Tag Archives: book

5 Tips for Reading to Children + Giveaway

We recently added another new book to our children’s home library. Surprising, right? Haha! We love reading to our kids, but to say that they love to sit and attentively listen to the different stories, would be a stretch. Getting small children to sit still and focus on the story can be difficult to say the least, but I’ve found a few tried and true tips for reading to children that will work for any family!

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

~I received an advance copy of a new children’s book to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

1. Wordless Picture Books

Many parents may find picture books boring, but it’s actually quite the opposite. When you offer your child a simple picture book, it gives them the freedom to make up the story, or to tell you what’s happening in the pictures. This is a great way to help grow their imagination.

You can even ask your child questions like:

  • What’s happening in this picture?
  • Why do you think that?
  • What do you think will happen next?

2. Let Your Child Pick the Book

Kids are always going to judge a book by it’s cover. That’s their first impression of what the book is about, so having books displayed in a way that they can see the covers, will easily allow them to choose which one they may be interested in. By letting your child choose which book they want you to read, they’re more likely to stay tuned for the story.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

3. Pick a Book Your Child Can Relate To

If you come across story time and your child doesn’t really seem interested in sitting down and picking out a book themselves, you can try picking out a story they can relate to. My kids don’t always want to sit down and read, but if I have one they can relate to, I can usually rope them into paying attention. That’s been exactly the case with their new book, Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkidsBenji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash is the story of a young boy, Benji, who has saved some banana squash seeds for months so that he can grow his own. When the ground is finally soft enough to plant the seeds, he gets right to it. Then he spends weeks and months watering, watching and waiting for something to happen.

Once the vegetable has finished it’s growing cycle, Benji has himself a whopping 24 pound banana squash. He proudly poses for a photo with his huge vegetable and then his parents cook up the banana squash for dinner.

This is the kind of story that resonates with my kids, as this was the first year we tried our hand at growing some vegetables in our own backyard. We started small, with just two tomato plants, but being able to nourish the plants for months, having them grow larger and produce tomatoes, and then being able to eat our little harvest, has been a fun experience for my kids.

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

5 Tips for Reading to Children | #reading #ilovetoread #smartkids

They certainly didn’t have any 24 pound tomatoes, but it has still been fun for them to grow their own food. Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash is all about patience, love and perseverance, all of which are important lessons for kids. And gardening, whether one vegetable or many, is a great way to learn those lessons.

Even when not really in the mood to sit and listen to a book, my kids are still happy to hear the story of Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash. Think your child would enjoy it too? Scroll down and enter to win your own copy!

4. Try Short Stories

When you sit down to read to your child, it doesn’t have to be a super long story. Starting with short, simple stories will give your child a better chance of actually finishing the book. I’ve sat to read to my kids many times and only made it a few pages in because they get distracted and we never get to the end of the book. Shorter stories have helped solve this problem and we’re gradually working our way up to longer ones.

5. Use Fun Voices

Have you ever sat and listened to someone read aloud in a monotone voice? It can make even the best story, as boring as ever. When reading aloud, use fun voices to help your kids distinguish between the characters and to keep the story alive. Even as an adult, it’s important for me to imagine different characters speaking in different voices, accents and tones. The same applies to kids.

Do you do any of these when reading to your kids? What tips would you add?

Preorder Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash (available October 16, 2017)!


Enter to win an advance copy of "Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash!" | #giveaway #reading #smartkids #gardening

One lucky Making Time reader will win an advance copy of Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash! GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US, ages 18+ and ends on September 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

 

 

*I received an advanced copy of a children’s book to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. My opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS
~I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~

Growing up, the children in the schools I attended were predominantly Caucasian, as am I. When I moved to Florida in high school that changed drastically. I attended a predominantly African American school, that was located in what was considered the “ghetto” of the city, but I am forever grateful for having that opportunity. It opened my eyes to new cultures, new styles, new food, new everything.

And it doesn’t stop there. After going to college and moving to various different places after that, I realized just how much of a melting pot the U.S. really is. Today my family lives in a neighborhood in which we are the minority. Both of our children are biracial and we are raising them to embrace their differences and uniqueness, as well as to recognize and welcome other peoples differences and uniqueness.




It’s okay to ask questions about others, especially as kids, because that’s how we all learn. When we see something or someone different, I love when my son asks a question. Whether it’s music, someone’s style, different food, anything. When he asks us a question about whatever it may be, I realize that he recognizes that difference, and acknowledges it, and wants to learn more about it.

And with Back to School season in full swing, everyone’s children are probably learning that they have classmates who are different from themselves, or maybe they’re even feeling like they are the different one. This is exactly what Dr. Soma Mandal helps children understand in her book, Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: It’s International Day!  Dr. Mandal has created a world where kids feel different, and that’s perfectly okay.

With this book, Dr. Mandal provides children with a new resource:

  • To be more open minded and develop friendships without preconceived notions.
  • To encourage our children to foster relationships with others based on acceptance.
  • To realize that everyone has their own unique set of struggles.
  • To provide support to those who feel left out or discouraged.
  • To offer guidance to children embracing their backgrounds who feel bullied.
  • And much more!

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Sonya Sahni, a first grader, feels torn between her Indian culture and wanting to fit in as an American. Of course, her parents want her to embrace her Indian culture, but the kids at school tease her. In one instance, her classmates make fun at the lunch Sonya’s mother has packed her because it’s traditional Indian cuisine and is different from the food they’re used to.

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Sonya’s parents are concerned and make a visit to Sonya’s teacher. The meeting results in something amazing, an International Day at school, where everyone in the class learns that each and every one of them are different and unique in their own ways, but they also have a lot in common. And in the end, Sonya realizes that she’s perfect just the way she is, embracing both her Indian and American cultures.

In this unique story, a little girl is the main protagonist who struggles with issues to grasp both sides of her culture. I hope to inspire children to accept their backgrounds and embrace their cultures. I want to live in a society where all children can live and welcome differences instead of tearing them down.

-Dr. Soma Mandal

Back to School: Embracing Our Differences | #SonyaSahniandtheFirstGrade #diversity #culture #backtoschool #BTS

Since getting a copy of this book, my son has wanted me to read it over and over. He loves to see the different cultures represented with flags bordering many of the book’s pages. It’s nice to see him recognizing each child’s difference in the story, and I can only hope that he’ll accept and encourage his classmates to embrace their own uniqueness, and that he’ll embrace his own, when he starts school in a few weeks.

Purchase Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: It’s International Day! on Amazon for $12.99!

Do you have any tips for teaching children to embrace different cultures, as well as their own?

Connect with Sonya Sahni and the First Grade: Website | Facebook | Twitter

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.