Tea with Grandpa and Songs with Mother Goose

A few months ago, I met Jason Boog and read his book, Born Reading: Bringing up Bookworms in a Digital Age.  Jason lays out a playbook for raising a child who loves to read, and all of his suggestions are in line with our own guiding philosophy at Zoobean.

I hosted this Zoobean Expert session with Jason, but our conversation hasn’t really stopped. Once you get book people talking, well… We want to bring all of you in on this important conversation, too. Starting today, we’ll be sending you bi-weekly notes about our current favorite kids’ reads, apps, and activities. You’re busy, so we promise to make them short, sweet, and meaningful.

Book of the Week

I read Barney Saltzberg's Tea with Grandpa at my daughter's preschool recently. It is an interactive picture book about a tea party, and the kids sipped pretend tea, sang songs and danced along with the book. It ends with the big revelation that grandpa and granddaughter are sharing tea via long distance video chat.


After the book, the kids shared stories about how they used video chat to talk with loved ones around the world. The book provides a safe way to talk about big issues for 21st Century kids: long distance family, virtual conversations and constructive ways to use digital devices.


Best of all, kids will brainstorm other activities to do the next time they video chat with a loved one.

App of the Week

Next, check out Mother Goose on the Loose. It is a free app for Apple devices created by Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Software Smoothie. Kids can steer digital characters from nursery rhymes around the page, singing, tapping and playing along with a parent.

Craft of the Week

When it is time to turn off the Mother Goose on the Loose app, you can make Spider Pops with pipe cleaners and googly eyes. Just follow this Spider Pops recipe for the directions.


The craft is an simple way to transition from playing "Little Miss Muffet" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" on a digital device to making something in real life. And they are perfect for Halloween...