Tag Archives: Books for Children

Bring the Fun Home from…DC Area Farms

Animal encounter at Frying Pan Farm

[Note: This post was written by KFDC contributor Katie Winter, an educator and local mom of two young children.]

 

As the weather warms up, local farms are opening their gates for visitors. Many of the farms have opportunities for kids to see animals, explore tractors and other farm machinery, romp in play areas, and run around in open space. Recently, our family enjoyed visits to Frying Pan Farm and Great Country Farms. (You can find even more farms in this post about Easter inspired activities.) And below are some ideas of ways we continued the farm fun at home!

Farm Sensory Fun!
Sensory bins are a great way to have your little ones use their hands to learn and explore the world through senses.   Grab some farm animal figurines and create some farm sensory bins like the ones below. (Here are some larger farm animals for smaller hands.)

 

Farm Animal Washing Station from Coffee Cups and Crayons

 

Farm Sensory Play from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

 

CREATION STATION!

Here are some simple farm crafts to try with your kids.

Paper Plate Farm Animals from The Keeper of the Cheerios

 

Popsicle Stick Tractor from Hunny, I’m Home!

 

No Bake Sheep Grahams from Dancing Through the Rain

 

READING RECS!
My children love farm books year-round. Even before my kids could say words, they would be able to mimic farm animal noises. Grab some barnyard buddies or finger puppets and act out some of your favorite farm stories! Better yet, have your kids try!

Moo, Baa, La La La!

Chicks and Salsa

Goodnight Tractor

Big Red Barn

Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Animals, DC, Farm, Home Activities, Maryland, Spring, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Bring the Fun Home from…The Cherry Blossoms

(Note: This post was written by KFDC contributor Katie Winter, an educator and local mom of two young children.)

 

While many of the 2021 cherry blossom festivities may be different this year, there are still many ways to celebrate and learn about the iconic flowers at home!  Check out this KFDC post about ways families can celebrate the 2021 cherry blossom season, this new one about seeing blooming cherry trees at a local spot, and read on for cherry blossom-inspired activities at home!

The start of spring excites our kids to get outdoors and see the beauty of nature.  Cherry blossoms and budding flowers can be seen all around the DC area this time of year.  Many locals will find them at their local parks or even in their own backyard.  Have a future gardener at home?  Here is a great Flower Garden Building Kit that will encourage endless pretend play indoors.  Ready to plant your own at-home garden?  Try this Flower Growing Kit!  Below you will find some craft ideas and books to get your little ones engaged in the season!

CREATION STATION!

After you’re done admiring the flowers outside, make some at home!  These crafts require minimal materials — most of which you can, hopefully, find around your house.

Cherry Blossom Windsock from iHeartCraftyThings

 

Popcorn Cherry Blossom Tree from Glued to My Crafts

 

Cherry Blossom Art from Recycled Soda Bottle from Alpha Mom

 

Egg Carton Flower Craft by Glitter on a Dime

 

Easy Flower Candy Recipe by Shugary Sweets

 

READING RECS!

Time to freshen up your child’s bookshelf with some captivating flower books! Whether learning more about cherry blossoms and other Japanese traditions, or admiring beautiful flower illustrations, these books are a great way to kick off conversations about this time of year, featuring cherry blossoms or other springtime flowers. All of them fun and informative reads for little ones!

Planting a Rainbow (Ages 0-3)

Cherry Blossoms Say Spring (Ages 4-8)

Spring: A Pop-Up Book (Ages 2-5)

The Big Book of Blooms (Ages 3-8)

The Tiny Seed (Ages 3-8)

Pinkalicious Cherry Blossom (Ages 4-8)

Cherry Blossoms and Paper Planes (Ages 4-8)

Flowers (Ages 4-8)

Thea Stilton and the Cherry Blossom Adventure (Ages 7-10)

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2021, Art, DC, Educational, Indoor Play, Maryland, Seasonal, Spring, Virginia

Bring the Fun Home from… Green Spring Gardens

(Note: This post was written by KFDC contributor Katie Winter, an educator and local mom of two young children. A brand new regular feature, Bring the Fun Home from…  will  highlight places around the area, many of them already covered on the blog, and offer ideas to tie in the outing with activities at home.  We hope you and your little ones enjoy it! )

 

Make some Leprechaun Lookers and head over to Green Springs Garden to search for some lucky four leaf clovers along with other neat features throughout the grounds!  As the weather warms up and flowers are starting to bloom, Green Springs Garden is an ideal place to visit.  The grounds are comprised of 26 different areas, most of them small gardens, but also a historic house, ponds, an overlook, and some delightful surprises. Read this KFDC post for more information about the park. And check out the craft ideas and books below to continue the fun at home after your visit!

KFDC Tip: If you can’t make it to the gardens, have a St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt in your own backyard.  Hunt for some four leaf clovers or grab these lucky coins and hide them for your little ones to find.

 

* * * * *

CREATION STATION!

I’ve rounded up some fun St. Patrick’s Day and spring crafts to try at home. The activities below require minimal materials — most of which you can, hopefully, find around your house.

Leprechaun Lookers from Love Your Littles

 

Shamrock Craft from A Little Punch of Perfect

 

Blooming Paper Flowers from the STEM laboratory

 

Pasta Flowers  from Typically Simple

 

* * * * *

READING RECS!

Books are a great way to expand on children’s experiences.  Every few weeks I try to switch out my sons’ books to go along with holidays, current events, and/or the season.  I’ve found that this increases their excitement for reading and provides them with more background knowledge than I could have imagined. It’s also an easy way to celebrate those occasions and keep our reading fresh!  Here are some books for little ones that celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the start of spring.

That’s What Leprechauns Do (Ages 4-7)

Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase (Ages 4-8)

When Spring Comes (Ages 4-8)

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover (Ages 3-5)

How to Catch a Leprechaun (Ages 4-10)

Baby Loves Spring! (Ages 1-4)

The Tiny Seed (Ages 3-8)

St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning (Ages 4-9)

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring (Ages 4-8)

Spring: A Pop-Up Book (Ages 2-5)

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt (Ages 5-8)

What Grew in Larry’s Garden (Ages 4-8)

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2021, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Outdoor, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Spring, Virginia

Books Worth Buying for Little Ones

[Note: This post was written by KFDC contributor Emily Moise, a local mom of two young children.]

 

Remember hanging out in libraries? Sigh… Once a weekly go-to, now a distant memory for my kids, and likely yours, too. In their absence, our book collection has grown. Acquiring books during the pandemic has been akin to stocking up on frozen vegetables. You’re gonna need those books — and they’re good for you.

Between our own book purchases (often an alternative to buying one more plastic toy), generous extended family — including a great-aunt that used to work at a children’s bookstore — and our neighborhood’s Little Free Libraries, we’ve been fortunate, and we’ve been reading.

Many of our books end up being read obsessively for a week, never to be child-selected again (ahh, the beauty of libraries!). But there are some that we keep going back to. The ones we’ve all memorized and have stolen phrases from for our everyday kid conversations. The ones that were totally worth buying…

 

The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss (Happy Birthday to the beloved author!)

We’ve ventured far into the wacky world of whosits and whatsits, but we always return to the gold standard. Every preschooler is exploring their autonomy and nothing illustrates the wild possibilities better. Plus, it’s so apropos for the times, Sally and boy with nothing to do.

Other Seuss/Seuss-inspired favorites: There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, Because a Bug Went Ka-choo! [KFDC Note: Someone just brought this to my attention about Dr. Seuss books.]

 

 

Freight Train, Donald Crews

This one is a must for the little train lover in your life. It’s short and simple, but will stop your busy toddlers in their tracks until it’s “going, going…gone!”. They won’t even realize they are learning their colors and prepositions, in addition to the trivial train lingo.

Another vehicle favorite: Good Night, Little Blue Truck

 

 

Nanette’s Baguette, Mo Willems

Reading is ten times more fun with the built-in theatrics that Mo Willems provides. This one is longer than his classics, but the plot is no more complex. Nanette must bring home a baguette before eating it all and being “beset with regret.” Show me a more clever rhyming book—I’ll wait!

Other Willems favorites: Waiting is Not Easy, The Pigeon Needs a Bath

 

 

The Good Egg, Jory John

From a young age we are taught to be “good,” which often leads to “perfect,” including everything around us. Relatable? Kids and adults alike will enjoy this one and the humorous way it teaches us to be kind to ourselves and accepting of others.

Also in the series: The Bad Seed, The Cool Bean, The Couch Potato

 

 

Mixed: A Colorful Story, Arree Chung

For preschoolers, the most powerful books on race use concepts and visuals from their own small worlds. This age-appropriate story about embracing our differences uses the whole color wheel and cartooned facial expressions to show how diversity makes a better place for all.

Other favorites that celebrate our differences: My Friend Maggie, Carrot & Pea

 

 

I Just Forgot, Mercer Mayer

There’s just something about Little Critter books—which were favorites of mine as a kid too. My youngest likes finding the hidden critters on each page. I assume my daughter can relate to the “I have more agency than you think” attitude mixed with the “mistakes are ok” messages.

Other Little Critter favorites: Just a Snowman, I Was So Mad

 

 

Tickle Time!, Sandra Boynton

Up your tickle time game with this simple board book by a classic author. Kids of all ages will enjoy the nonsensical strings of made up words, followed by being tickled high and low, and left and right. It’s a perfect almost-bedtime book when you need to reign the giggles into bed.

Another Boynton favorite: Dinosaur Dance

 

 

The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson

If I’ve learned anything from my countless hours of Paw Patrol viewing, it’s that kids love repetition and formulaic storytelling. The Gruffalo does this well, taking you on a journey through the woods and back again with masterful rhyming and humor.

Also in the series: The Gruffalo’s Child

 

 

Tuesday, David Wiesner

My daughter had me “read” her a word-less book for months, as if she was trying to memorize my ever-changing story. The almost word-less Tuesday will teach anyone the power of good illustration and storytelling. Bonus: you can make the story as short or as long as needed!

Another unconventional favorite: The Book with No Pictures

 

 

Benny and Penny in Just Pretend, Geoffrey Hayes

This comic style book depicts the love-hate relationship between young siblings better than I’ve seen anywhere else. Benny doesn’t want anything to do with his sister Penny, until he does. When he called her a dumb, bad little sister, well, that was just pretend.

Another favorite from the series: Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!

 

*What are your must-have children’s books? Share in the comments!

4 Comments

Filed under 2021, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Educational, Preschoolers, Shop, Toddlers