Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 106: Your Big Backyard

Okay, so I know this isn't technically a book, but I LOVE the National Wildlife Foundation's magazine Your Big Backyard.  Reading different types of media with your children is an invaluable way to improve their reading and literacy skills, and how fun is it for them to receive their very own magazine in the mail?!   My son always gets so excited when his new Big Backyard arrives!  Most of our old editions are taped together from having received so much love. Thanks to the NWF, there are three levels of nature publications you can read with your child:  Wild Animal Baby (for ages 2-4), Your Big Backyard (ages 4-7) and Ranger Rick  (ages 7 to 14.)  My son first received Wild Animal Baby as a birthday gift when he turned one, and we upgraded to the preschool publication earlier this year.  Subscriptions cost only $15 a year, but many local libraries get these great magazines, as well.  If you do subscribe, it's quick and easy to upgrade your status when you feel as though your child is ready for the next level, which is just one of many reasons to love this wonderful series.  These magazines are so  fabulous and provide a wealth of learning opportunities, from cool and interesting animal facts and amazing photography to art activities and singalongs.  Your Big Backyard, for example, features a family fun guide at the back of each edition with a new song, book of the month, "crafty creation," and "cooking together" activity based on the theme each month.  August's edition featured seahorses (did you know they are actually a species of of fish?), so we learned to sing "Pretty Little Seahorse" (to the tune of I've Been Working on the Railroad), how to make seahorse art out of rolled up paper strips, and how to make sand dollar pancakes with cream cheese.  So fun!  What's more, the book of the month was Over in the Ocean, one of our favorites from back on Day 82.  Need a great gift idea?  Consider a subscription!  This is truly a gift that keeps on giving all year long.  If you haven't checked out these fantastic publications, please do.  We promise you won't be disappointed! 


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