Take a Sense-sational Walk with Your Family

Tyndale Kids

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Fall has started and change is in the air. Cooler temperatures, earlier sunsets, back to school routines, a new season of kids’ activities. And while nature is slowing down in preparation for winter, your family may be on full throttle. The days blur together. The race is on to pick up kids from practice, get home, eat dinner, and get homework done before bedtime. In this hectic pace, we can feel overwhelmed with the pressure of responsibilities and time commitments.

If this is your family, I’m giving you permission, even if it’s just for today, to hit the pause button and just be. Take a moment and break away from the race. Stop running through the day. In fact, why not do something simple and take a walk with your family? Take the kind of walk that engages the senses and opens the door for powerful, lasting memories. Think of how the sound of a song or the smell of baking cookies can unexpectedly cause the recall of a special memory. Our senses trigger deep, powerful memories.

Creating these memories is so easy to do. When you pull into your driveway, unload your kids from the car, and before you even put the key in the front door, set out on a fall adventure right in your own neighborhood. If you have a chance earlier in the day, throw some apples in a bag to bring with you. Take a walk that intentionally engages your kids’ senses and creates lasting memories. Here’s how to engage all five senses:

Smell—Breathe deeply. Smell flowers, the fall air, or anything else unique to the season.

Sight—Look around. Observe the activity of birds and animals or the changing plants and trees. Watch kids playing fall sports in the local park.

Sound—Listen closely. Hear the wind blowing and the leaves crunching under your feet.

Touch—Get hands on. Feel the texture of the falling leaves. Take your shoes off and walk in the cool grass. Notice the breeze blowing through your hair.

Taste—Savor autumn. Grab those apples you packed and crunch away as you journey with your family. If you don’t have time to grab a snack before heading out, have an apple or another fall treat, such as apple cider, when you get home.

apples

If you want to unplug from busyness and share meaningful time with your family, start simply. Take a walk and enjoy being together. The spot for a new family memory may be as close as your sidewalk.


Help your family unplug with great new reads from Tyndale Kids! Learn more at tyndale.com/youth.


kristi-gravemann

Kristi Gravemann is the Marketing Manager for Tyndale Kids. She has spent over 16 years immersed in marketing and product development for a variety of globally recognized brands. Kristi is convinced that if scientists were to study her DNA, they would discover a children’s book gene. Reading and a love of learning have been hallmarks of Kristi’s life since childhood. She brings that same passion and enthusiasm to her marketing role on the Children and Youth team at Tyndale. She’s beyond blessed to market fantastic children’s books with solid, Biblical values that parents can trust.

8 Educational Books to Read with Your Preschooler

Tyndale Kids

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Children who are preschool-age are curious and tend to ask a lot of questions. Help your preschooler learn and grow this fall with these eight educational books that cover a variety of topics from questions about God to manners—and everything in between!


For your future scientist . . .

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Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? addresses common children’s questions about all things nature. Children learn about starfish, elephants, bears, stars, earthworms, eagles, trees, and heaven, while absorbing the underlying themes of God’s love and grace and a parent’s love for a child. Corresponding to the “Science” portion of STEM curriculum standards, this book is one you won’t want to miss for your inquisitive preschooler!


For learning memory verses together . . .

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Be Still, Give Thanks, and I Can by Kathryn O’Brien

These adorable books by author Kathryn O’Brian turn Bible memorization from a duty to a delight! These books will help your child memorize, understand, and absorb passages as the author presents each powerful verse one word at a time. Be Still, Give Thanks, and I Can build a meaningful connection between God’s Word and a child’s life experiences, laying a foundation for a love and comprehension of Scripture.


For your little theologian . . .

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Does God Take Naps? by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley

This book offers satisfying answers to many questions about God that your preschooler may have—such as “How can I talk to God?” or “How old is God?” —while also showing parents how they can respond to their child’s questions with patience and love. For your little one with many theology-based questions, this book will not disappoint!


For your explorer . . .

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Where Does Love Hide? by Mary Manz Simon

In Where Does Love Hide? children are given the opportunity to see love in action. In addition to the fun, lift-a-flap feature, each page includes a memory verse and an example of a way your child can share God’s love. This book is a great place for your preschooler to start exploring what love looks like!


For developing manners and character . . .

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I Can Be Kind by Amie Carlson

Scripture teaches us to love our neighbors by treating them with kindness and respect. I Can Be Kind is a fun, creative way to teach your child polite behavior in a society where rudeness is often the status quo. With lift-the-flap interaction on every page, I Can Be Kind is a great resource for developing kindness and manners in your child!

 

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The Character Builder’s Bible by Agnes de Bezenac and Salem de Bezenac

The Character Builder’s Bible highlights core character traits that the Bible teaches, and it suggests fun, practical ways to live out these truths so that little minds can understand. Featuring sixty Bible stories with colorful illustrations, definitions, and memory verses, The Character Builder’s Bible will show your little ones that God’s Word is relevant to their lives and will help you instill biblical character in their hearts.


Find these titles and more on Tyndale.com!


5 Letter-Writing Prompts for Kids (Plus Free Stationary Printable!)

Tyndale Kids

letter writing stationary with just sayin Is there anything more fun than getting a letter in the mail from a friend? In this world of quick text messages and social media posts, a note written on paper and dropped in the mail can brighten the day of both the sender and the recipient.

In Just Sayin’, the main character Cassie isn’t allowed to use a cell phone. That means that when her friend Nick moves away, the only way she can communicate with him is through letters. Just Sayin’ is an epistolary novel, which means it is told entirely through letters written by the book characters. As Cassie and Nick write their letters, they start to understand that words can hurt and heal those around them. They also learn that writing and receiving letters is a really fun way to communicate!

Letter writing is a great way to teach kids to think about others, but the thought of sitting down and looking at a blank page can be intimidating. To make letter writing a little easier, we created some cool printable stationary for kids! The stationary has blanks to guide your child through the proper formatting of a letter. Encourage your kids to show their creativity as they write their letter. Use the stationary as a jumping off point, but allow them to play with the format as they write!

From the Desk Of: This is for their name, of course! They might want to put their full name for a more formal effect, or perhaps they want to put a nick name, or even a made-up name!

Date: Write the date the letter is written, or maybe they could write the occasion. It could be March 15 or “My Birthday.”

Location: The location could be their address, or maybe “my house,” “Planet Earth,” or “by the lake.”

Dear _____ : This is where they write the name of the recipient. It could be the recipient’s real name or a fun nickname.

The Body of the Letter: This is where your kids can really let their imagination run wild, but it can also be challenging to think of something to write to fill up all that space. Try these prompts with your kids! Remind them that the letter should be about both them and the person who will receive the letter. They can tell the recipient about their own lives, but don’t forget to ask questions!

I think the tastiest food is _____. The best place to eat this food is _____ with ______. What is your favorite food?

My favorite place to go is _____. To get there, I have to ______. When I am there, I love to ______. Where is your favorite place to travel to?

The best present I ever got was _______. ______ gave it to me. I love to use it to _____. What is your favorite gift you’ve ever received?

My favorite subject in school is _______. I like it because I learn about _______. What is your favorite subject?

When I grow up, I want to be a _______. I think this is a good job for me because _______. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Sincerely, _____ : “Sincerely” means “honestly.” To sign your name to a letter means that you meant everything you said! Encourage them to use their own special signature that is unique to them. Maybe that means they use cursive, or maybe they dot their Is with hearts or stars!

P.S.: P.S. stands for “postscript” which means “after the rest of the letter.” This is where they can write an additional note to their friends. Some great examples of postscripts are…

Oh, I forgot to tell you…

I can’t wait to see you next time we…

Don’t forget to…

I will pray for you when you…

Good luck on…

Download your free Just Sayin’ stationary here or click on the picture below.  and give your kids the gift of letter-writing. Be sure to let us know if you download the stationary! Post a picture and tag us on social media with #tyndalekids.

just sayin stationary

Looking for more books to encourage young writers? Check out Love, Lexi: Letters to God and Larger-than-Life Lara!

Flat Luther Photo contest

Discover the little known love story of an infamous man in Christian history, Martin Luther. Celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with the release of Loving Luther, a novel chronicling the love of Martin and Kate.

More about Loving Luther:

Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows—a choice more practical than pious—but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

Enter the Loving Luther Giveaway

What do I do?

Color your image of Flat Luther (link below), cut him out, tape or glue to a stick and take a photo of Flat Luther in your yard, at a city landmark, or with a pet.  It’s your chance to get creative! Download your Flat Luther here – click here.

How do I enter?

Post your photo on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #FlatLuther and #LovingLutherNovel. Submit your photo using the Gleam form below. Follow the directions to earn extra entries. We’ll choose the winner at random on 9/29.

What can I win?

A signed copy of Loving Luther, along with your own Little Luther figure, a bobble head of Martin and Katharina, and a few books celebrating the life of Martin Luther.

 

 

Flat Luther Giveaway

Help Your Child Discover the Power of Words

Tyndale Kids

The 101 Commandments of School

Not so long ago, I visited schools across the United States, asking kids questions. I put their answers into a book and called it The 101 Commandments of School.

I learned a lot about school, about kids, and about words. My favorite commandment was, “Thou shalt not suck on a marker. . . . The color will come off on your teeth . . . so everyone will know you did it. Plus, they don’t really taste that good.”

School Days, School Days, Dear Ol’ Golden Rule Days

I love words. I make my living with words. So does my husband. Words have power when strung together in just the right way.

But when misused, words can hurt. Forget that nonsense about sticks and stones breaking bones and words being incapable of inflicting pain.

Dropping off a child at school can feel like turning that child loose in a pool of alligators, if not sharks.

It’s not hard to detect a big bully who’s looking for a fight. But emotional bullies come in all shapes and sizes, armed with invisible, sharpened words. And sometimes, emotional bullies come in the form of our own kids.

As you get ready to send your children off to school, think back to when you were their age.

Did you ever get called a name? Did you ever call someone a name—just teasing? Skinny, Fatty, Shorty, Dummy, Airhead, Hick, or something worse? I’ve been called all of the above, always accompanied by laughter. Usually, I laughed along . . . but not always.

Just Sayin’

I used to be master of sarcasm, saying one thing, but meaning another. I thought I was so funny, and so did my school “audience.”

To someone with a new haircut, I might say, “Is this weird-hair day? I must have missed the memo.”

About someone who failed a math test, I might comment, “He’d fail a taste test” or “Brains aren’t everything . . . and in your case, they’re nothing at all.”

Just joking. But joking with an ounce of truth is a recipe for hurt feelings.

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I cringe recalling words I misused for a laugh at another’s expense. But those painful memories spurred me to write Just Sayin’, a novel for school kids. In that book, my main characters write letters to each other and enter a contest: “The Last Insult Standing.” (They love words too much to text.) In the process, they come to understand the power of words and the emotional pain of insults.

Emotional pain can be replayed and refelt for years. Not so with physical pain. If sticks and stones broke your bones in second grade, you may remember what happened and recall that your body hurt. But physical pain can’t be felt again.

On the other hand, if someone called you “Loser!” when you struck out at recess, you may still feel that hurt whenever you come to the plate. Hurtful words can stick with us for the rest of our lives. James 3:5 warns, “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.”

The Right Words

Thankfully, words are also powerful when used the way God intended. Words are gifts. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus is called “the Word!” The apostle John begins his book, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

Hopefully, our children won’t be emotional or physical bullies. But there’s more. We can challenge our kids to be encouragers and to speak up when others are being teased or bullied.

Paul wrote the Ephesians,  “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Ephesians 4:29).

Word Power

As our kids go back to school, they go equipped with hundreds of words. Make sure they know how to use them.

Psalm 19:14 is a great back-to-school prayer for parent and child: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”


Dandi Daley Mackall is the award-winning author of over 450 books for children and adults. She visits countless schools, conducts writing assemblies and workshops across the United States, and presents keynote addresses at conferences and young author events. She is also a frequent guest on radio talk shows and has made dozens TV appearances. She is has won several awards for her writing, including the Helen Keating Ott Award for Contributions to Children’s Literature and a two-time Mom’s Choice Award winner. Dandi writes from rural Ohio, where she lives with her husband, Joe, their three children, and their horses, dogs, and cats. Visit her at DandiBooks.com.