Choosing the Right Books for Your Child from Birth to Preschool

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Studies show that kids with active exposure to language have social and educational advantages over their peers, and reading is one of the best exposures to language.  Reading with children at an early age sets the foundation for later independent reading.  But how do you know which books are the right ones to bring into your home or to check out of the library? This guide offers tips and strategies to help you and your child learn how to choose good books together.

Infants: Birth to 6 Months

  • Content. Choose books with large pictures or bright and bold illustrations set against a contrasting background. Look for books that have simple pictures, one per page.
  • Language. Infants will enjoy looking through wordless picture books, or books that have just a single word along with a big picture. But also try books that contain phrases or short sentences. It’s important for infants to hear language. Nursery rhymes and verse books are good for this age, too.
  • Design. Books for infants should be interesting and appealing to look at. Try stiff cardboard books, books with fold-out pages that create colorful panels, cloth or soft vinyl books, and books with handles.
  • Reading Aloud. Infants want your full attention, so try reciting rhymes and songs that you remember by heart. Also, try reading to your infant while she has a toy to hold. Reading at bedtime is always a nice way to end the day!

Infants: 7 to 12 Months

  • Content. Children this age will enjoy books with medium to large photos and bright, bold illustrations. Look for books that have simple drawings of familiar things, actions and events.
  • Language. Children begin to key into content and can relate pictures to their world. While they still enjoy picture books, try some books with simple stories that have one line of text per page.
  • Design. Infants this age like to handle cloth and vinyl books and cardboard books with stiff, thick pages.
  • Reading Aloud. As your baby gets older, try this four-part interaction sequence: 1) Get your baby’s attention by pointing out something in a book. (“Look!”). 2) Ask a labeling question. (“What’s that?”). 3) Wait for your baby to respond, verbally or non-verbally. If necessary, provide the answer yourself. (“That’s a monkey!”). 4) Acknowledge your baby’s response. (“Yes”) or repeat your baby’s word.) If your baby mislabels the picture, correct him in a positive manner. (“Yes, it’s brown like a dog, but it’s a monkey.”). Keep in mind that you may not get through a whole book in one reading. As your child starts to explore books, support her progress by watching, listening and acknowledging.

Infants: 12 to 18 months

  • Content. For children this age, try books with pictures of familiar characters, like animals, children, TV characters or adults in familiar roles. Look for books that have action pictures – your baby is starting to be able to enjoy pictures with more details.
  • Language. This is a great age to try books with songs and repetitive verses. Books that have a simple story line that relates to your child’s own experiences will also have appeal. You might also look for theme books that show a series of related pictures and a few words. These books follow a progression of simple activities, but don’t try to introduce a plot or complex storyline.
  • Design. Even though your baby is growing fast, she’ll still enjoy playing with books with handles and books with stiff, thick pages. And she’ll still like having these books read to her. Books with thinner pages that are plastic-coated are also a good choice for this age.
  • Reading Aloud. Your infant will probably still enjoy reading with you as he sits on your lap or close to you in a comfortable chair. This helps your baby associate reading with feeling secure. Connecting sounds with the pictures he sees in the books will make reading together even more fun. Make your own sounds, and don’t be surprised if your baby joins in! You may also notice your child looking through the book alone and making noises (sometimes called “book babble”).

Toddlers: 19 to 30 Months

  • Content. Toddlers will continue to enjoy books with familiar characters, but they also will begin to take interest in pictures filled with information, action and detail. Try some short stories, cause and effect stories, and fictional books that describe a problem or circumstance to overcome.
  • Language. Try predictable books with repeated text, words that rhyme, and pictures that correspond to the text. Books with songs and repetitive verses are still a good choice for this age.
  • Design. Toddlers can enjoy books with paper pages-but will still like books with a picture on every page and just a little bit of text.
  • Reading Aloud. Let your toddler decide if she wants to sit on your lap while you read, or next to you on the couch or floor. Follow her cues. Talk about the characters and events in the story, relating them to your child’s own experiences. Pause when you read aloud to let your child fill in a word or phrase. This works great with rhyming and repetitive books.

For preschoolers

Choose Stories about things or activities that are familiar to them (a trip to the zoo, a birthday party, etc.)

  • Picture vocabulary books and alphabet books – they love to learn new words and recite their letters.
  • Books about animals and adventures.
  • Funny books with riddles or jokes.
  • Books with rhymes and repetition which they will often memorize and recite along with you.
  • Simple factual books, particularly for those children who have very specific interests like trucks, trains, dinosaurs, fire engines or fish.
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Toddler Belts & Kids Belts

Snazz it up with Great Nail Colors! | Cute Beltz, Toddler & Kids Belts

Koliary by Nars – Cute Beltz

I  love summer because it means mani/pedi’s and alone time from mommy!  I absolutely am a sandal wearer and will sport them until the last day of summer.  I have always been a orangie, pinkie polish wearer, but for some reason the blue’s have caught my eye.  I Love this baby blue shade, Koliary from Nars, screams ocean to me.  Maybe, because that’s where I always want to be!  Checkout this great lineup of nail colors from Lucky Magazine –> “Summer’s Best New Nail Color” and let me know which is your favorite.  Be forewarned, there are 57 choices, so select wisely! 🙂

Happy Mani/Pedi! – Cute Beltz

D-ring & Velcro Belts for Kids

What to do with the kids in NYC? Checkout Red Tricycle New York

I love a good source for events in NYC and Red Tricycle has not disappointed yet, since their debut.  If you haven’t had a chance checkout their schedule of events, there are some fun family events going on this week —> New York Events.  If your kids are big Laurie Berkner Band fans, there is a show on Saturday, May 19th.  My girls love her, I am going to try to surprise them with tickets!!!

If you are not in the NYC area, they also have events listed for the following cities.

Whatever you do this week, have a good time!

Pssst, NYC’ers—-> Checkout this huge giveaway Red Tricycle is hosting, lots of great prizes.

Have a great day,

Cute Beltz, the place for belts for infant, toddlers and kids!

Being a Mompreneur and Why I choose Kids Belts as a Business

I am re-posting my story.  So many, ask me why I choose kids belts as business.  Well, we all find our passion by accident or in my case when I had children.  When it falls into your lap there is a reason why!  As a rule of thumb, I never question why things happen, I just go with the flow and listen to that inside voice and my angels. 🙂  So, here’s my story…..

“Mommy, my pants keep falling down!” Kristen Stevens must have heard that a thousand times from her little girl.  She knew after hearing those same words echoed over and over again, she had to come up with a solution.  The pins in the pants were a nuisance and dangerous, every belt you found was too big for your child’s waist, as a result Cute Beltz was born.

In November of 2008, Kristen, wife and mother of 2 toddlers, launched CuteBeltz(www.CuteBeltz.com), a line of children belts and accessories for children 12 months to 6 years old. “The response has been extraordinary!”, says Stevens.  “Parents are ecstatic about finding a belt that keeps their child’s pants up.” Kristen goes on to add that parents have also shared with her that with each use, they are witnessing their child’s self confidence heighten each time they put CuteBeltz on.

Kid belts are an essential part of a child’s wardrobe.  Not only are kid belts essential they allow a child to develop the motor skills and confidence one needs to figure things out and with a growing number of children with special needs, we found it essential to design a belt, the Velcro belt, which could be used by all children.

As Kristen watch her children develop, she realized that they depend less on her, and begin to develop their own thoughts and opinions.  She knew this was an exceptional product as I watched my little girl put on her belt and I reached to help her and she said, “Mommy, Big Girls Can Do It!”  The joy on her face when she fastened the belt was my Aha! (Oprah’s famous word) moment.  If a belt could make my child this happy, I knew this was a great product.

Kids love the colors and patterns.  Parents have said, “Oh my gosh, a belt! Thank you, now my child’s pants will stay up”.  An educator told me, “I feel so awkward assisting children when they go to the bathroom, this belt is a lifesaver”.  Another pointed out the need and ease-of-use is ideal for children with special needs.

Children have said, “WOW, look at the colors, how cute!”  It is wonderful to know so many parents, educators and especially children love the product.  There are a variety of styles to choose from.  Girls can wear the belts with skirts, pants or even accessorize a dress.  The boy’s belts look great with any pant, i.e. khaki’s, jeans, shorts or dress pants.  Children love adding a little pizzazz!

Cute Beltz are easy to use.  I have found that children love the D-ring belts because it adds another look to their outfit.  Kids also love the Velcro belts because the are very easy to use, especially during potty training and are great for children with special needs.

Cute Beltz continues to expand its product line and will be releasing its fall collection by mid August, so keep an eye out for the new “Cute Beltz for Cute Kidz!”

About Cute Beltz

Cute Beltz, www.CuteBeltz.com, is an online children’s boutique which offers a variety of belts for toddler boys and girls, ranging in age from 12 months to 6 years old.  Cute Beltz products can be found online at http://www.CuteBeltz.com.  Join our Mailing List and receive the latest information on upcoming sales and new products.  Kristen Stevens is the owner of Cute Beltz.  All inquiries and correspondence should be directed to info@CuteBeltz.com.

Have you found your passion and what are you doing with it?

Business is Growing, Cute Beltz needs your VOTE!

We are expanding and are looking for support to grow the Cute Beltz brand.  Please help us win $50k in hiring grants by writing a few words to Intuit telling them why you love our business.  Vote here —> Click.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Cute Beltz – the place for belts for toddlers & kids, www.CuteBeltz.com