Custom Reading Lights

I have been having so much fun decorating our playroom and although it’s not quite ready for the big reveal ( being 5’4 with a baby perpetually in my arms is limiting sometimes). One thing I could do was to turn these dollar store push lights into a fun light up sign for our book nook.  For the last week we’ve been snuggling in the nook before quiet/ nap time and reading book after book. It’s the coziest place and totally worth loosing a closet and it’s storage space.

  1. Gather your materials. You’ll need one push light per letter and a permanent marker ( I used a broad-line Sharpie) .
  2. Write out your letters or draw something fun. I stuck to one letter per light with such a short word , but you could do anything you want.
  3. Add batteries and hang up.
  4. Push on and read.

Do not forget to participate in our 2nd Annual Summer Reading Challenge , it’s not too late!

Read With Your Kids- Get Entered To Win

Yes it’s that easy!  Reading with and to your children is so important. Just because it’s the summer doesn’t mean that all your regular reading needs to be traded for outside time, family BBQs and time by the pool. Reading with your kids can be snuggled in bed, by the campfire or even at bath time! So far this summer No Time For Flash Card readers participating in our Summer Reading Challenge have read 22629 books!

Over 22 thousand books!

Amazing.

If you haven’t joined our Summer Reading Challenge yet you are not too late. All the details are here but the gist of it is that you read with your kids, tally up how many books you have read, submit a tally sheet once per submission period ( see below) and then you are automatically entered to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card at the end of the summer. Pretty cool!

Submission Periods :

June 3-9th , 10th -16th , 17th- 23rd , 24th-30th

July 1st-7th , 8th-14th, 15th- 21st , 22nd-28th

July 29th – August 4th

August 5th-11th , 12th-18th , 19th -25th.

The winner will be drawn on the 26th of August.

Submit Your Tally Here

5 Great Children’s Book Authors

Parents often ask me which books they should be reading to thier kids. My answer is always books that their kids like. Reading is so important and making it fun and enjoyable right away is a great step in the journey to making your children life long readers. Which is why I love doing themed book reviews so you can easily find great books that suit your child’s interests. That said I do have some favorite authors I want to share, here are my 5 of my favorites.

Todd Parr

What I love about Todd Parr is that his books are incredibly inclusive. Every child can relate to some character in his books and his use of bright colors make his books a fun read for all ages. My favorites are the I Love You Book and The Family Book.

Anne Rockwell

There are a few authors that I always check for when I go to the library, Anne Rockwell is one of those. Her books are usually simple and many like her adorable book President’s Day bridge the divide between fiction and non fiction, telling a story while explaining facts as well.

Robert Munsch

No author’s work have created such discussion here as Munsch’s  I Love You Forever. It seems like everyone either loves or hates that book, but I am not suggesting this author based on that book. I am including Robert Munsch because of all his other books like Stephanie’s Ponytail, The Paper Bag Princess and Zoom that tell stories of strong girls and are hilarious. He writes smart funny boy characters too, but I adore his sassy strong girls.

Kevin Henkes

No other author writes about children’s frailties, anxieties and inner voice the way Henekes does. I love how accepting his books are, how sensitive the parents in his books are and the humor put in only for parent readers. Wemberly Worried is a great book for the first day of school , Julius The Baby of The World was one of my favorites for preparing my son for becoming a big brother and Shiela Rae The Brave is one of my son’s absolute favorite books ever.

Eric Carle

Did you think I could possibly leave him out? Don’t be discouraged by the marketing of  The Very Hungry Caterpillar in shampoo, pillow cases, birthday cards… there is a reason people want these products, because the book is fantastic, as is the author/ artist. While the debatably over exposed Caterpillar is my favorite book I also love the Grouchy Ladybug for teaching time and House For A Hermit Crab for teaching about months of the year and even moving . That’s what I love about Carle, his simple books have such depth of teaching possibilities.

 Who is your favorite picture book author?

20 Thousand Books Read and Still Going Strong

I knew we could do it . No Time For Flash Cards readers have read over 20 thousand books with their kids this summer, and the summer isn’t even over!

20 THOUSAND!

This comment from a reader I got yesterday sums up why we are hosting our Summer Reading Challenge  :

I wanted to thank you for hosting the Summer Reading Challenge.  My almost 5 yr old has always loved books, and reading together is one of our favorite things to do.  While I consider us heavy readers, keeping track of the number of books we read has shown me that our hectic summer schedule has taken a toll on our reading time.  I’m not sure I would have noticed as much if I hadn’t been keeping track for the challenge.  I definitely do not want to slack off on reading to my son or diminish this special time together, so I’ve started getting more creative about how to fit books in.

This is what it’s all about!

Though the $50 Amazon.com gift card is pretty rad too and you will be entered to win it if you join.

If you haven’t joined our Summer Reading Challenge yet you are not too late. All the details are here but the gist of it is that you read with your kids, tally up how many books you have read, submit a tally sheet once per submission period ( see below) and then you are automatically entered to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card at the end of the summer. Pretty cool!

Submission Periods :

June 3-9th , 10th -16th , 17th- 23rd , 24th-30th

July 1st-7th , 8th-14th, 15th- 21st , 22nd-28th

July 29th – August 4th

August 5th-11th , 12th-18th , 19th -25th.

The winner will be drawn on the 26th of August.

Submit Your Tally Here

Picture Books About School

Whenever a big change is on the horizon my first place to turn to is the library to grab books that will help explain, ease anxiety and excite my kids. These school themed books are perfect for going to school for the first time or heading back after a fun summer off.

Maisy Goes to Preschool: A Maisy First Experiences Book by Lucy Cousins is not groundbreaking , it’s text is very formulaic but that doesn’t matter to most young readers who are being introduced to preschool for the first time. My daughter loved this book and my son loved helping me read it to her. It was sweet to see my son tell his little sister all about what she will do at preschool between reading. The book covers all the basics and one thing that really stood out was the page showing Maisy and other students in the potty. The reason I liked this was that for many children a big step at the same time as starting preschool is potty training. The bright colors absolutely thrilled my toddler.

First Year Letters by Julie Danneberg is a really great book about a new , eager teacher and her loyal class. My son loved this book because it was filled with funny mishaps during a teacher’s first year of teaching. The mishaps include runaway pets, falling buffalo, visits from the fire department not once but twice, and more every day things like barf. If you have a child like mine that thinks barf is funny, they will love it. I love the premise, letters written by students much like journal entries with coordinating illustrations. It made me want to get back to teaching and my son asked me if he’d get to have a teacher like that some day. I hope he does!

Miss Mingo and the First Day of School by Jamie Harper is a delightful book. Miss Mingo is a flamingo and teacher who wants to know about her students on the first day of school. She starts the exercise by sharing some fun facts about being a flamingo , like why she is pink, and before you know it the whole class of different animals are sharing. This book not only shows kids that it’s okay to share about themselves but it is full of fun facts about animals in the fine print. I learned something I never knew about a Narwhal! It is a bit long for a toddler but each page highlights new animals and it’s easy to skip a few for those that aren’t ready for a book of this length. This is going on my buy list!


The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz made my daughter squeal at the bookstore when we read it . She loves babies and this book was full of them. The text is the song ” Wheels on the Bus” tweaked a little to be babies on the bus and illustrated with Karen Katz’s adorable babies.  I can not read it without singing though so I sang it loud and proud in Barnes and Noble to my delighted daughter.

I Love School! by Philemon Sturges is a great simple book. I am a fan of this author and his basic books that kids love. He manages to cover all the things that happen at school from the start to the end of the day in an easy rhyming text. What makes this book stand out for me is that the boys and girls were both playing with dolls, something that you see in classrooms every day but rarely in books, it was a nice touch.