16+ Books to Read if You Like Harry Potter

Books and series for kids who like Harry Potter

Harry Potter is well known as one of those books that makes reluctant readers not so reluctant after all. When kids turn the final page of Harry Potter, it’s the perfect time to harness that interest in reading with a few more choice chapter books. Unlike many “If you like Harry Potter…” book lists, I am not…
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More Old School Fun: String and Bead Puzzle

String and bead puzzle for problem solving.

Welcome back to S.T.E.A.M. Summer Camp! Last week we made thaumatropes to explore the sense of sight. This week’s theme is the sense of touch. Since my kids are rather adverse to some textures I decide to challenge their little fingers in a different way with an old fashioned string and bead puzzle. Have you…
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Campfire Coloring Page (And a Surprise Conversation)

Campfire coloring page

If your kids are off to camp this summer, or if you enjoy camping as a family, pack a printout of this month’s campfire coloring page to keep little hands busy. Children’s book author and illustrator, Melanie Hope Greenberg, graciously contributes a new coloring page every month and it’s hard to believe we have been…
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Funny Books for Kids

Funny picture books for kids that will make the whole family laugh.

I’ve been purposefully looking for funny picture books to read aloud to the boys these days. Sometimes you just need something to make you laugh, you know? I figure everyone could use a solid go-to list of funny books for kids so I’m rounding up a few of the boys’ favorite books that make them…
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Old School Fun: Make a Thaumatrope

How to make a thaumatrope

Have you ever made a thaumatrope? It’s an easy way to combine science learning with a bit of craftiness.  I’m a pushover for old school DIY toys, especially the ones I remember making when I was a kid. A thaumatrope is a groovy, optical toy that teaches kids about “persistence of vision”. Sounds fancy, right?…
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Solitary Game for Kids: Tchuka Ruma

How to play Tchuka Ruma, a fun solitary Mancala game with math learning.

Although I enjoy sharing our favorite board games via our game of the month feature, not every game we play is bought in a store. We have recently been having a great time playing Tchuka Ruma. Tchuka Ruma is an Indonesian transfer game that is a good precursor to the more sophisticated and well-known Mancala. Unlike Mancala,…
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Our Favorite Bedtime Books

Bedtime books and bedtime stories for kids.

Today it’s time for our favorite bedtime books. Can you believe I’ve been making book lists for year without yet sharing a list of bedtime stories? Last week, when I shared our favorite picture books of 2015 (so far), I mentioned that I had not been making as many picture book lists because you all…
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Family Games that Improve Executive Functioning

Family games for executive function skill building.

Good news for fans of family game night! Playing games are a fabulous and fun way for kids to improve their executive function skills. Executive function is the way the brain helps us to manage, strategize and pursue goals, through control of our emotions and behavior. Kids with good executive function skills have an easier…
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(Our) Best Books of 2015 (Part 1)

Our family choices for best books of 2015. Part 1.

I haven’t been making as many picture book lists as I used to, although we still do read many, many picture books. I’ve learned that my chapter book lists are more popular with you, and I aim to serve the masses. I’m still quite obsessed with reading as many newly published books as I can…
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Game of the Month: Zeus on the Loose

Zeus on the Loose game. Fun family game for math learning.

On a whim this winter, while the kids were stuck inside claiming boredom of the highest degree, I purchased Zeus on the Loose card game. It turned out to be an enormous hit and I love the way it helps my 6 year old practice his math skills. Of course, I had to make it a…
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