These 10 Books Without Words Turn You Into The Master Storyteller At Bedtime

If a picture is really worth a thousand words, then you read the equivalent of War & Peace in board books every night. It’s no secret that kids go for big, bright, visual stories. And, fortunately for you, these award-winning picture books are 99 percent word-free and a lot more fun than Tolstoy.
It also provides a great opportunity for you to put your creative stamp on things. Let the illustrators provide the brilliant artwork, universal themes, and general plot — you fill in the details. Of course, even toddlers who can barely say their ABCs know that you’re improvising most of it — but at least you’re enthusiastic.


These are so lusciously creamy, sinfully rich-tasting – the kind of thing you put in your mouth and kind of can’t believe what’s happening. Vegan, almost raw, and full of whole food ingredients, they are also downright filling!

5-Ingredient Vegan Magical Fudgesicles
Makes 4 cups / 1 Liter / 10 fudgesicles
1) ½ cup / 75g unroasted, unsalted cashews
2) 1 14-oz can / 400ml full-fat coconut milk
3) 1 large, ripe avocado
4) 1 cup / 250g pitted, packed soft dates
5) ½ cup / 55g raw cacao powder (cocoa powder will also work)

Optional add-ins:
1) a few pinches sea salt
2) vanilla (seeds from 1 pod, powder, or extract)
3) a few drops of food-grade essential oils (peppermint, orange, almond etc.)
4) finely diced fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango etc.)
5) a pinch of cayenne pepper
6) espresso powder
7) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)

Optional toppings:
1) melted raw chocolate (recipe here) or melted dark chocolate
2) cacao nibs
3) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)
4) dried fruit (I used raspberry on the ones pictured)
5) citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime)

1. Place cashews in lightly salted water and let soak for 4-8 hours (overnight is fine).

2. Drain the cashews and rinse well. Add to a blender (a high-speed blender is highly recommended) with the remaining ingredients (and any flavourings, if using) and blend on high until as smooth as possible. Add water only if necessary – you want to mixture to remain quite thick.

3. Spoon mixture in popsicle molds. Firmly knock the molds on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Insert a popsicle stick into each mold and place in the freezer until set – at least 6 hours. To remove popsicles, run the mold under hot water until you can easily pull a fudgesicle out.

4. If you want to decorate your fudgesicles, dip or drizzle them with melted chocolate and sprinkle with desired toppings. Eat immediately, or place back in the freezer to set until ready to enjoy.

5 Ways To Use Magnetic Letters & Free Printables

I love magnetic letters and I recently bought myself some lowercase magnets and decided to create some printables to use as mats to place over cookie sheets and turn them into wonderful magnetic free choice activities. Lowercase letter magnets are so versatile and no matter what level your child is at I have a printable or two that will work perfectly. But before I link the free printables I want to share with you some of the benefits of using these manipulatives in your class or homeschool program

Managing Your Own Emotions: The Key to Positive, Effective Parenting

Parenting young children (really children of any age) is an intensely emotional experience. There is the pure pleasure of cuddling, playing, laughing, exploring, and delighting in your baby’s daily growth and discoveries. And then there are the challenges—the moments of stress, anger, frustration, and resentment—at not knowing what a baby’s cry means and how to calm her, at the totally irrational demands of a toddler, or at the aggressive behavior of an older child toward a new baby...

Why I’m Not Accepting Your 9-Year-Old’s Friend Request

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend in which she divulged to me that her 10-year-old son has an Instagram account. Because she and I usually see eye to eye on most parenting decisions, I was surprised. When I asked her about it, she explained that, for her son, she has rules and privacy settings in place to protect him. She told me she’s had conversations about appropriate photos and internet safety. She said she trusts him and wants him to develop good judgment online.

4 Things Worse Than Not Learning To Read In Kindergarten

The year Sam started kindergarten, he turned 6 in October. He was one of the oldest children in his class, and he didn’t know how to read. When he started first grade he was almost 7, and he still didn’t know how to read. Fortunately for Sam, he entered first grade in 1999. And his teachers, Mrs. Gantt and Mrs. Floyd, didn’t panic if a child didn’t learn to read in kindergarten. In fact, they expected that most children would learn to read in first grade. (They also supported and encouraged children who learned to read easily in kindergarten, like Sam’s brother Ben.)

How to Deal With the Never Ending Questions from Your Kids

We all know that children are naturally inquisitive. We also know their inquiry sometimes manifests itself in annoying ways or at inopportune times, “Are we there yet?” or “Is that lady having a baby?” being among the most common examples.

Our culture inundates us with examples of parents losing their cool with inquiring youngsters, from Al Bundy to Homer Simpson. In malls and grocery stores across the country, mothers and fathers are telling their little ones to stop asking, be quiet, or shut up.

A New Study Explains the Right Way (and the Wrong Way) to Praise Your Kid

Praise has become something of a loaded subject with regard to kids, one tangled up in debates over self-esteem, academic pressure, and how to raise people who know how to work for what they want. There’s a Goldilocks effect at play: You don’t want to go overboard, but neither do you want to be too unenthused. And a study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science showed how important it is for parents to get it just right.