Computer: Jump Start for Preschoolers

University of Maryland Researchers Find Home C...Image by University of Maryland Press Releases via FlickrComputer Time May Give Preschoolers a Jump Start

Computers are part and parcel of every student's life today. Most public schools are now equipped with computers. Plus, Internet access during school hours jumped from 35 to 95% in recent years.
But how early should children be exposed to computers? Could showing your preschooler how to work a computer help her with her homework years down the road? A new study suggests it might.

Video Games Didn't Improve Test Scores

More than 120 preschoolers took a variety of tests to assess their intelligence and their knowledge of various preschool concepts. The subjects' parents were asked if their children had access to a computer and/or an electronic video game system.
Children who used a computer at home or somewhere else did significantly better on the tests than those without computer access. But more time in front of a computer was not necessarily better. Test scores were similar for children who played on a computer once a week and those who used one once a day.
In addition, computer time did not equal video game time. Access to a video game system did not affect a child's test results.

Set Limits on Screen Time

Experts recommend that parents limit the amount of time children spend in front of any screens--computers, video games, movies, and TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to keep screen time to one to two hours a day for children age 2 and older.

I received the above information from a health newsletter and wondered what your thoughts were on the matter...


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Birthday Party Fun!

I recently came across an interesting article in celebrating children's birthdays. It caught my eye because my precious granddaughter is turning "1" and we bought her a play kitchen to grow into. What fun! If you have an up-coming birthday to plan, you may be interested in reading this.

By Sharen Pearson

As a mother of five and now grandmother of seven, I’ve planned my share of birthday events. I am a creative person, so my problem is “going over the top.” My expectations supersede those of the birthday child. So, I have to step back and say, “Whose birthday is it anyway?” And, therein lies the key to a successful birthday party.
I recently assisted with my grandson, Waylon’s party. He was reaching that big-boy age of 5 years. He knew what theme he wanted: Herbie the Love Bug. He wanted a backyard campfire and a cake with Herbie on it. Simple—Herbie, campfire, cake. Got it! My daughter complied. She invited a few families from church that Waylon knew well and was comfortable around. Since entire families were represented, parents were there to help with crowd control. Bowls of chips and dip provided a place to gather around as people arrived. Children scattered to play in the back yard, parents grouped to watch and chat. Easy, huh? Daddy lit a small fire in the campfire ring in the yard. More talk, more easy playing. The cake was a simple giant chocolate chip cookie with a frosting “Herbie.” Waylon thought it was wonderful. 
Mommy announced that it was gift-opening time and everyone pulled up lawn chairs and sat in family groups. Waylon sat in the middle of the circle on the grass and guests watched as he opened each gift and thanked the giver. He received many nice gifts, but to everyone’s delight, a small, inexpensive VW bug toy car was his favorite. He opened it, raised it above his head as if it were a trophy and yelled in delight. Waylon slept with his “Herbie;” woke up and greeted it; placed it on the edge of the tub so he could see it. He had the birthday he wanted. Simple party, simple gift, simple fun!
Some suggestions to consider when planning your party:
  • If your child is old enough to have input, allow it.
  • For ages 1-5 years, simple is best. Simple decorations, simple food, simple games.
  • Invite only one party guest per age of the child. Young children are very intimidated by many children of the same age. Remember, “Whose birthday is it?”
  • If guests include family/friends with older children, add activities especially for them.
  • Home is the best place for children ages 5 and under. Big party venues are confusing, scary and do not position the “birthday child” as the center of attention as he should be. 
Some traps that parents fall into:
  • Making the party so complicated that you, as the parent, no longer enjoy it. (Been there, done that.)
  • Allowing young party guests to get close to and grab for gifts as as the birthday child is opening them. (Admit it, you’ve seen this haven’t you?)
  • Spending too much money. (Guilty as charged.)
  • Preparing food for adults and not age-appropriate to the guests. (The only thing to show off today is your wonderful child)
  • Engaging in sleepover parties before the age of 9 years. (Children younger than 9 or 10 years often find sleeping at someone else’s home frightening and uncomfortable.)

Author Bio
Sharen Pearson
Sharen Pearson’s Goof & Giggle classes and materials continue to provide a quality Mom/Tot interaction. Widely popular, Goof & Giggle’s child-focused play plans are offered in various Arizona communities. She’s also created a variety of Goof Juice DVDs and filmed episodes of Baby D.I.Y. and written workbooks for BabyFirstTV. Arizona Midday (NBC) tapes monthly segments with Sharen to provide their audience with a variety of original and creative “easy to do” activities for babies and preschoolers. Sharen’s creativity reaches a combined audience over 200 million viewers worldwide. Goof & Giggle classes and products encourage green living, repurposing materials from around the house into affordable objects for play and learning. Learn more at:

Gift sets from Barefoot Books for every special party and occasion can be purchased at

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Books About Bears

A Bear Wagon: Marilyn Scott Waters
 It seems everyone of my grandchildren have held these delightful books about bears at one time or another. They love to see the bears in different professions as they head off to work. My grand kids from ages 5 on down play with bear puzzles and games, and coloring activities. How about your family?

I could go on and on about the other bear books published by Barefoot Books but here are 5 for today that come from a winning team of Blackstone and Harter.

My Marketplace

Head off to work with Bear as he delivers mail and learns about other professions. Rhythm and rhyme drive the clever text, and a full-spread illustration of the professions at the end reinforces the learning and invites readers to go back through the story to spot the different working bears.

Board Book-Paperback for $6.99
 Discover lots of different shapes with Bear — there are triangles on the waves, diamonds on the crown and stars in the sky. Rhyme, repetition and counting establish this book of shapes, and a two-page spread recapping the shapes and colors reinforces the educational building blocks.

Bear On A Bike-Board Book and Paperback

 There are so many wonderful things to point out on each page when you ride about with this adorable, cuddly Bear with a repetition and poetic flow of the story. This is a favorite of preshoolers.

Bear In Sunshine available in Board Book and Paperback
 Enjoy the seasons with Bear, as he partakes in a different activity for each kind of weather. The rhyme and humor of the text help to introduce the concepts, and a two-page spread of the four seasons offers a recap at the end.

The newest addition to the Barefoot Books series is:

Bears Birthday-Paperback-Written By: Stella Blackstone and Illustrated By: Debbie Harter
This book is about joining Bear as he celebrates his birthday.  Children can help Bear count backwards from 10 to 0 and find out who is making his balloons disappear. The text and colorful pages are best for ages 2 to 6 years. 

The cool thing is that if you want to look at (preview) more of these book illustrations, visit 

LadyD with Barefoot Books is participating in two book memes on Monday:
5 A Day Books and Book Sharing Monday.

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Books for Babies First Year

 Very soon now, one of my grand kids will be turning "one"! I think you know the feeling that I'm talking about when I say, our baby has grown up. And so her toddler days begin! With that being said, I wanted to introduce you to 5 books that make great gifts for babies from Barefoot Books!

Baby's First Journal - Hardcover

Baby's First Journal

I personally feel that new mommies will adore all of these pockets and places for photos, especially recording your babies events.

Capture the precious memories of your baby's first year in this spiral and cloth bound journal. With special sections for your baby's "firsts" and favorites, photographs, captions and more, all the important moments will be saved for years to come. Includes six colorful pockets for holding mementos and keepsakes.
For babies to 2 years 

Clare Beaton's Nursery Rhymes - Board Book


Featuring seven classic nursery favorites like Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep and Hey Diddle Diddle, this sturdy board book format is ideal for sharing with babies and toddlers.
For babies to 4 years
Illustrated By: Clare Beaton

Clare Beaton's Action Rhymes - Board Book

Clare Beaton’s Action Rhymes

Small children love to act out simple rhymes! This collection features classic favorites like Incy Wincy Spider, Pat-a-Cake and One Potato, Two Potato in a sturdy board book format that is ideal for sharing with babies and toddlers.
For babies to 4 years
Illustrated By: Clare Beaton

Mrs. Moon Lullabies for Bedtime - Hardcover with Music CD

Mrs. Moon

Lullabies for Bedtime

Cozy up for bedtime and hum along to lullabies both old and new. The twenty-two selections in this richly textured book are meant for dreamtime sharing. Book with CD edition includes songs sung by Dana Kletter.
For babies to 3 years
Illustrated By: Clare Beaton
Sung By: Dana Kletter

Baby's First Book - Hardcover
 This is one of my favorites that teaches all about numbers, letters, shapes and colors.

Baby's First Book

Celebrate the treasured moments of your baby's first years with this beautiful book that features first rhymes, everyday scenes and simple items. The colorful pages offer plenty to look at and talk about.
For babies to 2 years
Illustrated By: Clare Beaton

The felt illustrations are cuddly and soft. For more fantastic artwork, visit this popular author and illustrator's site, Clare Beaton 

My grandson (far right) enjoying Clare Beaton art activity.

Another idea is to purchase the Barefoot Baby Gift Collection:

Barefoot Baby Gift Collection

Lyrical lullabies and playful pictures

Every day is a learning adventure with this collection, packaged in a colorful canvas tote bag with gift tag.

Featuring hardcover editions of Baby's First Book, Baby's First Journal, Mother Goose Remembers with music CD, Mrs. Moon with music CD, a large board book edition of Listen, Listen, board book editions and Clare Beaton's Nursery Rhymes, a Putumayo Dreamland CD, and an adorable Bo Peep's Woolly Sheep puppet.

For babies to 3 years 

All items are available for purchase at
Barefoot Books-LadyD can be found on FaceBook, too. I promise to "Like" you back!
Be sure and visit  The Imagination Tree

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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The Enormous Turnip

Turnips (Brassica rapa)Image via WikipediaThe Enormous Turnip written by Alexei Tolstoy and illustrated by Scott Goto is a great book beginner readers who need a little help. Are you familiar with the story? It's one of our favorites.

"They pull and pull, but will they ever pull that turnip up?"

The book begins with...

"Once upon a time, an old man planted a little turnip. "Grow, grow, little turnip - grow sweet! he said.

"Grow, grow, little turnip - grow strong!" And the turnip grew up sweet and strong and... enormous.

What I especially like are the end notes about activities in the back. The book is for ages 5-7; Grades 1-2.

* Write a story like The Enormous Turnip.

1. Choose a vegetable or fruit.
2. Think of five characters who will help each other.
3. Use your imagination to write a story about these five characters working together to pull up or pick the vegetable or fruit.
4. Draw pictures to go with your story.
Share your story with a friend!

* Play a memory game with friends!

1. Sit in a circle.
2. The first person says, "I pulled up the turnip with 
help from a _." Fill in the blank with something, such 
as dog.
3. The next person repeats what was said and adds someting else. That person might say, "I pulled up the turnip with help from a dog and a cat."

Paperback $7.99 and w/CD is $9.99

The Gigantic Turnip

Find out what happens when the old woman, the old man, and all twenty-one animals on the farm try to harvest a rather large root vegetable. This well-loved Russian tale uses humor, counting and repetition to appeal to beginner readers. Book with CD editions include story read by Ellen Verenieks.
Ages 3 to 7 years
Written By: Aleksei Tolstoy
Illustrated By: Niamh Sharkey
Narrated By: Ellen Verenieks

I love this story because it is solid in the message, entertaining and educational. Plus, the theme helps kids to 
understand that their actions can make a difference.  

Learn to tell The Gigantic Turnip in a lively and
entertaining way using these storytelling tips!

Activity by Linda Evans:

Show the children the bag of vegetables. 

Ask them if they know what is in the bag. 
Get them to guess. 
Take out the vegetables one by one. 
Finally, ask if anyone knows which one is the turnip. 
They usually won’t know, so make sure to point it out. 
Read the story aloud. 
Ask the children to listen carefully. 
They will be acting out the parts of the story the second time around, so they need to pay attention!

Now you should assign roles to each child
You will need 6 yellow canaries, 5 white geese, 4 black cats, 2 pot-bellied pigs, 1 big brown cow, 1 old man, 1 old woman and one mouse. 
And of course you’ll need to ask another adult or teacher to play the gigantic turnip! 

Next, get the rope and line up the children in order of the story.
They will pull on one end of the rope and the gigantic turnip
will pull on the other. 


1 group of children
1 enthusiastic adult
1 rope (six feet or longer)
1 bag of vegetables
(preferably the ones in the

Read the story for the second time. As each child’s character is called, he or she will make his or her
way up to the rope and help pull. Eventually, all the children will pull at the rope and finally succeed
at uprooting the gigantic turnip.
Sit down with all the children and discuss the story. Ask them who it was that pulled up the turnip? Was it the old man? The big brown cow? Was it the mouse? No! You can explain that it was everyone working as a team that succeeded in pulling up the gigantic turnip! 

To order the book and see more images, visit my marketplace.

Happy Reading,


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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5 A Day Books: Travel and Adventure

Yippee! I'm off for vacation!

Very soon now, this Grandma will be heading for vacation time with family. Have you been enjoying your summer as well? One of the necessary items to pack for the trip are selections of music and of course, a variety of paperback adventure books. Here are just a few children's books and they can be purchased at my marketplace.

1. Off We Go to Mexico!

An Adventure in the Sun

Travel to Mexico and discover its many wonders, from the amazing monarch butterflies in the Highlands to a mariachi show in the village square. The rhyme and lyricism of the text is complemented by endnotes about the history of the country, national fiestas, and a glossary of simple Spanish vocabulary.
Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Christopher Corr

 A trip to a foreign land, what fun!


2. My Granny Went to Market


A Round-the-World Counting Rhyme

Fly away with Granny and count with her from one to ten as she spins around the world on an unforgettable shopping trip. This colorful, rhyming story is followed by a counting page for reinforced learning.
Ages 3 to 7 years
Written By: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated By: Christopher Corr

Also available in Spanish, Abuelita Fue Mercado. Was $6.99 Now $4.99

Christopher Corr's artwork is so impressive!

3. We're Riding on a Caravan


An Adventure on the Silk Road

Join the caravan for an exciting yearlong trek along China's ancient Silk Road. Following the rhyming, treasure-filled story are informational end notes about the history of the Silk Road, the story of silk, important cities of China, and a full-spread map.
Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Helen Cann

What a gorgeous trip traveling to Asia! 

4. We're Sailing Down the Nile


A Journey Through Egypt

Set sail along the mighty Nile River to experience the wonders of Egypt. The lilting, rhyming story text is followed by eleven pages full of educational information about ancient Egypt, gods and goddesses, a helpful map, and much more.
Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Anne Wilson

This is an amazing introduction to Egypt!

5. We All Went on Safari: 

Books for Africa edition


A Counting Journey Through Tanzania

This book will ship directly to children in schools and libraries across Africa.

Learn to count in Swahili while discovering African animals on an exciting safari through the grasslands of Tanzania. Facts about Tanzania, Swahili counting, the Maasai people and a map are included at the end.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each book will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation, to aid in their wildlife conservation and community building efforts in Tanzania.
Ages 4 to 10 years
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Julia Cairns

This is a wonderful, educational book about Tanzania!

Visiting other cultures near or far, if you're off for an adventure, indeed have an amazing time and a fun, relaxing time, just all being together. Please drop me a note and let me know what's on your list to bring.

 And don't forget to link up with our hostess' and see other very cool books at The Imagination Tree and Book Sharing Monday

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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