Cooking With Kids, Pt. 1: The Basics

Some of my favorite memories from when my children were little are kitchen memories. Working together in the kitchen to prepare a meal for the family is a great opportunity to talk with your child about what's going on with them, their friends, school projects and more. When you cook with your child, you may not realize it, but you are doing science experiments and often working math word problems. (Do you remember hating them in school? Me too, but it turns out that's actually how you use math in the real world!)
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Picturing School: Books for Back to School

School's in session! Instead of asking your child "How was school?" at the end of the day, consider reading a picture book related to school instead. Reading books aloud is a natural way to talk about a variety of topics without it feeling forced. Here are a few of our favorite discussion-starting, school-focused picture books:
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Swing Back Into School Reading Mode! 10 Tips

Most schools are back in session, but that doesn't mean children have quite shaken off the vacation sleepies.  Some tips from our fellow public library Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon to help get kids back into reading mode for school: 1. Use the closed captioning on your TV so your child can read along. 2. Take turns reading a book together. Let your child read to you, then you read to them. 3. Set up a special place - a chair, sofa or pillow - to use especially for reading.
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Sequoyah Award? What's That?

At some point during the school year, you might hear your child mention the Sequoyah Award and wonder what it's all about. As someone who has been involved in this long Oklahoma literary tradition, I'm happy to tell you more about it! What is the Sequoyah Award?
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Back To School...With a Twist!

Savvy parents and teachers know that picture books are an excellent way to help children confront and process a variety of anxieties and fears. If your child is apprehensive about the fast-approaching first day of school, consider reading and sharing Adam Rex's book, "School's First Day of School," illustrated by the masterful Christian Robinson. (Robinson will be coming to Tulsa in November as part of the Books To Treasure program!)
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"Help! I hate my kid's favorite book!"

Here you are, a dedicated parent or grandparent or other caregiver, and all you want to do is to make sure your kid grows into a well-rounded, happy, and caring person. (Which means you want them to be a reader, because research shows regular readers are happier, more empathetic, and volunteer more than non-readers.)  You make sure there are plenty of books around...you go to the library frequently...you read to your child every day...you know the importance of freedom of choice in reading, so you ask your child to pick the book...
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Making Reading Fun, Part 2: Books as Toys

Reading IS fun! But sometimes it takes kids some time to realize it - mostly because learning how to read can be really, really hard. Last week, we talked about using nonfiction as a way into the joy of reading.
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Making Reading Fun, Part 1: Great Nonfiction

When you think about the reasons you like to read, reading for reading's sake is probably not one of them. We read to learn about ourselves and others, to study topics that interest us, or to experience stories both real and imaginary. Unfortunately, children who are just learning to read often see reading as difficult, not fun at all! As parents and caregivers, what can we do to encourage the early literacy concept of print motivation, or reading for fun, when children are not able to read well on their own?
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What Flag Is That? A Patriotic Exploration

In honor of a summer of patriotic holidays (Memorial Day, Flag Day, and just this week, Independence Day), why not go on a learning expedition with your child about flags of the world? We all know what the flag of the United States of America looks like, but what about Norway's flag? Croatia? Egypt? Peru? Spain? Google Image Search is useful to see what flags look like, but to get the full history of the symbolism of different flags, head to the 929.9s and 994s in the Children's nonfiction section at your library.
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Sing This Book!: Pete the Cat's I Love My White Shoes

Singing is an important early literacy activity that parents and caregivers should be engaging in every day with children...but it's also a lot of fun! There are many great picture books that feature songs, or that can be sung as you read them. The Pete the Cat book "I Love My White Shoes" is one of my favorites to sing with kids because of its extreme interactivity.
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