Musical Monday: Talk, Read, Sing

As you know reading, talking, and singing to your child are some of the best (and easiest) ways to stimulate early cognitive development. Research shows that parents who read aloud, sing or simply talk to their children are setting their children up for future success. Recently, Too Small Too Fail kicked off “Teaching is Talking: Talk, Read, Sing”, a new Bay Area initiative which spreads awareness about the importance of talking, reading, and singing to young children.

Talk, Read, Sing is a community wide multimedia campaign that helps parents identify the simple steps they can take to ensure lifelong success for their children. Billboards, posters, and others reminders will soon pop-up around the Bay Area with one clear-cut message: Let’s Talk. Whether you’re standing at the bus stop, waiting in line at the grocery store, or cooking dinner at home, talking about the activity with your child will have a profound impact, especially for children under age 3.

You can find a great list of resources from the Talk, Read, Sing website. The list of activities are broken down by age group, so no matter the age of your child you can find something to help get you started. If you’re looking for a reminder that’s a little more fashionable check out the adorable line of baby clothes created specifically for the initiative by Oaklandish


And don’t forget to talk, read, and sing to your child with FarFaria. Sing Along City is perfect for eager readers and future musicians, and unlimited reading of our books provides endless read aloud opportunities for your family.

Happy talking, reading and singing!    

Too Small to Fail is a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and Next Generation that aims to further children’s education through scientific, economic, and sociologic outreach. Started by former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in 2013, Too Small to Fail has spearheaded multiple campaigns advocating the importance of early child development and community investment in raising young children. Find out more about Too Small to Fail here.


Back to School Shopping Made Easy!

It’s that time of year again! Time to restock your school year supply of crayons, markers, lunch boxes, watercolors, glue sticks, erasers, binders, and backpacks. With the help of Amazon.com we’ve made this year’s back to school shopping a breeze.

We found the highest rated supplies at the most affordable prices, and separated them into Wish Lists by grade. That means you can quickly find the best and most affordable supplies for all of your kids. 

Add the items that you need directly to your shopping cart, check out and viola! Back to school shopping completed. You won’t even need to leave the house.

Back to School Shopping Lists

Pre-K through 1st grade shopping list

2nd grade through 5th grade shopping list


Lunch Supplies

Happy shopping!


The Hills (of FarFaria) Are Alive With the Sound of Music!

While listening to Mozart may not guarantee your baby’s acceptance to Harvard, published studies have shown that music and education go hand-in-hand.

A recent study published in the journal Psychology of Music showed that second-graders who received keyboard instruction at one elementary school had better vocabulary and verbal sequencing scores than those at a school with no music program. These findings, researchers say, can help teachers find more effective ways of stimulating cognitive development by incorporating music into the classroom.  

With literacy skills and music being so closely intertwined, books that combine the two are important tools for young readers. That’s why we have an entire land of sing along books for your family. We’ve put together a list of just a few of our favorite books and sing alongs that highlight the value of music and the joy it can bring to your household.

Musical Monday Material

Sing Along

Read Along


Happy reading (and singing)!


Throw a Summer Reading Sleepover

Summer is winding down but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. In fact, why not make the last days of summer the most memorable? Host a Summer Reading Sleepover for your child and his or her best friends! We’ve got everything you need to plan a great summer reading bash for the kids. 

Good Eats

Keep kids happy with a few quick and easy crowd-pleasing recipes. Cheeseburger casserole, pigs in a blanket, and stovetop-popped popcorn are sure to be a hit. Fruit and veggie skewers are a healthy alternative to roasting marshmallows. Skip the soda and serve flavored water, milk or juice. For more recipes check out FarFaria’s Summer Reading Party board on Pinterest.

Creative Costume to Bring Characters to Life! 

Let kids put together costumes based on their favorite storybook characters. For knights in shining armor, a wooden spoon and a pillow make a great sword and shield. Kings and queens can create beautiful crowns with aluminum foil. Let them rummage through your bag of donation clothes and watch their imaginations go wild.

Stories by the Campfire

No sleepover is complete without a kid safe campfire. You can easily recreate the feel of a campfire with a large flashlight or lantern.  For the firelight glow use flickering LED tea lights. Turn out the lights and read a few spooky stories. We recommend our new favorite The Monster Club: Sandman Sleepover.

Great Books

The Monster Club, Zombie Elementary and Lucy the Dinosaur are just a few of our favorite series for summer reading. Check out our Summer Brain Gain Reading list for some more awesome books to share.

Find these and other great ideas on FarFaria’s Pinterest page! Share your reading party memories with us. It’s easy to do. Comment below, visit us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you think. 

Happy Summer Reading!


Grammar Games to Jump-Start Literacy Skills

From ABCs to SATs, grammar will always play a big role in your child’s education. It’s a lot to learn for young children but there is a lot that you can do to help your child get a jump-start on these important lessons. We’ve compiled a few fun grammar games that are great starting points for your family.


The Big Three: Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs

Bring it back to the basics: nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Label three spare bins with these categories, then assemble flash cards with words like “cat,” “good,” and “jump” on them. Have your child determine which card goes in which bin. For kids that are further along, label the bins with tougher categories like “adverbs,”  “pronouns,” and “conjunctions.”

Punctuation Practice

A lot of work goes into reading or writing a sentence. Review basic sentence structure with your children: capitalize the first word, use commas for pauses and lists, and end sentences with a period.

Then take sentences from a familiar book and remove some of its punctuation. Have your children rewrite the sentence correctly or point out what is wrong in the sentence. For advanced children, review more difficult punctuation such as exclamation points, question marks, quotation marks, and apostrophes.

Fill-in-the-blank Story Game

Create your own story or find a template online. You can even download Mad Libs to your iOS device. Have your kids provide the nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. for the blanks to create hilarious and unique stories! It’s perfect for family game night or vacation.

These are just a few great ideas to help you get started. Ask your child’s teacher for any additional practice material or about specific areas where your child may need the extra help. Continue reading with your child everyday to reinforce what they learn.

May your child achieve grammar greatness, and as always, happy summer reading!



Critically Acclaimed “Animal Antics A to Z” Comes to FarFaria!

Greetings rambunctious readers!

We here at FarFaria are very excited to bring to you our latest feature series from Kane Press, “Animal Antics A to Z”! You’ll meet a new friend every week from Alexander Anteater to Zachary Zebra in this fun and educational alphabet series.


Winner of a Teachers’ Choice Award for Children’s Books in 2011 and a Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family in 2012, this acclaimed series has garnered praise for being as captivating as they are enriching.

What are people saying about Animal Antics A to Z?

“A great product for any class learning about letters!” — Learning Magazine, host of the Teachers’ Choice Awards.

“Animal Antics A to Z is a superior alphabet series. The whimsical characters…will have children smiling, [and] laughing…while learning to recognize letter sounds. A delightful and thoroughly original way to supercharge beginning readers.” — Roger Farr, Past President of the International Reading Association

“Each alliterative story focuses on a single phoneme or letter sound…The texts are long for beginning readers, and the vocabulary is quite mature, which is necessary to include all the examples of the letter sounds. Children will enjoy hearing these stories read aloud.” — School Library Journal

“This splendid series lets little learners listen for letter sounds in lively literature! Animal Antics will engage children and encourage them to play with the sounds that make up words.” —Nancy L. Roser, Professor of Language and Literacy Studies, University of Texas


“Very original! Children will have fun discovering the alliterative words as they listen to the stories. The memorable characters and lively pictures have great kid appeal.” —Madeline Gilbert, Librarian/Teacher, Mamaroneck Avenue School



Look for these great books in Animal Kingdom. Let us know what you think by posting on our Facebook page or emailing feedback@farfaria.com.

Find out more about Kane Press and Animal Antics A to Z here.


Happy summer reading!


Keep the Summer Brain Gain Going!

Our two-week Summer Brain Gain campaign encouraged families across the country to read more this summer. But we’re not calling it quits just yet. Your family can keep the Brain Gain going all summer long. 


You’ll be able to find our Summer Brain Gain picks in FarFaria until the end of August. Just look for the Brainy Book or Just for Fun Fiction badge on our book covers. You can also find our full list of Brainy Book and Just for Fun Fiction titles on our blog.


Already read all our Brain Gain favorites? Not to worry. FarFaria has over 750 books to choose from.


Why is Summer Brian Gain Important?

Research shows that the average student loses 2.6 months of math and reading skills during summer vacation. Reading just 6 books over the break can help reduce the effect of summer brain drain. For more nifty facts about brain drain and what you can do to fight it, check out FarFaria’s handy info graphic.



We’d love to hear from you!

How is your family making Brain Gains this summer? Share your favorite Brain Gain moments with FarFaria on Facebook or Twitter.


Happy Summer Reading!