What do we love about story time? Let us count the ways! To read aloud with children builds fundamental literacy skills for future reading and writing. Reading books develops and strengthens empathy as children identify with heroes and engage with their journeys. And most importantly, reading time deepens the bond between you and your child – a warmth that grows into lasting memories and a lifelong love of reading.
This is all well and good for parents of eager readers, but what about reluctant readers -- the kiddos who struggle to sit through story time or who read below grade level? Don’t panic, experts say. Literacy is astoundingly complex, and no two early readers learn the same way. What worked for one of your children may not work for the other, and it’s not a cause for alarm. It’s just a signal for you, as the parent or educator, to dial in and pay attention to how the child listens to, recalls, and engages with the story.
Well. What better opportunity than time reading together as a family?
Nobody understands exhaustion better than busy parents. If the thought of trying to find even more time, energy, and resources to run to the local library and craft unique story times seems overwhelming, never fear. You’re not alone! An army of dedicated moms, educators, and literacy experts have gone before you, and a dedicated few have crafted book and reading time subscriptions tailored to fostering a love of literature from an early age.
We’re excited to introduce three female merchants – moms and educators – who recognize the important of making time to bond over books, especially for busy families. Read on to see what inspired them to launch children's literature boxes and help parents everywhere start new chapters in their children’s reading lives.
Tiny Humans Read (ages 0-8)
For Tiny Humans Read founder and mom Tiffany Barry, reading is all about the magic.
“Story time has always been a huge part of my kids' day, and I wanted to make it more than just a journey through our well-loved classics: I wanted a magical experience off the beaten path,” Tiffany said.
That’s why Tiny Humans Read, a monthly book box for children ages 0-8, focuses on the whimsy. All reading material features a whimsical element and bright, beautiful pictures to engage little ones’ imaginations. Because, like all moms, Tiffany recognizes the power of story time to help reading skills flourish.
Plus, Tiny Humans Read reinforces the full-family bonding experience of story time: In addition to its traditional board book and picture book subscription options, the company also offers a “Sibling Box” that includes both board books and picture books. This allows for a true emphasis on story time as an activity that brings the whole family together.
“Embrace the unique type of reader your child is,” Tiffany said, noting that young children’s and toddlers’ reading styles (active, quiet lap-sitters, and more) can change day to day. “And bring your stories to life for them in a way they can wholeheartedly engage with!”
Just Right Reader (ages 3-8)
Mom, school principal, and literacy expert Sara, the founder of Just Right Reader, knows better than anyone how to get kids hooked on books for life – even when reading seems especially frustrating or challenging.
Her own daughter had a hard time learning to read. But with Sara’s patience, dedication, and expertise, she taught her daughter to love reading and books – a success story that became the origin story for Just Right Reader.
The goal of Just Right Reader is to help children learn to read, and to accelerate reading for children already reading on grade level. The children’s book subscription offers two tiers of reading level options (pre-K and K-2) and focuses on delivering just right books to fit children’s interests and development. To ensure reading success, the books are accompanied with charts, tips, and guides for parents.
“All of our kinder and first-grade subscribers have made six months of growth as readers in just three months,” Sara said of the “Just Right” model. “We hope to make learning to read easy and fun for parents and kids!”
STEM Book Club (ages 5-10)
When high school teacher Addy Williams started asking her students about their academic histories, she discovered a challenge she just had to tackle.
“They don't read enough,” Addy said. “They don't read because they don't enjoy reading, and they also don't read about characters that look like them or come from their world. I've created a subscription where parents can get and keep their kids on track for their entire academic lives.”
Addy and her co-founder teamed up to create STEM Book Club, a monthly book subscription curated for 5-10 year-old children. Each delivery of STEM Book Club features two brand new books related to a STEM topic, plus a bonus science activity guide to help kiddos bridge from reading to real life.
Addy’s goal is to help parents of young children foster a love of reading, and to ultimately close the literacy gap she sees in older kids at the high school level. It’s about love in the present, success in the future.
“Reading ability is one pillar of getting through things in life,” she said. “For example, confident readers are more likely to not skim over their insurance paperwork, job offers, etc. Confident readers won't shy away from technical fields, either, because they know they have the capacity to learn whatever they set their mind to.”