Putting down screens and picking up a book May 1, 2017 Kristin KahlFamilies Infant and Toddler Pre-K Preschool Providers School Age No Comments by Kristin Kahl, Knowledge Manager Next week is a fantastic opportunity for families. It’s both Screen-Free Week and Children’s Book Week! You read that right. I said fantastic opportunity, not scary-potential-for-disaster-when-my-kids-don’t-have-something-to-entertain-them-every-second. I get it. As a working parent of 6- and 8-year-old boys, sometimes this mama just needs a minute of peace. Most of the time, the Kindle does a bang-up job of being my right-hand man to help me get a load of dishes or laundry done. The Wii (who lives in the quiet recesses of the faraway basement) is a great friend whenever the boys are snapping at each other, and I need a way to get a little quiet time. This week is going to be different. So, I’m going to try to use entertainment other than screens for the kiddos. That’s where the books come in! The boys are old enough to be able to read on their own now. My 8-year-old is working his way through the Harry Potters and The Mysterious Benedict Society series. My 6-year-old feels like such a big kid when he reads the Magic Tree House chapter books. I think it’s also important for me to take some extra time out of my schedule to read with them. We have plenty of favorites I plan to break out, and many more waiting for us at the library. Thankfully, I work with really wonderful experts who have some great suggestions: http://www.childcareanswers.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/book_week_1_n.mp4 http://www.childcareanswers.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/book_week_2.mp4 OUR RECOMMENDATIONS I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom Skippyjon Jones series by Judy Schachner The Napping House by Audrey Wood Tea with Ruby by Sarah Ferguson The Duchess of York The Lorax by Dr. Suess Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle Silly Goose by Marni McGee WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE? What about you? Tell us about your favorite children’s book in the comments section below. AN UPDATE FROM THE OTHER SIDE Well, I’m proud to report that our family survived Screen-Free week. As luck has it, it rained just about every day last week. Also, my third grader reported it was the worst planning ever because it also collided with Star Wars Day (May the Fourth). That meant that all six of the original movies were on TV, and the poor kid had to wait to watch them. Yet, we managed to get in some great board game nights and family reading time. My favorite moment was when my kindergartner decided he wanted to attempt to read The Mysterious Benedict Society like his big brother. Although he could pronounce all the words, he didn’t know what they all meant. So, my third grader sat down with him and acted as a human dictionary for a good while they read it together. It warmed this mama’s heart – thanks Screen-Free week! Cover image by Flickr user Katie Levesque, Creative Commons license.