Weekly Reading for Little Ones

Our Library Book Roundup & Featured Activity for Toddlers

Today I’m sharing with you the books that we checked out at our local library! I have really been trying to make it a goal for Little Johnny and I to venture over to the library at least every 2 weeks. Life gets busy and sometimes library trips are always put aside, but I truly think it’s valuable for him to get the exposure.

Now, we are definitely working on his library skills, as all he wants to do is run around the library, especially up and down the aisle…Yes, I’m the mom chasing after my little one down the book aisles…

Oh yeah, and the computer in the kids section is a huge hit! Little Johnny loves to play on it. (lots of practice with sharing on that one.) 😉

Anyways, this time we selected a great roundup of books. There’s no theme to these books, but some target towards teaching certain concepts such as colors, letters, and texture.

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Our Library Book Roundup 


Let’s start with our featured activity & book.

I have been wanting to put together fun learning activities that Little Johnny and I can work on everyday, just for him to get exposure to some of the basic early childhood concepts. While searching on Pinterest I found great ways to incorporate a pool noodle with learning!

I purchased a pool noodle for $1 at Dollar Tree. (We walked there from our house, and it was quite hilarious to see Little Johnny and I walking back with a pool noodle in the stroller. He insisted on holding it too!)

For our activity, I cut small sections off (total of 26) and wrote the letters of the alphabet on each one. Then, I placed them in a bag and had Little Johnny pull them out. I would name the letter and say the sound along with us finding it in the book.

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To make it fun we ended up stacking them, so I guess we’ll call this game “Stacking the Alphabet”. So easy and fun! Perfect for toddlers attention span too! 🙂 We probably spend anywhere from 5-10 minutes for this activity. We keep playing until he has lost interest (definitely don’t want to force any type of “play”.)

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Quick note about the alphabet book we selected. This is not my favorite one, mainly because the words that correlate to the letter don’t match the basic sound. Such as they have A for Armadillo, which YES it starts with an A, but doesn’t make the basic short “a” sound. End of rant…

Below is also a great song for your little one as well! Little Johnny loves it!

One of my favorites…

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love Sandra Boynton books! She has such a funny writing style and I love how this book incorporates interactive dance moves. Plus, many little ones enjoy books about animals. Little Johnny and I like to try to act out the dance moves in the story.

Next up…

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This is a great book to teach about recognizing colors. I like how in the story they give multiple examples of the color. Plus it also incorporates the concept of similarities. As the book goes on you’ll see a repetitive pattern of the word “like”. Also, let’s talk about how cute these ducks are, right?!

Another one…

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Sometimes I feel like board books have so many fiction books, but not enough non-fiction. So, I like to search through the selection and find at least 1 non-fiction book. This time we found a book on Things That Go. It’s quite advanced, but the exposure is always good for little ones. This book as labels, so you can always just focus on reading those and discussing the picture.

Last one…

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This is a concept book that is very advanced for Little Johnny, but I decided to get it because it’s a fun one, which we can divide the reading up into various days. This is a book that we probably won’t read all of it. I mostly got it because of fun sensory activities you can incorporate!

I have a link for you >>right here<< that includes 25 sensory activities for toddlers.

Oh yeah! We also checked out another Laurie Berkner CD for in the car.

Happy Reading! 

Wishing you well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Weekly Reading for Little Ones

Our trip to the library with a busy little toddler, and featured books about “things that go”.

It’s been a while since we have been to the library. Let me just say too, that going to the library with a busy little toddler is a very different experience, which I’ll share with you. We all know life gets busy, plus the transition of going down to one nap, it’s getting a little more difficult to schedule outings. We actually had a free day this past Tuesday, so I made it a point for us to venture over to the library. I’m so glad that we did because first of all the library offers many great activities for toddlers, and right when we walked in they were having a “Busy Builders” class. We also found some great books!

I have a quick story about our trip to the library and then I’ll get back to sharing our featured books.

Here’s where I come out and share a not so fun fact about me… after the class I had to pay a late fee in library books (yes, I’m really bad with that.) I’m trying to get more organized, hence the library basket we now store our books in at home. I’d love to add a small chalk board on it so I can write the due date each time.

ANYWAYS, back to our visit.

So, the librarian asked me if I wanted to get a library card for Little Johnny, so we did. He now has his first library card. How cute, right?! =)

Let me just say, Little Johnny wasn’t on his best behavior during this library visit. All he wanted to do was get down and run around. He even tried to grab papers off the table that he could definitely reach. Plus, you know those retractable belt dividers that you see while waiting in line….YUP he definitely started playing with that. He was just all over the place. We were a hot mess,  was dropping everything too.

Even after that we still made our way over to the children’s section. Little Johnny loves to pull all the books off the shelf, so that was fun. 😉 The first book he took off the shelf I took it as he wanted to read that one. He also loved running up and down the book aisle, which he was trying to play peek-a-boo with me. Such a mischievous little boy!

What an experience, I think we need to venture over to the library more often and learn a little bit more about library manners. Hey, maybe there’s a book about that…;)

 Here’s what’s in our library basket. 


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Books

Diggers Go & Planes Go By  Steve Light

Freight Train By Donald Crews

CD’s

Yes, I’m going old school and keeping a few CD’s in the car.

Tony Bennett- The Playground

Best of the Laurie Berkner Band

(This band is famous for the song “we are the dinosaurs”.)

These books are so fun to read with your little one. The Steve Light books are about the sounds of the “things that go”, which are pretty fun to say aloud. The vibrant colors and unique long rectangle shape of the books make for a fun reading experience. It definitely grabbed Little Johnny’s attention. The text within the book is engaging with the different font size, shape, and position on the pages. It’s a great way for little ones to get practice with hearing and saying their sounds.

Freight Train is a book that displays the primary colors on the train. As the train starts to “go” the pages take you through the different surrounding areas the train passes by. The illustrations are very eye-catching because it actually looks like the train is moving. The vocabulary within this book is amazing too.

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I’m storing our library books inside of this basket so that they don’t get lost or mixed in with the books we own. I may get creative with this basket at some point, but for now this is what it is. I used this basket at Little Johnny’s teddy bear picnic themed birthday party, which it’s been sitting in our closet since then, why not put it to use, right?!

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I’m so thankful for the library because honestly we don’t have room to store all these wonderful children’s books! Oh! and don’t worry, our experience didn’t scare us away. =)

Happy Reading!

Wishing you well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Weekly Reading for Little Ones

Featured Book: Read Alouds by Mercer Mayer

I’m taking it back to  the 1970’s and bringing back the classic Mercer Mayer books. I remember reading these while I was growing up, “Just Go To Bed” specifically. Raise your hand if you remember these old school books? (I know, we’re really starting to date ourselves…) Now, I realize there are so many wonderful new books to feature, BUT classics are always fun to share with your little ones.

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Mercer Mayer books are picture books that have these cute little critters that address many major situations while growing up, such as a new sibling, going to the dentist, a day with mom, a day with dad, getting bigger, going to bed, new neighbor, being mad.

They are fun reads with a little humor (which I’m all about). These three books below are the ones that we currently have in our home. “Just Me And My Dad” & “Just Me And My Mom” are special to us because Big John and I bought these for each other when we were expecting little Johnny. abd8e749-a0af-4457-b88a-866473218093

They are a little older for little Johnny’s attention span, but it doesn’t hurt to introduce him to them. We just mainly go through a “picture walk” and we point to what we see, basically using our own words to describe the scene.

Why I like Mercer Mayer Books


  • great resource for discussing emotions in a fun way
  • stories that kids can relate to
  • fiction humorous stories
  • teaches about real life situations
  • The main character is a little “boy” and his voice really shines throughout the book.
  • Includes quotations throughout the book that can lead to a great discussion of the meaning of them.

Resources


  • Visit littlecritter.com for fun activities: songs, coloring pages, matching activities, and little critter jokes.
  • click here to be directed to apps that go along with your reading.

What classic “old school” book do you enjoy reading with your little one?

Happy Reading!

Wishing You Well,

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Weekly Reading for Little Ones

Book of the Week~The Little Engine that Could {By Watty Piper}

The Little Engine that Could is such a classic book, one of my favorites. It has such a wonderful moral to the story to teach your children, even at a young age. (Don’t underestimate the intelligence of little ones, even when they seem like they’re not listening, guess what? they really ARE listening.)

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I think I can.

You never know until you try.

Believe in yourself.

Persevere.

The original copyright goes all the way back to 1930! So, it’s definitely a great one to keep on the book shelf! Also, when life brings you down, pull out this book and enjoy with your little one. If the little engine can keep going, than I think you can too! =)

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The Little Engine that Could is a tad longer for Johnny’s attention span, but we take breaks and I shorten some of the sentences. It’s a good book that he can grow up with and we can expand a little more each time. He really liked seeing the different colored trains in the book. Plus I loved how animated you can be within this story (especially with the sounds of the trains…chug, chug, puff, puff, ding-dong, choo, choo).

Why I love this book?


  • I love the animation with the words.
  • The pictures are bright and colorful.
  • You can incorporate lessons on colors and numbers.
  • Great word choices throughout the book (merrily, shiny, rusty).
  • Incorporates wonderful adjectives along with each train (The big engine, The shiny engine, The rusty old engine)
  • Encourages a great discussion with little ones about emotions.

Activities to Participate In 


(Pinterest Inspired!)

I have it broken up by age group, BUT by all means explore any activity that you think your little one might enjoy. Make sure to click the links in order to be lead to the instructions on the activities.

0-18 Months

  • go on a color scavenger hunt in your home (point to the colored trains and find other things in the room that match.)
  • go back in the book and count all the trains (make sure to repeat 3 times as research has proven that repetition is sooo important! 3 is the magic number! )
  • pull out the train set and play with it, find the matching train colors that go along with the story.

18 Months- 3 years

  • make a color sorting train just using construction paper. Click here for instructions from mom inspired life.
  • paint with trains to create a fun art project, while talking about the colored trains in the book and their behaviors. Click here to view examples.
  • Become an engineer and make your own steam engine train with an egg carton and a paper towel roll. Click here for the instructions. (this activity is recommended for ages 3 and up.)
  • Expand your reading by choosing other books with the topic of TRAINS. Click here to view a list of train books. (you can also discuss similarities and differences between all the train books you read)
  • Discuss the adjective that was describes each engine (shiny, rusty, old, little) find other things in your home or outside with the same characterisitic.

Do you have a favorite one? Is there an activity you would add to this list?

Happy Reading! 

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Weekly Reading for Little Ones

Book of the Week: “A is for Apple” published by tiger tales

Alphabet books are always great for little ones. It helps them to explore the beginning sounds of our English language. This week we’re focusing on an interactive alphabet book called “A is for Apple”  it has all kinds of things children can be involved in while reading.

Now, since being a teacher I am a bit picky about certain types of alphabet books, mainly because some words and pictures that are paired with a letter don’t even make that specific beginning sound (so tricky for little ones!)…. When teaching children beginning sounds you start with the basics rather than jumping right into long vowel sounds, and digraphs (sh, th, ch, etc…) It’s good for them to have exposure to the different types of sounds the letters make, but make sure to explain this because it can be SO very confusing for young brains!

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This book has a few letters where my teacher side comes out and I’m not pleased with, but I love how interactive it is . We just skip over those for now and make up our own, until my son is old enough for me to talk to him about it. It’s okay for them to have exposure to those different beginning sounds, but always make sure to have a discussion about them.

I probably just lost your interest in this book, but DON’T LEAVE YET! With that being said I still recommend this book because it does a great job engaging children with their letters! I may have to write my own alphabet book some day that is teacher approved! 🙂

Okay now that I probably bored you (sorry about that), let’s move on…below I have some great activities along with where you can purchase this book!

Why I love this book?


  • interactive with tracing letters and flaps to flip
  • children explore the shapes of the letter by running their fingers along and understanding how the shapes form.
  • displays more than one word with the beginning sound
  • displays uppercase and lowercase letters
  • provides tips and helpful hints on the back for adults reading with children
  • provides a website for insight on more activities: www.tigertalesbooks.com 

Where can you find this book? 


Amazon is a great place to purchase books, so easy for busy mamas! Find A is for Apple on amazon today!

Activities to Participate In 


0-18 months

  • pull out your keyboard or old computer and have your little one practice their typing skills! this is a grea sensory activity as well. I have an old laptop at home where I have Johnny play with. He likes to touch the keys and I say the letter sound to the specific letter key he touches. I even spell his name with it. SO FUN and SIMPLE

18 months- 3 years

  • when I use to teach kindergarten and first grade I always played this song! It’s even great for little ones to have exposure to.
  • you can also include so many hands on activities with letters! HAVE FUN WITH LEARNING YOUR LETTERS! Hands On As We Grow is an amazing link I found with so many hands on activities that are simple & fun!

Happy Reading!

I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! You can also share this post with anyone else and follow me on my facebook page,  as well as instagram. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Weekly Reading for Little Ones

Book of the Week: “You Are My Baby” Ocean Animals By Lorena Siminovich

This week Johnny and I picked out the book “You Are My Baby” (ocean themed animals) by Lorena Siminovich. This is a fun and easy book to read with little ones. It helps them to interact with the book because there is a little book and a big book all within this one book. (that’s alot of book talking!) 😉 It’s based on ocean animals and has the baby animal being matched up with the adult ocean animal. Johnny really likes the shape of the book too! It’s a great read for little ones! Plus the author is the creator of Petit Collage, which is a line of wall decor and accessories specifically for children.

Why I love this book?


  • filled with a variety of adjectives and verbs that will enhance children’s vocabulary skills
  • within this book there is a smaller book that has children match the baby animals to their parents (great engagement for little ones) Johnny loves turning the pages in this book
  • the pictures are very vibrant in color
  • there is a pattern in the book of trying to guess what the name of the baby ocean animal is. Children love to anticipate what will be next. Plus the repetitive text is great for beginning readers! ( You are my baby… starts on each page within the little book)
  • As the children get older and start reading, thisi s a great book to incoporate “shared reading” where the adult reads a page and then the child reads the next page.
  • it incorporates some of the real names of the baby ocean animals such as a calf and fry)

Where can you find this book?


Amazon is always a great place to purchase books for busy mamas. You can click here to be directed to amazon.com where you can purchase this book.

{Capturing Life’s Gifts is a participant in the Amazon affiliated advertising program. It is absolutely at NO cost to you. Simply stated, if you purchase an item on Amazon from this website I may get a small compensation. All products I refer are items I currently use and have enjoyed in my own home.}

Activities to Participate in…


0-18 months

    • You can play this fun Animals in the Ocean song that’s interactive and goes to the tune of “the wheels on the bus”.
  • after the song you can transition to filling a container with water and guide your baby’s hand and have them play in it. If you have ocean bath toys you can even place them in there. I know it may sound silly to talk to a baby when they don’t talk back yet, but it is SO good for them. Discuss the characterisitcs of where the ocean animals live.

18 months-3 years

  • make an ocean aquarium using an egg carton. Have your child choose which ocean animals they’d like to place in their aquarium based on the book. Discuss the characteristics of the animals: color, shape, size, how it moves… Here is a great link I found to help guide you on the project.
  • you can also play a ocean animal games online with matching the description of the animal to it’s picture. There are many more too. Click here to be directed to this fun game site for little ones.

Resources 


  • Petite Collage– the author of this book also has a line of decor, toys, & arts and crafts activities

Happy Reading!

I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! You can also share this post with anyone else and follow me on my facebook page,  as well as instagram. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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Weekly Reading for Little Ones

Book of the Week- “First 100 Words” published by Priddy Books

This week in the baby book world, we’re focusing on a board book that helps young babies to develop language skills. “First 100 Words” is a resource book for parents to enjoy with their baby in developing their first words. This isn’t a one time read, it’s something that can be used everyday! We even pack it in the car to use on the go.

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Why I love this book?


  • helps to develop early language skills
  • helps to start conversation with baby and adult
  • implements learning about categories
  • helps to make connections between similar things
  • helps babies  to start to understand similarities and differences between things
  • helps babies to learn about real everyday items
  • this is a book that doesn’t have to be read all at once, you can reference back to it many times

Where can you find the book?

(This post contains an affiliated link, which means I may receive a small compensation if you make a purchase using the link in this post.) 


 Amazon is a great place to purchase books, especially for busy mamas. It’s also fun to have a package arrive! (I still get a thrill out of receiving packages.) Did I mention this book is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon?  Here is the link to purchase ” First 100 Words” published by Priddy Books.

Activities to Participate In 


0-18 Months

  • go on a scavenger hunt and find things in the house that you read in the book. For example if you were focusing on the category of bath items, take a “field trip” into the bathroom and point to the items. Then have your baby hold it and you can talk about its features. Make sure to refer back to the book. Repetition  is so important for babies, along with the tactile experience.

18 months-3 years

  • have your child go on a scavenger hunt in your house, they will be the leader to identify household items. Make sure the adult brings a paper and pencil to write these items down. Then go back to the book and ask “Where which category would this item fit in? Have your child explore the book and find the category page.

Resources


  • Priddy Books website – provides a list of their books along with FREE activity sheets
  • first words project– this website provides checklists, activities, and an overall guide on how to help your child develop their first words

Okay, let’s get started! Spend some time this week with your little one and enjoy this wonderful book! Show your children that READING IS FUN!

I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! You can also share this post with anyone else and follow me on my facebook page,  as well as instagram. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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