elementary

  • Explore Your World: 25 Mighty Girl Books About Outdoor Discovery

    A Mighty Girl's top picks of books for kids -- and their parents -- on the joys of outdoor play, exploration, and discovery!

    For many kids, there's nothing more fun than the chance to play outside! The winter's thaw has already provided plenty of opportunities for puddle jumping and planning this year's garden, and soon nicer weather and the end of the school year will soon provide more opportunities for hiking, beach trips, and lots of outdoor playtime. Best of all, it’s good for them: research shows how much benefit kids get from unstructured play outside.

    To celebrate the joys of the great outdoors, we’ve collected many of our favorite Mighty Girl books about all the wonders that outdoor play has to offer. The Mighty Girls in these stories have plenty of imagination, along with bundles of energy, and the end result is lots of outdoor fun. We've also included a selection of books for parents about just how important it is to let your kids get out in the sun, sand, and dirt of outdoor games and ideas on how to build more outdoor time into your family's busy schedule.

    For books that celebrate the arrival of spring, especially the fun of gardening, check out our blog post 25 Mighty Girl Books Celebrating Springtime & Gardening. Continue reading

  • A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: Mighty Girl Wordless Picture Books

    wordless-picture-books

    Storytime is a popular ritual for many children -- but what if the story has no words? Wordless picture books provide a unique storytelling experience, one that’s more interactive than a regular picture book: instead of just listening to you read, you and your child get to explore the action on the page and tell the story yourselves! A good wordless book, full of evocative illustrations with vivid details, encourages creativity and fosters plenty of discussion, either one on one or in a class group.

    If you’re interested in incorporating wordless picture books into your library, we've showcased our favorites girl-empowering titles in this post. These intriguing, funny, and touching books will intrigue readers young and old alike!

    For many more picture books starring Mighty Girls -- with and without words -- visit our Picture Book Collection.

  • Ignite Her Curiosity: Toys for Sparking Your Mighty Girl's Interest in Science

    a-bodyBy Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    “Children are born true scientists. They spontaneously experiment and experience and re-experience again. They select, combine, and test, seeking to find order in their experiences — ‘which is the mostest? which is the leastest?’ They smell, taste, bite, and touch-test for hardness, softness, springiness, roughness, smoothness, coldness, warmness: they heft, shake, punch, squeeze, push, crush, rub, and try to pull things apart.”

    — R. Buckminster-Fuller

    Do you remember a time when learning how the world worked was fascinating? Many of us lose that sense of wonder, even if we regain it later. But fading interest in all things science isn’t the inevitable progression of childhood! You can help your Mighty Girl maintain her love of science with a little time, effort, and some great science toys.

    In this blog, we highlight a few of our favorite toys for different age groups that promote an interest in science, technology, engineering, and the natural world. You can also visit our entire selection of nearly 300 empowering STEM-oriented toys in our science / technology toy section. Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl Special Feature Expansion: "Top 150 Read Aloud Books Starring Mighty Girls"

    IronHeartedViolet[1]By Jennifer de Beer, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    To visit our expanded "Read Aloud" collection, visit our special feature, found in our "Best of A Mighty Girl" section, on the Top Read Aloud Books Starring Mighty Girls.

    “Storytime” typically evokes images of small children seated in a ring on the floor, or perhaps a parent & child cuddled together before bed. Whisked away into a world filled with dragons and magical spells, the nuances of friendships, or glimpses into another time and place, read aloud sessions open up a world of possibilities. Often, these shared stories allow children to engage in material that would be beyond their independent reading levels.

    Solid and extensive research exists on the importance and positive effects of reading aloud to young children. A recent analysis of international data, conducted by the OECD, supports the strong link between oral language development and reading skills, and even goes so far as to say that nurturing such skills at an early age is directly related to success rates in later school years. The practice of reading aloud is widely encouraged by many from Day One (if not before!), and the benefits are plentiful: increased literacy, school readiness, stimulation of language development, imagination, and memory -- the list goes on. Reading aloud also provides a prime opportunity for bonding and strengthening the connection with the children in your life. Continue reading

  • A Mighty Girl Spotlight: Teaching Money Skills (Preschool and Elementary)

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern

    Welcome to the first of two articles about resources to help parents teach their Mighty Girls money management skills! Every parent wants their children to learn how to manage money effectively, but many families aren't sure how to go about discussing finances -- especially since few of us grew up in homes where money, spending, saving, and debt were discussed in any detail. However, with a few good resources and a little time, even very young children can start learning about how money works. In our follow-up post, we provide resources for teaching money management skills to older children and teens.

    How Money Works

    lemonadeOne early step in learning about money is learning how to recognize different denominations of paper money and coins. A toy like Melissa and Doug's Play Money set, which comes with dozens of pretend bills from $1 to $100 as well as play coins in all US denominations, allows kids to role play the whole process of a purchase: selecting an item, learning a price, recognizing and totaling bills and coins, and making change.

    At the same time, parents can read books to their kids that involve money being invested, saved, and spent. One good book is Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins, in which Pauline and her younger brother John-John start their first business -- a lemonade stand. The book covers addition, subtraction, sorting, and money recognition, but also more complicated concepts such as investment and return, selling techniques, and entrepreneurship. Continue reading

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