Why You Should Give Books This Holiday Season

give booksI love the holiday season. There are so many opportunities for magic moments that make this time of year special. From picking up a good book while traveling to see friends and family to curling up next to a roaring fire with a book and a cup of hot tea, I love everything to do with the season. You may notice a pattern here: I love to read. It is one of the reason’s I wrote The Day We Rode The Rainbow; I wanted to share my family’s love of books with my own offering.

It should be no surprise that one of my favorite gifts to give and receive is the gift of a new book. With the Holidays just around the corner, some of us are already shopping and searching for gifts. Who doesn’t love getting a good book that someone picked out especially for you? Whether you gift your latest favorite read to a family member, or you pick out a best seller for a friend, it is a sure way to beat the stress, the traffic, and still show you care.

Top 4 Reasons to Give Books This Holiday Season:

  1. Books Help Kids Grow

In a world dominated by instant gratification and screens, kids need books to learn and grow. Kids nowadays have a really hard time focusing. Children always have something going on around them or in front of them on their phones, tablets, computers and televisions. It’s important that kids have space from screens and time with their own imaginations. Books help kids dive into new worlds, imagine characters on their own, and learn patience.

  1. Books Last a Lifetime

A book will last a lifetime while a toy or article of clothing will eventually be discarded or outgrown. A book can always stay on a bookshelf and be passed down from generation to generation. Every time they refer to the book that you gave them, they will remember who gave it to them, and the times they enjoyed the story. Special books can even work their way into family traditions.

3. They are Easy to Wrap

Book lovers love pretty things, well thought out packages, and the details. Make your packages stand out with nice wrapping paper and ribbon. Take that extra step to make your holiday gifts special. Books are so easy to wrap, unlike other odd shaped toys and appliances, making your Christmas wrapping chore easy and fun.

  1. Everyone Loves Them! 

Buying a book can be as simple as a click of the mouse. You wrap it, set it under the tree, and you are done! You don’t have to worry about getting the wrong size, forgetting batteries, or hoping you got the right color. Once opened, a book is ready to use; no assembly required.

We hope you find giving books a new tradition for your friends and family. Because we feel so strongly about giving the gift of reading during the Holidays, we are offering a %60 discount on The Day We Rode the Rainbow!

The Benefits of Reading to Your Kids

Reading to your kidsReading with your kids is a wonderful bonding experience for the whole family. On top of the sentimental and learning value, more and more studies are proving how beneficial reading is for a child’s development.

Reading with your kid’s is also beneficial for parents, as busy families may not actually have time to read on their own. Reading has a ton of benefits for everyone!  Here are just a few examples.

Children’s Benefits of Reading:

 1. Boosted Self Esteem

When children read at a young age they increase their knowledge of vocabulary which helps them better communicate to their peers, teachers, and other adults. When someone knows how to communicate well they often have a strong self-image, sense of confidence, and do better in school. This confidence helps them build self-esteem.

 2. Academic Success

Reading early to your child opens the door to early academic success. When children learn to read they have greater knowledge, expanded vocabulary and become more fluent readers. They also have a better ability to focus. Early readers can recognize a larger number of words by sight, which enables them to learn quickly about the world around them.

3. Developed Imagination

When we read our brains translate the descriptions of people, places, and things into images in our minds. When we’re engaged in a story, we’re also imagining the characters emotions, intentions, and morals. We use our own experiences to imagine how we would feel in the same situation and put ourselves into the story. A child’s imagination really flies when they are reading a book.

4. Social Skills

Children have social awareness at a very young age. The few children in kindergarten that can read may receive awards and certificates, be called upon to choose books, or read out loud. In some schools, they may even be asked to help other children in the class, who may still be struggling. Therefore, early readers have the advantage in the classroom by being able to relate to their peers on a confident level.

Benefits for Adults:

1. Mental Stimulation

It’s important to keep your brain active, just like any other muscle in the body. If you don’t have time to pick up a book on your own, reading a short book to your kid can mentally stimulate you too!

2. Reduces Stress

Dive into a great story with your child and watch the stress of a long day melt away. Stores keep you present in the moment and can distract you from your worries. Cuddle up with your kiddo before bedtime and read them an uplifting story to help yourself relax.

3. Memory Improvement

When you read a book, you have to remember many characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, as well as the various themes and sub-plots that weave their way through every story.  This is especially important when reading to your child because they will ask you a lot of questions about the story! Keeping in tune with the story and remembering not only the character but the plot, and the voices you use every time you read the book is a great exercise for your brain!

4. Improved Focus

With the internet and technology, we are so distracted– all the time! When we read,  all of our attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just disappears and we can focus on the small details of the book. Giving your undivided attention to the story can help improve attention and focus.

So there you have it – the many benefits of reading to your kids!

Using The Day We Rode The Rainbow In the Classroom

reading the bookThe Day We Rode the Rainbow story is a wonderful tool for teaching compassion, self-esteem and acceptance to children in the classroom or at home. Teachers, parents and students can integrate the book into their learning experience through activities, story telling and discussion. A few schools recently picked up the book and used it in their classrooms. We love seeing schools incorporate this story into their lesson plans to learn together through reading.

A pre-school recently used the book for a complete week of lesson plans. They timed it with the start of the year, when they were learning the letter B, using Butterfly to kick off the theme. They built the story into the classroom culture on how to make everyone feel welcome and make friends with their classmates.

The Day We Rode The Rainbow Lesson plans integrate the following subjects into an engaging, stimulating and fun educational experience:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Science
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Language Arts

These learning categories are incorporated throughout the week all while teaching valuable lessons of self-confidence and acceptance.

The goal of this lesson plan is to incorporate feelings of respect and welcoming into our first week of class with new students. Throughout the children were encouraged to identify and use words that would help make their friends feel at ease and happy. They also were encouraged to identify the actions and emotions that make them feel good about themselves.

The lessons started with the teacher reading the story of the The Day We Rode The Rainbow to the class. Students were asked questions throughout the story about feelings, emotions, and self esteem. After the teacher promoted the students to think about ‘How can we make our friends feel welcome/happy?

Activities throughout the week centered on this main question. Below are activities that the classroom included in the week and you can choose which ones are right for your classroom or your kids at home:

Art Project:  Students color in a picture of Basil, the main character. This gives the student’s an opportunity to either reflect on the book and how the butterfly looked to them, or express their own creativity.

Craft:  Students will make a picture of a butterfly using their handprints and other decorations to make their unique butterfly. Again at this time, students will be encouraged to complement each other on their work.

Snack:  Students will make a colorful butterfly using a plastic bag, colorful cereal, and clothespins. This is also a fun activity to do at home with your kids after school.

Science:  The class will make a cyclical diagram describing the stages of a butterfly’s life.

Social Studies:  Students can learn and see where butterflies migrate by reading books and using a map of the United States.

Reading/Writing: The class can make a Venn diagram to compare the story Elmer by David McKee with the story we read. The students can find the similarities and the differences between two stories. This can be done using hula-hoops and jotting down the differences and similarities on post-it notes to put in the correct position.

How to include The Day We Rode the Rainbow in your classroom

Teachers, want to see how The Day We Rode The Rainbow can be integrated into your classroom or at home with your children? Get an exclusive coupon code for educators, and download these free lesson plans:

You can pick and choose parts you like or add on your own to fit your teaching style and lesson plans. Share photos of your activities with us on facebook! We can’t wait to see how you use the story.