Posted in Parenting

Navigating Kindergarten: A Guide for Parents

It’s that time of the year again—back to school season! For parents of children stepping into the world of kindergarten, this can be an emotional and transformative experience for both you and your little one. The transition from preschool to kindergarten marks a significant milestone in your child’s development, and as a parent, you play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and successful journey. That’s why we created a guide for parents of children entering Kindergarten.

Preparing for the First Day of Kindergarten:

The first day of kindergarten can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for both parents and children. To make the experience more positive, start preparing your child in advance. Visit the school together, let them explore their new surroundings, and meet their teacher if possible. Talk about what to expect, from the classroom setup to daily routines.

Establishing a Routine:

Kindergarten introduces a structured routine that may differ from what your child is used to. Help them adjust by gradually transitioning into a consistent schedule a few weeks before school starts. This includes setting regular bedtime and wake-up times, as well as meal and playtime routines. A well-established routine can provide comfort and stability during this period of change.

Building Independence:

Kindergarten is all about fostering independence. Encourage your child to complete tasks like putting on their shoes, using the restroom, and packing their backpack on their own. These skills not only boost their confidence but also prepare them for the responsibilities of school life.

Communication is Key:

Maintain open communication with your child’s teacher. Attend school orientations, parent-teacher conferences, and stay in touch throughout the school year. Regular updates on your child’s progress, challenges, and achievements will help you stay informed and actively involved in their education.

Encourage Social Skills in Kindergarten: a Guide for Parents

three toddler eating on white table
Photo by Naomi Shi on

Kindergarten is a wonderful opportunity for children to develop social skills and make new friends. Arrange playdates with classmates before school starts to help your child become familiar with their peers. Teach them how to share, take turns, and communicate effectively to build strong social foundations.

Nurturing a Love for Learning:

Kindergarten is a time for curiosity and exploration. Encourage your child’s natural interests and curiosity by reading together, visiting museums, parks, and engaging in age-appropriate educational activities. A love for learning will set a positive tone for their educational journey.

Managing Separation Anxiety:

black boy screaming in room
Photo by Keira Burton on

It’s natural for both parents and children to experience separation anxiety during this transition. Ease separation anxiety by reassuring your child that you’ll be back to pick them up and that school is a safe and fun place. Establish a goodbye routine that signals the end of your time together each morning.

Healthy Nutrition and Rest:

black boy in denim eating tasty breakfast in plastic container
Photo by Katerina Holmes on

A balanced diet and sufficient sleep are essential for your child’s physical and mental well-being. Provide nutritious meals and snacks, and ensure they get the recommended amount of sleep each night. A well-rested and well-fed child is more likely to be attentive and engaged in their learning.

Celebrate Kindergarten Achievements, Big and Small:

Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s achievements, whether it’s learning a new skill, making a friend, or completing a project. Positive reinforcement boosts their self-esteem and motivation to continue learning and growing.

Stay Patient and Supportive:

Every child adapts to kindergarten at their own pace. Be patient and offer continuous support, encouragement, and understanding. Celebrate their successes and provide comfort during challenges. As your child embarks on this exciting journey of kindergarten, remember that you are an integral part of their growth and development. Cherish these precious moments and watch as they blossom into confident, curious, and capable individuals ready to take on the world. Your involvement and guidance will help lay the foundation for a successful academic career and a lifelong love of learning.

I hope you enjoyed reading about navigating kindergarten: a guide for parents. Check out this kindergarten reading list: Summer Reading list for Kindergarten

Posted in Books and Reading, Reading

Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review for Dad Is My Best Friend

Reviewed by Savannah Aldridge for Readers’ Favorite

Dad Is My Best Friend by Kerice K. Robinson and illustrated by Kavion Robinson tells the story of the beautiful relationship between a father and daughter. Our narrator Andrea is a young girl who proudly proclaims that her dad is her best friend. She then takes us on an ordinary yet fun-filled day spent with her father. Together, they race and bike outside and then come indoors for some more exercise together. We get to count how many push-ups Andrea’s dad can do with her sitting on his back. Finally, at the end of a long day, he tucks her into bed with love.

After reading this book, the first word that came to my mind was “cozy.” Kerice K. Robinson notes in the beginning that some of the scenes were inspired by her early memories with her father, and the genuine love between dad and daughter is deeply evident throughout this book. The story feels gentle, safe, warm, and cozy! Another endearing part of Dad Is My Best Friend is its beautiful artwork. Each picture is bright, detailed, focused, and truly captures the love in Angela and her father’s relationship. The vocabulary sounds like the genuine narrative of a young girl, which makes the book perfect for early readers who need a book they can go through on their own. However, I believe the best way for a kid to enjoy this book is to snuggle up with their dad. A warning to fathers who plan to read it. Your kid will want you to do push-ups while they sit on your back because it looks like fun in the book. Get ready for a father-daughter bonding workout!

Posted in Activity

10 Fun Hands-On Alphabet Activities to Help Your Child Learn Their ABCs

alphabet fun

Learning the alphabet is the essential first step to reading. We know that ABCs and 123s are the building blocks to becoming literate. However, it can be challenging when you’re trying to teach your child the alphabet using books and digital screens. Your child needs hands-on activities that get them moving, thinking, and talking.

A variety of factors affect the development of a child’s learning habits. Everything can influence your child’s success in school, from your upbringing to your child’s socio-economic background, diet, and age.


Hands-on activities are a great way to introduce children to the alphabet. They provide opportunities for children to use their senses, encourage them to think for themselves, and help develop their fine-motor skills. Plus, they are much more fun than traditional classroom exercises! We give you ten-play, hands-on alphabet activities to encourage your child’s learning of the ABCs.

1. Foam Alphabet Letters in a Sensory Table.

Grab your child’s attention by creating a colorful, multisensory alphabet activity. Use the foam letters in a sensory table to help your child learn their ABCs. In this activity, you can use a variety of textures like sandpaper, soft materials, and other objects. The entire exercise can take only a few minutes and provides a fun way to introduce the alphabet—especially if your child is learning the alphabet in another language!

Educational use and Resources:

This activity works well with limited space (such as a home or classroom), low-tech materials, and higher-energy children.

If you use felt letters on top of water-soaked sponges or cotton balls, set out bowls containing various colors of food dye (red, blue, yellow). Your child will enjoy mixing up all these different textures as they explore the alphabet!

2. Build a Beaded Alphabet Necklace.

beading - fine motor

Take your child’s learning to a higher level by crafting a beaded alphabet necklace! This activity allows your child to practice alphabet skills such as letter recognition, phonics, creative writing, fine motor movements, and even math. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time together!


Educational use and Resources:

This activity works well with children ages 4 – 7 years old. You can make the necklace out of cotton yarn, a beaded necklace kit, or you can use a beading needle and beads.

To make the necklace, string or add beads to a piece of fabric. You can use any type of alphabet or symbol you like, but we recommend making it a simple one for your child to make the connection with their ABCs.

3. Sandpaper Letters.

After learning all about the alphabet, why not learn by touching them? Get your child moving and talking by allowing them to use their hands in a fun way! Putting letters into play with sandpaper is a great way to practice letter recognition, writing, and linguistics. This hands-on activity can also help your child learn their ABCs since it helps them build fine motor skills.

Educational use and Resources:

This activity is excellent for preschool, kindergarten, and pre-k classrooms. You can also do this activity at the school. This can be done by using colored sandpaper letters for each letter of the alphabet and then using a white cross to attach them to a piece of paper (a classroom door or window). 

4. Alphabet Playdough Mats.

Create an alphabet playdough mat using playdough and a cookie sheet. This is a great way to introduce the ABCs, but your child can also learn about phonics and letter recognition. As your child creates the alphabet letters, they will learn how to decode the sounds of the alphabet.

Educational use and Resources:

You can use any playdough color, but we recommend using assorted colors. For example, you can use green for A, yellow for B, red for C, blue for D, and so on.

You can also use glue or tabs to adhere to the letters on the cookie sheet. You can add chocolate chips or small beans as toppings. This activity is a great hands-on way to enjoy learning the alphabet and help your child develop their fine motor skills!

5. Alphabet Scavenger Hunt.

Create a list of items that begin with certain letters of the alphabet. Take your child on a scavenger hunt throughout your home and neighborhood to find the alphabet items and learn their ABCs! Scavenger hunts work well for younger kids, especially if you can add some fun twists like using silly songs or offering treats as prizes.

Educational use and Resources:

This activity will help your child learn their ABCs, letter-sound correspondence, and spatial awareness.

You can create a list of items that begin with each letter of the alphabet. You can even add things that start with several letters, such as “A is for apple and ant.”

6. Alphabet Puzzles.


This is one of the most popular ways to teach the alphabet. It’s a great activity that combines learning with fun, imaginative play. You can create your puzzles using wooden puzzle letters. A variety of activity kits are also available to do this activity. By creating your puzzles, you can also make them more personalized and engaging for your child!

Educational use and Resources:

This activity is excellent for preschool, kindergarten, and pre-k classrooms and at home. You can use any puzzle piece—wooden letters, plastic letters, alphabet blocks, etc.

You can also draw the alphabet on a sheet of paper or practice letter-sound correspondence using an alphabet grid.

7. Alphabet Animal Crafts.

Alphabet crafts are fun for your child because they allow them to explore their creativity. You can also introduce the alphabet with cute and colorful letter animal crafts! These are great for any kid—whether in a classroom or at home with you.

Educational use and Resources:

You can use any letter of the alphabet on these crafts and any type of animal you like. If you have a kid who loves nature, create an animal found in nature. You can also use the different animals as a reminder of each letter of the alphabet so they can learn their ABCs in no time!

8. ABC Flashcards.

Flashcards are a classic way to introduce the alphabet. Flashcards can be created using pictures or objects—and they’re a fun and easy way for kids to learn their ABCs. Plus, flashcards are perfect for traveling!

Educational use and Resources:

For this activity, you can use actual flashcards that you buy from an office supply store or make them yourself by writing letters of the alphabet on pieces of paper. You can use paper or cardstock and make them using a whiteboard marker.

9. Letter Matching Game.

This activity can work for young kids from preschool to kindergarten. It’s a great way to help kids learn their ABCs and fine motor skills. Plus, it teaches them organizational skills by matching letters in a puzzle-like game.

Educational use and Resources:

You can make your letter matching game as simple or creative as you want to make it! This activity works well for preschool, kindergarten, and pre-k classrooms and at home with younger kids.

You can use plastic or cardboard pieces and different colored paper, or you can print out your own letters and use stickers.

10. Alphabet Cones.

With this activity, you can teach your child how to recognize and make different kinds of ABCs. You can also develop their fine motor skills while they create the letter cone.

Educational use and Resources:

You can use any type of letter cone, rubber letters, alphabet blocks, alphabet stickers, and more. You can make an ABC cone using colorful construction paper.


The alphabet is a complex and fun subject to teach kids. With the right resources, kids can learn the alphabet in no time! These activities are excellent for preschool, kindergarten, and pre-k classrooms and at home.

Guest Author Bio

Andrea is currently the head of content management at SpringHive Web Design Company. This digital agency provides creative web design, social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is also a blog contributor at Baby Steps Preschool, writing storytime themes, parenting tips, and seasonal activities to entertain children.

Posted in Authors, Books and Reading

Kerice Robinson’s Debut Picture Book “Dad Is My Best Friend” releases just in time for Father’s Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: On Sale June 2022 | Dad Is My Best Friend | Written by Kerice Robinson | Illustrated by Kavion Robinson


Unabashed Kids Media is pleased to announce the publication of “Dad is My Best Friend“, written by Kerice Robinson and illustrated by Kavion Robinson.

Dad is my best friend - front cover

The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for the children’s book “Dad Is My Best Friend.” The book is author, Kerice Robinson’s debut picture book set for wide release on June 1, 2022.

Caribbean illustrator Kavion Robinson’s oil paintings beautifully portray a father and daughter’s heartwarming bond in “Dad Is My Best Friend.” The reader will learn why Angela’s dad is her best friend as she recounts all the fun things they do together. Racing, bike riding, and push-ups are some of the things Angela loves to do with her dad. Readers will have the chance to count and interact with Angela and her dad while they exercise. 


“My earliest memory of my father is of him working out by the front door of our home. He would do push-ups in front of the door. One day I climbed onto his back and began to count, just like Angela.”Author Kerice Robinson

To forever cherish the memories of those special times with her dad, Kerice Robinson wrote: “Dad Is My Best Friend” based loosely on her own childhood experiences. Purchase your copy on Amazon or Barnes & Nobles.

Dad is my best friend - back cover

About the Illustrator Kavion Robinson

Kavion Robinson is a Jamaican-born painter and illustrator, recognized most notably for his illustrative figure paintings.  He attended the University of The Arts in Philadelphia majoring in traditional illustration. His artistic style can be described as conceptual realism. The subjects of his paintings are highly influenced by his childhood in Jamaica.  As a painter, “I made it my goal to paint images of cultural and historical significance. I have dedicated my career as an artist to depicting black life and history in an enlightening and educational manner”.


About the Author Kerice Robinson

Author Kerice Robinson’s debut picture book Dad Is My Best Friend is inspired by her childhood experiences with her father. Kerice is passionate about early childhood education and creative writing. Kerice founded Unabashed Kids, a children’s media brand focused on academic and social-emotional education. Kerice plans to grow Unabashed Kids through the creation and promotion of educational videos, articles, picture books, and lesson plans.

Posted in Activity, Arts and Crafts, Books and Reading, holiday

Groundhog’s Day Classroom Activities!

Groundhog's day

Reading books, arts & crafts, writing stories, and making themed treats are great classroom activities for Groundhog’s Day.

dirt pie recipe

For Groundhog’s Day make some “Dirt Pie”. Dirt Pie is a chocolate pudding with oreo cookies. Add some gummy worms to add to the groundhog digging theme and make the sweet treat even sweeter.

Posted in Books and Reading

31 October Picture Books: A List of Books to Read for Children Ages 3 to 8

Children should read everyday. It doesn’t matter if it is the same book over and over again or a different book everyday. Unabashed Kids has created a list of 31 picture books to read in the month of October. The books on this list can be read by children of all ages but may do a better job keeping the interest of children ages 3 to 8.

Unabashed Kids is an affiliate for Amazon and other online retailers. That means that if you use the links found on Unabashed Kids blog to make a purchase, we receive a small percentage of the purchase price. It never changes the price you pay and we select every item mentioned on the site!

Comment below, tell us what books you read with children during the month of October.

Posted in Books and Reading

10 Bug and Insect Books for Little Kids

The classic bug theme in primary school or preschool. I can recall when my second grade class kept caterpillars in our classroom and released them on the playground when they turned to butterflies. There are so many ways to teach children about bugs and insects, but a great book should always be the start. Below is a list of 10 bug and insect books from elementary and preschool children.

I'm Trying to Love Spiders

I’m Trying to Love Spiders

A book that teaches children the not so frightening things about spiders.

Bugs: A Stunning Pop-up Look at Insects, Spiders, and Other Creepy-Crawlies by George McGavin

Larger-than-life bugs spring from the pages of this book. Children will love looking through the pages.

Bugs book
A very quiet cricket

The Very Quiet Cricket Board Book by Eric Carle

A newborn cricket meets other insects as they greet him, he tries to respond but does not yet know how to chirp.

Willbee the Bumblebee by Craig Smith

A rhyming book about a bumblebee.

willbee the bumblebee book
little yellow bee

Little Yellow Bee Board Book by Ginger Swift

A little bee introduces the reader to the animals and plants in the garden.

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

Eric Carle is an extraordinary children’s author. See our list of the best Eric Carle Books. Books like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle make the list.

the grouchy ladybug
on beyond bugs

On Beyond Bugs: All about Insects (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Tish Rabe


There’s a Bug on My Book! by John Himmelman

An interactive book that teaches cool facts about bugs and insects.

there's a bug on my book
the backyard bug

The Backyard Bug Book for Kids: Storybook, Insect Facts, and Activities by Lauren Davidson


A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Aston

a butterfly is patient

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Posted in Reading

Step 6: Learn to read a full sentence


Sight Words and Sentence Building

Sight words are a collection of commonly used words that a child can learn to recognize by sight without decoding. A large amount of text is made up of 100 commonly used words. Most of these 100 words are small and easy to read (the, or, it, is, a, I, and, are, on). Some sight words are not easy to sound out by following the phonemic rules taught to early readers (from, what, there). This is why educators teach these words by sight. Memorizing sight words help children begin to read more fluently. There are 2 prominent lists of high-frequency words Dolch list and Fry list. Both lists include the same words but words on the list differ when it comes to frequency ranking. Using the top 100 words from either of these lists is sufficient for teaching sight words to early readers.

I was able to get my pre-kindergarten class to learn sight words by teaching them 1 word a day. During circle time, we would review about 10 to 15 words with flashcards but, 1 special sight word would be our word of the day. I would tape this word to my shirt and during snack, recess, and center time I asked the children to tell me what word I had on my shirt. This forced them to pay attention to our special word and learn it by sight.

After 80% of my class new 10 or more sight words, I began to have them read full sentences. This was introduced during circle time. I prepared about a dozen sentence strips that included phrases, questions, and statements. All words on the sentence strips were either 3 letter (CVC) words, student names, and sight words. I did not use any unfamiliar names on the sentence strips, as new names may be hard to read. My class constantly saw their names on cubbies, tables, cots, snacks, and other labels; they were familiar with the names of the children in the class. During circle time, I had the class read the sentences out load to me. I would add new sentences as they mastered new sight words, CVCe words, and other phonics sounds.

Sight Word Teaching Resources
Sight Word Worksheets
120 High-Frequency Word Flashcards. With a bonus of 13 worksheets which include word searches and spelling worksheets.
Sentence Building Worksheets – Coming Soon

Building Reading Skills is a Continuous Process: Read! Read! Read!

Read to children, even if they are now able to read to themselves. Have a child read to you if they enjoy reading. Below are several Unabashed Kid list of awesome books to introduce to children.

Posted in Books and Reading, learning colors

FREE Children’s e-book “Red, Blue, and Green! What Colors Are On My Plate?”

Best color book for toddlers.
k to "1 2 3! What can I eat?" and "ABC Name My Food!", "Red, Blue, and Green! What colors are on my plate?" is a food-themed book for young readers.
Best color book for toddlers.
k to "1 2 3! What can I eat?" and "ABC Name My Food!", "Red, Blue, and Green! What colors are on my plate?" is a food-themed book for young readers.
Best color book for toddlers.
k to "1 2 3! What can I eat?" and "ABC Name My Food!", "Red, Blue, and Green! What colors are on my plate?" is a food-themed book for young readers.
Best color book for toddlers.
k to "1 2 3! What can I eat?" and "ABC Name My Food!", "Red, Blue, and Green! What colors are on my plate?" is a food-themed book for young readers.
Best color book for toddlers.
k to "1 2 3! What can I eat?" and "ABC Name My Food!", "Red, Blue, and Green! What colors are on my plate?" is a food-themed book for young readers.

A color and food recognition book for toddlers.

“Red, Blue, and Green! What colors are on my plate?” is a food-themed book for young readers.

Children look through over 20 brightly colored “real images” of foods and name the color of each food. Fruits, vegetables, carbs, meats, and cheeses make up a beautiful rainbow-colored plate. A perfect book to introduce picky eaters to new foods. Come along for the journey and discover new delicious foods.

E-Book Available for $0 on Amazon with Kindle Unlimited.

E-Book Available for $1.99 USD on Amazon

Paperback Available for $8.99 USD on Amazon – Price $7.50 UK

Posted in Reading

5th Step to Reading: Tricky and Long Vowel Sounds

Tricky and Long Vowel Sounds

This is the time to review the alphabet as vowels and consonants. Read our blog post about books that teach vowel sounds.

CVCe words are a part of the tricky vowel blends, I suggest introducing them after mastery of CVC words. Review Word Family worksheets and activities to practice long vowel sounds. 

  • Bossy r sounds include words with ar, ir, er, ur (car, shirt, her, hurt). 
  • Long a sounds include ai, ay, a_e (train, play, make).
  • Long e sounds happen when these letter combinations are found at the end of a word: ee, ea, e_e, y (see, read, here, happy).
  • Long i sounds happen when these letters are found at the end of a word: ie, i_e, igh, y (pie, like, night, my).
  • Long o sounds include oa, ow, o_e (goat, snow, home).
  • Long u sounds include ue, u_e, ew (cue, fuse, few).
  • Short o sounds happen when these letters are found in the middle of a word: aw, au, al (saw, caught, walk)

Rules to making long vowel sounds

  1. Vowels at the end of a syllable make the long sound. (ba/by, he/ro, mu/sic)
  2. Vowel teams can make the long sound. (beat, meat, seed, they, tie, dew)
  3. Silent e makes the previous vowel long. (like, make, tone)
  4. i and o make their long sound when they come before two consonants. (mind, bold, right)