Books about Grandparents

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Our children are truly blessed with the world’s greatest grandparents.  Both my parents and my husband’s parents are simply crazy about their grandkids.  It brings us so much joy to see our parents love our children so intensely.  Since we live within a few miles of both sets of grandparents, they have a unique relationship that I hope our kiddos will treasure their entire lives.

 

With Grandparents Day coming up on September 7th, I thought I would share some books about grandparents!  These would be fun to read aloud to your child in preparation for seeing their grandparents or they would even make a great gift!

 

Picture Books

the song and dance man Books about Grandparents

The Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman

This beloved classic is about a grandpa who used to be a song and dance man back in the “good old days, the song and dance days.”  He takes his three grandchildren into the attic and digs out his old costumes and tap shoes.  Then he puts on a show, which delights his grandchildren.  I absolutely love this book because it opens up a discussion on past experiences that grandparents (and even parents) have had in their lifetimes.  Each one of us have lived a unique and exciting life in one way or another…this book is a great introduction to talking about those experiences with our children and grandchildren!

 

 

The Hello Goodbye Window Books about Grandparents

The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster

Not only is this book a Caldecott winner, it is a precious book about the relationship between grandparents and a grandchild. The little girl (also the narrator of the story) leaves her Mom and Dad and runs over to her grandparents house.  But before she walks in the door, she passes by the “hello, goodbye window”.  Through this window, she sees the amazing things that await her in the kitchen of her grandparent’s house.  The illustrations in the book are eclectic and almost child-like, which only adds to the appeal of the book (in my opinion).

 

 

How to babysit a grandpa Books about Grandparents

How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan

Our boys gave this book to their grandpa for Father’s Day.  It is an adorable “how to” book from a child’s point of view…a manual of sorts for how to babysit a grandpa.  The illustrations are humorous and this reversed story makes our boys laugh every time they read it.  This book is perfect for 3-4 years and up…old enough that they can understand the humor but young enough that they are still in that egocentric stage of development.  :)

How to Babysit a Grandma Books about Grandparents

How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan

 

 

Here Comes Grandma Books about GrandparentsHere Comes Grandma by Janet Lord

 This book is written in short and simple sentences with the repetitive phrase “Here comes grandma!”, making it perfect for beginning readers.  It details all of the things the grandma would do to see her grandchild:  walk a long way, pedal her bicycle, leap on a horse, drive in a car, hop on a train, ski down the mountain, sail in a hot air balloon, swim in the ocean, and fly in a plane.  When she finally arrives, she whirls and twirls, laughs, sings, and hugs.  This is a great book to read aloud before grandma comes to visit, especially if she lives far away!

 

 

Hugs on the Wind Books about Grandparents

Hugs on the Wind by Marsha Arnold and Vernise Pelzel

 This sweet story is about a cottontail rabbit who misses his grandfather who lives far away.  He asks his mother what she thinks his grandfather misses the most about him.  He decides to give him hugs across the wind , his smiles up in the clouds, tells jokes through the river, and blows kisses through the moon.  This is a perfect book to read whenever your children are unable to see their grandparents due to distance

 

 

What Grandmas Do Best Books about GrandparentsWhat Grandpas Do Best Books about Grandparents

What Grandmas Do Best / What Grandpas Do Best by Laura Numeroff

 This two-in-one book (from the author of the popular If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books) is perfect for grandparents.  Half of the book is about what grandmas do best (play hide-and-seek, take you for walks, paint, go on picnics, take naps with you…)  and then you flip it over and the other half is about what grandpas do best.  The text is exactly the same for both books, but the illustrations show the grandparents doing these things in different ways (for example:  one page says “make you a hat” and the grandma is shown knitting a hat while the grandpa is making paper hats out of newspaper).  I actually think this is brilliant because it shows that the same activity can be new and different depending on who you are doing it with!  Each of the pages features a different personified animal pair.

 

 

Where is Coco Going Books about Grandparents

Where is Coco Going? by Sloane Tanen

This is an interesting book.  The illustrations look like actual photographs taken using three dimensional miniature sets.  Throughout the book, Coco (a yellow chick) is traveling…in a taxi, on a train, on a skateboard, etc.  We don’t find out where Coco is going until the very last page:  To Grandma’s house!  This might be a cute book to read to a toddler or young preschooler prior to traveling to Grandma’s.  Older kids might also be intrigued by the photographs.

 

 

 

I Love you grandma Books about Grandparents I Love You, Grandma by Jillian Marker

This sweet book is about a young bear cub and his grandma.  His grandma teaches him to use his nose, claws, and tongue to find food.  Each time she teaches him something new, the bear cub looks up and tells her, “I Love You, Grandma”.  This would be a sweet book to give grandparents, along with the I Love You, Grandpa book.

 

 

Other Picture Books We Haven’t Reviewed (but look great)

Just Grandpa and Me Books about Grandparents

Just Grandpa and Me by Mercer Mayer

Just Grandma and Me Books about Grandparents

Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer

Grandpas Are For Finding Worms 300x300 Books about Grandparents

Grandpas Are for Finding Worms by Harriet Ziefert

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Grandmas Are For Giving Tickles by Harriet Ziefert

 

 

Board Books

I Already Know I love you Books about Grandparents I Already Know I Love You by Billy Crystal

 We gave this precious board book to my dad for Father’s Day.  It is written by Billy Crystal after he found out he was going to be a grandpa for the first time.  The book is written about all the things he will do with his granddaughter once she arrives.  It is definitely a tear-jerker and would be a precious way to tell your father/father-in-law that you are expecting!  :)

 

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Grandma and Me by Karen Katz

 

 

Grandpa and Me Books about Grandparents

Grandpa and Me by Karen Katz

 

 

in grandmas arms Books about Grandparents

 In Grandma’s Arms by Jayne C. Shelton

 

Grandma Loves You Books about Grandparents

 Grandma Loves You by P.K. Hallinan

 

 

Grandpa Loves Me Books about Grandparents

Grandpa Loves Me! by Marianne Richmond

 

 

Grandma Loves Me Books about Grandparents

Grandma Loves Me by Marianne Richmond

 

 

 Do you have a favorite book about grandparents???

 

 

Ivy Kids: September Monthly Literature-Based Kit

*This is a sponsored post.  I was compensated for sharing my honest opinions on this product.  All opinions are 100% mine.

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Have you ever wished you had an entire month’s worth of learning activities planned and prepped for your child but without the hassle of having to think of activities and get them ready???  Does it sound too good to be true?  Think again…I have just the solution for you!

Ivy Kids is a new monthly subscription service that offers litearture-based activity kits for kids ages three to eight.  Each month you can receive a box FULL of learning activities centered around a specific book AND the book is included!  Each activity includes differentiation for various ages and abilities.  With 10-12 unique activities, this kit will literally last all month long!

I am tickled with the opportunity to review the September Literature-Based Kit from Ivy Kids based on the book Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert.

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This is my third Ivy Kids kit to review and they must keep getting better and better because this one was our favorite!  The book was short, informative, and interactive.  Some shapes were easily identifiable to my 4-year old and others (like the hexagon and trapezoid) were more of a challenge.  Both boys loved seeing how shapes can be used to make various animals!  And since it is a board book, even Baby Girl will be able to enjoy it.  The activities were meaningful and challenging to the ages and abilities of both of my boys.

 

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Nearly all of the domains of early childhood development are included in this kit.  Each of the activities feel like games and kids don’t even realize how much they are learning!

 

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Ivy Kids Kits are perfect for busy parents who wish to provide rich learning opportunities for their kids but simply don’t have the time to come up with these ideas themselves (let alone prepare them).  They are also perfect for families with multiple children as you can differentiate each activity to fit the development of your child!  These would even be excellent to use in centers at preschool or daycare.

 

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I shared in my first review that I love Ivy Kits because of the high-quality materials that are used (even the paper is awesome).  The wooden shape blocks included in the kit are no exception…and will be able to be used for years to come!  My boys also loved creating shapes with these neat connectors.  I have never seen these before!

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I appreciate the variety of activities in these kits…there are some activities that work on cognitive skills (such as patterning) while others allow kids to be creative!

 

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 Little Brother made himself out of shapes and also made flowers, a house, and a baby (the two shapes laying by the tree).  :)

 

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Predicting the next shape in the pattern

 

I also love that Ivy Kids Kits are created by a mom:  A Master-degree holding certified early childhood teacher who made the decision to stay home with her kiddos after the birth of her second child.  I am so glad that she is putting her talents to use to benefit other parents/caregivers while providing for her family!

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Here are just a few of the many skills targeted in September’s kit:

  • Shape recognition
  • Patterning
  • Classifying and sorting
  • Visual and spatial perception
  • Fine Motor practice
  • Letter recognition and formation
  • Graphing
  • Writing (for older kids)
  • Creative expression (making shape collage and animal puppets)
  • Problem solving

 

 

Finally, everything you need for each activity is included in the kit (right down to the glue stick)!   I LOVE that I can pull out the kit and there is absolutely ZERO prep work!!!  With a new baby, this makes my life so much easier!

 

 

Want to try out this kit?  You can still order this kit in time for September!     

Get 20% off your first kit with the code “IVYSUMMER20″!  

 

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 Head on over to Ivy Kids and check out this amazing service!  

 

A Back to School Prayer for our Kids

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Sometimes I get frustrated that the Bible gives us such little explicit instruction on the task of raising children.  Honestly, there are few things that matter more than raising up the next generation to love the Lord.  I have been a little weepy at the thought of my firstborn starting first grade this week.  His love for life and zeal for God is amazing (and encourages me daily), but there is still so much I feel like we need to teach him.

As I was pondering all of this over the weekend, I began thinking about Jesus and how Mary must have felt when he was growing up.  Obviously Jesus was the perfect Son of God and would never sin even in his youth…but I find comfort in knowing that even so, Mary and Joseph probably discussed the best ways to bring him up just like my husband and I do about our very imperfect children.  The Bible tell us so little about Jesus’s childhood.   But there is one tiny verse that encompasses the monumental years of his youth that I have been dwelling on:

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
-Luke 2:52

As school begins once again, this is the verse I am praying for my children, specifically for my oldest.  It includes three of the most important aspects of a child’s life:  mind, body, and spirit.  Each of these aspects come with their own strengths and weaknesses, with obstacles and challenges to overcome in every facet of life.

 

In Wisdom

Lord, I pray that you will allow Caleb to grow in wisdom this year.  I pray that he will learn everything he is expected to know academically.  I pray that he will be successful in his studies and that he will be a diligent worker in what is asked of him.  Most of all, Lord, I pray that you would allow Him to grow in YOUR wisdom.  Help him to learn more about your character through his interactions with others.  Help the scriptures and stories we have been sharing with him from your Word to be a lamp to his feet and a light to his path.  Give us, his parents, the wisdom to help him discern between right and wrong in the situations he is faced with this year.  Above all else, help him learn to love You more.

 

In Stature

Lord, I thank you for the lives of our children.  I thank you that they are healthy.  I pray that you will protect their bodies and help them to continue to grow strong.  Protect them from illness and harm, Lord.

As school begins, I pray that Caleb will know that he is created in your image.  I pray that he will know that is “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  I pray that he will know that You created him exactly the way that you want him to be.  At times, words from others can be cruel.  Protect his heart and help him to rest in the truth that he is a priceless gift to us and, most importantly, to You…so much so that you sent your son for him.

 

In Favor with God and Man

Lord, I pray that you would allow Caleb to be a light for you.  I pray that he would be obedient to his teachers and kind to his classmates.  I pray that he will show kindness and compassion to everyone, but especially those who are treated poorly by others.  Give him the strength to stand up for the outcasts.  I pray that he will have integrity to do the right thing even when no one is looking.  Help him to surround himself with people who will help him grow closer to you.  I pray that he will be both a leader and a follower– a follower of yours but a leader for his peers.  Help his words and actions to be pleasing to you.

 

All this I ask in the name of your son Jesus.  Amen.

 


 

No matter whether your child will be attending public school, private school, or will be homeschooled, I think this prayer is all-encompassing for what we desire for our kids.  And I fully realize I am asking God for a lot…I certainly don’t expect my children to be perfect.  In fact, I need to pray much of this same prayer for myself.  But this is what I most desire for the lives of my children.

When we place the well being of our children in God’s very capable hands through prayer, we are surrendering control to Him.  I’m not sure there is anything else as equally scary, freeing, and comforting as this.  All I know is that He is certainly more capable than I am!

 

 

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PS- I thought I would create a printable scripture card for those of us who wish to consistently pray this prayer for our kids throughout the year.  Stick it on your bathroom mirror or in the visor on your car…any place that you will see it regularly.  There are 4 identical cards on a page…you can print one for yourself and give the others to friends/neighbors if you would like.

Click on the image below to access the printable file:

 

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Is your child heading off to school soon?  What else would you add to this prayer?  

 

 

 

10 Things Every Teacher Wants You to Know…But Won’t Tell You

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As a former first grade teacher and now a parent, I have seen both sides of the fence when it comes to schooling.  I have said it a thousand times and I will say it again…I would be a much more understanding teacher had I been a parent first!  There are SO MANY emotions that are involved when you hand your beloved child over to the care of a stranger and EVERYTHING said about your child (both positive and negative) is taken to heart.

Likewise, however, I think it’s important that parents recognize the growing demands of teachers and give them the respect that is due.  Teaching is hard work…and it is getting only harder with all of the budget cuts and increasing class sizes.  I’m playing “devil’s advocate” by sharing just a few things that I think parent’s should be aware of  as well as sharing some suggestions from teachers who responded to this question on my Facebook page.

 

 

What Every Teacher Wants You to Know…But Won’t Tell You:

1.  Your respect means the world to me.  I truly care about your child and am trying to do my best to make sure that she is learning!  Please show your child that you respect me by talking positively about me in front of her and backing me up when there are discipline issues at school.

 

2.  We are a TEAM.  We are both working towards the same goal when it comes to your child–helping him learn and be successful!  If there is an issue and I share it with you, it does NOT mean that I don’t like your child…actually, it means that I care enough about your child to help him resolve any things prohibiting him or anyone else in my class from learning.

 

3.  If your child is five years old or older, please make sure she knows how to tie her shoes…or buy Velcro shoes.  Taking time to tie the shoes of multiple children in my class only takes away time that would otherwise be used for instruction.

 

4.  Please don’t tell me your child is bored.  I try to make learning as interesting and engaging as I can and telling me this makes it seem like you don’t think I am doing my job.  Many times what might appear to be boredom is often a lack of self-control and/or self-regulation (which typically works itself out with maturity).  If we need to work on teaching your child how to cope with down time, what to do if he finishes early, or how he can be challenged, let’s work together and come up with some solutions.

 

5.  I put a lot of work into the parent newsletters that I send home.  There is also lots of important information included, so please take just a few minutes to read it and check your child’s backpack every day.

 

6.  Please bring individually wrapped or pre-cut birthday treats that are ready to serve.  Trying to cut a cake while 26 (or more) hungry mouths are (not-so-patiently) waiting can often lead to complete chaos.  And when you send a snack like applesauce or pudding, don’t forget the spoons!

 

7.  Don’t assume that just because you struggled with a specific subject in school (i.e. math) that your child will as well.  Always encourage your child in every subject, not just those that interest you.

 

8.  Let your child make mistakes and try to do things by himself.  Don’t rescue him whenever he can’t figure something out.  It gives your child a feeling of power and control when he can handle things independently.

 

9.  Make sure your child gets plenty of rest each night.  Elementary-school children need at least 10 hours of sleep every night.  Don’t overdo it when it comes to extracurricular activities–children need down time just like adults!

 

10.  YOU are your child’s first (and most important) teacher.  Trust your instincts.  I have your child for 9 months and you have them for their entire lives–don’t underestimate your importance when it comes to your child’s education!  Make your home a learning oasis and read to her every day!

 

You can read more responses from teachers here.

 

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