Kids Read

What Kids Want in Books: Laughter Rules!

You don't need to spend much time with kids to know that they dearly love to laugh. Even serious-minded children will crack a smile at "silly stuff": words, actions, or characters that just don't belong together in the real world.... for example, a chicken who interrupts, a duck on a bike, a monster named Floyd Peterson.

The Magic Ingredient in Reading: YOU.

What helps kids become dedicated readers? What are kids looking for in books that they like to read? Why do some kids naturally spend lots of time reading, while others struggle? Most of all, what is the magic ingredient that will set YOUR child up for reading success and enjoyment?

Some intriguing answers to these questions can be found in a 2014 "Kids & Families Reading Report" from Scholastic and YouGov, which surveyed U.S. children's reading habits, attitudes, and frequency.

Make Your Child a Words

One misconception that many new parents have is that they shouldn't be concerned about talking with their babies and young children until they start talking back. While this seems intuitive, brain and reading research emphatically recommends a far more active approach to talking.

Talking to babies and young children as much as you possibly can will not only enrich your bond with them, but it will also build their brains into elite language-learning machines. 

Creating "Semantic Maps" of Winter

The science of reading research highlights how "semantic maps" help us comprehend what we read. In its basic form, the more you know about a topic - the more connected bits of knowledge you have on your semantic map of, say, winter - the more you will be able to understand an article or book about that topic.

'Tis the Season... To Sing!

One of my fondest memories is sitting under the Christmas tree with my dad singing carols and other winter songs. My sisters and I would snuggle next to him and join in with all of our kid hearts. Our favorites were the cheerful refrains (and happy ending) of "Frosty the Snowman" and the contemplative beauty of "Lord of the Dance."

Here's the thing: my dad is a wonderful man, but singing is not one of his many gifts. Despite the wrong pitches and off notes, every year we looked forward to this special tradition with Dad.