Posts Tagged ‘featured’

Time to Reestablish the Bedtime Reading Ritual

Posted on September 1st, 2014 by Jody

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Back to School Means Its Time to Reestablish the Bedtime Reading RitualMost teachers and parents are glued to the news and various forms of social media, hoping to hear the news that public schools will be back in session on Tuesday, or at the very least, next week. It’s been a longer summer than we’re used to and it started under less than ideal conditions. I don’t know one teacher who isn’t sad about the quick way we had to say goodbye to our classes in June. But alas, all this stuff makes us stronger, right? We’ll see.





In a typical summer, your child’s reading level will probably lower. This summer, because of it’s length, this is even more likely. It happens: later bedtimes, fun activities, and vacations change the routine that many of us have established through the school year. When we get back to school, we spend those first weeks reestablishing routines, both at school and at home. I can’t honestly put into words how very much I want (NEED) school to go back next week, but while we’re waiting, we can slowly start pushing ourselves and our children back into those old habits.

Getting to bed earlier, what used to be “on time”, is important. I’m not very good at this one, myself. I figure that the first week of having to get up at six thirty will curb my tendency to stay up until one a.m. For our kids though, it’s nice to ease them into it. This last week or so, we’ve been getting home earlier if we’re out, sending the kids to get ready closer to their usual time. The main reason for this is to reestablish the bedtime reading ritual.

Throughout the school year, this is one we try to hold onto tightly. The fifteen to thirty minutes with each of the girls at the end of the night is just as important to my husband and I as it is to them. Somehow, being told that it’s time to go up and read causes less confrontation that it’s time to go up to bed. One of the best things you can do for your child, regardless of whether school goes back, is get this routine going again. Get them excited about books, about reading. Maybe pick out a special book at the library or bookstore to get you back into things.

Students reading every night plays a huge role in their fluency and comprehension. Whether you’re reading to them or they are reading to you, this is a time that can result in great conversations with your kids. Why would the main character do that? Would YOU do that? What might you have done? My youngest likes to read to us but my oldest likes to be read to. Children (okay, people) are never too old to be read to. Just because your child is going into an upper grade, doesn’t mean that quality reading time has to stop. In fact, it might even be more important.

When they’re little, children are your shadow. But when they get older, they start to turn into themselves more, or to friends. That reading time at the end of the day is your chance to connect. We know how busy the days are, with school, work, activities, more activities. Building that constant into your schedule, keeping it that way, will allow for a time when your child can open up to you, if they want. They’ll know that at the end of every day, you’re checking in with them. Maybe they don’t want to open up about what boy they like or the mean girl at school, but they’ll know that you’ll be there and they can listen to your voice or that you’ll listen to them. There’s comfort in that. Our children take comfort in routine and whether school is back or not, it’s time for us to get back to it. Good luck with the first day, whenever it is.

Summer and Camping Theme Picture Books and Printables for Young Children

Posted on July 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Summer Learning Made Fun for Kindergarten, Preschool and More



Elsewhere on this page

Free Summer, Camping and Beach Theme Printable Poems, Rhymes and Chants for Preschool and Kindergarten

Highlighting Summer and Camping Theme Picture Books for Children

Summer, Camping Theme Picture Books including A Camping Spree with Mr. MageeA Camping Spree with Mr. Magee - written and Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Camping theme picture book published by Chronicle Books

An absolutely irresistible adventure story for young children. A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee is one of my all-time favorite picture books. When Mr. Magee and his small dog begin their camping trip, they have no inkling that a near-sighted, marshmallow-fancying bear will soon have them staring down a fifty foot waterfall.

They were snoring and snoozing, enjoying a dream, When splash went the camper right into the stream! The splash shook the camper. They jumped out of bed. “Now what in the world was that?” Magee said.

Both adults and children will thoroughly enjoy the rich and dramatic illustrations as well as the delightful rhyming prose. Don’t miss it!

36 pages, Ages 4 to 7

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee at Amazon.com

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee at Amazon.ca

Summer and Camping Theme Picture Books including Heat WaveHeat Wave - written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Summer weather picture book published by Harcourt, Inc.

What a sizzling combo! Eileen Spinelli and Betsy Lewin have teamed up to create the perfect bedtime story for a stifling hot summer day. Set in an era before air conditioning was commonplace, everyone in Lumberville is seeking relief from the oppressive heat:

Butchy Bezwick and Charley Pappas squirted each other with garden hoses and lay on the cool linoleum listening to the radio.

“Take me to the drugstore for an ice-cream soda, please,” Abigail Blue begged her father. “Please!”‘

Whether you and your child are experiencing hot, humid summertime weather or just wishing for one more blast, Heat Wave is a delightful summer-theme picture book that will evoke long-past lazy summer days and much simpler times. Ms. Spinelli’s prose and Ms. Lewin’s illustrations are a perfect match, evoking a strong sense of community and family.

Good fun for youngsters aged four and up, the is a picture book that adults will thoroughly enjoy sharing with children.

Note – Heat Wave begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. If desired, extension activities could include learning about the days of the week.

Heat Wave at Amazon.comlink to purchase from Amazon.com

Heat Wave at Amazon.calink to Heat Wave from Amazon.ca

Summer, Camping and Beach Theme Picture Books including A Pod of OrcasA Pod of Orcas: A Seaside Counting Book written by Sheryl McFarlane and illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin
Ocean and beach-theme concept book published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Preschoolers will love the sailboats, harbour seals, sandcastles and magnificent orcas. Written and illustrated by residents of British Columbia, the gentle rhymes and striking illustrations encourage closer examination of a beautiful day at the seaside.

Highly recommended

24 pages and suitable for children 2 to 5

A Pod of Orcas at Amazon.com

A Pod of Orcas at Amazon.ca

In the Tree HouseIn the Tree House written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Picture Book published by Kids Can Press

One of my favorite parenting memories involves snuggling with my sons and watching the Perseid Meteor Showers. When they were young, we scheduled an annual camping trip with friends so that we would be away from city lights and able to watch for shooting stars. I will never forget the experience of sitting beachside in a folding chair with one of my sons on my lap. We would wrap a blanket around us and wait. Most years there were eight of us searching for the dramatic streaks of light across the night sky. Each time a meteor appeared, there would be squeals of delight, “Oh, did you see THAT one?”

Andrew Larsen’s In the Tree House tells of a young boy who is feeling the changes that time brings. He and his family move into a new house and, instead of sharing with an older brother, he has his own room. He misses having his brother in his room and he has trouble falling asleep. He uses his wakefulness to plan treehouses. He’s excited when his brother starts drawing treehouses and he’s thrilled when his dad agrees to make his dream a reality. It is not long before Dad and sons are perched up high, gazing at the night sky.Storytime Standouts looks at In the Tree House

“Why aren’t there any stars?” I asked between gulps of lemonade.

“They’re up there,” Dad said. “We just can’t see them,”

He explained how the lights from the city make the sky too bright for us to see the stars shine.

They boys love spending their summer in the tree house. They play cards and read comics and watch their neighborhood.

The following year, circumstances have changed. The older brother has new friends and they keep him busy. The tree house that was once magical now seems empty until a chance power outage transforms the neighborhood. In the darkness, the older brother returns to the tree house and the boys’ special relationship is revealed once again – just as the utter darkness reveals a sparkling night sky.

In the Tree House is a shining tribute to the special relationship between siblings and the small, meaningful moments that make a world of difference.

Nominated for a (Ontario Library Association) 2014 Blue Spruce Forest of Reading Award

In the Tree House has also been nominated for a 2013 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Award.

In the Tree House at Amazon.com

In the Tree House at Amazon.ca




You may also be interested in our page with gardening resources

Storytime Standouts Gardening Theme for Preschool and Kindergarten


Summer Early Learning Printables

Summer and Camping Theme Printables for Young Children

If you are spending your weekend at a beach, having a picnic or camping, why not follow-up with a learning activity or two? We offer more than 200 free printable PDFs for all sorts of occasions. For summer, we want to highlight our sandcastle interlined paper and our beach vocabulary printable. When used together, young writers will be inspired by the vocabulary and will feel confident when writing about a great day at the beach.

Step 1 – Make sure you have Adobe Reader. If you don’t have it, please click on the ‘Get Adobe Reader’ button to install it for free.image for Adobe Reader


Step 2 – Pin this page, bookmark this page, share this page, “Like” us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.
Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free Father’s Day printables.


Storytime Standouts Free  Beach Picture Dictionary

image of PDF icon  Summer Word Search

image of PDF icon  Beach Picture Dictionary

Free printable picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  A Camping We Will Go

Traditional children's song about camping








Storytime Standouts Free Printable Sandcastle Interlined Paper

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Camping

Camping theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Canada Day

Canada theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - July 4th, Independence Day

Independence Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Picnic

Picnic theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Roadtrip

Roadtrip theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sandcastle

Beach theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Sunflower

Sunflower theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Watermelon

Watermelon, Summer theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Summer For Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

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