Tag: reading

QBD Releases Second Series of ‘My Mini QBD Books’ Collectibles for Kids

QBD, Australia’s largest Australian owned and operated book retailer, is on a mission to celebrate storytelling. They have released their second series of My Mini QBD Books collectibles to encourage children to read and inspire their imaginations. The series includes collectable miniature titles from some amazing Australian authors and both series are full of a variety of picture books and children’s fiction that are perfect for ages 3 – 12 years old. If you’re looking for a book for your child – here are some awesome choices by great authors!

Here are the great books featured in the second series:

Wolf Girl by Anh Do – $12.99


When disaster separates Gwen from her family, she must fend for herself, all alone in the wilderness. Luckily, she’s not alone for long… When a wolf puppy, a Labrador, a Chihuahua, and a greyhound want to make friends, Gwen discovers talents she didn’t know she possessed.

It will take all her new skills and strength just to survive. Does Gwen have what it takes to be leader of the pack?

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – $14.99

Wunder is gathering in Nevermoor …

Morrigan Crow’s adventures are about to become even more exciting – and dangerous. Return to the magical world of Nevermoor, where Morrigan Crow’s perilous adventures continue. The most anticipated sequel of the year – a treat for all fans of magic and Wunder.

Morrigan may have defeated her deadly curse, passed the dangerous trials and joined the mystical Wundrous Society, but her journey into Nevermoor and all its secrets has only just begun. And she is fast learning that not all magic is used for good …

Brindabella by Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner – $14.99

This is a story about a boy called Pender and a kangaroo called Brindabella, about how they became friends, and all the things that happened to them because of it.

Pender and his father live in an old house made of honey-coloured stone in the bush by the river, with only the company of his father’s paintings and the loyal dog, Billy-Bob. Then, on one winter morning, a gunshot amongst the trees changes everything.

When Pender rescues Brindabella from the pouch of her murdered mother, an unusual friendship blossoms between the lonely boy and the orphaned joey. But Brindabella is no ordinary kangaroo. And though Pender has saved her life, the untameable wildness of the bush–and freedom–call to her…

Lyrical and unforgettable, Brindabella explores the brutal beauty of the Australian bush.

Dork Diaries (Sparkle Ed) by Rachel Renee Russell (for ages 9 – 11) – $14.99

Nikki Maxwell is not popular, in fact Nikki Maxwell is the opposite of popular; she’s a total dork! But Nikki’s hoping that by moving to a new school she might just stand a chance of making some friends and leaving her old lame-ways in the past. But life is never that simple!

Follow Nikki’s life through sketches, doodles and diary entries as she starts her new school, battles with her mum for an iPhone and meets her arch-nemisis, the school’s queen bee, Mackenzie. Enter Nikki’s world through her sketches, doodles and daydreams. Perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates and Jacqueline Wilson.

Squidge Dibley Destroys The School by Mick Elliott – $12.99

Things are going downhill fast for class 6PU at Craglands South Primary School. They’ve changed teachers more times than most kids change their socks, and their latest one is so strict they aren’t even allowed to sneeze. But just when it seems like the school term has been turned into a prison term, a new kid arrives.

A kid unlike any other kid at Craglands South.

A kid named Squidge Dibley.

He’s small, quiet and strangely … squidgy.

And he’s about to change everything.

Alice-Miranda At School by Jacqueline Harvey – $14.99

Move over, Matilda, and step aside, Madeline, there’s a new charming miniature heroine about to make her mark. Can one tiny girl change a very big school? Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones is waving goodbye to her weeping parents and starting her first day at boarding school. But something is wrong at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies. The headmistress, Miss Grimm, hasn’t been seen for ten years. The prize-winning flowers are gone. And a mysterious stranger is camping in the greenhouse. Alice-Miranda must complete a series of impossible tests. Can she really beat the meanest, most spoilt girl at school in a solo sailing mission? Could she camp in the forest all on her own for five whole days and nights? Well, of course. This is Alice-Miranda, after all.

Cupcake Catastrophe by Yvette Poshoglian (Ages 5+) – $5.99

Ella and Olivia are sisters. Ella is seven years old. Olivia is five-and-a-half years old. They live with their mum and dad and little brother Max. Ella and Olivia are making cupcakes for Dad’s birthday. All the family will be there! But when a cooking disaster strikes, will the party be ruined?
Funny Kid For President by Matt Stanton (Ages 8-12)

Meet the funny kid! Because every kid loves to laugh. Every kid wants to laugh, but Max is the boy who can make it happen. He’s the class clown, the punch line and he’s even volunteered his bottom to be the butt of the joke. Max is the funny kid … and he’s running for class president.

Poop scandals, stalker ducks, surprise debates, psycho sports teachers, tell-all interviews and the great library vomit-a-geddon are just some of the things in store for Max and his friends at Redhill Middle School this election season. For fans of Diary of Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates and Big Nate, FUNNY KID is the hilarious new series from bestselling children’s author Matt Stanton.

Funny Kid For President by Matt Stanton (Ages 8-12) – $12.99 

Meet the funny kid! Because every kid loves to laugh. Every kid wants to laugh, but Max is the boy who can make it happen. He’s the class clown, the punch line and he’s even volunteered his bottom to be the butt of the joke. Max is the funny kid … and he’s running for class president.

Poop scandals, stalker ducks, surprise debates, psycho sports teachers, tell-all interviews and the great library vomit-a-geddon are just some of the things in store for Max and his friends at Redhill Middle School this election season. For fans of Diary of Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates and Big Nate, FUNNY KID is the hilarious new series from bestselling children’s author Matt Stanton.

Definitely Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee – $14.99

Wizz is back, and he’s up to his old tricks again. He DEFINITELY does not want you to read this book, and he’ll use every trick he can think of to stop you reaching the end! What disaster awaits at the end of the book this time? This fun story will delight children and adults alike. Keep turning the pages and find out what happens when you reach the end all over again, if you dare!

The Cat Wants Custard by P. Crumble (Ages 4+) – $14.99

Meet Kevin, the opinionated feline who is full of cat-titude. Kevin has a craving. He wants custard, and he wants it NOW! Follow the hilarious antics of a cat trying to get its human companion to give him what he wants, including the extreme length of using his own body to spell the word CUSTARD! Will he succeed?

Grug Goes To School by Ted Prior – $7.99

Grug Goes to School is now available as an exclusive hardback! What will you learn at school today with Grug? This classic Aussie hero is back from the bush to enchant a new generation of youngsters! Ted Prior’s bestselling Grug series is beloved by early readers and parents alike and has sold more than a million copies in Australia alone. His first story was published in 1979 and Ted went on to write 33 more stories featuring Grug and his adventures with his other bush friends, Cara and Snoot. Grug Goes to School available in hardback for the first time in January 2020.

Hyde Park Squirrels: Luke and Holly Go to America by Nick Croydon – $7.99

 

Find more great QBD books HERE, and visit their website for their total catalogue HERE. 

* All descriptions taken from QBD website. 

 

 

 

 

 

QLD Books That You Should Read Right Now

We’ve put together a list of fantastic novels that are either set in Queensland or written by Queensland authors – or both! If you love the sunshine state, give these books a read. Let the authors transport you into the wonderful….or mysterious world that each of them have created. 

The Sister’s Gift by Barbara Hannay

“As a vibrant young woman with a lifetime of possibilities ahead of her, Freya grants her sister, Pearl, the ultimate gift of motherhood. But this comes at a hefty price – an unexpected rift in her family and the loss of the man she loves.

Decades later, Freya and her partner have divorced, she is childless and homeless, at rock bottom after losing everything she’s worked for. When her estranged niece, Billie, offers sanctuary, managing the family restaurant on beautiful Magnetic Island, Freya can hardly refuse.

Billie has never understood the tension between her mother and her aunt. Now, with a newly broken heart, she is nursing a family secret of her own. All three women come together under the tropical Queensland skies, but can they let go of past regrets, or will old tensions tear them further apart?”

About the Author

Barbara Hannay is a writer of women’s fiction who has sold over 12 million books sold worldwide. She she won the Romance Writers of American RITA Award and been shortlisted five times. Two of her novels have also won the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year award.

Barbara lives in Townsville with her husband who is also a writer. She enjoys being near the Coral Sea, the tropical scenery and the colourful characters – all of which find their way into her stories.

A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird

“Meet Willa Waters, aged 8 . . . 33 . . . and 93.

On one impossible day in 1965, eight-year-old Willa receives a mysterious box containing a jar of water. It also has  the instruction: ‘One ocean: plant in the backyard.’ So, she does – and somehow creates an extraordinary time slip that allows her to visit her future selves.

On one impossible day in 1990, Willa is 33 and a mother-of-two when her childhood self magically appears in her backyard.

On one impossible day in 2050, Willa is a silver-haired, gumboot-loving 93-year-old whose memory is fading fast. Yet she knows there’s a warning she must give her past selves about a terrible event in 1990. If only she could recall what it was.

Can the three Willas come together, to heal their past and save their future, before it’s too late?”

About the Author

Poet and writer, Tabitha Bird, lives and works in Bonnah, Queensland. She is a mother to three boys and a chihuahua.

Riptides by Kirsten Alexander

December 1974. Abby Campbell and her brother Charlie are driving to their father’s farm on a dark country road. They swerve into the path of another car, forcing it into a tree. This instantly kills the pregnant driver.

In the heat of the moment, Abby and Charlie make a fateful decision. They flee, hoping heavy rain will erase the fact they were there. They both have too much to lose.

But they have no idea who they’ve just killed or how many lives her death will affect. Soon the truth is like a riptide they can’t escape. Their terrible secret pulls them down deeper by the day.

About the Author

Born in San Francisco, Kirsten Alexander was raised in Brisbane and is now living in Melbourne. She has a partner and two sons. Her first published novel was Half Moon Lake, Riptide is her second.

Khaki Town by Judy Nunn

“It’s March 1942. Singapore has fallen. Darwin has been bombed. Imperial Japanese Forces are on the brink of invading Australia. And Val Callahan, publican of The Brown’s Bar in Townsville, could not be happier as she contemplates the fortune she’s making from lonely, thirsty soldiers.

Overnight the small Queensland city is transformed into the transport hub for 70,000 American and Australian soldiers destined for combat in the South Pacific. Barbed wire and gun emplacements cover the beaches. Historic buildings are commandeered. And the dance halls are in full swing with jazz, jitterbug and jive. The Australian troops begrudge the confident, well-fed ‘Yanks’ who have taken over their town and their women. There’s growing conflict, too, within the American ranks, because black GIs are enjoying the absence of segregation. And the white GIs don’t like it.

As racial violence explodes through the ranks of the military, his president sends young United States Congressman, Lyndon Baines Johnson, to Townsville to investigate. ‘Keep a goddamned lid on it, Lyndon,’ he is told, ‘lest it explode in our faces …”

About the Author

Judy Nunn has a career of acting and scriptwriting. She has sold over 1 million books in Australia alone. Some of her bestsellers include Kal, Territory, Tiger Men, Sanctuary and now Khaki Town. Judy was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2015 for her “significant service to the performing arts as a scriptwriter and actor of stage and screen, and to literature as an author”.

Croc Country by Kerry McGinnis

‘Young widow Tilly is making a new life for herself, keeping house for the rangers at the Binboona Wildlife Sanctuary in the isolated wilderness of the north-western Gulf Country. Caring for injured wildlife and helping to run the popular tourist campsite are just the distraction she needs from everything she left behind when her husband, Gerry, and young daughter were lost at sea.

But when the police show up asking questions about Gerry and disrupting the peaceful routine she has built, she begins to question what really happened to her family. The arrival of botanist Connor stirs up even more emotion and has Tilly questioning who she can trust. When she and young ranger Luke stumble across evidence of wildlife smugglers on a visit to the local caves, suddenly her sanctuary is no longer safe. It becomes clear the past has well and truly come back to haunt her.

Set against the lush backdrop of the Northern Territory with its vibrant birds and deadly wildlife, this is a chilling and highly evocative family mystery about the wild and dangerous things that can happen in the most remote and untamed corners of our country.”

About the Author

Born in Adelaide, Kerry McGinnis along with her father and four siblings travelled extensively across both the Northern Territory and Queensland before setting in the Gulf Country. Kerry has worked many jobs and written many bestselling novels. She now lives Bundaberg.

The Lost Boy by Ayik Chut Deng 

After life as a boy soldier in South Sudan, fighting battles in Ethiopia and Sudan, Ayik Chut found himself a refugee in Toowoomba, Queensland.

With a FOREWORD from Ray Martin.

As a boy living in the Dinka tribe in what is now South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, Ayik Chut Deng was a member of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). During his time as a child soldier, he witnessed unspeakable violence and was regularly tortured by older boys. At age nineteen, he and his family escaped the conflict in Sudan and resettled in Toowoomba, Australia. But adjusting to his new life in small-town Queensland was more difficult than he anticipated. Professionals misdiagnosed him with schizophrenia while suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, leading to years of erratic behaviour on the wrong medication. He struggled with drugs and alcohol, fought with his family and found himself in trouble with the law before he came to the painful realisation that his behaviour was putting his life, as well as the lives of his loved ones, at risk.

As an adult now living in Brisbane, Ayik is a father, working as an actor and volunteering at his local youth centre. Overcoming a childhood filled with torture and war was a process of lifelong learning, choices and challenges that included a remarkable chance encounter with a figure from his past, and an appearance on national television.

About the Author

In South Sudan, Ayik Chut was a boy soldier who eventually made his way over to Australia as a refugee. ‘The Lost Boy’ is a survival story, a biography and memoir of his story. He now lives in Brisbane where he picks up some acting work and is the sole-carer for his baby daughter. He also volunteers at the local PCYC.

The Cake Maker’s Wish by Josephine Moon

When single mum Olivia uproots her young son Darcy from their life in Tasmania for a new start in the English Cotswolds, she isn’t exactly expecting a bed of roses – but nor is she prepared for the challenges that life in the picturesque village throws her way.

The Renaissance Project hopes to bring the dwindling community back to life – to welcome migrants from around the world and to boost the failing economy – but not everyone is so pleased about the initiative.

For cake maker Olivia, it’s a chance for Darcy to finally meet his Norwegian father. It’s also a chance for her to trace the last blurry lines on what remains of her family tree. Plus, it’s an opportunity to move on from the traumatic event that tore her loved ones apart.

After seven years on her own, she has all but given up on romance. This is until life dishes up some delicious new options she didn’t even know she was craving.

About the Author

Josephine Moon was born in Brisbane. 12 years after completing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and then a postgraduate degree in education, she had her first novel picked up for publication and shortlisted for an ABIA award. Josephine now lives in Noosa hinterland with her husband and son. They have an ever- increasing number of pets – which she wouldn’t change for the world.

We have taken and/or edited every book synopsis and ‘About the author’ section from Penguin Books Australia.

 

 

 

National Simultaneous Storytime Event Returns In 2020

The National Simultaneous Storytime event, hosted by the Australian Library and Information Association, will be going ahead this year as usual. This will be the 20th year that the special event has taken place. You can take part in it on Wednesday 27 May, 11:00am EST!

Each year a picture book is selected to be read-aloud in libraries, schools, childcare centres, children’s hospitals and bookshops simultaneously, all across Australia and New Zealand. However, due to restrictions brought about by COVID-19, this year’s storytime will be virtual instead. Hoping to reach over 1 million kids across both nations, the book Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas by Lucinda Gifford, published by Scholastic Australia, can be read online from the comfort of your home, classroom or wherever you are.

Teachers and families can join in the fun by registering at alia.org.au/nss for FREE. In addition, this will also give you access to some cool downloadable craft activities.

From here you can also purchase the book to keep with you. Use their colouring in sheets and put them in your windows to spread the message of the event! This will help get as many of your friends involved as possible. Plus, you can even win a free, signed copy of the book and merchandise! Take a photo of how you are sharing the message of the storytime event with everyone and use the hashtag #NSS2020 when uploading it to social media to win of five free packs.

Last year’s storytime event saw over 1 million readers over more than 11,000 different locations joining in with Matt Cosgrove. He read his great book, Alpacas with Maracas. This year Scholastic Australia will be giving children within the major children’s hospitals a free copy of the book – just to make it extra special! 

Scholastic Australia is part of Scholastic Inc, the world’s largest children’s publisher and distributor of books and more. They are proud to be supporting this amazing initiative, which not only promotes children’s literacy but keeps us all connected at a time when we need it most.  

About the creator
Lucinda Gifford is a multi-talented, award-winning author and illustrator. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children. Despite being a self-appointed Photoshop guru, she is equally happy creating her illustrations with ink, pencil, charcoal and gouache.

 

Incredible Australian Books to Keep Kids Entertained During Lockdown

Looking to prise your iso-kids away from their screens and boost their literacy during lockdown?  We’ve selected the most gripping, un-put-downable children’s books on the market.  Be the first to grab a hot new release and pick up some complementary brownie points for supporting Australian authors:

PRESCHOOL (ages 2+)

BAD CRAB by Amelia McInerney and Phillip Bunting

Are your cooped-up kids getting a little crabby? Get set for one shell of a story about an impulsive crab who grabs life by the claws! BAD CRAB is almost-wordless and will have even the tiniest tot sitting and ‘reading’ it to themselves or their stuffed toys.

Humour and a highly flawed (although cheeky and cute) main character allow exploration of this deceptively simple book’s themes (kindness, friendship, forgiveness and revenge, empathy, the consequences of our actions) as we see Bad Crab learning to keep his/her claws to him/herself.

Teaching notes

 

PICTURE BOOK (ages 4+)

RIBBIT RABBIT ROBOT by Victoria Mackinlay and Sofya Karmazina

What happens when a friendly frog, a greedy rabbit and a robot with a short fuse find a magic lamp? Hint: chaos!

A fun and clever read with gorgeous illustrations – kids will love keeping up with the characters’ hilarious escapades. With themes of friendship, greed (hoarding even!), kindness and altruism, RIBBIT RABBIT ROBOT is a true companion for this moment.

Activities

 

JUNIOR FICTION (ages 6-9)

*NEW RELEASE*

EVIE AND POG series by Tania McCartney

High in a tree house live two very best friends. One is a girl and one is a dog, and everyone knows them as Evie and Pog. Evie is six years old. She likes knitting, jumping, books and cake. Pog is a two year old pug who likes to drink tea and read the newspaper.

STEM themes are woven through the series, along with friendship, creativity and community. There are three stories in each book, cut into bitesize chapters for early readers.

Teaching notes

 

KAT. THE LEGEND OF GNAWBONIA by Nick White

In the great city of Catifornia, the Meofia are by far the most feared of all the felines. At home, their baby sister Kat is enslaved under lock and key. Done with the constant abuse, she escapes, embarking on a perilous journey far beyond the land of cats.

Lost at sea, Kat is captured by a ruthless gang of notorious pirate dogs and forced to the depths of the ocean in search of treasure; where she discovers an ancient city, lost in time.

Here, Kat comes to terms with who she truly is – gaining the courage to fight for her life and freedom, to fulfil an ancient prophecy that she inevitably finds herself entwined with.

This is the world’s first fully illustrated novel. The beautiful illustrations and storytelling combine to create an engaging masterpiece that kids won’t be able to put down.

 

MIDDLE GRADE (ages 8-12)

SECRETS OF A SCHOOLYARD MILLIONAIRE by Nat Amoore

 

In times of financial uncertainty this is the perfect adventure to dream big, laugh huge and think about what is truly important in life.

Finding a million dollars in your backyard – every kid’s dream, right? That’s what Tess and her best friend Toby thought too.

Jumping castles at school. Lollipops for their adoring fans. Wearing sunglasses indoors (‘cos that’s what all the millionaires do).

There’s a lot you can get with a million dollars . . . including a whole lot of trouble.

Teaching notes thanks to Childrens Books Daily

 

UPPER MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNGER YA (ages 10-14)

*NEW RELEASE*

THE BOOK OF CHANCE by Sue Whiting

THE BOOK OF CHANCE tells the story of almost thirteen-year-old Chance Callahan’s quest to find her own truth, only to discover that her life is in fact a big fat lie – #biggestfakeever!

Inspired by a true crime, the novel explores truth and lies and the grey area in between, the impact of social media, the importance of family, and ultimately ponders the notion that maybe being truthful is really just a great big lie.

An absorbing page-turning read – perfect for escaping the current world woes.

Teaching notes and author interview

 

YOUNG ADULT (ages 14+)

*NEW RELEASE*

DEEP WATER by Sarah Epstein

Coax your teens away from screens with the mystery of DEEP WATER – a gripping crime novel from the award-winning author of Small Spaces. (include link)

DEEP WATER is the story of a missing thirteen-year-old boy called Henry Weaver and a group of teenagers know more than they’re telling about the night he disappeared. A compelling page-turner that prompts the question: how far would you go to keep a secret?

Teaching notes


 

Read more blogs on books HERE. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 TIPS FOR ENCOURAGING KIDS TO LEARN

9 TIPS FOR ENCOURAGING KIDS TO LEARN

In life, we are always learning. Whether it’s learning to walk, learning our times tables, learning to accept failure or learning how to do our jobs, our brains are naturally hungry for more knowledge.

While it’s our job as parents to teach our children the many things that they need to know (not an easy feat!), it’s also important to encourage them to learn things for themselves. It’s key that we show them that we love learning things for ourselves too.

Where is the (Learning) Love?

Babies and toddlers have an innate curiosity about the world around them, soaking up new information like sponges. They love to investigate their surroundings and develop their abilities.

However, somewhere along the way, this natural love for learning is often lost. This tends to happen during their school years when learning starts to feel like a job or a chore. There are books to read, tests to complete and skillsets to master, which can leave kids feeling overwhelmed and often dreading the thought of learning.

Well, parents, it’s time to bring back the fun in learning and instil this innocent love of learning that our babies and toddlers knew so well.
Here are a few ways to do this:

1. Model a Love of Learning

We are our children’s foremost teacher. Sure, they go to school, but the majority of learning happens at home, with us. If they see you furthering your learning, they may want to do it too.

On the rare occasion when I actually sit down to read a book, my kids will often grab their own books and join me. I know my kids won’t do this forever – one day they will be teens and I won’t be ‘cool’ to hang out with anymore. But, for now, if I’m keen to try something new and expand my skillset, then the kids are usually on board too. Talk about things you are learning, and show them that you are always wanting to learn new things, whether that be trying a new recipe, researching a destination for your next holiday, or simply helping them with their science project. Show them that you love learning new things, and that you are inquisitive. Inquisitive minds love learning.

2. Be Aware of How Children Learn

Children and teens learn in five main ways: by seeing, hearing, exploring, experimenting and asking questions. Give them opportunities to do all five at home.

3. Teach them to be Active Learners

There are always opportunities to learn more. If your kids have a question and you don’t know the answer, look it up (Captain Google to the rescue). Your kids will soon want to do this themselves. Allowing them to seek out answers rather than just accepting that they don’t know is a great way to encourage your children to love learning.

4. Think Outside the Book

Get creative at home by looking for ways to help further their skills in fun, exciting ways. I make treasure hunts in the backyard for my kids. With every clue, I’ll use maths equations that they need to solve in order to find the next clue. My kids absolutely love doing them and I love that they have to do maths (and work together) to uncover the prize.

5. Discover their Interests

Help your child discover what they love doing, reading, writing and watching, and build on that. If your child is learning about a certain piece of history, take them to the museum. If they’re learning about ecosystems and native animals, take them to the zoo. If your child loves watching kids on YouTube, help them learn how to make their own videos (or at least teach them how to use the video function on the iPad without posting it to YouTube).

Or, enrol them in PakMag’s new online course for kids that teaches children how to master video recording. Email monique@pakmag.com.au to find out more.

6. Learn through Experiences

We learn new things by doing them, so get them out to explore. You don’t have to be constantly teaching them, asking them questions or grilling them about what they are learning. Let them explore, play and come to you with questions. This takes the pressure off and helps instil their sense of wanting to learn.

7. Support their Schooling

Some kids love school. Others do not. But, regardless of how they feel about it, they have to go. School teaches them so much more than just basic numeracy and literacy skills and, although it can be a bit tricky and tedious at times, it’s part of being a kid. Make the schooling experience positive by asking them about it, keeping up to date on what they are doing and, if you can, volunteering when they need parent helpers.

8. Encourage Relaxation Time Too

If your kids are getting burnt out, give them a break. We all need time to just chill out, give our minds a break and absorb everything.

I will give my kids a ‘mental health day’ once or twice a year where they can stay home with me for the day, but only if they promise not to fight and to do something creative together. They always do and they always return to school the next day feeling a little more refreshed and ready to learn.

9. Nurture their Curious Natures

The best way to bring back that innocent love of learning that our babies and toddlers possessed is to let our kids be kids.

Let them explore and experiment, even if it means a big mess to clean up. Encourage them to ask questions, even if you need to pull out the computer to find the answer (hey, at least it’s not an Encyclopedia). Let them do things for themselves, even if it takes FOREVER to get it done.

Support their interests, no matter how quirky they are. Reassure them that it’s important to explore what we don’t know. Most importantly, remind them that you are always right there, ready to offer a helping hand if they get stuck. And don’t forget, monkey see, monkey do; role model a love of learning and your children will likely follow suit.

THE BENEFITS OF READING BOOKS TO YOUR KIDS

THE BENEFITS OF READING BOOKS TO YOUR KIDS

Dear Melanie, What are the benefits of books and reading to your child/ren?

Books do so much! Firstly, experiences with books such as turning the pages, learning that the words stay the same, and following the story prepare children for learning to read. Research says that children need to hear 1000 stories before they are ready to learn to read!

Often overlooked, though, is the oral language development we get from books. Children get exposed to new vocabulary and ideas that are outside their everyday life experiences. We talk about why characters do what they do, how characters are feeling, and predict what might happen next.

While reading, children can learn about seeing things from someone else’s perspective, and have discussions on whether things were right or wrong. Books slow down events, giving us time to ponder and discuss in ways that can’t happen in everyday life. Finally, books also provide a wonderful bonding opportunity for families.

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