Tag: holidays

Earth Day Activities and Books for Kids

Earth Day Activities and Books for Kids

Spring is here! What a fun time to teach our children about science in a creative, hands-on way. Whether you go on a nature walk, pick up trash at a local park, or start a garden, children can learn to care for the environment with these fun Earth Day activities and books!

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Simple Earth Day Activities for Kids

Simple Earth Day Activities for Kids

(Just a reminder that Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.)

  • We celebrate the beginning of spring with weekly walks around our neighborhood. We look for budding trees, nesting birds, and the arrival of daffodils and tulips in neighbors’ yards. This year, we’ll be starting a family nature journal to document all the changes we see.
  • We’ll also be working in our vegetable garden in our yard. We have a raised garden bed on our back deck, right off the kitchen, which makes it easy for the kids to prune and harvest each day.
  • Visiting the botanical gardens every year is a fun family field trip to celebrate the changes that spring brings!
  • Now that the snow is melting, our family is excited to get back to geocaching, one of our favorite ways to explore nature near and far. We use the Geocaching app to find hidden treasures wherever our travels take us: from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters and Visitor Center in Omaha, Nebraska to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin to Lighthouse Ann Arbor Park in Menominee, Michigan!
  • This year, we’ll also be watching our Extraordinary Earth DVD from Rachel and the Treeschoolers. You can watch a clip of it below:


Earth Day Busy Box

Our Earth Day busy box is filled with green and blue toys found around the house! You can watch the video to see what I included or scroll down for a full list:


Earth Day books for kids

9 Earth Day Books for Kids

Picking up seasonal books from the library and placing them in a basket by the couch is another fun way to introduce a holiday like Earth Day to your kids! Here are some that we found at our library:

  • Earth Day by Emma Carlson Berne

  • Earth Day by Clara Cella

  • We are Extremely Very Good Recyclers by Lauren Child

  • The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle : A Story about Recycling by Alison Inches

  • Our House is Round by Yolanda Kondonassis

  • Katie Saves the Earth by Fran Manushkin

  • Why Should I Recycle? by Susan Meredith

  • Earth Day – Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy

  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Click here to see more of our favorite spring books for kids.

Earth Day Family Activity Guide

Want even more Earth Day activities for kids?

Check out our Earth Day Family Activity Guide, now available in The Play School Club!

How to Make an Awesome Christmas Busy Box for Kids!

How to Make an Awesome Christmas Busy Box for Kids!

Winter is coming, and you’re looking for simple play ideas to keep your toddlers and preschoolers learning at home. Between cold weather, rainy days, and lots of holidays preparations that keep parents busy, having a few educational activities set aside for your little ones is a smart idea! Read on to learn how to make a Christmas busy box for your kids. How to Make a Christmas Busy Box for Kids

Note: This busy box can be repurposed for a variety of seasons and holidays. The only thing “Christmasy” about it are the colors I chose — but you could easily make a similar quiet time activities using other colors and symbols!

In case you haven’t heard about busy bags or boxes before, they are simple learning activities that are typically self-contained and set aside for travel, waiting rooms, or quiet time. This Christmas busy box is similar, pulling together a group of open-ended materials that can be used in a variety ways. Toddlers and preschoolers can mix and match their toys for hours of creative play!

Best of all, these materials all fit in one small box, so they can easily travel to a relative’s house or holiday party all season long.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

How to Make a Christmas Busy Box:

Making a busy bag or box doesn’t have to be complicated! Think of learning skills you want to target with your toddler or preschooler and gather related toys.   This Christmas busy box that I put together focuses on fine motor and counting skills. Put all your materials in a small shoe box!

Christmas Busy Box for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Click here to see a short video explaining how to use these materials in a variety of fun activities!

Recommended Materials for Your Christmas Busy Box:

You can use ANY learning toys you have around your house–these are just a few recommendations that are both quiet and easily transportable.

  • UNO cards (specifically the red and green number cards 0-9)
  • ice cube tray
  • red, green, and white pom poms
  • tweezers
  • red and green foam blocks (1 inch cubes)
  • “velcro sticks” (red and green craft sticks with velco dots on the ends)
  • red and green pegs
  • tree cookie cutter
  • green LEGOs
  • empty (clean) Parmesan cheese container
  • red and green straw pieces
  • shoelace

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Christmas Busy Box and Activity Ideas

24 Patriotic Books for Kids

24 Patriotic Books for Kids

From a very young age, we have introduced new topics to our girls through seasonal activities and stacks of books. Whether we are learning about the beach, the solar system, or U.S. History, my girls love pouring over books from the library to discover new ideas.

During the month of June, we’ll be focusing our family read-aloud time on topics related to American history, symbols, and famous citizens who have impacted our nation. This list of patriotic books is by no means the “ultimate guide,” but it will hopefully give you a starting point when you go to the library or book store.

Note: I suggest you read through these books (or any history book) personally before reading them aloud to your children or sitting them out for independent reading time. Our nation’s history is full of war, tragedy, and unfair events. While I always answer my daughters’ questions honestly, I also strive not to expose them to things they are not yet ready for emotionally.

24 Patriotic Books for Kids | Take this list of recommended books to the library for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and President's Day read-aloud options.

Patriotic Books for Kids

(Just a reminder that Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here.)

Alexander Hamilton: A Plan for America by Sarah Albee

The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong

Flags and Seals by Erinn Banting

Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare by Gene Barretta

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? by Teresa Bateman

America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates

The Children’s Book of America by William J. Bennett

Smart About the Fifty States by Jon Buller, et al.

The Wall by Eve Bunting

A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin

Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz

You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton? by Jean Fritz

This Little President : A Presidential Primer by Joan Holub

The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller

Across America, I Love You by Christine Loomis

Coming to America: The Story of Immigration by Betsy Maestro

The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barb Rosenstock

We the People: The Constitution of the United States of America by Peter Spier

So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George

The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence by Judith St. George

The United States Flag by Amanda Doering Tourville

Just Like Abraham Lincoln by Bernard Waber

The History of the White House by Kate Waters

Finding new books at the library can be a fun way to kick off a study of U.S. history! You can click here for our favorite patriotic resources and a simple sensory bin or here to download our Patriotic Family Activity Guide with 35 learning ideas for kiddos ages 2-6.

What are your family’s favorite patriotic books?