Fun Fall Books

Fun Fall Books - Red Apple ReadingFall is one of my favorite times of the year. The weather finally begins to cool down, the days get shorter, and the holiday season is right around the corner. There’s just something special about the season. Another one of my favorite things is a good book! This week Red Apple Reading is combining these two good things to bring you a bushel load of fun fall books. You’re sure to find a book that you and your little one can enjoy together!


Pumpkin Books

  • Little Boo (Stephen Wunderli) – This little pumpkin seed can’t wait to grow up. Preschool – Early Elementary.
  • The Pumpkin Patch Puzzle (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew) (Carolyn Keene) – The River Heights Fall Festival is in jeopardy of being cancelled. Nancy Drew and the clue crew are on the case! 1st – 4th grade.
  • Pumpkin Heads (Wendell Minor) – Children will enjoy a wide range of Jack-O-Lanterns with different expressions and personalities. Preschool – 3rd grade.
  • The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin (Stan and Jan Berenstain) – Will Papa Bear win the pumpkin contest? He may not, but the family learns the importance of being thankful! Preschool – 2nd grade.
  • Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book (Stephen Savage) – A fun backwards counting book. Where do the pumpkins go? Preschool.

Leaf Books

  • Leaf Man (Lois Ehlert) – Where will the wind blow the leaf man? Beautifully illustrated with leaf collages and includes an identification guide. Kindergarten – 2nd grade.
  • Fall is Not Easy (Marty Kelley) – The tree in this story can take all the seasons in stride – except for fall! This hilarious book details the hardship a tree faces as it changes colors in the fall. Preschool – 2nd grade.
  • Trees, Leaves, and Bark (Take Along Guides) (Diane Burns) – A kid-friendly field guide to trees. Children learn how to identify different parts of particular trees as well as tips on where to find them. 3rd – 7th grade.
  • We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt (Steve Metzger) – Three friends participate in an exciting hunt for leaves! Find out what they do with their leaf finds at the end of the story. A nice rhyming read-aloud. Preschool – 3rd grade.
  • Fall Leaves (Loretta Holland) – A beautiful picture book about the changes that take place during the fall season. Nice, rhythmic book for autumn. Preschool – 3rd grade.

 Halloween Books

  • Creepy Carrots (Aaron Reynolds) – Jasper Rabbit loves to eat carrots but he starts to suspect that they may be following him! Funny read illustrated in film noir style. Preschool – 3rd grade.
  • Click, Clack, Boo! : A Tricky Treat (Doreen Cronin) – Farmer Brown may not like Halloween but the farm animals do not feel the same. They are ready to party! Preschool – 2nd grade.
  • The Monsterator (Keith Graves) – Edgar is bored with the usual Halloween costumes – then he discovers the “monsterator”. 2nd– 5th grade.
  • Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween: A Safety Guide for Scaredies (Melanie Watt) – Scaredy Squirrel is back and he’s preparing for Halloween. Discover this anxious squirrel’s funny tips for pumpkin carving, costume selection and more! Preschool – 3rd grade.
  • My Weird School Special: It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green! (Dan Gutman) – It’s time for A.J. and his friends to trick-or-treat, but when a monster steals their candy things take a weird turn. 1st – 5th grade.

Thanksgiving Books

  • Turkey Trouble (Wendi Silvano) – Oh no! It’s Thanksgiving and Turkey doesn’t want to be the main course. Kids will love the hilarious disguises Turkey tries out to escape being a Thanksgiving meal. Preschool – 2nd grade.
  • Thanksgiving Is… (Gail Gibbons) – A nice read about all that Thanksgiving means. The perfect amount of history for young children along with contemporary traditions. Preschool – 2nd grade.
  • Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Treehouse) (Mary Pope Osborne) – Join Jack and Annie when they travel back in time to 1621 for the first Thanksgiving celebration. 1st – 4th grade.
  • Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving (Joseph Bruchac) – The story of the first Thanksgiving told from the viewpoint of Squanto. An inspiring story about a very courageous Native American. 1st -3rd grade.
  • Arthur’s Thanksgiving (Marc Brown) – Arthur has been chosen to direct the class Thanksgiving play. What will he do when no one will play the role of the turkey? Preschool – 1st grade.


Fall in Love with Reading

Fall in Love With Reading

Fall is here once again! A new school year, changing leaves, football games, and pumpkin pie are just a few of the good things we associate with the change of season. This year why not add reading to your list of fall favorites? If your little ones have lost their love of reading, autumn is the perfect time to rekindle a reading romance. Get ready – It’s time to “fall” in love with reading!


  1. Shade Tree Reading – One of the best things about the fall season is the reds, yellows, and oranges of the changing leaves. Enjoy nature’s beauty and a good book this autumn. Grab a blanket and book and settle in under the prettiest tree in the park. By the way, I hear a shade tree is also a great place to grab a nap as well!
  2. Football-Themed Books – Nothing signals the commencement of 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.
  3. Cocoa and a Book– Sometimes a cold snap accompanies the autumn season. If your neck of the woods experiences an unseasonably chilly day, have some indoor fun at your local bookstore. Peruse the bookshelves with your kiddo then enjoy a hot cup of cocoa together afterwards! An occasional visit to the bookstore (along with some special time with mom and dad) will go a long way in encouraging your kiddo to read.
  4. Reading in the Woods – Would your child rather ramble around outside instead of reading a book? Then sneak a little reading into her day! Pick up a field guide from the local library and head out into the woods. Have your child identify the leaves and read descriptions from the guide aloud to you. She’ll be having so much fun she won’t realize she’s met her daily reading quota!
  5. Camp Fire 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 ones don’t enjoy a good scare, then choose a fall-themed book to read instead. The fire will warm their bodies and the book will warm their heart!

Red Apple Reading wishes you and your family a wonderful autumn! Be sure to make the most of your fall and add a hardy dose of reading to your child’s plate. Once they’ve developed a taste for the written word they will be reading all year long!

Transitioning Back to School

Transitioning Back to School - Red Apple Reading Express
Believe it or not, the start of school is just around the corner, if not already in session in some parts of the country! As a mother of four, I have to admit that I’m ready to see my kiddos walking out the door with their backpacks on! Whether you are looking forward to the beginning of school or wishing you had another month, it’s time to start transitioning into school mode. Check out these eight suggestions for helping your child (and you) transition smoothly into a new school year.

  1. Bedtime – At least one week before school starts, begin having the kids observe their normal school bedtime. It takes a while for a body to adjust to a new schedule and you want to be sure your little ones are well rested for their first day!
  2. School Supplies – This is the time to purchase those much needed school supplies for the coming year. Fortunately, many stores have marked down their prices for school items in anticipation of the fall semester. So gather those supply lists and hit the stores!
  3. Immunizations – Before the first day of class, check with your child’s school and make sure there are no immunization requirements to meet before enrolling. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website to view their immunization schedule for children.
  4. School Clothes – Make certain your kiddo is properly outfitted for the coming school season. Check to see that clothes and shoes still fit properly and don’t have holes or huge stains. Remember to keep your child’s school dress code in mind if you need to shop for new clothes.
  5. Lunch Plan – If your kiddo takes her lunch to school, discuss in advance what types of food she would like to have in her lunchbox. This will help prevent school morning melt downs when your daughter wants turkey instead of bologna on her sandwich! Also remember that many schools prohibit nuts due to student allergies.
  6. Talk – How does your little one feel about the approach of a new school year? Take time to discuss any fears and answer any questions your kiddo may have about the upcoming year. A little chat can go a long way in alleviating back to school stress!
  7. Cut Back Screen Time – It is not uncommon by the end of the summer for all those good intentions of limiting screen time for the kids to fizzle out. So, if your kids have become accustomed to extended periods interacting with electronics, start cutting back now so they will be ready to face the reality of a structured school day.
  8. Mark Your Calendar – As the first day of school approaches we start getting information about orientations, schedule pick-ups, and parent meetings. And these events are multiplied according to the number of school aged children you have. Be certain to mark your calendar with all the back to school events your family must attend to ensure a smooth transition to the school year.

The beginning of a new school season can be stressful. With a little forethought and effort you can smooth the transition for your child and start the school year off on the right foot. Red Apple Reading wishes you and your kiddos a great school year!