the gift of knowledge holiday gift guide 2015

Books are a big deal at our house.  I love reading to my kids and love watching them flip through books and discover them for themselves.  Although they can be as messy at our house as legos are at someone elses I like that our mess is full of learning, magic, fun, and creativity.  Books never age and your kids are never too old for them.  The perfect present!

My boys received two wonderfully fun books….The Rechargeables: Eat Move Sleep and Welcome to the Symphony.  We hadn’t ever heard of these two before receiving them but we love them!  I especially love that these are both books that can grow with my kids while teaching them great habits and rounds them out in different areas.

Welcome to the Symphony, written by Carolyn Sloan, is a fun interactive book that introduces kids to the world of classical music using Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, a familiar and loved tune throughout all ages.  Sloan is a music educator at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, songwriter and musician.  She has been writing music for theater, television, and children for the past 20 years.  Her qualifications are perfect!  This book “includes a sound panel with 19 buttons that allow young readers to explore the intricate differences and relationships among the instruments.”  My son loves being quizzed on which instrument is which.  He is still in the early stages of learning but he is learning new things that I couldn’t have otherwise taught him.

Welcome to the Symphony also teaches the basics: “What is a symphony? What is a conductor? Who was Beethoven? They learn elements of music: melody, harmony, and tempo. And they are introduced to the families of instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.”  Beckham loves learning what each instrument is called and what it sounds like.  While Blake still isn’t talking he loves pushing the buttons and listening to the sounds.  He will be singing along to the da-da-da-daah! in no time.  Such a charming and unique learning tool!!

Welcome to the Symphony retails for $24.95 (but you may be able to find it on a deal right now thanks to the holidays) and can be purchased through Barnes and NobleAmazonIndieBoundPowell’s, The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, The Met Opera Store, etc.

The Rechargeables: Eat Move Sleep is a cute little book teaching kids “how to be healthy and create energy in our daily lives. Through a series of brief adventures, Poppy and Simon discover what it takes to recharge themselves and bring an entire village back to life. Based on the research and concepts in Eat Move Sleep, Tom Rath’s latest New York Times bestseller,The Rechargeables is about the way small choices have a profound impact on the quality of each day.”

I like this book because I try to be a good example to my children about eating healthy and getting exercise daily.  I hate when they just sit around and watch tv all day.  Shoot!  I love that for a day or two but after that I am ready to recharge myself and get going again.  This book is a great way to teach that to children.  In our world now a days there is just too much laziness and I refuse to let me kids be the indoors away from the world type.  I want them to play outside, breathe the fresh air, socialize face to face with other kids and adults, and create energy thus making them healthier and happier.  I want them to eat healthy foods and see how much better they feel than when they eat junk and greasy foods.  I want them to understand the importance of a good nights rest.  This book is just what kids need to learn these life lessons without feeling like mom and dad are lecturing them.

While this book is obviously over my youngest head, Beckham gets it.  (He is 3)  He is understanding that sitting around all day isn’t good for you.  He is understanding that going to bed isn’t a punishment.  Books don’t fade over time and neither will the lessons in this entertaining story.

The Rechargeables: Eat Move Sleep retails for $17.95 (but like Welcome to the Symphony you may be able to find a good deal right now) and can be found on AmazonBarnes and NobleIndie Books, and other online and local retailers.

Welcome to the Symphony and The Rechargeables: Eat Move Sleep are Real Mom and her smart pants kids approved!