With kindergarten becoming increasingly academic, I’ve noticed a push for parents to teach their kids to read before school even begins. As a certified teacher, I can say that I do think there are other skills that are more important– like independence and kindness, to name two-but the need for early reading skills cannot be ignored. The Salty Mamas are all about raising readers, which means that we start them young. But rather than focusing on just letters and phonics, we encourage you to teach your child to be a reader– and that means going beyond the basics. Here are 8 easy reading strategies you need to teach your toddler to read- or teach your preschooler to read! We promise their future teachers will thank you for it.
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From the time my kids were little little, I had dreams for them. All the usual things – I wanted them to be happy. I wanted them to follow their dreams. I wanted them to be good and decent and kind human beings.
And I wanted them to love reading.
I know how much I’ve gained from falling back in love with books. From the practical – expanding vocabulary, being well-read to engage in conversations with others, having a good and purposeful hobby – to the fantastical. That feeling of getting completely lost in a book, expanding my imagination, exploring new worlds, ideas, feelings. All of it.
I wanted that for my kids.
So for the past four and a half years, I’ve surrounded my kids with books. Story time at the local libraries, reading as many books as we can every night before bed, sitting and reading a book in front of them while they play, teaching them to take a book everywhere, and basically never saying “No” when they ask for a new book. Continue reading “The Magic of Reading with Your Kids”
This post contains affiliate links. In addition, a giveaway copy of The Hug Machine has been provided by Simon & Schuster. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more on our Legal & Disclosures page. Thank you!
It’s the end of a long day, and you are one story away from watching Real Housewives in your PJs with a
glass can of wine. You anxiously await your kids’ book decision. Will it be the borderline unbearable “5 Minute Stories” book with the stories that just don’t make sense and are dry as a bone? Will it be the longest children’s book ever written? Or will it be a book you actually LIKE?
You may not get to choose the book every night, but you can stack the deck in your favor by purchasing more books that are fun for YOU to read. Feel free to start with these handy suggestions from The Salty Mamas. Continue reading “Our Favorite Books to Read to Our Kids”
If you give a Daddy a task, he’ll smile and say sure.
He’ll start to unload the dishwasher, by putting away the glasses.
When he gets to the cabinet, he’ll realize there are a lot of glasses we don’t use.
He’ll go unload the Amazon box of baby’s birthday presents to use for storing glasses to donate.
Once he starts with glasses, he’ll think about the vases you can probably get rid of too.
Looking at all that nice space in the cabinet, he’ll remember that the cabinet above the refrigerator could use some reorganizing as well.
In that cabinet, he’ll notice that he doesn’t really use the mini kegerator as often as we used to, and will suggest that we sell it.
The kegerataor will need to be set up somewhere with good lighting, so he can take a picture to post on a trash and treasure sale site.
Since someone comments right away, he’ll need to spend 25 minutes texting back and forth with the guy about beer refrigeration and tubes and keg prices.
Now that he’s on the internet, he’ll see an article he needs to click on.
And since he’s fallen down the rabbit hole, Mommy will need to go unload the dishwasher.
All because you gave a Daddy a task.
This post contains affiliate links. We will get a small percentage off of purchases made off of clicking one of our links. Thank you for supporting the Salty Mamas! We are also thankful for the sponsorship of Sterling Children’s Books, who provided a book for us to give to YOU! Check the bottom of the post for details on how to enter!
As the mother of two children of (varying shades of) color, I am always on the lookout for books that feature main characters of diverse backgrounds. Considering how important it is for kids to see people who like them in print and in the media, it is actually pretty shocking to me how few books feature characters that aren’t white (or aren’t animals for that matter, but that’s a different thing). And while I love books that explicitly teach kids about differences (Happy in My Skin and It’s Okay to Be Different being two of our favorites), my favorite thing is finding great books where the child’s ethnicity/race/culture is not the focus of the story, but simply a part of who the child is. The character might (and should!) live in a world that is cognizant of their culture, but they are going through things the common kid goes through- like getting a new pet, being scared of monsters, or participating in the school’s science fair.
So, here’s a list of our favorite children’s books that just so happen to feature children of color in a starring role.
This book may seem to be all about culture (it is written in both English and Spanish), but it also has a great storyline about a little girl who can be whatever she wants to be. From her red hair and brown skin to wearing green polka dots with purple stripes, Marisol McDonald doesn’t care if she matches, as long as she’s being true to herself.
This book is simple but oh-so-sweet, with gorgeous illustrations full of color and short, rhyming verses. It’s a fun, short read that my daughter just loves.
When Winifred Schnitzel runs into some Monster Trouble (She’s not afraid, they’re just not letting her sleep!), she puts on her thinking cap and finds a way out of the problem herself. She is a bold and clever little lady, and the rhyming words are fun for me to read. One of Lila’s favorites, for sure!
This is the sweetest little story about sharing. When Kama and Nani have too many mangos to eat themselves, they share them with the neighbors, and get lots of fun surprises in return. The pictures are just too cute, and there’s plenty of culture without making a thing of it, if you know what I mean.
I love this book, for both the storyline and the STEM tie-ins. Scott builds a spectacular robot for the science fair, but all kinds of chaos starts happening as soon as he introduces it. Luckily, he and his robot are able to save the day. Fun story structure and lots of silly happenings made my daughter giggle out loud, which is actually a rarity.
Abuela is trying to plan a birthday party, but things keep going astray. Little does she know the mice that she is fighting so hard to get rid of are both the problem AND the solution. Very cute, with just a few Spanish words sprinkled in, but the story is what really sings here.
This story has illustrations that are just AMAZING. The pages are bright and simple, and each one focuses on a different shape for kiddos to find in a cityscape. It’s almost like a seek-and-find book, but with a storyline, too.
Poor Norman is a little salty about getting a goldfish as a pet, when what he really wanted was a dog. Through the course of the story, he falls in love with his new pet, and so did my daughter.
We love this little board book that features a big sister helping her little brother to participate in her daily activities. It’s just a portrait of a normal day, but honestly, that seems to be what my kids relate to most of all (Especially since Lila is on a daily mission to mother her little brother within an inch of his life).
Ada is a little girl with a passion for science. She is full of curiosity and “why,” and is a strong and bold little lady who goes after her dreams with abandon. A wonderful role model for kids everywhere, and once again, we are loving the STEM tie-in here.
Thanks to Sterling Children’s Books, one lucky winner (US and Canada only, thanks!) will receive their very own copy of “The Bot that Scott Built.” And trust us- you’re going to love it! To enter, all you need to do is follow our blog (the button is in the sidebar on a desktop, and below this post on your phone) and then comment below with your favorite children’s book. The contest will close next Friday, September 8th at Midnight, PST. Good luck, and happy reading!
Giveaway closed! Thanks to Sterling Books, who will be sending our lucky winner, Anitra, her own copy of The Bot That Scott Built. Thanks to all who participated, and make sure you are following our blog to ensure you never miss out on a Salty Mamas Giveaway!