Tis’ the season to get reading! We’ve partnered with Becca Carnahan (@with_love_becca) — a writer for Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, and Today Parents. With her help, we’ve curated a list of books and activities that will surely get your little ones in love with learning.
Look and Tell Fairytale Book - from $2.50
Get your kids in on the act of reading their favorite bedtime stories!
The Look and Tell Fairytale Book includes classic childhood fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Each story starts with a page dedicated to pictures of characters or items within the story prompting parents to point out the name of each picture for their kids. Then as you read the story, pictures replace some of the words so kids can follow along and jump in with the right words to complete a sentence.
This interactive book is a great way to encourage reading comprehension and build kids’ confidence before they begin learning to read. It’s also perfect for when your kids get up at Way Too Early O’Clock and can pull this book off their bookshelf and “read” on their own.
Picture Word Bingo - $12.98
Picture Word Bingo is a game that grows with your kids from the toddler stage through early readers. Each Bingo board is double-sided, one with pictures and one with words. Each card is also double-sided, pictures on one side, words on the other. Each player takes turns picking a card to see if they can find one of the items on their board. The first player to fill their whole board wins.
For 2, 3, and 4-year-olds, enjoy a game of Bingo with the picture side of the cards and boards. Then as kids start to learn to read, flip the cards over so that kids learn to identify which letters make up which word and find matches for their boards.
Note to parents, it’s exceptionally easy for adults to cheat at this game. But just be cool, okay?
There’s just something about kids and magnets!
You’ll find this magnetic letter set on fridges everywhere because they are such a hit with kids. When each letter magnet is popped into a bigger school bus magnet, kids can hear the sounds each letter makes. The school bus also sings the ABCs and Wheels on the Bus, keeping little hands and minds occupied while you cook dinner and bringing preschool lessons to the kitchen!
For kids learning how to read and spell, the letter magnets make for fun practice sounding out words and piecing them together. Another great use? Leaving cute but also slightly passive aggressive notes to your spouse about washing the dishes.
“Who Was” Book Series - $4.00
Get your elementary school kids excited about reading and history with the Who Was book series.
These mini biographies are written in chapter book form and offer engaging stories about famous athletes, scientists, explorers, and artists throughout history. The books even cover events and landmarks, like “What was the Battle of Gettysburg”? and “What is the Statue of Liberty”? With such a wide range of subjects, you’ll be sure to find something right up your child’s alley.
The Who Was books explain concepts in language kids will understand, while also prompting them to ask questions and learn more. They work great as read aloud books and will grow with your developing reader as they explore them on their own. As an added bonus, you’ll be sure to impress with factoids about Dr. Seuss’s childhood or Jane Goodall’s family dynamics at your next cocktail party.
Magna Doodle - $9.97
Magna Doodle has stood the test of time for a reason. Its simple design and premise has entertained kids for years and encouraged their creativity. It’s also a great toy for teaching kids how to write letters!
You can go even lower tech and break out the paper and markets for letter writing practice, but there are some cool benefits of Magna Doodle. First, you’re saving trees by not going through a ream of construction paper as your preschooler practices writing her name. Second, it’s a great activity for long car rides since your kids can erase and draw and erase again to their heart’s content. Plus the pen is attached so you don’t need to go fishing in the back seat!
Don’t forget this one is a mess free learning activity too! No scrubbing marker off of your car seats, couches, or kids’ foreheads. That’s a win!
Gift Enriching Experiences
Sometimes the best gift is, well, the gift of learning. Let the little ones in your life develop their reading skills even more with gift cards to these festive providers.
Treasure Trunk Theatre (Ages 1.5 - 12 years)
Give the gift of Treasure Trunk this holiday! Their space is a nurturing place for children to develop and expand their creative energies while learning valuable skills in communication, teamwork, and confidence.
PLAY Greenpoint (Ages 0 - 12 years)
At PLAY Greenpoint your littles ones will dive into enrichment activities like robotics, music, dance, and the art!
L•M•N•O•Play! (Ages 0 - 8 years)
At LᐧMᐧNᐧOᐧPlay! your children will experience multi-sensory engagement, play, and uniquely designed education material that nurtures the whole child. They believe that children’s curiosity and enthusiasm should be a driving force in their education.
Looking for a place where your kids can sing, clap, jump, and dance? Mr. Dave Music is the spot for you!
At Circle Time your children will learn through quality interaction and play. Their classes are designed to engage families to learn and play together!
Looking for fun activities, virtual camps and classes? Explore the wonder here.