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.

Celebrate National Book Lovers Day

National Book Lovers Day is August 9th, and while we think that every day is a great day to love books, this day is worthy of a little extra celebrating. Your family might be full of book lovers or perhaps you have more than one reluctant reader in your bunch. Whatever the current feeling is in your home about books, your family can benefit from a day of commemorating the written word. Red Apple Reading has a few suggestions for how your household can celebrate National Book Lovers Day.

Give a Book
When you give someone a book, it communicates to that individual that you value reading. What can be more appropriate on National Book Lovers Day than to gift someone with a book? Check out these different ways of getting a book into the hands of someone you love:

  • Visit the Library – You need not spend money in order to give a book. Simply taking your family to the public library is a fantastic way to give the gift of reading!
  • Host a Book Swap – Arrange a book swap with other families in your social circle. Tell friends to bring a couple of gently used books that they’ve already read to your gathering and swap titles with one another. Everyone will leave with a new-to-them book!
  • Surprise a Friend – Kids love to give surprise gifts. Buy a book for an elderly friend or other person who could use a treat and wrap it up in pretty gift paper. Your kids will love seeing the smile on their friend’s face when they deliver an unexpected present.

Have Some Fun
Have a little book-related family fun on National Book Lovers Day! Try out one of the following family friendly activities connected to reading.

  • Make Bookmarks – Gather up your art supplies and family around the kitchen table. Spend the evening creating one-of-a-kind book marks together. Everyone will leave with a new book mark as well as great memories from time spent together.
  • Guess the Book – After dinner, play these fun guessing games from Sporcle with one another. This quiz involves guessing characters from popular children’s books. In this second quiz, family members look at portions of popular children’s book covers and guess the title.

Read!
Of course one must spend time reading on National Book Lovers Day! Here’s a few different ways to get the family reading:

  • Designate Reading Time – Turn the television and gaming devices off and pick up a book. Designate an hour that is dedicated solely to reading.
  • Read Aloud – Gather everyone together and read a favorite book aloud to the family. Think your older children will balk at this idea? You’d be surprised at how much independent readers still enjoy being read to.
  • Listen to an Audio Book – If your family stays on the go during the week, try listening to an audio book. While you’re driving the kiddos to and from activities turn the book on and enjoy a story while traveling!

We hope you will try one or two of these celebration ideas. By the way, if you haven’t already tried Red Apple Reading, National Book Lovers Day is the perfect time to take the plunge. We know once you experience our 7 day free trial you and your kids will be hooked. Check us out today!

 

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!