10 Thanksgiving Books for Kids

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many of us are already preparing for the big day. You may have your menu planned, the guest room ready, and schedule prepared, but do you have anything to occupy the children while the meal is being cooked? Why not pick up a few books from the library for the kiddos to enjoy while the adults are busy in the kitchen? Red Apple Reading has several good Thanksgiving themed selections for your kiddos to enjoy on Thursday.

Turkey Trouble (Wendi Silvano)
Oh no! It’s Thanksgiving and Turkey doesn’t want to be the main course. Kids will have a good giggle over the hilarious disguises Turkey tries out in order to escape being the Thanksgiving meal. Preschool – 3rd grade

Thanksgiving Is (Gail Gibbons)
A nice read about all that Thanksgiving means. It contains the perfect amount of history for young children along with some contemporary traditions. Preschool – 2nd grade

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving (Joseph Bruchac)
Told from the viewpoint of Squanto, this story of the first Thanksgiving presents a new perspective. Kids will enjoy this inspiring account about a very courageous Native American. 1st -3rd grade

A Turkey for Thanksgiving! (Eve Bunting)
Mrs. Moose has always wanted a real turkey for Thanksgiving and Mr. Moose is determined that she will have one. Fortunately, the nervous turkey in question discovers that Mrs. Moose doesn’t want a turkey on the table, but at the table! Preschool – 2nd grade

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey (Lucille Colandro)
The hilarious old lady is back – and you won’t believe the things she swallows this time. Young children will enjoy this crazy tale along with its wacky illustrations. Preschool – 1st grade

The Night Before Thanksgiving (Natasha Wing)
Find out what happens in a typical house during the Thanksgiving holiday in this fun story. Written in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas rhyming fashion, this book is a fun Thanksgiving treat! Preschool – 3rd grade

Thankful (Eileen Spinelli)
This rhyming picture book is a great read-aloud for parents who have young children. Follow two siblings as they rehearse the simple blessings for which people are thankful. A sweet and charming book for Thanksgiving! Preschool – 1st grade

Thanksgiving Rules (Laurie Friedman)
Percy is a Thanksgiving pro and he has ten simple rules for making the most of Thanksgiving (“The early bird gets the turkey”). While they are good (and funny!) tips, Percy discovers that there’s more to Thanksgiving than all the yummy food. Preschool – 2nd Grade

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving (Laurie Halse Anderson)
Your children probably know many facts about the origins of Thanksgiving, but they may not realize how it came to be a national holiday. In this biography about Sarah Josepha Hale, kids will discover how the tireless efforts of this persistent lady editor brought about the national recognition of a holiday that was beginning to wane. 1st -4th grade

Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27) (Mary Pope Osborne)
Join Jack and Annie as they travel back in time to 1621 for the first Thanksgiving celebration. What will happen when they are asked to help prepare the feast, but don’t know how to do things the pilgrim way? 1st – 4th grade

While you are making Thanksgiving preparations this year, remember that a good book is always a welcome addition to any celebration. Be sure to pick up some of these titles for the family to enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Red Apple Reading!


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!


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.

Books About Our Founding Fathers for Independence Day

While most children have a vague understanding of why we celebrate the 4th of July in the United States, most fail to comprehend the enormity of the sacrifices made by our founding fathers. This Independence Day why not introduce your child to one of the great men who helped lay the foundation of this great country? We think your family will enjoy these children’s biographies about our founding fathers.


Those Rebels, John & Tom (Barbara Kerley) – This book provides a witty portrait of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Your little one will enjoy seeing the differences in these two patriots and recognize how through joining forces, Adams and Jefferson worked to lead the country to freedom. Ages 7-10




George Washington: An Interactive Biography (Rod Gragg) – This biography includes pockets and envelopes with reproduced artifacts from Washington’s life. Kids will love learning about our first president through this interactive biography. Ages 8-12



Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? (Jean Fritz) – Your child may know that John Hancock’s was the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence, but do they know why he wrote it that way? Discover the answer along with several other interesting facts in this compelling biography by an award winning author. Ages 7-11




Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution! (Jean Fritz) – Here’s another interesting and informative book by Jean Fritz! In 1787 fifty-five delegates gathered in Philadelphia to draft our nation’s constitution. Young readers will enjoy this informative account of the Constitutional Convention. Includes the text of the Constitution! Ages 7-11




Benjamin Franklin, American Genius (Brandon Marie Miller) – Kids will enjoy learning about one of our country’s most beloved founding fathers in this biography about Benjamin Franklin. Not only is the text informative and compelling, but this title also has a cool timeline, glossary, and several hands-on activities related to the subject matter. Ages 9-13






George Did It (Suzanne Tripp Jurmain) This book provides a glimpse into Washington’s initial reaction to taking on the presidency. Readers will appreciate hearing a more personal account of our first president’s life. Ages 6-9





The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr (Judith St. George) – Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr’s legacies have enjoyed a revival thanks to the popular musical, Hamilton! Pre-teens and teens who wish to learn more about the interestingly parallel lives of these two men will want to read this biography. Ages 11-15




Thomas Jefferson (Cheryl Harness) – This biography, written for National Geographic, provides an interesting glimpse into the life of our 3rd president, Thomas Jefferson. Kids will learn about the many sides of this important historical figure who shaped many of the ideals upon which our country was founded. Ages 7-12




The Revolutionary John Adams (Cheryl Harness) – In this installment for her National Geographic series, Harness looks at the life of our 2nd president, John Adams. She details the many contributions that this often overlooked founding father made as our nation was being formed. A good read with lively artwork! Ages 7-12




Biographies can play an important role in inspiring our children toward greatness. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to share a little piece of United States history with your kiddos this Independence Day. Happy 4th of July from Red Apple Reading!


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!