Recently, a friend asked what resources I have used with my daughter in preparing her to read. I decided to organize my thoughts and share what has worked for us so far.

My daughter, Annabelle, is well on her way to reading and it is exciting to watch her develop this new skill!

From the time she was just a few months old, we have read books to her before nap and bedtime and of course during the in between times just because. She has always had an amazing attention span and seems to soak up every word we say.

When she was about a year old, we purchased Baby Einstein’s Alpha Books. I highly recommend adding these books to your child’s library for a number of reasons. There is one small book for each letter of the alphabet, and three corresponding words/pictures inside each of those books.

I love how they help with letter recognition, building vocabulary all while being just their size and baby friendly. They come in a small storage box, which my daughter loved to put all the books away into. We would also lay out all the books in order and practice the ABC song. Our set is very well used as you can tell :).

When she turned three, I found Starfall is an excellent resource for your preschooler. There are games and interactive songs that emphasize the sounds the letters make. I was surprised at how much she absorbed from just playing the games for a little bit every day.

Last week, I purchased an entire set of 6 boxes of the Hooked on Phonics curriculum from a garage sale. I am excited to open them up and work through them this summer!

I realize each child learns and his or her own pace and I think it is so important to pay attention to each child’s cues to set that pace. I am excited that my 18-month old son, Elijah is just now very interested in books. He hadn’t enjoyed sitting still for them until just recently and now he will seek books out and initiate looking through them and asking to be read to. It is also fun to see how much he loves the Alphabooks now too.


Learning should be fun, and when your child is naturally curious and interested in a subject it makes teaching seem effortless. It is very rewarding to see my daughter embark on learning a new skill set and see how proud she is of herself! 

What resources or ideas have you used with your kids?


The picture on the left is a selection of the produce in my house this morning. We eat a lot of fruit and vegetables!

{I do have a great resource for being able to keep fresh produce on hand that I will share in a future post.}

In between meals, my kids usually need some fuel to keep them going. I do my best to avoid sugary snacks as I know how bad that is for their health and will cause their blood sugar levels to spike and then plummet. I like to make sure they are getting a good balance of protein, veggies/fruits, fats and whole grains (rice, corn, quinoa, gluten-free oats).

I am far from perfect, but I do my best! My family’s health is really important to me and I know how critical these early years are for kids.

Since eating a (mostly) gluten-free diet, I have had to be a bit more creative with snacks. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • veggies & hummus
  • apple slices with peanut or almond butter
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • nitrate-free ham/turkey cubed (I let my 3 year old use toothpicks with these – she thinks that is so great!)
  • smoothies made fresh in my Vitamix (my 1 year old practically hyperventilates when he hears/sees the blender going)
  • any whole fruit or veggie, raw or lightly steamed with real butter and sea salt

What are your snack ideas?



Coal Creek Falls at Cougar Mountain

February 7, 2012

This past weekend, we packed up the kids and headed out for a day hike. We were so blessed to have 60 degree weather with blue skies and sunshine and wanted to take full advantage! We’d never been hiking at Cougar Mountain before and chose it based on the fact that the trailhead is only […]

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My Favorite Baby Products

December 17, 2011

These days it can be completely overwhelming to decide what baby products are necessary and worthwhile. I remember when we registered at Babies R Us for our first child I questioned every decision about which items to scan. I would look down at my checklist and see “pacifier” and then go to that section and […]

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Quick & Simple Tip to Get Your Kids to Finish Their Meal

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Ever feel like you are constantly having to help your child focus on finishing his or her meal? Feel like a nag saying, “please take another bite” “only 3 more bites, please” “eat your dinner, or else!” or something along those lines… One thing I have noticed with kids is that they love games. I […]

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