Children's Books and Reading Blog

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The Children's Books and Reading blog will keep you up-to-date with any new information added to the web site. Check below for the latest recommendations for inspirational children's books and new ideas and games to help your child become a successful reader.

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Crosswords for Kids

crosswords for kids

As well as being fun to do, solving crosswords can be a great way for your child to develop their vocabulary and spelling skills. Crosswords for kids help your child to learn about the meaning of words and how to use them in sentences. To solve a crossword puzzle, your child needs to search for alternative words, evaluate word choices and differentiate between homophones (words which sound the same but are spelt differently eg pear and pair). These are all useful skills which help to enhance your child's vocabulary and reinforce difficult spellings. If your child is struggling with a word, they can turn to a dictionary for help, thereby helping to develop their dictionary skills.

Keep reading to find out how my children used specially designed puzzles to help practise spelling commonly misspelled words.

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Advice about Reading for Kids

The most popular advice on this site about reading for kids. Check out which pages our visitors like the most.

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Fun Writing Activities

fun writing activities

Writing is a complicated process. First your child needs to formulate their ideas, then they need to search for the right words to express these ideas coherently. Next they must think how to spell the words and finally they need to write them down neatly, thinking about punctuation and sentence structure. No wonder some children are not that keen on writing!

Developing competence in writing takes time, and takes longer than learning to read. If you want to encourage your child to write more, think of fun writing activities for them to do, such as those shown here. While engaging in the writing process your child will learn many things. On the one hand they will develop literacy skills such as vocabulary, grammar and spelling. In addition, by thinking about what to write and how to write it, they will also develop their thinking and communication skills. Click on the link to find out more.

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Word Wall

reading fluency activityThe latest addition to our kitchen wall is this Word Wall to help my son with his spelling. I have been really happy how enthusiastically he has taken to it. All I did was print out a title, stick it on a large sheet of white paper and laminate the sheet. I then bought some coloured whiteboard marker pens, for that added multi-coloured look.

When my son spells a word incorrectly or doesn't know how to spell a word, we work out the correct spelling and then he writes it on the Word Wall. At meal times I encourage him to look at the words and quizz him on a few at a time. Very simple and very quick. No time for him to complain or get bored. When he spells a word correctly a few times, we rub it out to leave room for the next word.

Reading Fluency Activity: Read & Record

reading fluency activity Following on from my post last week about reading fluency, read more about how my son and I have worked on improving the expression in his reading with this fun Read & Record reading fluency activity. It is amazing how a couple of props can make something as potentially boring as re-reading lots of fun! Take one tape recorder (or voice recording app, in our case) and one bell and, hey presto, you are all ready to create your own audio-enhanced picture book. Click on the link to find out more.

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Reading Fluency

Practical tips on what you can do to help your child improve their reading fluency.

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The site has had a facelift!

childrens books and reading facelift The Children's Books and Reading website has had a facelift! It still has the same great content, but now with a fresher look and a brand new logo. I hope you like it!

Click on the logo and have a look.

Thank you so much for following my site. Is there anything you would like to see more of? Do contact me and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

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Top 10 Kids' Activities for Early Readers

The top 10 most popular kids' activities on this site to improve your early reader's literacy skills.

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Top 10 Kids' Learning Activities for Developing Readers

The top 10 most popular kids' learning activities on this site to improve your developing reader's literacy skills.

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2014 Caldecott Medal Winner

Locomotive The 2014 Caldecott Medal winner has just been announced by the American Library Association. This prestigious award is presented annually to the American artist of the most distinguished picture book for children published in the United States. This year the award has been won by Brian Floca for his picture book "Locomotive".

The perfect book for any train-lover, "Locomotive" paints a picture of life on America's early railroads. It is 1869 and a train approaches the platform. The book describes the mechanics of the locomotive, the responsibilities of the crew members, the passing landscapes and the thrill of the passengers experiencing the sights and sounds of this new mode of travel. Click on the link below to check out all the past winners of the Caldecott Medal.

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