Barefoot Books


Tackle Math with The Real Princess | A Children's Book from Barefoot Books

Math is often a scary monster for kids — difficult and hard to understand, yet crucial in early childhood.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) agree that an accessible and engaging mathematics education in early childhood is a vital foundation for future mathematical understanding and learning in general.

A lack of confidence and an unwillingness to participate can develop if your child does not become comfortable with math at an early age. This can lead to them believing that they are “bad at math” and thrust them into a self-fulfilling cycle of failure. Research shows that:

  • The brain is most receptive to learning math and logic between the ages of 1 and 4.
  • Success in early math skills also predicts later reading achievement.
  • The most critical brain development occurs in the first few years of life — it is important to capitalize on these early stages to help develop children’s learning abilities.
  • Exploration and curiosity are the foundations of math, science and early learning.

As parents, how can you help engage your child in math while creating an exciting and memorable experience?

An important aspect is compounding fun reading with “hidden” math learning — your child will be having so much fun, they won’t even realize they are learning math! On average, children who are participating in hands-on activities establish a deeper understanding of the concepts and return more readily for future engagement. Tangible representations of numbers and patterns give your child something easy and fun to remember while simultaneously increasing comprehension.

Tackle Math with The Real Princess | A Children's Book from Barefoot BooksA colorful and fantastical twist on The Princess and the Pea, The Real Princess: A Mathemagical Tale (North America | Europe) is a perfect addition to any at-home math encouragement. The book follows the tale of a numerically inclined royal family, and their pursuit to find equally worthy (and math oriented) princesses to marry their sons.  What better way to fight off the math monster than with a brave princess?

Included in the back of the book is an inviting and relevant math activity, that sends you counting back through the book and is guaranteed to keep your child engaged. This counting activity also features an answer sheet, which can be found online: Counting Activity and Answer Key.

That’s not all! Another hands-on activity can be found online to make Princess Collage Feather Beds. This arts and crafts project can be a vibrant memento to hang up as a reminder of all that your child has accomplished and learned from A Mathemagical Tale.

What are you doing to fight the math monster?


Practice Yoga with Kids to Improve Patience and Increase Confidence

Confidence, patience and both mental and physical balance are some of the most important skills for children to learn while they grow, and yet are also some of the most difficult to teach. How can parents even begin to explain such broad and complex concepts, while still keeping their kids engaged? Body and mind awareness can be achieved however, through one all-encompassing activity — yoga!

Experts agree that starting yoga at a young age helps to develop skills that will serve your children their entire lives. Body control and self-induced calmness can soothe tantrums, help fussy bedtimes and make kids more agile and balanced on their feet.

Yoga incorporates play, exercise and connecting with inner feelings all in one! It can teach children how to relieve stress in a healthy and positive way, while also providing a fun and interesting new activity. PBS kids has comprised a few examples of why yoga is so great for kids:

xxxx1. Yoga teaches us about our bodies. When we practice the physical postures or exercises (called asanas), we learn how to move more freely and with greater ease and awareness. These postures help our bodies become strong and flexible. Yoga is also a great way to teach children how to take care of themselves and their bodies! It teaches us to listen to our bodies by modifying or changing poses that are too hard or cause pain.

xxxx2. Yoga teaches us how to use our energy more effectively. When we practice yoga, we learn how to use the life force energy in our bodies (called prana) to feel more relaxed, focused, or motivated. It helps us breathe better too— when we breathe deeply and fully (called pranayama) we become more aware, and we can bring peacefulness or energy to our bodies.

xxxx3. Yoga teaches us how to quiet the mind. When we practice yoga, we learn how to be still. This helps us to listen with attention and make good decisions. As with all forms of exercise, a good yoga practice can mean a good night’s sleep!

xxxx4. Yoga teaches us about balance. When we practice yoga, we learn to be more aware about the need for balance in our lives. This could mean equal stretching on the left and right sides of our bodies or making sure we balance our very busy time with equal quiet time and relaxation.

Having a visual aid is a great tool to help your children easily comprehend and get excited about yoga! Check out some of our yoga oriented products to encourage the namaste lifestyle with your children.

My Daddy is a Pretzel

NAPRA Nautilus award finalist, My Daddy is a Pretzel), is the perfect way to engage kids in yoga. Follow a group of children as they discuss their parent’s occupations, while comparing them to different poses. Each pose emphasizes a certain skill and gives step by step instructions on how to safely achieve them. A light-hearted look at yoga, yet one with a lasting message, My Daddy is a Pretzel is a wonderful introduction to yoga for readers of all shapes and sizes.

Yoga Pretzels

Inspired by the book is the unique card collection of yoga activities, Yoga Pretzels. Featuring 50 different yoga activities for kids and grownups, each card is beautifully illustrated and easy to understand. Pick randomly or follow the color coded categories for partner poses, breathing exercises, balancing and much more!

Yoga CD

Perfect for mediating or practicing your poses, Barefoot’s Yoga CD ) features 14 soothing tracks composed by a diverse group of world renowned artists. Play it while your little ones read before bedtime, or while they are stretching and controlling their breathe with Yoga Pretzels!

Interested in trying this out?
Download 4 FREE activities from our best selling deck, Yoga Pretzels!


Chandra’s Magic Light Brightens Real World Nepal: After the earthquake in central Nepal, one passionate Barefoot Books Ambassador used Chandra's Magic Light to help those affected.

“The book is a vehicle by which we can help people across the world.”

Chandra’s Magic Light is a beautiful and inspirational read that relays an important message to children of all ages. Set in Nepal, this heartwarming book tells the tale of two resourceful sisters who bring the safety of solar-powered light to their family’s home. The book includes useful facts about Nepal and instructions for a great DIY project: making an easy solar-powered oven!

Chandra's Magic Light from Barefoot Books: A Story from Nepal

After the devastating earthquake in central Nepal, one passionate Barefoot Books Ambassador sought to capitalize on her influence to help those affected by the disaster. With many homes lost along with the use of electricity, Chandra’s Magic Light is perhaps more relevant than ever before and Ambassador Heather Lynn Barton Ziegler immediately made the connection.

The Story

When the earthquake first hit in April, Heather was shocked along with the rest of the world at the widespread damages. A good friend of Heather’s had lived and worked as a peacekeeping ambassador in Nepal and thus the horror struck even closer to home.

An Ambassador since 2009, Heather is used to the driven, interconnected and passionate environment that Barefoot cultivates. Always looking for a way to connect current events to our books, she decided to read Chandra’s Magic Light (Europe / North America) to her daughter after the tragedy occurred. Immediately upon reading it, light bulbs (or solar-powered lights) began flashing in her mind! She jumped into action and brainstormed on how she could help those in need in Nepal by using Chandra’s Magic Light as a connection between the two cultures.

Nepal LuminAid

Heather recalled hearing about LuminAid, a company founded by two young women in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Upon visiting the LuminAid website, she discovered that they already had a system in place to send durable, waterproof, solar-powered lights to Nepal. Heather calculated that with her Ambassador discount, the price of one copy of Chandra’s Magic Light was equal to the price of donating one light to the Nepali Children’s Education Project (NCEP) through LuminAid. Thus Heather’s campaign to bring light to the children of Nepal began.
“The amazing synchronicity of Chandra’s Magic Light, LuminAid and the people of Nepal — it all just came together.” stated Heather in an interview. Chandra’s Magic Light illustrates how two sisters, through their own determination and entrepreneurial spirit, secured a solar light. Heather’s fundraiser has been following much of the same path. The legacy of women working together, either in books or out in the real world, is certainly a staple of this fundraiser’s success.

Under the hashtags #dispeldarkness and #givelight, Heather has been spreading word of her fundraiser and is on track to reach her goal of 100 LuminAid lights sent to the NCEP by the end of June. Heather’s campaign has been widely successful and the NCEP themselves even reached out over Facebook to express their gratitude! If you’d like to help support Heather, please check out her Facebook page: HLBZ Barefoot Books.


Now that the season has concluded both in the UK and in the US, are you already dreading Sunday nights without Downton Abbey? Then we have the perfect books for you to enjoy until the next season begins – and they’re perfect for reading with the kids!

Both The Prince’s Bedtime and The Prince’s Breakfast follow a young price who just loves saying no, whether it’s to heading to bed or eating a healthy breakfast. Every parent can relate to the endless ways the king and queen try to get the prince to behave!

But what does this have to do with Downton Abbey? Well, these humorous tales don’t just live on the page; they also spring to life on audio CDs narrated by Lord Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville! Hugh’s melodious voice adds even more joy and humor to these tales, and having Lord Grantham lull you and your family to sleep is the perfect way to end the weekend.

Pick up these titles today! US / UK

 


February 19 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the first day of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. But what exactly is the holiday for, and why is this the year of the sheep? Here are a few fun facts to share with your family about this ancient holiday!

  • Year of the Sheep: Each year of the calendar is represented by one of twelve animals who are said to have participated in an ancient race. 2015 is the year of the sheep, and babies born under the sign of the sheep are said to be calm, creative, persevering and honest.
  • Weeks of Celebrating: The celebrations for the Chinese New Year can last up to fifteen days, with different festivals, foods and moments of remembrance on each day. While some communities now celebrate the holiday in a shorter period of time, many still maintain the traditional calendar.
  • Delicious Food: Festive meals and foods are a big part of celebrating the Chinese New Year, and anyone celebrating will eat very well over the fifteen days! One such festival meal is a reunion dinner, Nian Ye Fan, where family members gather to celebrate the new year together. A traditionally large dinner, there are typically oodles of meat dishes, seafood, and a communal hot pot!
  • Fire Displays: Festivities are often marked with fireworks displays and the setting off of red-wrapped firecrackers. The burning of firecrackers signifies a happy and joyous time of year, and the booming sound is a welcome one at celebrations.

How will you celebrate this year?!

To learn more about the Chinese New Year, pick up a copy of The Great Race today (US / UK).


Mornings can be tough on children, so why not start the day on the right foot with a delicious and nutritious meal? Our recipe for Breakfast Friends is easy and fun to pull together and is sure to put smiles on sleepy faces!

What You Need:

  • 4 slices of thick, whole-grain bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Dried cranberries or raisins for eyes
  • Animal or gingerbread man shaped cookie cutters
  • Mixing bowl and damp cloth
  • Fork or whisk
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula

What To Do:

  1. Use your cookie cutter to stamp out some ‘friends’ from the bread
  2. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl.
  3. Put the damp cloth under your bowl to keep it place, and then whisk lightly with your fork or whisk.
  4. Add the yogurt and beat again.
  5. Beat in the honey and cinnamon.
  6. Dip the shapes, one at a time, into the eggy mixture.
  7. Heat a piece of butter in the frying pan and when it is hot, add some bread shapes. Cook each one for 1-2 minutes and then flip to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden. Add more butter as needed and add the dried fruit for eyes once you remove the bread from the pan.

So easy, and so yummy to make, you’re going to want to make these every week! As an added bonus, older kids can help with the preparation.

Keep an eye out for our new recipe deck Kids Kitchen later this year for more fun recipes.

To view the UK recipe, click here!


In the depths of winter, add some crafting fun with an easy to make but sure to please pine cone bird feeder! This feeder is not only fun to create, but useful too. After you’re finished, your child can select the perfect place to hang it outside to help feed wild birds in the wintertime. Read on for instructions:

What to Get:

One large, open pine cone / String / Peanut Butter / Oats / Birdseed / A shallow dish

What To Do:

  1. Loop the string under the top scales of the pine cone and tie it in a tight knot.
  2. Mix the peanut butter and the oats together in a bowl.
  3. Push the mixture into the pine cone, filling the spaces between the scales. Spread the mixture over the surface of the pine cone.
  4. Pour some birdseed into the shallow dish.
  5. Roll the pine cone in the birdseed until it is well covered.
  6. Hang the pine cone feeder in your garden for the birds to enjoy!

Now you can enjoy seeing a variety of birds getting a tasty snack thanks to your efforts! For more fun activities, shop The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales: US / UK.

Download a copy of these craft instructions here!


With 2015 now off and running, we’re willing to bet that many a well-intentioned New Year’s resolution has already fallen by the wayside. So why not try to make some resolutions that will last through the year, and can be done with the support of your family too? Here are our top five resolutions for the family:

  • Learn Something New: When you think about it, we’re learning new things all the time, so this resolution is both educational and easy! Decide as a family something you’d all love to learn, and make a plan to give it a try together. Maybe you dedicate Tuesday nights to learning how to knit, or decide to take cooking lessons together. The possibilities are endless!
  • Cook a Meal Together: The pressure is on at the start of the year to eat well and make healthy choices, so make it fun by cooking a meal together! Children can work on appetizers and desserts, while adults handle the main dishes. Plus, by spending a night in rather than eating out, you’ll save pennies and calories.
  • Sleep In: The benefits of a good night’s sleep are well-documented, but in today’s busy times, we’re more likely than ever to forgo that which helps us most! Take the time to sleep in when you can this year, whether it’s an extra hour on the weekends or a few extra minutes after your alarm buzzes in the morning. Your body (and your teenagers) will thank you!
  • Give Back: Take some time this year to give back to your community. Getting the entire family involved is easy with the many options out there for volunteering. Not only is this resolution something you can feel good about, but it sets an example for your children and connects you to your community in ways you won’t have experienced before.
  • Read a Good Book: Our favorite resolution of course! Family storytimes are fun, simple and easy to get into the habit of doing. Get started tonight by picking a few of your favorites off the shelf. This resolution guarantees many nights of precious memories and sweet dreams!

What resolutions will you keep this year?


With the new year beginning, we’re reminded of our favourite wintertime activity. Everyone has one or two particular childhood memories about clamouring into bed with a beloved book, and listening with drooping eyelids as sleep takes over. Now you may have children of your own, so you know that nothing completes the nighttime routine better than a bedtime story. It’s a special time when the world is quieting, and the hustle and bustle of the busy day is winding down. It’s one last moment of togetherness — a time to say “I love you”.

And stories aren’t just for sharing before bed; they’re a wonderful way to settle the family down throughout the day, exercise the imagination and get a conversation started. Stories help us face fears, work through unfamiliar scenarios and introduce us to a world of make-believe that would be otherwise inaccessible. Reading together is so much more than a simple recreational activity. Inside the pages of a book, families can enjoy pointing out details in the artwork, posing questions about the characters, and even trying to finish the rhyme or guessing what will happen next. The whole process creates a connection between the reader and the child while simultaneously strengthening the child’s reading skills and their understanding of core concepts.

With a chill in the air and heavy down blankets to snuggle up in, winter is an ideal time for piling the kids in your lap and cuddling up with a book. They’ll love being with you and hearing your voice as you read each page, and you’ll love the peaceful togetherness that rounds out another day. A very Happy New Year filled with stories and love to you and yours!

 


The tree is trimmed, Santa’s cookies are cooling on the counter, and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. You’ve made a list, but when you check it twice, you find you’re short one gift! Not to worry — we’ve got you covered with our favourite last-minute gift sets. You can get it there on time with expedited shipping, still available until 19 December!

1. Dinosaur Dreams Gift Set: Perfect for the busy toddler in your life, this book and puzzle pair provide hours of interactive fun.

 

2. Opposites Gift Set: Help develop vocabulary with these bright and engaging board books that are pleasing to the eye and easy on your wallet.

 

3. Animal Boogie Gift Set: Shake, rattle and roll down to the Indian jungle with this bestselling singalong, then keep the fun going with its accompanying puzzle.

 

4. Greek Epic Gift Set: This combo of classic tales is a surefire gift for the adventurer in your life. The classic tales will stay with them for a lifetime!

 

5. Miss Clara Gift Set: The unforgettable paper sculpture illustrations of French artist Miss Clara make this trio of classic fairy tales totally unique.

 

Shop these gift sets now, before it’s too late!

Dinosaur Dreams: North America / Europe
Opposites: North America / Europe
Animal Boogie: North America / Europe
Greek Epics: North America / Europe
Miss Clara: North America / Europe