Easy Readers for Boys

Our 6-1/2 year-old son is reading now - so cool!  But it was easier to find beginner books for our daughter.

The summer before his kindergarten year, we tried BOB books.  He liked those for the sheer number of tiny books in each set.  But he preferred the stories in the Brand New Readers series, especially those about the worm, monkey and dragon.  We found those locally at The School Box.

Elephant_Piggie1But most of the credit to igniting Sam’s reading spark goes to Mo Willems.

His Elephant & Piggie books were the first to get our son excited about being able to read.  We Are in a Book!, I Am Invited to a Party!, Watch Me Throw the Ball! and I Will Surprise My Friend are favorites.

We still hear Sam cackling in his room at night as he rereads them – often using the super-soft stuffed characters to act out the stories.

Here are the others he found interesting enough to read himself, roughly in the order that he was able to read them:

Now, the summer before 1st grade, he’s reading these chapter books:

  • Roscoe Riley Rules.  Great beginner chapter books.  My daughter loved them, too.
  • Encyclopedia Brown series.  My husband loved these as a kid.  Each book is divided into several mini mysteries to solve.  Good for read-aloud, too.
  • Magic Tree House series, which we also read aloud to both kids a few years ago.

Tips for 2nd Grader from American Girl

My 7-year-old daughter and I both like this book, Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends, published by American Girl.

Our Kids’ New Favorite Toy

These colorful stacking dolls from Maryshoka Madness have taken over our house.  My daughter has always been fascinated by stacking dolls, but a few fragile sets have broken.  When I spotted the plastic, red Cutie set at UrbanOutfitters.com, I scooped it up for her birthday (it’s on sale there now for $9.99).

A pamphlet in the box showed pictures of puppies, kittens and ninjas.  My 5-year-old son was green with envy.  But one generous grandmother’s visit later, and the kids own those now, too.

Amazon has a big selection – each set is $12-$14 and qualifies for free super saver shipping.

Costco: Harry Potter & Lego

Lego Harry Potter Book at Costco for $11.99.
And Mom’s feeling generous because it’s the beginning of summer break.

Oh, happy day, for my 5-year-old son.

Free Kids’ Outdoor Journal

My children love little notebooks and journals.

During our recent trip to Colorado, both kids enjoyed the Junior Ranger activity books they received for free at Hovenweep National Monument and Mesa Verde National Parks.  They worked on the books, pledged to safeguard the U.S. National Parks and became official Junior Rangers.

We also paid about $8 each for Passport to Your National Parks books, so they could collect passport stamps and stickers to record each of their national park visits.

This little activity book from REI is similar.  Available for free at REI stores or for download here, it’s a perfect excuse to explore a local park or hiking trail, and a lot more accessible if you don’t happen to live near a national park.  Click here to find a local trail and REI will lead you to hiking and biking trails near your home or next vacation spot.

New books come out in June, but my local REI still had plenty of last year’s version.  They gave me 20 of them for the children at our upcoming family reunion in Central Oregon (another great part of the country to revel in the great outdoors).