Get Caught Reading

May is Get Caught Reading month! First launched in 1999, Get Caught Reading is a national campaign that reminds everyone how much fun it is to read. The Association of American Publishers supports this important initiative. Part of the AAP’s Get Caught Reading literacy campaign involves “catching” celebrities reading books of all kinds. Check out some of the celebrities who have been caught reading here.

Why is it Important?

Why should parents want their kids to enjoy reading? A love of reading is one of the most important gifts you can give to your child. Reading boosts vocabulary, increases fluency, improves brain function, and develops the imagination. There are countless advantages that reading affords your little one. Cultivating an appreciation of reading at a young age will yield benefits that last a lifetime!

How Can You Be Involved?

In our fast paced and hectic society it can be challenging for kids to even find time to get caught reading! Parents can play an influential role in helping their youngsters discover (or rediscover) their love for reading! Here are a few tips:

Model Reading – The old phrase, “Actions speak louder than words”, really is true. Rather than constantly nagging your kids to pick up a book, try picking up one yourself. Kids learn what we value by observing how we spend our time. If they see us reading on a regular basis, they will receive the message that reading is important.

Unplug – It’s not unusual to switch on the TV when we want to unwind. While there is certainly nothing wrong with a television show or two, we can inadvertently spend hours and hours each week mindlessly flipping channels. Social media and cell phones can also keep us too tangled up to enjoy a good book. So at the risk of shocking our youngsters, let’s unplug for part of the evening and read!

Volunteer – Hopefully, your child’s school encourages parent volunteering! Your kiddo’s teacher would probably love to have you come read to the class or help individual students who are struggling with reading. Ask your child’s teacher when you can come to the school and volunteer.

Visit the Library – Take advantage of the hundreds of books in your community that are free for the borrowing! Set aside a time each week to visit your local public library. Keep in mind that most public libraries also have summer reading programs for kids to enjoy.

Read Aloud – Kids of every age love being read aloud to! Don’t make the mistake of failing to read to your kiddos once they become independent readers. Reading with your children affords good opportunity for discussion and it provides a good excuse for a cuddle.

You’ll never regret instilling a love of reading in your child. Encourage the members of your family to “get caught reading” this month and every month to follow! If you’re looking for a great online reading program for your kiddo, check out Red Apple Reading today. It’s serious learning that’s seriously fun!

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!

Teaching While You Travel: Making the Most of Your Road Trip!

Teaching While You Travel - Red Apple ReadingAre you planning a family trip this summer that involves long hours in the car? Everyone loves a vacation, but the actual road trip itself can be tedious – especially for families with small children! Do you wish you had a dollar for every time a child asks, “How much longer?” Is it possible for a Mom and Dad to arrive at their destination with their sanity intact? If you’re looking for ways to keep your children entertained on your approaching car trip, then look no further! Red Apple Reading has some tips for not only keeping your kiddo entertained but also intellectually stimulated during your upcoming road trip!

  • License Plate Game – This oldie but goodie never fails to please! Have children search for license plates from as many states as possible while on the road. If you want to add a little extra geography boost, print out maps and let kids color in the states as they find them!
  • Audio Books – Before leaving for your trip borrow some audio books to listen to as you travel. Many children’s books are quite compelling and are fun for adults to listen to as well! One of my favorite children’s authors is Andrew Clements. See what you can find at your local public library!
  • Math Fact Fun – If your little one is learning her multiplication tables, then a long road trip provides the perfect opportunity to practice. Take advantage of the extra time together and quiz your kiddo on her math facts as you travel. Perhaps you could even reward progress with a milkshake or other treat!
  • Road Reading – A car trip is filled with opportunities to read along the way! If you have beginning readers challenge them to spot words on street signs, billboards, and buildings. The kids will enjoy shouting out their finds and you will enjoy the progress they make with their reading!
  • Keep Little Fingers Busy – We all remember how tempting it is to poke, pinch, and prod siblings on a road trip. Avoid hearing the backseat mantra, “He’s touching me!” by keeping those little fingers busy! Before leaving on your trip find some shoelaces and cut up several straws. Little ones can thread the straw pieces onto the shoestring, take them off, and do it again. This simple activity will keep the kiddos out of trouble and help develop crucial fine motor skills! Check this out on Knoala!
  • Memory/Alphabet Game – Help sharpen memory and letter skills with this fun road trip game. Someone in the car begins the game by saying, “I’m going on a road trip and I’m bringing________”. The first person fills in the blank with something that starts with the letter A. The next person repeats the first person’s item, and adds something that begins with a B. The game goes on until your list goes all the way to Z!

We hope these suggestions make your next car trip a little less stressful! We would love to hear what your family does to pass the time while traveling. Leave a comment below with your best ideas for keeping kids entertained on the road!

Teaching Kids about Independence Day

Teaching Kids About Independence Day

 

The 4th of July is filled with all sorts of fun activities: block parties, fireworks, barbecues, and parades to name a few! Little ones enjoy participating in these events; but do they realize what they are celebrating? Unfortunately, many children don’t understand the significance of Independence Day. This year give your kiddos a tutorial about this important holiday using these fun activities!

 

 

  • Learn about the Founding Fathers – Teach your kid about the great men who helped to found our country with these fun Founding Father Cards from iMOM. Each card has the founding father’s birthdate, home state, and why he is a considered a founding father.
  • Read the Story – We here at Red Apple Reading always encourage parents to read aloud to their little ones! The Fourth of July Story, by Alice Dalgliesh, is the perfect book to recount the story of Independence Day to youngsters. It is wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated! Pick it up today!
  • Play Trivia – Yellow Bliss Road has a fun, free printable to help your family and friends brush up on their 4th of July knowledge! Simply print out these trivia cards and let your kiddos quiz each other. Check out the suggestion for incorporating trivia cards into the utensil holders!
  • Declaration Decorations – Looking for some fun decorating ideas for your 4th of July party? Sneak in a quick history lesson by recruiting your kiddos to make this Declaration of Independence bunting. When they have finished your house will be festive and your children will know the most quoted portion of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Sing Along: School House Rock – If you are a child of the 70’s like I am, then you remember School House Rock! Independence Day is the perfect time to introduce your children to this blast from the past. Check out this School House Rock video on YouTube about the Declaration of Independence.
  • Digital Declaration of Independence – You will definitely want to peruse the Digital Declaration of Independence (Neatline) with your children! Kids can explore the text of the Declaration as well as view the painting (click on individuals in the picture and read their biographies!), hometowns of the signers, as well as the signatures. Don’t miss this – it’s super cool!

Don’t forget as you celebrate Independence Day this year to impress the importance of the day to your children. While it’s fun to eat hamburgers and watch fireworks, we want to make sure our little ones understand the meaning behind our celebrating. Red Apple Reading wishes you and your loved ones a very happy 4th of July!

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father's Day Gift Guide

 

Do you find that special man in your life (father or husband) a little hard to buy for? It can be tricky to find just the right gift to give on Father’s Day, but let’s not give up too quickly and buy the first coffee cup or tie we see! Hopefully, this list of fun gifts for Dad will give you some inspiration as you and your family prepare for Father’s Day!

 

 

  • A Special Meal – They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! This Father’s Day why not put this old saying to the test and make Dad a yummy dinner? Make sure to involve the kiddos in the preparation for this meal.  It may seem a bit daunting at first to have all the kids in the kitchen, but it can actually be a lot of fun! No matter the ages of your children, everyone can contribute in some way. The little ones can help mix ingredients and set the table. If you have older children, don’t be afraid to hand them the recipe and let them be in charge of a dish (with your supervision of course!). When your kiddos present Dad with his special meal, they are sure to feel proud of their contribution; and when you all sit down together to eat as a family, Dad will feel loved!
  • The Perfect Picture – Grab the camera and the kids and have a photo shoot!  A few days prior to Father’s Day, take the kids out and make some pictures. Most men have an office of some sort that they go to every day for work that could use some wall or desk decoration. Even if your guy doesn’t have a typical office, he probably has a bedside table that could do with a framed photo or two! Need some inspiration? Check out these ideas from Craftionary!
  • Something Silly – We all remember the fun we had filling in those crazy mad libs when we were young. Now, Five Heart Home has a great free printable “Dad Libs” version you can download and print for your children to complete. When they are done they will have concocted a silly story about Dad and (as an added bonus) unwittingly practiced the parts of speech!
  •  A Good Read – In our opinion, it’s hard to go wrong when you give a good book for a gift! This year consider buying a nice book for the man in your life. If he is a history buff, he is sure to like an exciting, non-fiction adventure story. Brian Murphy has recently released a new book entitled, 81 Days Below Zero. This true story of a brave WWII pilot, who survived for almost 12 weeks in subzero, Yukon temperatures after a crash landing, is sure to inspire Dad! If your husband or dad enjoys a lighter read, he might enjoy, Gumption, by Nick Offerman (star of Parks and Rec). Offerman recounts the stories of 21 inspiring American figures in his typical humorous fashion. If your man isn’t likely to pick up a book, you could still give him the gift of a good read by placing a subscription for his favorite magazine or newspaper. Be sure to give Dad the gift of some quiet time on Father’s Day as well, so he can plunge into his new book or magazine. 

Don’t stress over gift giving this Father’s Day. Remember, the best present you and the kids can give is your time and love. Be mindful of all the joy and good the men in your life bring to you and your family and make sure they know you are grateful!