Category: Book Recommendations & Reviews

Solar Eclipse Tips and Resources for Kids

Solar Eclipse Tips and Resources for Kids

If you’re like me, your newsfeed is FULL of news and updates about the upcoming U.S. solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st. There’s a lot of information out there, so I wanted to grab the “best of the best” for all of you to peruse quickly before Monday.

We like to use major events like these to pique our girls’ interest in new ideas (like the solar system!) and go deeper in our learning while interest is high.

What is a solar eclipse, and why is it such a big deal?

This video from SciShow Kids explains it perfectly!

How can I watch it (safely)?

If you live in this zone, you’ll be able to see some or all of the eclipse in your own yard!

Map of the 2017 solar eclipse, courtesy of NASA
Source: NASA

If you’re not able to see it outside, be sure to check out this live stream!

Know the Risks, Don’t Peek!

Note: Some scientists are disputing Dr. Schecter’s post, so use caution and make the best decision for your family. 

Helpful Idea to Try with Kids:


Other Ways to Watch the Solar Eclipse:

Learn more about the solar system with these great solar eclipse resources!

More Solar Eclipse Activities:

If your kids are like mine, they will likely be talking about the eclipse for days (or weeks!). Take advantage of their excitement to learn more about the sun AND take some time to preserve their memories of the day.

Solar System Book Recommendations | Solar Eclipse 2017

Book Recommendations:

My girls LOVE to read, so I always try to have a few non-fiction books available about the topic we’re studying. Visit your local library, or add a few new books to your collection. We have not found many eclipse-specific books, but are using the experience to learn more about the solar system in general. As an Usborne Books & More Consultant, I recommend these five great books:

Big Book of Stars and Planets from Usborne Books & More

The Solar System from Usborne Books & More

Sun, Moon, and Stars from Usborne Books and More

100 Things to Spot in the Night Sky from Usborne Books & More
Technically not a book, but a box of information cards.

Secrets of Our Earth from Usborne Books & More

Additional Resources:

  • NASA has set up a homeschool section on their solar eclipse website, including family activities and lesson plans for all ages.
  • I will continue to update this post as new resources become available!
WHY does my child want to read the same book again and again?

WHY does my child want to read the same book again and again?

Picture a toddler, sitting in a high chair during a family meal. He drops his sippy cup onto the floor and looks at his mom. She brightly exclaims, “Uh-oh!” and bends down to pick up the cup. Moments later, he deliberately lets go of the cup again. “Uh-oh,” he says with a smile.

“Uh-oh” is one of my favorite stages in child development. Our children become young scientists, learning more about the ways of the world through repetition.

On the other hand, they may also become obsessed with their favorite color, their favorite show, their favorite book–wanting the SAME stories, the SAME snack, the SAME toy…each and every day.

My child want to read the same book again and again. WHY Repetition is GOOD for Our Young Children | reading aloud, stories for kids, child development

It’s one of the frustrations that come up when I ask parents about their read-aloud routines with their children: “I get tired of reading the same books over and over again.” We certainly went through the same phase where we read the same Caillou book to our toddler for weeks in a row.

While it’s aggravating for us as parents, there is a scientific reason why our children are so drawn to doing the same things again and again.

Repetition is an important strategy for the brain development of our young children (babies, toddlers, and preschoolers) and has many benefits:

  • it teaches cause and effect
  • it builds anticipation
  • it establishes connections in the brain

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.)

Every time our children read (or hear) a familiar book, they are learning new vocabulary, observing more details in the illustrations, and developing a stronger memory. Teachers and authors know how important consistency can be for young children, which is why so many “classic” and beloved children’s books feature repeating lines, such as:

My child want to read the same book again and again. WHY Repetition is GOOD for Our Young Children | reading aloud, stories for kids, child development

While reading the same book again and again can become tiresome for us, be confident that you are helping your child become a more confident, successful reader–and surely, that is what we ALL want for our kids!

Here’s a tip if your child is “stuck” on one book: Read the book he or she is requesting, as usual–along with two other books. Try to choose one that has been a favorite in the past (that YOU love) and a new book that you wouldn’t mind becoming the replacement favorite. (And then consider recording yourself reading the book you’re tired of, either on audio or video, so your child can replay it on demand.)

Looking for some new book ideas?
Be sure check out our 25 “Must-Have” Read-Aloud Authors List!

My child want to read the same book again and again. WHY Repetition is GOOD for Our Young Children | reading aloud, stories for kids, child development
Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine

We all agree that reading to our children is valuable, right?

(Check out the benefits of reading aloud here, if you’re not sure.)

When it comes to actually sitting down and reading with our kiddos…well, that’s when things can get a little tricky. Usually, parents mention one of these three obstacles to reading with children:

  1. We don’t have TIME to read aloud as often as we’d like.

  2. I get tired of reading the same books over and over again.

  3. My child won’t sit still for story time.

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine | read-alouds, stories for kids, parenting


If any of those obstacles sound familiar to you, I hope our read-aloud series has been helpful for you. Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

In our family, finding time to read aloud with our kids is a tricky business. We have to be intentional parents, making sure that reading to our children is a priority to our schedule.

Here are some of the ways we can all incorporate more stories into our day! Choose just one or two a week to make reading more fun.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.)

  1. Start the day with a story. Invite your little one to snuggle with you, and read a great book like Sandra Boynton’s Hey! Wake Up!
  2. Read aloud while your little one gets dressed. Blue Hat, Green Hat is a family favorite!
  3. Make teeth-brushing time fly by with a fun book!
  4. Keep a children’s book of poems or nursery rhymes at the dining room table. Read one or two if you finish eating before your child. We love Tomie DePaola’s Mother Goose.
  5. Stack books up next to the couch in the living room. Act surprised when you find your little one browsing a book!
  6. Make a personalized playlist for your children. Record yourself reading a few favorite books.
  7.  Buy a CD player and some books with CDs for your child’s room. My daughter enjoys Farmyard Tales from Usborne Books & More.
  8. Leave a few books in the car for the carpool lane, waiting at the drive-through, or for taking on errand runs.
  9. Visit the library or book store at least once a week. Find a new book by a favorite author.
  10. Read a book outside while your child takes a water break.
  11. Share a book while your little one is in the tub.
  12. Snuggle up together for a book or two before bed.

Can you think of anything I missed? I’d love to hear your favorite time of day to read with your child!

Incorporating Reading into Your Daily Routine | read-alouds, stories for kids, parenting