Not All Board Books are Created the Same…

Toddler Girl Reading a Picture Book, Isolated, WhiteBoard books are one of the most practical gifts you can give a child. They were created for young children (babies, toddlers, and preschoolers) with the idea that this age group can be rough with their toys: biting, stomping, throwing, sticky fingers, etc. Board books can typically stand up to this kind of treatment. But not all board books are created the same…

Board books are not cheap. They are heavy duty, glossy, multi-sensory (sometimes), and often, hefty. If you are spending the extra few dollars to give your child something that is going to last a little longer than that paperback book at the bottom of the toy chest, you want to make sure you are getting something that is beneficial to your child and something they will hopefully cherish as they grow older.

Keep in mind, board books are not marketed toward the child who is reading them; they are marketed toward the parent, grandparent, auntie, or friend who is buying them for a child. So while you may find a favorite picture book in board book form, take a peak inside and make sure it is a book your toddler will actually have the attention span to read or sit through.

Thankfully, Zero to Three has put together a great list of tips, so you can choose the right book for your child. Click here to see the list. And make sure you stop by your local library to check out board books for free before you make that big investment.

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Recycle Those Cereal Boxes

The next time you finish a box of cereal, save the box. It has so much potential. Really.

puzzle-300x225It’s one of the easiest ways to make a puzzle. Just cut it up into pieces. Let your children design their own puzzles by allowing them to draw shapes on the back and cut them out.

Cut out the words or letters and glue them to index cards. Make your own matching, guessing, or identification games using these cards. Or cut out the letters and make different words out of them.

Cut out the characters from the front or back of the box and make them into puppets by gluing them on popsicle sticks.puppets2

Cut out the words from the cereal boxes and then tie a piece of string on one end to make bookmarks.

In addition to using the box at home, visiting the cereal aisle at the grocery store can be a very educational experience for your young child. Turn grocery shopping into a scavenger hunt using the colors, letters, words, and shapes printed on the boxes.

And if that’s not enough, turn cereal that is starting to get a little stale into beautiful art or sorting games. Make a rainbow or sort the colors into different cups.