Flying Into Fall, 7 books perfect for Autumn. September 24 2014, 0 Comments

Aside from the crisp smells & beautiful imagery that comes with Fall, I love it most because of all the learning that accompanies it. Fall is a season packed full of language-based concepts and teachable moments that kids truly love learning. From the changing of the colors of leaves to sizes and shapes of pumpkins, there are so many ways we can engage our children as fall descends upon us. Think about opportunities to let your children describe fall - what does it smell like and how does it sound? Build in the use of describing words such as "crunchy" when walking on a sidewalk with fallen leaves or "bumpy" when selecting the perfect pumpkin for your front stoop. 
Visits to orchards & farms can become mini-science lessons with a focus on where things grow (in trees or in the earth) and activities such as cooking with all the fresh picks and sorting fruits and vegetables by size, shape, color and even taste! Don't forget fun crafts like leaf rubbings.
Here are some great kid's books that highlight all the wonderful elements of Fall! 
Carly Seibald, MS CCC-SLP, TSSLD, Speech Language Pathologist

Carly Seibald the founder of Social Sprouts, SLP - a pediatric speech-language pathology practice with an emphasis on teaching social skill development. Carly is a New York State licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from ASHA as well as a professional certificate as a Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). With years of experience in a multi-disciplinary setting, Carly has worked closely with Occupational and Behavioral Therapists to help support children across developmental domains. Carly has extensive experience evaluating and treating children diagnosed with a variety of impairments including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Delays, Motor-Speech Disorders, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Cognitive Delays, Receptive & Expressive Language Impairments, Sensory Integration Disorders, Auditory Processing Disorders and Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.

Contact Info:

Toy & book ideas for your kids , Part deux April 24 2014, 0 Comments

Hello Motherburg readers,

Happy Spring to those in NYC. The sun is finally shining and the heavy winter coats and layers have been shed. To all those readers elsewhere in the world, I hope you are enjoying whatever season you’re in… I’m completing the thread of toy and book posts here. This one is geared towards 4 and 5 year olds. For ages 2 to 3, please visit my last post.

4 years

Toy suggestions

For those that are into tinkering:

Gears! Gears! Gears!

These gears will keep those little hands and minds busy. The possibilities are endless with these easy to connect pieces. Watch as your kids place the gears and boards together and then give them a crank! These gears really move.

This toy requires kids to plan, problem solve and create. What more could you ask for from a toy?

For those that are sensory seeking:

Rabbit Run Resistance Tunnel

This is not your run of the mill tunnel. This one is specifically designed to give your kids a sensory experience. It is made out of poly-spandex. This soft, stretchy material requires children to crawl and make their way through the slightly resistive material.  There are many tunnels like this for sale online, but this one is by far the most affordable and easy to store.

One great book:  

The Good Little Bad Little Pig by Margaret Wise Brown

From the author of the classic children’s books, Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon, comes a perfect story for your 4 year old. It all starts when a young boy named Peter, asks for a pet pig. Well, shenanigans ensue, along with a great lesson on being simultaneously both bad and good. You and your kids will delight in reading this well written and beautifully illustrated book.

5 years  

Toy Suggestions

For those into moving about

Zoom Ball

I went to a conference years ago on physical development and kids. When this toy was suggested there, the whole room paid attention. It’s a deceptively simple toy. Not only will it exhaust those active kids but it will also require them to play with others.  And secretly I love that in the online advertisement, it says, “brings lots of laughs.” That alone seems like reason enough to look into buying it.

For those into following the rules 


This game is adored by kids and parents alike. It’s great for turn taking, matching and beginning reading. The boards and tiles are quite durable and made with quality. Kids will love sliding the red container and waiting to see what tiles pop out.

Don’t Break the Ice


Don’t Break the Ice was invented in 1968. Forty-six years later and the game is still going strong. The set up for this game typically takes longer than it does to actually play it. Although it’s often a short time until the ice is broken, your kids will want to play this game over and over again. Take a turn and see why this game has stood the test of time.

One great book

 The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book by Tom Robinson

I’ve worked in a lot of schools and have seen how science activities can truly be magnetic. Once, I randomly saw a kid I worked with an entire school year before on the street. Immediately after all our hellos, she asked about a penny experiment we did. That experiment and other fun, simple and do-able ones are in this book.

Thanks as always for reading this post. Enjoy reading and playing with your kids. Till the next post, take care.

Vanessa D’Auria is a licensed speech-language pathologist providing home-based services in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. For more information about Vanessa, visit or to ask speech/language questions, email directly at

4 of my favorite books series via Erica Young March 04 2014, 0 Comments


I grew up loving book series. I love getting to know the characters and following them on whatever ups and downs, adventures, and dramas they may experience.  I loved the Babysitters Club, Sleepover Friends, Sweet Valley High, even a series about gymnasts that through the power of google, must have been simply called, The Gymnasts.  Luckily my parents supported my book addiction and I would read a book, or two, each week.  These days, and even back in my day, it seems the line between book and tv show has become very blurry.  A simple, what came first riddle, the book or the tv show?  All that cross promotion!  But I am just happy when my children want books and are excited to read them.

Here are some of my favorite book series for the younger (5 and under) crowd:

Max and Ruby (Rosemary Wells) - This one hits close to home because my daughter can relate to the annoying little brother and loves to imitate Ruby.  How does Max get away with all that mischief?     

Charlie and Lola (Lauren Child) - Again, hits close to home because now my daughter can live through Lola’s eyes and imagine how her own little brother must feel.  Charlie is so patient and I find it a great conversation starter of how she can treat her own little sibling.  

George and Martha (James Marshall) - Two best friends.  A nice friendship shown in a sometimes silly way.  Their adventures can teach us about how to be a considerate friend, how to be there for our friends, how to be honest with our friends.  The simple stories are easy to read and great examples of a meaningful friendship.  

Franklin (Paulette Bourgeois) - A turtle and his friends learn life lessons.  OK, So it is March.  Six months into school and my daughter has brought home a Franklin book after EVERY visit to the library this year.  She loves him!  And I love the lessons that he learns.  Great for conversations about bigger life lessons (her book this week was Franklin’s Picnic - he offers to bring a picnic lunch for his friends and makes things that he likes, and no one else likes…. great conversation of how to ‘host’ and think of others when planning a menu.  Because,  you know, every 4 year old needs to know the basics of dinner party hosting.  I joke.  But seriously, a good story to remind us to be considerate of others)   

Again, I like series because you get to know the characters in the stories.  So, when reading book 3 or 10 you can try to predict what the character will do or say, or notice how a character has changed.  All great talking points with your child.  Happy reading!

Erica Young has a MA in Early Childhood Education from New York University. She is currently a stay at home mom to a 4 year old pony loving ballerina and a 2 year old metrocard holding bus driver.



Top Photo Credit: Pinterest

Halloween Reads that go BOO! October 23 2013, 0 Comments

I'm sure it stems from my affection for fall and autumn mix but Halloween is a big deal at our house! For the last three years we've collected some delicious delightful spooky reads to celebrate the holiday so I thought it'd be fun to share our Halloween Reads:

1) Skeleton hiccups Such an easy & fun read - I often find my kids 'reading' the book to themselves!

2) Even Monsters need haircuts Another charming book with ghouls and goofy monsters to get in the mood.

3) Clifford's First Halloween a nice intro the the holiday for little ones.

4) Room on the broom There's nothing more Halloween than a witch who makes new friends!

5) Little Owl's Night Not exactly Halloween focused but it does have some creepy crawlers that wander at night.


Posted By Jessica

Photo Iluustration by Julia Morrow

Toddler Book we are loving... April 24 2013, 0 Comments


I realized that we have been reading the same books and it was time to research a new book. My son will never eat his tacos, I’ve tried every kind, soft, hard shell with meat, vegetarian. Being from California and growing up with Mexican food I realized I want my kid to like tacos! We’ve been reading this book that I found on Bookworm which is a cool site in itself Dragons Love Tacos all week and he loves it. He talks about the dragons eating so many tacos, how much they love them but they can’t be spicy. He has also been asking me when will I be making tacos, mission accomplish!

Posted by Donna

Photo, Bookworm