Hopefully the showers of April have brought you May flowers, which also puts me in the mood to plant my own garden; flowers to bring me joy and herbs and vegetables for yumminess. I love being able to walk out to my backyard garden in the summer to gather what I need for a salad. We even keep pots of herbs on the deck, which my daughter loves to water and cut to use when we cook together. Be sure to include the little ones in decision making and in planting and don’t forget the fairies. They love their own garden and children enjoy creating them.
This last month of spring is Get Caught Reading month. Many schools reward students when they are “caught” reading this month but on the flip side, those same students are often reprimanded for reading when they shouldn’t be throughout the school year (I know, I was one of them.) Be supportive of and encourage your child’s reading habit and, if possible, snap a photo when you catch them reading and share it with us on our Facebook page.
The first week of the month is the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week. Read your child’s favorite book with them or share one of your favorites from childhood. For ideas and further suggestions, check out the book lists on the BTBL website. This is also a great time to support local authors. Ask your librarian or local book seller who would be on the list. Last but not least, the second Sunday in May is Mother’s Day. Celebrate the day reading with your children, your mother and your grandmother if you are so lucky to have them all in your life. Including the generations fosters a sense of continuity and builds lasting memories.
Special Dates in May
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4th: Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!) - Need we say more? There are many Star Wars books to choose from, from board books to graphic novels. For a fun read choose a title from Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader series. If your child has other interests, get creative. Read under the stars, read about space exploration or extraterrestrials, and so on.
5th: Cinco de Mayo - Though officially the date is in celebration of a battle victory for the Mexican army in 1862, today in the U.S. it has become a celebration of Mexican culture. Read one of Roseanne Greenfield Thong’s books. Another fun option is Dragon’s Love Tacos by Adam Rubin or choose a book from the Skippyjon Jones series, a cat who thinks he’s a Chihuahua, by Judy Schachner.
16th: Author/Illustrator Margret Rey’s Birthday - Best known for the Curious George series she created with her husband, H.A. Rey. Read one of the many stories about the world’s favorite monkey and also read about the Reys’ harrowing journey to bring their beloved stories from war torn Europe to the United States in The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey by Louise W. Borden.
24th: Queen Victoria’s Birthday - The longest reigning British monarch until Queen Elizabeth. Besides a biography, there are several interesting and fun books you can read. Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan and The Queen’s Knickers by Nicholas Allan. An interesting title, especially for older children might be The Adventures of Alice Laselles, written by Queen Victoria herself when she was 10 years old.
Poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb” published in 1830 - Great time to read the poem with your child and sing the song. For older children who are already familiar with the poem, check out Mary Had a Little Lamp by Jack Lechner and Mary Had a Little Lab by Sue Fliess for laughs and perhaps use the Internet to find and listen to Thomas Edison reciting the first lines of the poem on the original phonograph. A great learning opportunity that also makes a connection to a historical event.
May is also a month for remembering our fallen heroes who died while serving in the armed forces. Armed Forces Day is the third Saturday in May and Memorial Day is the last Monday. Look for ways to celebrate our freedom and to honor those currently serving our country as well as our veterans.
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest editions, a daughter for Kate (now 3) and a son for Amanda (now 1.) We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.