The emerging summer space

With the end of the school year, kids power up for the tech-heavy time of year.

Because digital interactions are woven throughout their relationships, friendships become tech-dependent as face time at school decreases.

I wonder what unexpected trends will streak across social and chat platforms this summer? What new tech toys will emerge as winners?


Reading list trends

Some things in education change, but an assigned reading list is a consistent way to help students of all ages avoid the dreaded loss of skills during summer months.

Bowing to children’s desire for choice, most schools allow kids to choose individual titles among general categories.  But if your student has free choice, three big trends this summer include:

Diversity, again this summer.  Kids want to read about characters that look like them and live in the real world.

Fantastic beasts.  Although dragons and unicorns are still popular, real-life animals like peacocks and llamas are gaining traction.

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) has downaged into the very early childhood space.  Think babies and toddlers – long before kiddos have assigned reading!

New Seuss

Seuss-lovers will delight in an upcoming release from Random House.

Another previously unpublished manuscript was discovered after the death of Dr.Seuss in 1991. (The initial “found book” was What Pet Should I Get? published in 2015.)

This new book, which was found with unfinished sketches, sounds like fun: a horse leads children on a tour through an art museum.

Favorite Seuss characters including the Grinch, Horton and the Cat in the Hat will make “cameo appearances” on the pages.

Happy Children’s Book Week

Today marks 100 years and counting for Children’s Book Week.

In the past decade, diversity has been one of the strongest themes in the children’s publishing category. And that’s essential, because the multicultural future arrived long ago.

It’s taken time to reach both inside and outside the children’s book category, but we now have artists, illustrators, authors, designers, editors and production staff who humanize children’s publishing from the ground up.

Today, I’m grateful that books don’t merely reach my five grandsons, but connect with them in relevant ways. The best way to celebrate the next 100 years is by sharing a book with a child today!

In the driver’s seat

Children love to decide what happens in “choose your own adventure” books.

Some TV shows will be adding this element to children’s programming. Allowing children to create the narrative for familiar and beloved characters is a sure way to keep kids engaged in the story.

Sweet sleep

Serving a cup of warm milk is the traditional way to encourage a child to fall asleep.

But watch for the appearance of sleep-friendly (and kid-friendly) desserts and treats. This new category of “functional food” will include treats that won’t disrupt sleep, don’t use artificial sleep aids, but are clearly designed to be “cozy, nighttime foods.”

Food as entertainment?

We’ve raised an entire generation of junior chefs.

With all the online food channels, videos and posts for inspiration, it’s not surprising that kids view food as entertainment.

These kitchen kids are great at discovering new sources for ideas, too. Finding content in store ads, websites, flyers, blogs, company websites, recipe sites, TV or streaming food shows, it’s time for us to enjoy the fruit of their labor.