Shape Up! Lit + Life for the New Year

January, the time of year when we hear “shape up!” everywhere we turn. Well, this year we are joining the chorus – literacy style. When you come right down to it, letters and numbers are shapes. Some shapes cross all boundaries. A circle can be the letter o or a zero or just a circle. Others, like the the letter Y have one distinct recognition. One of the first letter shapes my daughter (3) recognized was an M … as in the golden arches. Not an ideal association, but one that worked because once she recognized the shape. Using that shape recognition, we would play games looking for the M in other places, like road signs and books. Shapes fill our … Read more

Gardens Grow Readers – More Gift Ideas

This may be the time when we “winterize” our gardens, but that doesn’t mean we have to put away our love for gardening! Besides, not all gardens grow outdoors … which leads me to our theme du’jour for literacy gift ideas for kids.  Gardens are gifts that Grow! For kids who like to play in the dirt, gardening is a wonderful activity. There are so many directions that you can go when you pair a garden-y book with an activity. From science to sociology (and even patience), there is lots of learning packed in your gift! Here are some gift idea pairs that are sure to … Pair your selected book with a kid-friendly gardening kit. For teens and young … Read more

Chalk it Up as a Great Gift

I shouldn’t say this but I will – chalk is SUCH an easy gift! As you know by now, we are taking a break from our usual Throwback Thursday Book Review schedule to focus on sharing gift ideas with a literacy twist. These are featured selections from our Gift of Literacy board on Pinterest. When I started thinking about our Read It and Keep series, Chalk by Bill Thompson was one of the first titles on my list. The story is imaginative in and of itself, and with chalk in hand, it offers endless possibilities for children. Chalk Stories … This is my go-to gift for preschoolers and young elementary students. The book alone is a great gift and is sure … Read more