Author: Kristen Wade

7 Spring Activities for Kids

7 Spring Activities for Kids

Spring is near, and it’s time to take advantage of the warm, fresh air. After a a long winter, a schedule of full of family spring activities is just what you need. Check out our list of indoor and outdoor spring activities for kids to keep your family entertained no matter the weather this season!

1. Plan a Family Picnic

Picnics may be cliche, but they’re still one of our favorite family spring activities. Pack a meal, grab the family, and head to your favorite park. If you’re here in Lancaster County, we suggest checking out Long’s Park. Catch up with your kids and chat about your plans for the summer. Bring a deck of cards, a book, sidewalk chalk, or other activities along to make your outing more enjoyable.

2. Plan Outings Around Town

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get some fresh air, stroll around town or check out a nearby city. In Central PA, there are hidden gems in every city from shops and restaurants to museums and art galleries. With a little exploration, you’re sure to find something for everyone in your family. Wherever you end up, be sure to make a quick stop at the library before heading home.

3. Indoor Campsites (for Rainy Days)

It’s important to have backup indoor spring activities for kids to keep them busy on rainy days. Make a pillow fort and play board games as a family. Finish up the night with microwaved s’mores around the glow of a flashlight and a storybook classic.

4. Attend Festivals & Events in Your Area

Spring is the perfect time to enjoy festivals and events in every region. One of our favorite family spring activities is Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s “Reading on the Rails,” right here in Central PA! Kids can explore the museum and enjoy several stories throughout the day.

5. Arts & Crafts

Bring the outdoors inside though arts and crafts. Have your kids collect elements from nature to be used in DIY projects. They can create stamps with leaves, make floral wreaths, or stick with the classics like coloring and pine cone bird feeders. Art projects are the perfect last-minute indoor spring activity for kids.

6. Start a Garden

With the help of your little ones, put together a garden to meet your needs this spring. Create a simple herb garden for your kitchen, or a vibrant floral garden on your deck or patio. If you’re feeling ambitious, fill your garden herbs, flowers, and vegetables. The size, shape, and contents of your garden are up to you! Whatever the size of your garden, be sure to include a seating area to continue the fun of outdoor spring activities for kids throughout the season. Enjoy nature’s serenity while you enjoy a good read and spend time with family.

7. Take the family Dragon Riding

Nothing so invigorating as a brisk ride on the back of a dragon to start your spring activities off right.  Of course, you should always be careful to avoid dragons that look hungry or mean. But the kids will love the thrill and give them plenty of stories to tell their friends later.  If you don’t have access to a ‘LIVE’ dragon, perhaps just finding a quiet spot and reading Dragonpalm: Arrival from Immersive Publishing could be almost as good.

Have other ideas for family spring activities? Tell us about your favorites in the comments!

Dragonpalm: Arrival (Digital Edition)

  • The world celebrates as scientists push the boundaries of nature by reviving a date palm tree that has been extinct for thousands of years.  Unfortunately, sometimes when you push nature…nature pushes back! Billie Smith is a typical eleven-year-old girl who loves stories about mummies, ancient Egypt and the mysteries of that region.  At the same time, she’s also still a little afraid of the dark. Her father is a botanist who has been in Israel helping revive seeds found in King Herod’s tomb and trying to grow them again.  Amazingly, he finds success and the Judean Date Palm is now on a world tour like a rock star.  All that means to Billie is that her father is finally coming home. The gift that her father brings her…three ancient seeds that are duds, will change the course of her life forever. On the other side of the planet, Portrand is angry.  He has been asleep for two thousand years when the familiar scent of pollen awakens him.  This proud dragon, who ruled the skies for hundreds of years, is suddenly thrown into a world where he no longer knows the rules.  He’s scared, hungry and currently on a collision course with Billie’s young family. What happens when you meet a creature from your worst nightmares? This ‘dragon out of water’ tale is a story of understanding, friendship and eighteen thousand pounds of fantasy. This book is ‘Story Theater Enabled’ so you not only get a great and exciting read, but you get a professional movie sound track that is triggered by your child’s reading.  They’ll read along, read aloud and be entertained while they also learn to read.  The child’s voice moves the story forward in an innovative and thrilling way. Try Story Theater today and make Dragonpalm: Arrival your first book!
2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Kids

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Kids

Trying to find gifts for kids who have everything can make holiday shopping a challenge. Check out our tips for simplified shopping and our guide for finding creative gifts for kids.

Tips for Finding the Best Gifts for Kids:

Try following these tips as you select the best gifts for kids this holiday season:

  • Focus on building experiences
  • Keep up with modern technology
  • See what’s trending
  • Choose something they’ll use in the months to come

Our Holiday Gift Guide for Kids:

1. Tickets to a Museum

Museum passes are one of the best gifts for kids. From history to art museums, there’s something for every child. See the types of exhibits that are coming to nearby museums in upcoming months and plan an outing with your little ones. You may even consider getting an annual pass. Museums rotate exhibits on a regular basis, so a museum pass can ensure fun for the whole year.

2. Interactive Book

Many children are opting for the latest gadgets and setting aside reading. Books shouldn’t have to compete with growing technology, and, with Immersive Publishing’s Story Theater Amazon skill, they don’t have to. Try out one of the Story Theater enabled books, and watch the stories come to life as your child reads along. Just purchase the book, enable the Amazon skill on your Amazon Echo device, and start reading. This innovative product is sure to capture the attention of your little millennials while also sharing the love of reading. It’s one of the perfect gifts for kids who have everything!

3. Tickets to the Local Theater

A trip to broadway isn’t always feasible, so why not try a night out to the local theater! Tickets to the theater are the perfect addition to your holiday gift guide. Whether you choose a ticket to the holiday show or purchase a certificate for the spring, your little ones are sure to love a trip to the theater. Theater has many benefits for children, like increased comprehension skills, so it’s the perfect gift for fun and learning.

4. Family Board Games

Toys often go untouched after January. Instead of feeling pressured to choose the flashiest toy, choose something with a longer lifespan. A board game will encourage family bonding and won’t clutter the toy chest.

5. Lessons or Classes

There are plenty of lessons and classes available for children with varying interests. Purchasing lessons are a great way to encourage your child to try new things and build confidence along the way. You may consider:

  • Cooking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Instrumental
  • Drawing
  • Dance

6. Pass to the Zoo

Most don’t think about visiting the zoo over the winter months, but visiting the zoo in the snow definitely has its perks. Many zoos include fun activities like holiday lights during the winter. Plus, you’ll get to see arctic animals during their most active time of the year.

Looking for more ideas? Check out our full selection of Story Theater enabled, Amazon Echo compatible books.

Importance of Reading for Children: Why Children Should Read

Importance of Reading for Children: Why Children Should Read

There are endless positive effects of reading on child development, and they go beyond developing linguistic skills. Through reading, children develop creative expression, imagination, critical thinking, memorization, and much more. If you are a parent, it is especially important to recognize the benefits of reading for children.

Reasons Why

Reading positively affects social, emotional, and mental development in children. Check out these reasons why reading is important for children:

1. Foster Comprehension & Critical Thinking Skills

Of course education is one of the most obvious reasons why children should read. When children read, they practice information retention and comprehension as they follow along with the characters in the story. In addition to absorbing information, children think ahead to what comes next. As plots develop, children must constantly predict, ask questions, and analyze what is happening in the story.

2. Encourage Imagination & Creative Expression

Books transport children into brand new worlds beyond their everyday lives. They can imagine new worlds that inspire new ways of thinking. Unlike many other forms of modern media, books require active participation and encourage creativity, a skill essential to professions in almost every industry. A decrease in reading is leading to less creative minds. As children are exposed to contradictory messages, it is important that they learn to seek information for themselves and decide their own paths. Reading helps children listen, learn, and explore which inspires them to lead, express, and create.

3. Practice Speech & Build Confidence

It is inevitable that children will have to speak and read in front of others throughout school and beyond. Many young children experience problems with reading or speech whether it be as simple as a minor stutter or as complex as a learning disability. Whatever level of challenge they face, practicing reading, especially out loud can be extremely therapeutic. As children practice reading, they get more comfortable with the how words look and sound and what they mean. Even children who are excellent readers can benefit from practicing. In addition to getting more comfortable with reading in general, children build confidence as they read out loud at home or in class.

Is your child struggling with a mild speech disorder? Try using our Story Theater Amazon skill along with one of our books. As the story progresses, they’ll be prompted to read along. Their voice will trigger sounds and music for a truly immersive experience

4. Exposure to History, Ethics, & Other Key Messages

Whether you notice it or not, almost every book has underlying take away messages, a compelling reason why reading is important for children. As characters navigate through challenges, interact with others, and grow, readers work on their personal character development. Even tales as simple as the “Three Little Pigs” have lessons of hard work woven throughout. Books are a fun way to teach children moral lessons without them losing interest. Children can also take away history lessons from novels from different time periods.

5. Help Them Develop Emotional Intelligence

Today’s generation is desensitized to violence and suffers from a lack of emotional intelligence, a very important reason why children should read more often. Reading allows children to gain new perspectives through characters from all walks of life, which increases their understanding and empathy. Empathy is a crucial component of a child’s social and emotional development, and it will have lasting impacts on a child’s interactions and friendships.

5 Ways to Celebrate National Family Literacy Month

5 Ways to Celebrate National Family Literacy Month

Literacy is arguably the most important part of a child’s education. Although we heavily rely on formal education systems to teach and develop these skills in our children, they are not the only contributing source. Parents and families have a significant impact on a child’s learning, especially when it comes to literacy. Encourage reading education in your home by checking out these ways to celebrate National Family Literacy Month this November!


1. Spend Time Reading Together

Reading together as a family not only has emotional and familial advantages, but it also helps reinforce the importance of reading to children at a young age. This is a lesson that children will continue to carry with them throughout their lives. Although many families already include reading as part of their daily routine, others neglect to recognize the educational value of this experience. According to Pew Research Center, parents with young children and teenagers are half as likely as parents with only young children to read to them daily. Despite the age of your children, make family reading time a tradition in your household.

2. Start a Book Club with Other Families

If you’re looking for a creative twist to the traditional bedtime story with your little ones, make reading enjoyable for the whole family by starting a book club! Gather families from the neighborhood and choose books for all age levels. You’ll get the chance to read books of your own while being a positive example for your children.

3. Volunteer at Your Local Library

Libraries serve as invaluable resources to local communities. We often take advantage of library offerings without recognizing the hidden costs. Show your appreciation for your local library and celebrate National Family Literacy Month by volunteering with your family.

4. Donate Unwanted Books

As you encourage education and literacy, it is important to remember those without regular access to books and other educational resources. As your children outgrow old books, look for charities and organizations to donate your books to help those in need. Consider donating to your local library, second hand stores, or orphanages. You may also consider donating to international organizations that provide books to children in impoverished countries.

5. Read to Patients at Local Healthcare Facilities

Challenge your children to publicly practice their reading skills while serving those in need. Take a trip to a hospital or senior care facility and read to the sick and the elderly. As a family, you’ll bring enjoyment to those you visit, show your children the importance of community service, and build their confidence as they get practice reading aloud.

Looking for ways to spice up your reading routine during National Family Literacy Month? Check out our Story Theater compatible books with your Amazon Echo or Amazon Echo Dot. As your child practices reading aloud, their voice will bring the story to life with music and other sound effects.