Boredom Busters

New Kid Books: Top Picks from Picture Books to Teen Novels

We've already stocked up on back-to-school supplies from new backpacks to jeans, but now comes the fun part: books! 

If you have voracious summer readers, it's likely your kids are already complaining that they’ve read everything. Or maybe you want to inspire a less than enthusiastic reader to kick off the 2015-2016 academic year on a wordy note.

Either way, Mommy Poppins has put together a list of more than a dozen books for kids of all ages, from preschool to high school, that were published within the last year, and, based on the awards they've already won, seem destined to become future classics. So pull up a comfy chair, whip out that library card and read on. You might just find a new family favorite.

5 Spelling Word Games to Help with Spelling for Kids

English is a tricky language with a lot of words and a whole heck of a lot of crazy rules (and exceptions to rules) about how things should be spelled. When I watch a kid learning the English language I honestly don't know how any of us do it. It's truly amazing that any of us learn how to read and spell.

Parents can support their kids learning to spell and write in school by spending time with them at home, reading and playing word games. Word games can help early writers just learning how to spell, as well as more advanced writers to increase their vocabularies. I've picked out a few word games that help kids with spelling words and tried them out with my seven year old. Not only have I been impressed with his growing ability and comfort (sometimes that's the most important thing) with spelling words, but we've had a lot of fun too.  And great warm up for back to school.

20 Classic Educational OT Toys To Help Children Prepare for School

Last week there was an article in the NY Times, “Watch How You Hold That Crayon,” about OT and handwriting. In the article Anthony DiCarlo, a Principal stated, “In the last five years, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of kids who don’t have the strength in their hands to wield scissors or do arts and crafts projects, which in turn prepares them for writing."

He goes on to say that while many kids head back to school with accomplishments like music, yoga and sports classes, they may not have logged enough time in open-ended play. “I’m all for academic rigor,” he said, “but these days I tell parents that letting their child mold clay, play in the sand or build with Play-Doh builds important school-readiness skills, too.”

Preparing for Kindergarten: Five Books to Help Children Transition

Last year at this time you may have been wracked with anxiety about finding your child the right preschool or elementary school. Now all of that is behind you and next week or soon there after your kid or toddler will be starting school for the first time or starting at big kid school for the first time. Either way, it's their turn to be filled with anxiety. Even the most cool NYC kid is bound to feel some jitters when faced with a completely new school situation.

Why All the Rainbows? 10 Books for Kids About Marriage Equality

Until recently, when asked by kids if two boys or two girls could get married, my standard answer was, "No, but they can be in love if they want to." On June 26, 2015, my answer to this common question changed for good—now it is simply, "Yes." For some children, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is a nonevent; for others, it is life-changing. Perhaps your little one noticed the deluge of rainbows on TV, or you’ve suddenly been invited to Uncle Bruce’s wedding to his longtime roommate. Maybe you're celebrating the historic ruling with your family, or you took a wrong turn and found yourself smack-dab in the middle of the NYC's Pride Parade. However the topic has come up—or even if it hasn’t yet—consider checking out one of these fantastic books to help explain inclusive ways to define family.

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