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Holiday Books, Apps and Activities

The Holidays are a great time to foster reading, comprehension, problem solving, social-emotional and language skills! It’s even more fun and engaging when you play with Bluebee Pal friends! Here are a few holiday books and activities to check out.



The Turkey Who Forgot How To Gobble-Joey the Turkey is sad. He has forgotten how to gobble and needs help from his friends. Kids will gobble up this funny story about Joey’s barnyard friends: Ruby the Rooster, Patrick the Dog, Minnie-moo the Cow, Wiskers the Cat and Gillie the Turkey and their hilarious ways they try to teach Joey how to gobble. This read along interactive storybook is a great way to teach children the value of friendship and how friends will be there when you need them. A fun and entertaining way to practice animal sounds with kids.
Turkey Trouble: Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving . . . and you’re the main course. But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead? After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever! Great for problem-solving!
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Join Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang for a very unique Thanksgiving dinner. Kick the football with Charlie Brown, prepare the meal with Master Chef Snoopy, and set the table with Woodstock as the gang discovers the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Just So Thankful Little Critter:Little Critter learns what to be thankful for in this delightful interactive book app. There’s a new kid in town who has everything Little Critter wants… but he soon realizes he has something money can’t buy-a family who loves and adores him. Personalize the story with your own narration.
Hidden Objects Thanksgiving Fall Harvest Puzzle: (An autumn-themed I Spy game). Fun for attention, problem-solving, vocabulary, thinking and reasoning skills.
Hand Turkey Thanksgiving: Create and decorate your own hand turkey



A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Peanuts gang find the true meaning of Christmas.
Reading Train Christmas Books, Songs & Games: Listen, read and record 10 fun Christmas books at 3 easy reading levels…30 books in all. Sing along with 5 Christmas songbooks and 18 more favorite children’s songs. Beautiful storybooks and games to support foundational reading.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas: This classic tale comes to life with playful interactivity, delightful animations, and fun activities.
The Night Before Christmas: A beautifully narrated story.
Sago Mini Snow Day: Prepare for lots of thinking, reasoning and creative play with fun mini-games while sledding, snowman making, tree decorating, and hot chocolate!
Hidden Objects Fun: Christmas Edition: Find a series of objects in a scene (similar to “I Spy”). Fun for attention, problem-solving, vocabulary, thinking and reasoning skills.
Melted Bead Ornaments Craft:
Christmas Tree Fingerprint Lights Craft:

The Bluebee Pal Program and Early Childhood Classrooms

What is a Bluebee Pal?

The Bluebee Pal Pro 4.0 is an interactive plush learning tool that connects via Bluetooth to all iOS and Android devices and pairs with all apps with a narrative, which provides endless educational opportunities and entertainment for both mainstream and special needs children in early childhood classrooms. The patented technology allows Bluebee’s “mouth and head” to realistically move while teaching curriculum through educational games, activities, and apps.

Due to their endearing, universal appeal, Bluebee Pals and The Bluebee Pal Program, Bluebee app, Techie Rangers E-book and free Activity Guide are uniquely suited for use with early intervention and elementary-aged students. They are easy to incorporate into early childhood curriculum standards, and they capture and maintain student interest while making learning fun and memorable.

  • Bluebee is compatible with ALL apps with a narrative.
  • Bluebee inspires learning with educational apps.
  • Bluebee reads any storybook apps.
  • Bluebee is compatible with text-to-speech apps.
  • Bluebee comes with a FREE companion (life skills /educational) app.
  • Bluebee teaches language and AAC (alternative augmentative communication).
  • Bluebee sings with your favorite music apps.
  • Bluebee acts as an educational tool with voice recording apps.
  • With Bluebee, children become immediately more engaged and attentive, and eagerly look forward to focused learning opportunities!

What is the Bluebee Pal Program?

The Bluebee Pal Program is a free curriculum aligned with Common Core State Standards. The curriculum consists of lesson plans that have been created by a certified teacher who specializes in exceptional and early education. With these easy to use lesson plans, teachers are given step-by-step instructions on how to teach standards to their students while engaging with Bluebee Pals.

Our free curriculum use vetted applications and internet resources to teach:

  • Reading
  • Group Reading
  • Reading Non-Fiction
  • Science and Listening
  • Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Phonics
  • Social Emotional Skills
  • Writing a Book Report
  • Writing Poetry
  • ESL (English as a Second Language)
  • Language Development
The lessons focus on PreK and Elementary Education Common Core State Standards in Literature, Informational Text, Foundational Skills, Language and Geometry. The lesson plans clearly outline needed supplies, links to applications and internet resources, teacher and student expectations, extension activities and differentiation for exceptional education.
The Bluebee Pals Techie Rangers E-book (also available in paperback from Amazon) takes readers on an adventure with Andy and his Bluebee Pal Techie Ranger friends. Andy, a student with complex communication needs, uses an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device or “talker” to speak to the Techie Rangers as they help him return to the Rainbow School.
The accompanying free Activity Guide provides fun extension activities focused on literacy and math. Don’t forget to check out the Bluebee Pals Curriculum for a lesson plan made especially for the Bluebee Pals Techie Rangers E-Book and Activity Guide.
The free Bluebee Pal Learning App is a fully integrated life skills and cognitive development tool for children ages 3 to 8.
The app includes a Bluebee Pal House with 5 rooms targeting life skills, social/emotional skills and educational activities.

*The Bluebee Pals Curriculum, Bluebee Pal App, Bluebee Pals Techie Rangers E-Book and Activity Guide, app recommendations, numerous video tutorials, and extensive professional development resources are all available at

* Learn more how to implement Bluebee Pals in the classroom 
Bluebee Pals can be used 1-on-1, in small group or entire classroom settings.


Growth Mindset in Early Learners

“We all have beliefs about our own abilities and potential. These beliefs are part of our mindset which is so powerful it can fuel our behavior and predict our success. Mindset shapes our everyday lives, helping us interpret our experiences and future possibilities. In her research at Stanford University, Dr. Carol Dweck identified two different types of mindsets. Growth mindset occurs when we believe our intelligence and abilities can be improved upon with effort and the right strategies. In contrast, those with a fixed mindset believe their intelligence and abilities cannot be altered in a meaningful way.” 
“You see, many students enter our classrooms believing they’re either smart or not smart, good at reading or math, or not good in those areas. This belief that our basic qualities like intelligence and talents can’t be changed is called a fixed mindset. Often our students figure: Why bother trying at something that’s hard for me? I’m not naturally good at it and I can’t really do anything about that.
Our students may not realize that their brains have the ability to change and grow through their experiences (neuroplasticity). Students need us to teach them that the human brain is like a muscle that can be trained through repetition and practice. When students realize this, they develop a growth mindset: the belief that abilities can be developed through commitment and hard work. And once they have a growth mindset, they can learn anything.”

“For at least the last decade, educators have understood the powerful connection between mindset and achievement — that when students believe they can learn a given subject, even a hard one, they stick with it longer, and do better, than if they believe they can’t learn or are “just bad at it.”
Simple ways to infuse growth mindset on a daily basis. These are regular practices that help you ensure students will:
  • Be willing to try new things
  • Stick with hard tasks and not give up
  • Push themselves to do their best work, not just what’s “good enough”
  • Believe in themselves and their own ability to learn

Strategies for helping students develop a growth mindset

Introduce learning activities that are designed to benefit children’s brains.


  1. When kids make mistakes, respond in casual ways that help them rebound.
  2. Get student input on creating helpful classroom displays that reinforce learning.
  3. Use specific feedback and helpful vocabulary that guides students to identify how they achieved success.
  4. Model growth mindset so kids can see it in action on a daily basis.
  5. Start formally teaching kids about growth mindset / neuroplasticity through books, apps, and other resources.
  6. Provide attainable challenges and set achievable mini-goals to encourage students’ consistent, incremental progress.
  7. Give opportunities to face obstacles and solve problems.
  8. Teach and model good attitudes.
  9. Teach how to accept constructive criticism.
  10. VIew failure as learning.
  11. Design classroom activities that involve cooperative, group learning –rather than competitive or individualistic.
  12. Celebrate successes and minimize failures.
  13. Provide opportunities to celebrate the success of others.
  14. Teach perseverance and the power of “YET”. Encourage students to not give up when things get hard and tell them that if they can’t do something now, it doesn’t mean they never will. Say “You can’t do this YET, but keep going!”When students succeed, praise their efforts and strategies as opposed to their intelligence. Help students focus on, prioritize, and value the process of learning.
  15. Model resilience and problem solving strategies.
  16. Give children opportunities to solve problems on their own when appropriate.
  17. Encourage children to ask a friend to help before seeking an adult’s assistance.
  18. Do not always try to fix things for your students. Give them the time to try – and fail – to fix their own challenges.
  19. Give children the time and space to use materials in their own way. This helps build confidence, independence and creative problem solving, which are all big parts of fostering that growth mindset.
  20. Make space for frustration. Talk about that emotion and how to deal with it. Help your students be motivated by frustration, not shut down by it.
  21. Praise effort authentically and specifically.
  22. Use diverse teaching strategies.
  23. Encourage active observation and interaction with the environment (wonder).
  24. Encourage question asking.
  25. Utilize Investigation and experimentation.
  26. Encourage student development of conclusions

Some Resources to Get You Started!

Whooo’s Reading: (K -8) This web app allows you to help students improve their writing based on personalized feedback. After answering a standards-aligned, open-ended question, the response is sent to you for grading. You can then score the answer and give the student feedback on how he/she can improve to get a higher score—score is tied to Wisdom Coins, giving students even more motivation to take a second swing at it.
Daily Goals: This app is perfect for setting and tracking student goals. Though it wasn’t created for use in the school setting, it has all the features of a motivating student goal tracker. Once signed up, students simply create their goal(s)—read something new every day, write one blog post a week—and then keep track of it with the app. With built-in analytics, students are able to determine what might be holding them back, assessing the process rather than just the outcome.
Growth Mindset Videos by Class Dojo Awesome video library for mindsets, social, and emotional growth.
Typorama.Is an app that you can use to add words to a picture, which is perfect for creating encouragement posters to foster mind growth for your classroom.
Two of the best children’s books on growth mindsetare Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by Dr. JoAnn Deak and Making a Splash: A Growth Mindset Children’s Book by Carol E. Reiley.
Check out the free online brain songs provided by the University of Washington.
Growth mindset videos for teachers and students on YouTube:
Bluebee Pals: Using Bluebee Pals during audible book and video learning activities helps to motivate and engage little learners!


English as a Second Language (ESL) and Bluebee Pals

What is an English Language Learner (ELL)?
“English-language learners, or ELLs, are students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn effectively in English, who often come from non-English-speaking homes and backgrounds, and who typically require specialized or modified instruction in both the English language and in their academic courses.
According to, the goal of teaching ESL is to get ELL students proficient in English as quickly as possible to allow ELL students to be integrated into classrooms and social settings, and to be able to communicate effectively. ELL students must develop critical thinking skills and test-taking skills along with their English language skills. Specific objectives include improving skills in the areas of grammar, vocabulary development, listening, speaking, pronunciation, reading and writing.

Bluebee Pals can be excellent tools in teaching beginning ELL students! 

Bluebee Pals easily connect to apps via Bluetooth to make learning come to life! Children become immediately more engaged and attentive!  With engagingly charming mouth and head movements, students will eagerly look forward to focused learning opportunities!
  • Bluebee is compatible with ALL apps with a narrative.
  • Bluebee is compatible with text-to-speech apps
  • Bluebee inspires learning with educational apps.
  • Bluebee reads any storybook apps
  • Bluebee sings with your favorite music apps.
  • Bluebee acts as an educational tool with voice recording apps.

Let Bluebee be the Teacher!

Usages with Bluebee Pals and ELL students:

1. One on One and/or Group Circle Time : Use Bluebee connected to apps to teach students core curriculum concepts individually or in small groups. You can target comprehension, vocabulary, wh-questions, grammar, listening, speaking, sequencing, following directions, pronunciation, critical thinking, spelling and more!

Apps to get you started:
*Lingokids – English For Kids by Monkimun Inc. This wonderful app creates an individual English Learning Program for your student based on their language level and age. Their curriculum and graphics are beyond amazing. It focuses on language skills such as English pronunciation, vocabulary, ABCs, numbers, shapes, colors, animals, food, writing and more.
*The Wanderful Collection by Wanderful, Inc. Interactive storybooks are great for teaching word pronunciation, word recognition, and meaning. Check out these books at
*BrainPOP ELL by BrainPOP® is a comprehensive English language learning program that uses animated movies to model conversational English. It offers leveled learning for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners. It targets listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
*Endless Alphabet by Originator Inc. Endless Alphabet shows students how each word is spelled and provides a fun illustration of it’s definition. Then it shuffles the letters and challenges your student to put the word back together. What makes it even more awesome is that when the students pick up each letter to put it back on the right place, the letter makes its sound! ELL students get to review the sound of each letter, the spelling of each word and its definition through super entertaining and interactive illustrations!
*Fun English | Learn English by Studycat Limited This app covers all 4 language domains through fun games, stories and songs! New vocabulary is introduced in creative contexts to help students remember each meaning and is used in sentences to maximize their understanding. Lessons are divided into different categories that will allow your student to review different concepts and ideas.
*Learn English US for Beginners by Hector Gonzalez Linan teaches 500 vocabulary words in the areas of alphabet letters, numbers, colors, food, verbs, days of the week, animals, clothes, body parts, sports, and more.
2. Connect Bluebee to a Voice Recording:
*Voice Memos by Apple. Quickly and easily record vocabulary words for Bluebee to say and for students to practice repeating. Let your students record their words, sentences, or stories, too! Matching game: Record nouns for Bluebee and give students picture or word flashcards to choose the correct match for the word that was said. Use the recorder to have Bluebee give instructions or ask questions. Use the recorder to have students sequence or retell a story.
*My Story School eBook Maker by MY STORY, LLC. Create and share ebooks and movies using your own voice, drawings, stickers, and photos!
*Book Creator for iPad by Red Jumper Limited. Easily create your own books! Add music, narration, video, text! Share with family and friends.
3. Text-to-Speech: Interact in real time with your Bluebee Pal by typing in text for your Bluebee to speak! Ask and answer questions or carry-on a real life conversation! Make up your own stories or type in the text of books for your Bluebee Pal to read. Book discussions: Have Bluebee Read a book out loud. Then, using this app, type in questions for Bluebee to ask the students. Have Bluebee help practice vocabulary by typing in words or definitions, questions, or even tests for him to say aloud.
Talk For Me – Text to Speech by Darrin Altman

Good practices for teaching ELL students include:

*Provide explicit instruction
*Use teacher questioning and prompts that are consistent within the student’s stage(s) of language acquisition (see charts)
*Develop key vocabulary
*Utilize peer-to-peer interactions
*Provide lots of repetition
*Use multimedia and multiple modes of concept representation
*Engage in meaningful activities that allow learners to practice the academic language in authentic contexts.
*Use instructional methodologies that are active and focus on learning by doing and higher-level thinking processes
*Give time to process
*Use body language
*Check for comprehension
*Encourage collaboration with all teachers
*Engage parents

Sources and suggested websites:


Sent from my iPad

Early Learning Educational Activities for Literacy

“Literacy is a process by which one expands one’s knowledge of reading and writing in order to develop one’s thinking and learning for the purpose of understanding oneself and the world. This process is fundamental to achieving competence in every educational subject…literacy is a necessary foundation for educational achievement.”
Literacy involves spoken and written language skills and the ability to read and write. It’s never too early to start getting your child involved with literacy activities. There are lots of fun opportunities to support early literacy development. Talking, singing, creative play, playing sound, letter, and word games, reading, writing, and playing educational games with your child are great ways to set up a good literacy foundation.
You don’t need lots of time for literacy activities. Just a few minutes a day can make a big impact! The key is to use different times and engaging opportunities to help your child learn.

10 Simple Ways To Engage, Play And Teach Your Child!

*Literacy Sensory Bins– Sensory Bins are simple to make and are absolutely guaranteed to capture a child’s interest. Find a sturdy container (a clear plastic bin with a lid works great). Add some sensory filler such as dried peas, rice, packing peanuts, cotton balls, fake grass, leaves, etc. For a Matching Letters and Sounds bin, use an assortment of plastic upper and lower case letters, letter flash cards, object picture cards, and/or mini objects to match letter sounds you are working on. Give your child a letter of the alphabet (written on a card) and have them find all the letters in the bin that match that letter. Then ask them to find objects and pictures of things that begin with that sound.
For extreme fun, use a set of Alphabots transformer letters in the bin!
For extra sensory play and learning, use Play-Doh and letter stamps.
*Play-Doh– Help your child make numbers and letters out of Play-Doh. Use it to spell simple words and your child’s name. Use alphabet and letter stamps and cookie cutters to press out letters and words. Play-Doh offers several fun activity sets for letters and sounds.
*LEGOs- Kids Love LEGOs! Let your child practice making alphabet letters by giving them a sheet of paper with a letter drawn on it. Have your child use LEGO bricks to outline the letter. Next, see if they can make each letter and spell their name using their LEGOs. LEGO makes a LEGO DUPLO Play with Letters Set to support early literacy.
*Books– Use alphabet books to teach letters and have your child point out the words that begin with each letter. Read books with rhyming and repetition. Examples: The Cat in the Hat, There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake, Nothing Rhymes With Orange, Jamberry. Show your child how to hold a book and help turn the pages. Touch the words as you read together, and discuss the characters and the story. Ask questions about what you read together. Talk about the pictures and what is happening in each one. Bluebee Pals are super motivational tools to engage your child in digital books!
*Nursery Rhymes and Songs– A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounds in two or more words. Nursery rhymes teach your child language, vocabulary, rhyme, repetition and rhythm. Rhyming is a precursor for early literacy skills. Sing nursery rhymes to play with words and sounds. Example: Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; The Alphabet Song; Three Little Kittens.
*I Spy– Help your child learn to recognize and listen for sounds. Example: “I spy with my little eye something that begins with s-s-s. What do you think I see that starts with that sound?” You can also play I Spy with books by asking your child to find sounds on the pages and in words. Example: “Can you touch all the f letters or words with f on this page?” For language, Play I Spy in the grocery store, too! Example: “I spy a yellow fruit“ or “I Spy something sweet” or “I Spy something that is crunchy”.
*Puppets– Puppets are great to use for oral language development with preschoolers. Use puppets to tell or re-tell a story, ask questions, and take turns to engage in conversations. Puppets are easily found at Dollar Stores.
*Pretend Play– Children love to role play and play-pretend! These activities offer rich learning opportunities. You can set up a shop, your own restaurant, Doctor’s office, Vet office or school classroom and have creative fun! Children can make signs, forms, lists and menus and have fun while playing with literacy. Play-Doh has learning sets which are excellent for encouraging pretend play. Sets include kitchen, barber shop, dentist, sweet shop, and more.
*Treasure Hunt- Have a Letter Treasure Hunt by hiding alphabet cards or letters around the house.  Tell your child a letter sound to look for and have your child say the letter, say the sound it makes, find it and bring it to you.  Have your child find something at home that starts with that letter.
*Educational Games– Games are great fun for early learning and literacy as they involve oral language, conversation, vocabulary, sharing, following directions, Wh-questions, turn-taking, and much more. If you can find literacy based games that is even better. Children love playing games with their parents and peers!
Examples: Go Fish; Old Maid, Candyland; Peaceable Kingdom Alphabet Bingo! Letter Learning Game for Kids; I Spy Dig In; BOHS Literacy Wiz Fun Game; Carson-Dellosa Publishing Time to Rhyme; The Learning Journey: Match It! Bingo – Picture Word – Reading Game for Preschool and Kindergarten; Learning Resources Alphabet Soup Sorters; and Magnetic Alphabet Letters And Numbers.

Literacy, even more ideas, please visit the following sites:

  1. Raising Children Network
  2. Bilingual KidSpot
  3. Little Bins for Little Hands

Bluebee Pals Meets Epic Kid’s Books and Videos

Bluebee Pals easily connect to storybook apps via Bluetooth to make storytelling come to life!  Your Bluebee Pal will “read” any connected story, with natural head and mouth movements!  Children become immediately more engaged and attentive!..

The Perfect Reading Match! Bluebee Pals and Epic Books

Reading to a child daily helps develop vocabulary, attending, sentence construction, grammar, pronoun usage, social-skills, turn-taking, imagination, creativity, sequential thought, emotions, wh-questions, comprehension, receptive/expressive language skills, critical thinking and problem solving, and so much more! Reading to young children is one of the most language rich and meaningful learning opportunities that parents (and educators) can give their children. Many natural educational interactions occur while reading by talking about the subject matter, elements of the story, questioning about the story, and through practicing story retelling.

 Epic! -Kid’s Books and Videos by Epic Creations Inc. is a wonderful digital library for children ages 12 and under. With instant, unlimited access to 35,000 high-quality ebooks, audiobooks, learning videos and quizzes, kids can learn, explore their interests and develop a love of reading!

Epic!’s award-winning service includes a wide variety of high-quality books and learning videos from leading publishers like Scholastic, National Geographic, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Smithsonian and many more…Epic! has been called the “Netflix of kids’ books”- it’s an unlimited library your kids can take anywhere!”


The library contains well-known books and series, such as Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Biscuit, National Geographic Kids, Clifford and lots more! It offers picture books, chapter books, early readers, audiobooks, and videos. It even includes Spanish and Chinese books.

App key features include:

  • 35,000 books and learning videos with hundreds more added weekly
  • Personalized recommendations for each child based on their reading level and interests
  • Online and offline reading (you can save books to read offline)
  • A reading log to track reading progress
  • Access to Epic! on almost any device
  • Includes comprehension quizzes and learning videos
  • FREE for elementary school teachers!!!
  • After a 30 day free trial, it is $7.99 a month for parents
  • Users can easily search according to interests
  • Highlighted text option
  • Professional narration
  • Filter books by reader age, AR Level, Lexile Measure, fiction and non fiction
  • Pairs easily with Bluebee Pals!

*Paired together, Bluebee Pals and Epic: Motivational Reading Tools

 *Set aside daily time reading time. Find somewhere quiet without any distractions.
*Let the Child Pick the Book! One excellent way to get young children involved in the reading aloud process is to allow them to select the book you read.
*Don’t Be Afraid of Wordless Picture Books! When reading a wordless picture book, ask the children questions such as:
• What do you think is happening here? (comprehension)
• What makes you think that? (inferring)
• What do you think will happen next? (predicting)
• Why? (vocabulary and oral language)
*Start Small. The younger the child the shorter the attention span.
In the beginning, choose shorter books or books that are not too text-heavy. Then, as you notice their attention spans getting longer, you can start reading longer books.
*Read It Again! Reading the same book multiple times can really help children develop language skills and improve reading comprehension.
*Read Aloud to Big Kids, too! Reading aloud isn’t just for young children who can’t read on their own yet. Kids usually listen on a higher level than they read.
*Explain Some New Words. Explain a few of the words your children may not have heard before – no more than half. Each time you re-read the book, you can explain different new words to build vocabulary.
*Point to the pictures and encourage your child to talk about the book. Talking about the characters and their situations helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues.
*Give your child plenty of response time. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel.
*Relate the story or illustrations to something your child knows. This will help them make connections to their own life experiences.
*Above all else…make reading fun and enjoy the time together with your child!

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