Teach Your Child A New Language in 5 Simple Steps

Teach Your Child A New Language in 5 Simple Steps

Teaching your child a new language doesn’t have to be difficult.
I’m going to show you how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps.  Although children can easily learn multiple languages, oftentimes we aren’t sure how to teach them. However, helping your child learn a new language is easier than you think.  Let’s take a look.

1. Listening to Music

Baby Listening to Music

Exposing your child to music is one of the simplest ways you can introduce them to a new language.  As we know, children learn by seeing, listening, and interacting.  When you play music in another language, your child will become familiar with the rhythm of the language. Listening to music will introduce them to new vocabulary, pitch, inflection, and the nuances of the language they are learning.

When I was trying to teach my children Spanish, I played a lot of Spanish music for them.  The simple songs were very catchy and encouraged my children to sing along.  Even if they didn’t understand the songs at first, they were developing essential skills for future communication. Hearing and repeating Spanish songs will help your child become a natural in the language.  If you want to help your child learn a new language, play music for them as often as you can.  It’s all about creating an environment for learning.  Playing music is one simple way you can set the stage for your child’s journey in language learning.

2. Watching Videos/Programs

MonkiSee "Todo Sobre Mi"

If you want to know how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps, pay close attention to this one.  Having my children watch videos or TV programs in another language is one of my favorite ways to teach them a new language.  I highly recommend finding some good DVDs or shows they can watch.  I love using videos because it incorporates two forms of learning – seeing and listening.  While music is great, videos can give your child a visual representation of the words they are hearing.  It’s great for parents too.  While you might not understand songs, a video makes it clear and allows you to learn right along with your child.  I’ve just released my first baby Spanish video, “Todo Sobre Mi.”  This is perfect for introducing your child to familiar first words and body parts in Spanish.

3. Reading Books

Reading Book to Baby

We know that reading to children is extremely beneficial, and reading them books in a foreign language is just another way to increase the benefits from books.  When children read books in a foreign language, they become acquainted with the structure of the language.  Seeing individual words is quite different from reading full sentences.  Look for simple picture books that you and your child will enjoy reading together.  You may want to practice reading the book first so your pronunciation is correct.

Look for translations of popular kids’ books, nursery rhymes, and bilingual books.  I appreciate the bilingual books since I can read it in another language yet still understand the story.

* If you find it difficult to read to your child in a foreign language, see if your library offers a story time in Spanish, French, or whatever the language may be.  You could also download Ebooks in another language.  Some Ebooks have an audio option and will read to you.

4. Viewing Flashcards

Baby with Flashcards

Flashcards have always been a favorite of mine.  They are quick, fun, interactive, and effective. Out of the five steps listed in how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps, this is one of the easiest.  Whether you purchase flashcards or create your own, start showing your baby flashcards about 3 times each day.

You might choose 10-15 words to quickly flip through when they wake up, after a diaper change, during bath time, or whenever is convenient for you. It should only take you about 30 seconds per session to review the flashcards.

Another way you can utilize your flashcards is by taping them up around the house.  I used to have flashcards all over the place when I was trying to teach my children Spanish.  I would have them on the fridge, chairs, light switches, dressers, and wherever else I could place them.  When I’d walk around the house I’d show my baby the word and say it to them a couple times.

Flashcards are great because they are so versatile.  Not only can you use them as review cards, but they’re also great for playing cards.  My kids loved playing Spanish matching games with our flashcards.  No matter how you use them, find what works best for you and start incorporating flashcards into your daily routine.

5. Conversing with Others

Mom and Baby

We’ve reached our final and maybe most important step in how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps.  Conversation.  If your child does not view flashcards, or listen to music, or read books, or watch TV, they can still learn a new language simply by conversing with others.  If your child is constantly spoken to and engaged with those who speak another language, he will learn to speak it as well.  I have witnessed this occurrence time and time again. Conversation is key to a language transformation.

I must admit that none of my children speak Spanish.  Although I showed them flashcards, and read them books, and did all I could, I don’t speak Spanish.  My efforts have not been a waste. They know some Spanish and it has blessed them in other areas, but they are not fluent Spanish-speakers.  Why?  They were rarely spoken to in Spanish.

This is why I encourage you to find someone to talk to your child in a foreign language.  If your child is consistently hearing the language spoken and being “forced” in a sense to respond, they will grasp it.  Perhaps you can take them to a class, or hire a babysitter to watch them for part of the day, or visit friends and family that speak the language.  Do whatever you can to allow them to communicate and interact with those who speak the language you want them to learn.

Remember that consistency is key in all that you do.  Your baby can learn quickly and effortlessly, so optimize on this amazing period of time and give your child the gift of language. You can easily teach them a new language, all it requires is a bit of dedication.  I hope you found these 5 steps helpful, and I would love to hear about your ideas for teaching children language. Would you take a moment to comment below and let me know what language you want your child to learn?  Are you already teaching your child a foreign language? What methods do you like to use? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, so don’t forget to share your ideas in the Comments below!

StoryTime at the Library

My Penguin Osbert StoryTime

I love that my library had a My Penguin Osbert StoryTime today.  Story time is such a crucial part of a child’s life.  It is so important that we read to our kids, and by incorporating story time each day, we create a positive environment for our children. Story time is great because it shows children that reading is fun and really engages them in the books being read.  Story time goes beyond simply reading books.  It makes reading an exciting adventure for children.

Howie and Skip

Today, I was able to be the guest reader at my local library’s story time.  Howie and Skip tagged along to sing their favorite song and hear the story. (They mostly sat in the chair and looked cute.) I always treasure the opportunity to share my love of books with kids and reading to them is so much fun.  I’d love to travel around and host Howie & Skip StoryTime sessions, but for now we’ve created the Howie and Skip StoryTime videos.  That way your child can enjoy a personal StoryTime in the comfort of their home.

Anyway,  I thought I’d share my experience with you in hopes that it encourages you to begin you own story time.  You can read what we did and do the same, or just use this as inspiration.

(This post contains an affiliate link.)

1. Start With A Song

Counting Book

One of the best ways to begin your story time is with a few simple songs.  We always start by playing a few interactive songs.  This allows the children to get out their energy so that when it’s time to read they will sit quietly.  We played “The Monkey & Alligator Song,” “The Bean Bag Song,” and the MonkiSee “StoryTime Theme Song.”  The kids always love to clap their hands, shake their maracas, and follow along with the hand motions.

2. Read A Story

StoryTime Reading

Today our story time was themed around penguins.  Since we were reading “My Penguin Osbert,” we had a big penguin stuffed animal at the front of the room for the kids to see.  Before I began reading, we handed out raffle tickets to all the children.  They each placed their tickets into a container and were told that at the end of the story we were going to raffle off the penguin.  Whoever had their ticket chosen would win the stuffed animal.

“My Penguin Osbert” is a cute story about a little boy who asks Santa for a real penguin for Christmas.  When he gets his penguin Osbert, he’s super excited, but as time goes on he’s not sure he asked for the right present.

*If you’re reading this story at home, you can really make this a fun experience.  While you read the story, let your child sip on hot cocoa and wrap up in warm blankets.  You could go all out and even decorate the room where you are reading – cut out snowflakes, make the room chilly, and create an atmosphere that fits the story.

Penguin Prize

Once I finished reading the story, we raffled the tickets.  Andrea was our winner! She loved her prize. It was so cute to see her dragging her giant penguin around the library. It was as big as some of the kids!

3. Make A Craft

Penguin Craft

A great way to end your story time is by making a fun craft.  We printed out a penguin coloring page for the kids to color.  If you have younger children, you may want to keep the crafts relatively simple.  However, if your child is a bit older, you can have fun helping them create a craft that’s more complex.

Penguin Coloring Page

Here is a cute penguin coloring page for your child to color.

Soda Bottle Penguin

This Soda Bottle Penguin is super cute and simple to make. If your child is older they will love making this craft. You may need to help them with the cutting and gluing, but it’s very easy to make.

Reading to kids is so much fun.  You can really make story time an exciting experience.  I’d love to hear about your story time.  Do you make crafts or snacks?  What are your favorite books to read to your child?  Please comment below and share your ideas with us.  We’d love to hear them!

Todo Sobre Mi

Teach Baby Spanish DVD

Your child can easily learn Spanish with the right tools and method.  If you’re looking for a “teach baby Spanish DVD”, then we have just what you need.  The new MonkiSee video “Todo Sobre Mi” is the perfect place to start your journey in teaching your baby Spanish.  Before I tell you more about this Spanish DVD for babies, let’s briefly discuss the importance of learning Spanish.

Do you want to teach your child Spanish?

Nowadays, it is such an asset to be bilingual.  If you can speak multiple languages, you have quite an advantage.  The ability to speak more than one language will advance you in school, in your career, in your intellectual understanding, and in many other ways.  You never know when the need may arise for you to speak Spanish.

With 329 million native speakers, Spanish ranks as the world’s No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language.” – Gerald Erichsen

Teaching your child Spanish, is a blessing they will enjoy throughout all their life.  Whether you want them to communicate with Spanish-speaking family and friends, be prepared for traveling to another country, or are simply developing your child’s skills for future careers, teaching your baby Spanish is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

So, if you want to teach your child Spanish, now is the time to begin.  The younger you start the better.  That is why we have designed an effective Spanish video for teaching children from the age of three months to three years old.

What is “Todo Sobre Mi?”

MonkiSee "Todo Sobre Mi"


When you hear the benefits of being bilingual and know that Spanish is a dominant language, it is definitely exciting to discover that your baby can easily learn it. MonkiSee has just released their first “teach baby Spanish DVD,” and we know you’re going to love it!

With the new MonkiSee DVD, “Todo Sobre Mi,” your child will begin their introduction into the Spanish language in a fun and delightful way.  As the name implies, children will learn – “All About Me.”  They will be taught the body parts and familiar first words in Spanish.  To most effectively teach your baby Spanish, we use the total immersion method.  For a full thirty minutes, your child will hear a native speaker narrating while they watch the actions play out on screen.

As with all of the MonkiSee videos, children will learn along with monkey brothers, Howie and Skip.  Babies will definitely be entertained as they watch the silly monkeys learning together. MonkiSee makes learning fun by engaging children throughout the videos.

Todo Sobre Mi” is filled with puppet skits, upbeat and original songs, children, animals, poetry, and much more.  It’s the perfect way to begin introducing your child to a new language.  Whether your children have never heard a word of Spanish, or are being raised in a Spanish-speaking home, “Todo Sobre Mi” is perfect for every child.

We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey in teaching babies Spanish.  To find out more about MonkiSee or purchase this video for your child, click here.

Can Babies Learn More Than One Language

Can Babies Learn More Than One Language?

We know that babies can learn to identify colors and shapes. They can learn to count and read, but can babies learn more than one language? If you’ve ever wondered at the possibility of teaching your child multiple languages, then you will definitely appreciate this month’s series – “Raising A Bilingual Baby.”

Honestly, your child can be more than bilingual, but we’ll discuss that in another post.

For now, let’s dive a little deeper into the possibility of babies learning more than one language. That may sound foreign to a lot of people, but it is possible for your child to learn more than one language. Even if you do not speak multiple languages, your child can learn them. You may be asking yourself “How is this possible?” If you’re ready to discover how babies learn more than one language, read on. It’s quite exciting.


Introducing Your Child to Different Languages

In order to understand how your child can learn multiple languages, let’s first take a quick look at how babies learn language in general. Contrary to what some may believe, we don’t actually need to “teach” our children language. The intricacies of a language may be taught later on, but babies don’t need to be taught how to speak. This occurs naturally.

In fact, babies are learning language from the moment they are born. Their brains soak up information like a sponge. While the complexities of all they’re learning may be astounding to us, it is a natural occurrence. For a child, learning language is extremely simple. During the period of birth to one year, babies have the amazing ability of learning multiple languages with ease. If you teach your child both English and Spanish simultaneously before the age of one, they will be able to speak each language with a perfect accent. This is true for any language you teach your child during the first years of life.

When babies are exposed to multiple languages before the age of one, they are able to decipher the nuances of each language and can effortlessly master each one. Even if they do not become fluent in a specific language, they will greatly benefit from their exposure to them.  Hearing a language before the age of one allows children to learn to speak that language like a native speaker without an accent.

It is important to remember that anyone can learn a new language. The key is – the younger the better. Teaching babies languages is optimal, but even young children can quickly learn a variety of languages. A child’s brain is wired to learn language, and it doesn’t matter how many you introduce them to.

Know that as the parent you have the great privilege of deciding what languages your child will learn. The time, ease, and efficiency in which your child learns language is completely dependent on you. They can learn so many languages effortlessly as babies, so why wait till high school to introduce one or two? You have the ability to give your child one of the greatest gifts. Don’t hesitate to start!

If you are not bilingual, don’t worry. It’s still possible for your child to learn multiple languages. You must simply be dedicated and purposeful in teaching him as much as you can.


Is It Possible for Me?

Sometimes we hear about the amazing abilities which babies possess, but we’re hesitant to believe that it’s possible for our children to accomplish such feats. It sounds too good to be true, right? If you doubt whether your child can learn more than one language, I have some incredible stories to share with you. Witnessing my children, and children of my friends, I was blown away by what they could do. It’s truly amazing and I hope that these stories inspire you to begin exposing your child to multiple languages as well.


3 Months to Language Fluency

I met a lady from Saudi Arabia many years ago.  Her son was three and he didn’t speak or understand a word of English.  Our communication was very strained because of this.  Three months later I saw them again and was astonished to meet a child that was speaking perfect English.  In my amazement I asked her how he learned to speak so well in such a short time.  She said that he learned from playing with the local kids.  I knew children could learn language quickly, but that just really blew me away.


How Spanish Helped My Son in School

I spoke as much Spanish as I could to my baby until he was two years old.  I taught him all I could with the limited Spanish I knew.  Although I didn’t continue I can see the benefits at work in his life.  Out of all of my six children, he picks up language the easiest.  We were studying Latin for school and he understood it almost effortlessly.  I attribute this to the exposure he had to Spanish.


Speaking to Friends vs. Studying in School

Haven’t you heard the stories of adults studying at the university for years in an attempt to learn a new language and their children, without any classes learn two or three languages just from interacting with babysitters or maids that speak a different language.  The parent, who has studied a language for years needs his child to be his translator when he wants to communicate effectively with a foreigner.  Perhaps by not teaching our babies multiple languages we are getting it all wrong.  What do you think?


If you’re excited to begin exploring the possibilities of teaching your child different languages, then be sure to check back for our next post on “How to Teach Children Multiple Languages.

Best Poetry Books for Children

Best Poetry Books for Children

Finding the best poetry books for children can be difficult at times, and that is why today I’m sharing a list of my very favorite poetry books for children.  As an avid book reader and poetry lover, I have come across quite a few gems throughout my years of reading.  I am not a fan of all poetry books -they have to meet a certain standard for me.  Personally, I don’t care much for free verse or irregular meter.  I appreciate it when authors take the time to create perfect meter and really make their poems flow.  I love reading poems that have great meter from the beginning. You can just sense the rhythm as you read.

If you’ve had trouble finding great poetry books to read to your children, I hope this list will be a great help to you.  I am sharing the 20 Best Poetry Books for Children and I hope you will love them as much as I have.  Enjoy!

1. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss

Green Eggs and Ham

I had to begin my list of the best poetry books for children with a classic.  “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss has long been one of my very favorite books.  The simple rhyme scheme and playful story is one that has delighted children for years and years.  In this story, Sam I Am is trying to convince a quite disinterested character to try green eggs and ham.  He strongly protests – in rhyme of course – but will Sam I Am make him change his mind?

2. “But Not the Hippopotamus (Boynton on Board)” by Sandra Boynton

But Not the Hippopotamus

I have been reading my children this book since they were just babies.  Sandra Boynton has such a great writing style and her books are perfect for babies and young children.  In this simple book, all the animals are having fun together – but not the hippopotamus.  Throughout the book we see the poor, lonely hippo being excluded from all the fun.  Will she ever join the others?  Find out in the delightfully playful story.

3. “Is Your Mama a Llama?” by Deborah Guarino

Is Your Mama A Llama

Lloyd the llama can’t find his mama.  Where could she be? He asks his friends if their mama is a llama, but all of them say she is not.  Will Lloyd ever find his mother?  I’ve loved this book for as long as I can remember.  If your child enjoys picture books, then this is definitely one of the best poetry books for children.  It is simple, sweet, and easy to read. Find the story here.

4. “Time for Bed” by Mem Fox

Time for Bed

“It’s time for bed little cat, little cat.  So snuggle in tight, that’s right, like that.”

My children have always loved this bedtime story by Mem Fox.  This simple story is perfect to read to your child before bed.  In this lovable picture book, it’s time for the baby animals to go to sleep.  The sweet rhymes of each mama animal are sweet and soothing as you put your own child to bed.

5. “Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses

Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose

It’s all your favorite nursery rhymes in a whole new way!  Mary Engelbreit’s beautiful illustrations bring these classic rhymes to life.  This enchanting picture book will captivate your children.  Engelbreit’s pictures are bursting with fun color and lovable characters.  We’ve read this book so many times it’s quite worn and falling apart.  You may have read nursery rhymes before, but you’ve never read them like this.


6. “Falling for Rapunzel” by Leah Wilcox

Falling for Rapunzel

All of my children, from five to fifteen, love the princess books by Leah Wilcox.  They are some of the best poetry books for children – especially girls.  Poetry can be so fun, and Leah Wilcox does an amazing job of showing that with her fun books.  With a creative twist, Wilcox tells the classic fairytales in a whole new way.  This is not your average princess story.  Rapunzel is in no need of rescuing and apparently not hoping for true love.  This silly story will have your children laughing together as you read the story of the hard of hearing rapunzel, her cute maid, and the unfortunate prince who turns out to be quite pleased.


7. “Waking Beauty” by Leah Wilcox

Waking Beauty

You’ve heard of “Sleeping Beauty,” but have you ever read “Waking Beauty” by Leah Wilcox?  Having read and loved her book “Falling for Rapunzel,” we began searching for more of her books.  We were all so delighted to find that she had written another silly princess story.  We all know the prince must kiss the princess to wake her from her sleep, but unfortunately… he doesn’t know that.  Will Sleeping Beauty sleep forever, or will the prince finally understand what the fairies are trying to tell him?


8. “Random House Treasury of Best-Loved Children’s Poems” by Patricia Klein

Treasury of Best Loved Children's Poems

I’ve shared a lot of picture books with you, so I wanted to mix in a few traditional poetry books that I love.  While the books I’ve mentioned above have mostly been stories, this is simply a book of poems.  When my children were very young, they received this book as a gift and we still have it to this day.  The jacket is gone, the cover has torn, but this precious book is still held together by some tape.  This truly is one of the best poetry books for children.  The “Treasury of Best-Loved Children’s Poems” is one of my very favorite poetry books for kids.  The rhymes are perfect for young children and the sweet simplicity of this book makes it great for a beginner in poetry.


9. “Now We Are Six (Winnie-the-Pooh)” by A.A. Milne

Now We Are Six

You may know of Winnie the Pooh, but have you ever read the original books by A. A. Milne?  They are phenomenal!  All of my children absolutely LOVE these books. Winnie the Pooh is a great favorite in our house.  We can’t seem to read one of his books without laughing uncontrollably.  The characters are so lovable, and Pooh is especially endearing.  Because of our great fondness for Winnie the Pooh, we decided to read A. A. Milne’s book of poems.  “Now We Are Six.”  Although these poems are not about Winnie the Pooh or his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood, we still enjoyed them immensely.


10. “A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee” by Chris Van Dusen

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee

This book was recommended to me by a good friend of mine.  It’s a great rhyming picture book about Mr. Magee and his dog Dee and their adventures while camping.  The illustrations are fun for kids and the silly story will definitely delight your children.


11. “Wild About Books” by Judy Sierra

Wild About Books

“In a flash every beast in the zoo was stampeding, to learn all about this new something called reading.”

I happened to pick up this book one day when we were visiting our library.  Being the book-lover that I am, the title caught my attention.  Sure enough, this book is now one of my very favorites.  I  love everything about it.  The illustrations are so cute, and the story is absolutely wonderful.  When I was creating this list of the best poetry books for children, I knew this had to be on there.  When by mistake the librarian, Molly McGrew, drives her bookmobile into the zoo, the animals get wild about books.  This is a must-read for every child.  Not only does the story encourage children to read, but it may help them learn the names of some animals.


12. “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson

A Child's Garden of Verses

Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the classic children’s poets, and so of course I had to include him in the best poetry books for children.  I love that he writes in a way that is relatable to children.  He writes as if he is a child speaking.  His poems are about being tucked into bed, or the little treasures he collected, or the adventures he imagines.  Stevenson’s classic poems are sweet and simple.  My children have always enjoyed them and they are essential in your personal storybook collection.


13. “The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems” by Mary Ann Hoberman

The Llama Who Had No Pajama

I love Mary Ann Hoberman’s books.  “The Llama Who Had No Pajama,” is a collection of her poems about childhood and all things relating to children.  Kids will love reading about “The Birthday Bus,” or “Butterfish Bay” and all the other silly poems in this book.


14. “A House Is a House for Me” by Mary Ann Hoberman

A House Is A House for Me

I loved this book by the very first page.  It is, in my opinion, a poetry classic.  I love the repetitive rhythm of the story and the clever ways she opens a child’s eyes to see that everything has a home.  This beautiful book is the perfect read aloud and a great way to introduce children to poetry.


15. “How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?” by Jane Yolen

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

“How does a dinosaur say good night when Papa comes in to turn off the light?”

Mom and Dad say it’s time for bed, but will the dinosaurs listen?  My kids loved reading this story about the different dinosaurs and how they might respond when being put to bed.  Will they pout or slam their tail?  Children and parents will enjoy reading the crazy antics of the eleven dinosaurs in this bedtime story.


16. “Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected For Boys and Girls” by Helen Ferris

Favorite Poems Old and New

If you’re only ever going to buy one poetry book, this would it.  I have read many poetry books throughout my life, but if I could only have one, I would choose this collection.  “Favorite Poems Old and New” offers such a vast selection of poems.  You are sure to find at least on poem to your liking.  There is such a great variety in this collection.  The book includes over 700 poems from poets such as William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and many others.  I believe it is the most comprehensive poetry book for children.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  If you want to begin introducing your child to poetry, be sure to read this book.


17. “Each Peach Pear Plum (Picture Puffins)” by Allan Ahlberg

Each Peach Pear Plum

In this delightfully engaging book, children play “I Spy” with familiar nursery rhyme characters.  Each page features a little poem encouraging the children to find the character hidden in the picture.  With it’s charming illustrations, and simple text, this book is great for beginning readers.  It’s the perfect book to read aloud with your child during story time.  Children will be exposed to simple rhymes while having fun searching for the hidden characters.


18. “The Christian Mother Goose Big Book” by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker

The Christian Mother Goose Big Book

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; Humpty Dumpty shouted, “Amen! God can put me together again.”

“The Christian Mother Goose” is a wonderful rendition of the typical nursery rhymes.  I absolutely love it.  Instead of reading silly rhymes that really have no meaning, why not read children beautiful poems that point to our Lord?  I love the positive messages woven into each nursery rhyme.  Marjorie Ainsborough Decker did an amazing job at transforming the common nursery rhymes into praiseworthy poems that retain the fun and silliness of the originals, yet go beyond to teach good lessons, and encourage children.


19. “Mary Had a Little Lamp” by Jack Lechner

Mary Had a Little Lamp

It’s amazing how one letter can make all the difference.

I love books that take a different angle to the usual story.  It’s always fun to see how an author can add a creative twist to a common story.  In “Mary Had a Little Lamp,” Jack Lechner does just that.  You may have heard of Mary and her little lamb that would follow her around, but Mary’s lamp is another story altogether.  Children will love this silly storybook and it will definitely have them laughing by the end.


20. “I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus” by Jack Prelutsky

I've Lost My Hippopotamus

The last book I want to share with you, is one of my all-time favorites.  I believe it was sometime last year that I happened to discover the amazing Jack Prelutsky.  My children absolutely LOVE his poems.  You can’t even imagine how silly they are.  Prelutsky is the first Children’s Poet Laureate, so naturally he’s included on the list of best poetry books for children.  “I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus” was the first book we read by him, and we could barely put it down.  My kids would always beg me to read another one.  Children will love the pure silliness of Prelutsky.  His poems are unlike any other I’ve read.  I love that he maintains perfect meter and uses big words that help build vocabulary.  If you want to start a collection of the best poetry books for children, be sure to include this one.  It’s one you’ll be reading again and again.


I hope you enjoyed this list of the best poetry books for children.  These are all my favorites and I pray that they might bless your family as well.  I am always searching for more great books, and I would love to hear what you favorite poetry books are.  Please leave your recommendations in the comments below.  Thanks!

Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

What are the best ways to introduce children to poetry?  We know poetry is important and very beneficial for children, but how can we expose them to poetry?  Although there are a variety of ideas out there, I’m really excited to be sharing some of my personal favorites with you.  As I continue raising my children to be poetry-lovers, I have found six simple ways to introduce children to poetry.  We’re going to look at each one and understand why these methods are so effective, and how you can implement them in your own life.  Are you ready?  Then let’s get started!

1. Reading Poetry to Children

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

There is no better way to expose your child to poetry, than by reading it to them.  Reading kids poetry is at the very top of our list.  If you do nothing else, read your children poetry.  There are so many great poetry books that you can enjoy along with your child.  We already know that reading to our children is important, and when you read them poetry books, it’s an additional benefit.  Hearing the rhythm of the words and seeing the patterns within the text help children to recognize meter and rhyme.

A great habit to establish is  reading your kids poetry every day.  Whether it’s a short poem, a rhyming storybook, or simply a nursery rhyme, fit in whatever you can.  Incorporating poetry books in your story time is a great way to begin introducing your child to poetry.  Next week I’ll be sharing a list of my favorite poetry books for children.  Be sure to check back for that post, I am sharing the best of the best.  Remember, reading kids poetry is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

2. Memorizing Poems

(This is my daughter reading one of the first poems she learned.  It’s so precious to see children enjoying poetry and she was so cute reading this to me.  I hope you enjoy it!)

I love having my kids memorize poems as part of their schooling.  It’s a great way to promote their memory skills, and they get to have fun learning a poem they enjoy.  As you continue reading your child poetry, you may want to advance to this next level.  Once they are continuously reading poetry, they’ll naturally begin to memorize it.  Start with short, simple poems, and grow from their.  Perhaps you can begin my having your child recite poems.  Let them read the poems to you.  Eventually, they will actually memorize the poems.  Poetry is so easy to memorize, and it’s all about finding poems that you love.

3. Writing Poems

As you continue filling yourself with poetry through reading and memorization, it will naturally begin to come out of you.  Fill your child with great poems and fun rhyming storybooks, and watch as they make up silly rhymes of their own.  You could have your child write a poem and draw a picture to go along with it.  Encourage him to write a poem for a  poetry contest.  In the beginning, maybe you start by copying poems you know and love.  Eventually, your child will progress to creating his own.  Either way, this is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

4. Listening to Poetry Songs

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

This one method of introducing kids to poetry is often overlooked.  Listening to nursery rhyme songs, is great way to introduce kids to poetry, especially for younger children.  Babies and toddlers love listening to silly music, and if you can find some nursery rhyme songs, or any songs of poetry for your children to enjoy, that’s a great way to expose them to poetry.  Here are a couple links to my favorite CDs for kids:



5. Playing Rhyming Games

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

One of the best ways to introduce children to poetry, is by playing rhyming games with them.  If you make poetry fun by incorporating it in games, children will quickly embrace it and begin developing an appreciation for poetry.  Poetry is meant to be fun, so playing poetry games is a great way to show your kids how great poetry can be.  I’m sharing a couple links to give you some ideas of poetry games and activities you can do with your child.



6. Watching MonkiSee Videos

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

Another great way to expose your child to poetry is with the MonkiSee videos.  Since I am such a poetry-lover, it has definitely trickled into my business.  I love writing poems for kids, and try to fill the videos I create with great poetry.  I feel that poetry adds a unique element to the MonkiSee DVDs.  I believe that the poetry we include in the MonkiSee videos is one of the main reasons why our videos have helped so many children build their vocabulary.  If you read my post on the benefits of poetry for children, then you know that this is one of the greatest benefits of poetry.  Having your child watch the MonkiSee videos is one of the best ways to introduce children to poetry.

The Best Ways to Introduce Children to Poetry

Depending on the age of your child, I would recommend having them watch one of the MonkiSee videos each day.  If you are introducing your baby to poetry, then the MonkiSee videos are perfect.  They will not only be exposed to poetry, they will learn the alphabet, colors, shapes, familiar first words, body parts, farm animals, and so much more!  If your child is a bit older, perhaps they would enjoy watching MonkiSee “Animals Under the Sea,” or “How God Made Everything.”

Overall, you can use any method you like.  The idea is to continue exposing our children to poetry.  I hope that these ideas were helpful to you.  If you have any ideas on what are the best ways to introduce children to poetry, I would love to hear your thoughts!  Please be sure to comment below and share with us your favorite methods.  Thank you so much!


“He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli

“He Knows My Name” by Francesca Battistelli is a beautiful song about finding our satisfaction in God. Having raised all of my children to know and love our Lord, it is so pleasing to see my daughter using her talent for His glory. As I have mentioned before, my daughters have a band called DaVida. Together they write, sing, and play guitar. My fourth child, Olivia, did a cover of Francesca Battistelli’s song and I am very excited to share it with you.

You may not know this, but Olivia was the first child I attempted to teach to read as a baby. I had just discovered early learning, and was so excited to teach my baby everything I could. I spent a lot of time creating flashcards, books, and other materials to show her. Unfortunately, I spent more time making the materials I needed to teach her, than actually teaching her. Perhaps that is why her younger brother and not she was the first to read as a baby. While she was a baby I made the materials, but I actually had time to use them with my son.

Nevertheless, I have seen the benefits of early learning in my daughter’s life.  Since I’ve practically been teaching them since they were born, they are definitely advanced in their schooling and this has been a great advantage. Even when my children were very young, they were always surrounded with music. Since I homeschooled all of my children, I had the opportunity to play music for them all the time. They were always singing along to some kids’ praise CD or writing praise songs of their own. From a young age I have seen them drawn towards music and it has been such a blessing to watch them grow in this area.

I had never intended to homeschool my children, but I know now that homeschooling my children was definitely God’s hand working in my life. One of the greatest benefits my children have experienced is the freedom to be creative. Due to the flexibility of their schedule, they have been able to invest much time in learning guitar and writing songs.

Throughout the day, they would pause their school work and hurry to their rooms to go work on a song idea. This was always so beautiful to witness and I am so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to homeschool my children. I believe this to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. Besides being actively involved in my child’s life each day, it is so rewarding to see them develop their interests and grow in their talents.

Since their music has been a blessing to me, I hope it blesses you as well. Today, I am sharing with you my daughter’s cover of “He Knows My Name.”  Enjoy!

The Benefits of Poetry for Children

Benefits of Poetry for Children

The benefits of poetry for children are incredible and many.  As we discussed in Part #1 of the series, poetry plays a huge role in your child’s development.  Have you ever wondered how you could help your child in their language development, memory skills, vocabulary, or relationships?  Well, keep on reading, because we are going to touch on each one of those topics.

Discussing the importance of poetry and how it applies to your children was great, but I am super excited to share with you some of the amazing benefits of poetry for children.  Because poetry is so enjoyable, I really don’t even think about the benefits of poetry for children.  It’s not that I don’t care about them, but I am not consciously reading poems because I’m want my kids to be smarter.  If the only reason you read poetry is because it is fun, then that is awesome. Good for you!

However, if you’re interested in knowing some additional reasons why poetry is so amazing, then read on.

Language Development

If you are seeking to encourage your child’s language development, look no further.  Of all the benefits of poetry for children, this may be the most basic.

Poetry is a wonderful tool to use in promoting a child’s language development.  With rhymes, children can easily learn new words. Furthermore, having children read poems aloud helps them practice pitch, voice inflection, and volume.  While all of these may seem relatively simple, they are definitely necessary skills for language development. It really is quite a seamless flow that occurs naturally as we read poetry aloud.

Cognitive Development

Reading Poetry

Besides encouraging a child’s language development, poetry is great for a child’s cognitive development as well.  When we read poems to our children, they begin to understand that words may sound similar but have different meanings.  Depending on the poem you are reading, children may be exposed to word families and begin to understand more about phonetic patterns.

Due to the repetitive nature of poems – whether in word or meter – poetry definitely encourages children to recognize patterns.  Furthermore, poetry is an excellent way to strengthen a child’s memory.  These skills will be extremely helpful for future learning in math, new languages, and much more.  As you are beginning to see, the benefits of poetry for children are extensive and those I’ve included are only some of the wonderful ways poetry benefits your child.

Vocabulary Expansion

Although we briefly mentioned vocabulary when we discussed language development. This third benefit of poetry deserves to be examined more in depth.  A good understanding of language and a comprehensive vocabulary is a quality much respected in individuals.  Whether in school or later on in their careers, your children will need to have a good vocabulary to be successful in life.

While reading in general is a great way to build vocabulary, I can guarantee that with poetry you can practically double or maybe even triple your child’s exposure to new words.  The very nature of poetry demands for precise vocabulary to match the rhythm and rhyme of the poem. I can testify to this by my own experience.

As I wrote many poems for the learning videos I create, I found myself discovering all sorts of new words.

For a poem to be just right, it must have the perfect words, and as a poet, it is your responsibility to find them. In MonkiSee “ABC RoundUp” I wrote a poem for each letter of the alphabet.  As you can imagine, I learned quite a few new words when I was writing those poems.  Since building a child’s vocabulary seems to be a high priority for parents, I believe this may be the best of all the benefits of poetry for children.

Relational Development

Poetry for Children

In addition to vocabulary expansion and language and cognitive development, relational development is another amazing benefit of reading poetry to children.

By reading poetry to your child, you are strengthening your relationship together and bonding in such a unique and special way.  It is so precious to be able to share a common interest and passion for poetry.

How special it is to be have fun with your kids by reading silly poems together, discussing what poems are about, and even writing your own poems.

However, this is not the only form of relational development. Besides strengthening your relationship with your child, reading poetry to children allows them to grow in their relationships with others.  By reading poems, children are given various perspectives of the world we live in.  They can see different points of view and understand variations in cultures and beliefs. They may learn right from wrong, develop an appreciation for good literature, and even grow in empathy for others. It’s amazing how simple poems can help us relate to others, and how we may establish friendships through poetry.

My children have loved learning poems for school and reciting them for me and others.  It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they have mastered a lengthy poem.  We love reading and laughing at the silly poems of Jack Prelutsky and that Silly Old Bear.

I hope that you are encouraged to begin reading poems with you children.  I promise you, you will not regret it. If poetry has always been a bit daunting to you, start small.  Read short silly poems together and grow from there.  Nowadays there’s a decent selection of rhyming kids’ books you can read together.  As your love and understanding of poetry progresses, you might surprise yourself and start writing your own little poems.

If you fill yourself with poetry, don’t be surprised when it starts coming out of you too!

And although there are many more benefits I could speak of, such as improvement in spelling, responsibility, public speaking, and so forth, I will conclude with this thought.

“One of the best benefits of poetry for children is simply the joy of reading it.”

I would love to hear your thoughts about poetry.  Are you a poetry-lover? Did you know that poetry could be so beneficial?  Do you need some book recommendations or ideas for incorporating poetry into your every day life?

Check back next week for Part 3 of the series.  We’ll be discussing the best poetry books for kids and how to include poetry in your child’s daily life. It’s going to be amazing, so don’t miss it.


Photo Credit:

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/115089924@N02/12212474014″>students-in-class-with-teacher-reading</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48445211@N06/8518717823″>03012013 – Rolling Terrace Elementary 28</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

The Importance of Poetry for Children

Do you know the importance of poetry for children?

How does Shakespeare compare to A.A. Milne? Or William Butler Yeats to Jack Prelutsky?  Seeing their names coupled together might seem ill-placed, but these writers share a common passion – poetry.

The Importance of Poetry for Children

When you think of poetry, what comes to mind?  Do you envision long poems by renowned poets such as Keats, Longfellow, Wordsworth, and the like?  Or do you remember the silly nursery rhymes of your childhood?  What emotions arise when you hear the word “poetry?”

Are you filled with happy memories or a sense of dread? I believe that many times we develop either a fondness or aversion to poetry.  Some may feel it is too complicated to understand or too dull to bother reading.  Or perhaps, poetry is exciting and delightful to you.  You love the rhythmic sound of the words and the precise vocabulary so expertly placed.

As a lover of words, poetry is one of my greatest passions.  Reading, writing, and hearing beautiful poetry is a sweet pleasure to me.  There is nothing like the rhythm of words flowing together to form a story in such rich language. Poetry is such a happy thing.

As my love for poetry has prompted me to read more about poetry and even write poems myself, I have learned much about the importance of poetry for children.

Whether you’re a poet at heart, a curious onlooker, or simply a skeptic, I believe you will be amazed by the wondrous effects of poetry upon children.  In celebration of National Poetry Month, I will be sharing my Poetry for Children Series.  In this series we will look at the importance of poetry for children, the benefits of poetry for children, and how you can include poetry in your child’s daily life.

Let’s get started!

What Is Poetry & Why Is It Important?

Poetry for Children

Throughout time poetry has been a medium for expressing ideas, emotions, and beliefs.  History has been told, legends passed down, and faith strengthened by simple poems written by passionate people.

Poems such as “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” or  “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” bring history to life and truly connect us to the past. Tennyson shares with us the ancient legends of King Arthur in beautiful poetic form and King David strengthens our faith with this powerful psalms.  These are just a few examples of poetry that has had a profound affect upon civilization.

But “What is poetry,” you ask?  Besides rhyming words being strung together to form some sort of story, what is poetry?  In my own words, poetry is the expression of a heart filled passion and love. Whether that be a passion for for justice, or faith; or a love of nature or family. Poetry is our means of expressing our hopes and dreams, emotions and beliefs. It is an intentional expression of the heart. It is the language of the soul.

A literal definition of poetry is “the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.”

Isn’t that lovely?  Poetry is intended to excite our pleasure. It is beautiful and imaginative.  I believe that conveying the beauty and joy of poetry to our children is truly important. This is what we want them to know. Poetry is fun and exciting and beautiful. From a young age we should be exposing our children to poems so that they can develop an appreciation for it. If we wait for schools to introduce our children to poetry, we allow the possibility of confusion or disinterest.

Why not begin now while they are young? Why withhold such a precious gift from your child? As a parent you have the capability to open the door to an incredible world for your child. You have the sole pleasure of sharing the beauty and wonder of poetry with them.

I myself have experienced so much joy in reading and writing poetry with my own children, and I desire the same for you. It is so special to be able to share an appreciation for good rhyme and meter, to get excited together about our favorite poets, and to work together writing our own little poems.

In fact, my love for poetry has even trickled into my business. As I create fun learning products for babies and young children, I can’t help including some form of poetry. All of the MonkiSee videos are filled with rich narration and many little poems are spoken  throughout the videos. I love writing poems for children, and knowing how beneficial poetry is for children, I love filling the MonkiSee videos with lots of poetry. In MonkiSee “ABC RoundUp” I had so much fun writing a poem for each letter of the alphabet.

Perhaps this may sound foreign to you and it remains unclear how poetry applies to you. Are you still wondering why you should bother reading poetry at all? If so, keep reading as we shall explore how poetry affects your children.

How Poetry Applies to Your Children

Reading Poetry to Baby

In this day and age, poetry is not something we give much attention to.  Sadly, it seems as though this special branch of literature is being overlooked and forgotten.  Although we may be exposed to poetry occasionally, it is certainly not anything we are overly concerned about. We expect our children to be introduced to it in school, but beyond that brief period, we have no dealings with it.

However, it is so important that we raise our children to know and love poetry.  As I mentioned earlier, poetry has been a powerful tool used throughout time for extraordinary purposes. It is a form of art that has continued for centuries. There is so much we can learn from poetry and so much we can teach with poetry. It is highly effective for conveying information in a memorable and intimate way.

Raising children to know and love poetry will benefit them  not only in school, but also in their careers, relationships, and day to day life. Poetry will open so many doors for your children throughout their life. As I mentioned earlier, we will be going in-depth about the benefits of poetry in my next post, but for now, just know that the importance of poetry for children cannot be ignored. Once you discover the incredible benefits of poetry for children, you’ll be reading them poems right away.

I believe that the reason children aren’t being read poetry today is because the importance of poetry for children is either unknown or underestimated. While reading to children is definitely encouraged, we aren’t given much direction as to what we should read them. I would encourage you to read your children poetry. Include poetry along with your regular story time favorites. It will be such a blessing to your child.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of poetry for children, it’s time to discover the incredible benefits. Be sure to check back next week to discover the amazing benefits of poetry for children!


Presidents Day Matching Game

Presidents Day Matching Game

Happy Presidents’ Day!

To celebrate this special holiday, we’re offering you a FREE Presidents Day matching game. If you’re looking for a fun activity to help teach your kids the presidents, then this game is just the thing you need. This fun Presidents Day Matching Game introduces children to the first sixteen presidents. You can even use this Presidents’ Day Matching Game as flashcards. Also, if you would like to learn all of the presidents, here is a great song to help you remember them.

If you liked this song, you can get the mp3 here for $1.29.

Here is your freebie of the day!  Simply print, cut, and play! We would love to see you and your little ones playing this game. Share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Presidents' Day Matching Game

Presidents Matching Game