Celebrate Summer with a Book

School is out and the lazy days of summer are here. It’s time to enjoy the pool, the beach and our friends. As parents, we may feel our children are maxed out and need a break from working their brains. However, all that hard work they put in throughout the school year can slowly slip away over the summer months. In fact, research shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer vacation. This has prompted some systems to extend their school year or modify their school calendars.

Fortunately, there is a fun and easy way to keep the learning going! Reading over the summer, even if just for a few minutes each day, will help keep your child’s mind active and engaged.

Check out the summer reading challenges being offered at your local library or sign up for one at Barnes & Noble. There are also national reading challenges, like the one from Scholastic, in which your whole school can participate in.

Below are some suggested titles from The Washington Post. For the full list, click here.

Summer Reads

Grades K – 3

A Nest Is Noisy 
By Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long. $16.99. Grades K–3.
Whether it’s the foamy home of a frog or the sandy one of a sea turtle, this book reminds readers that all nests bustle with activity.

Ice Cream Summer 
By Peter Sís. $17.99. Grades K–3.
Sís cleverly slips lessons on history, vocabulary, and math into this tale of summer fun as Joe narrates everything he’s learned in a letter to his grandfather.

Grades 4 – 6

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer 
By Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath. $16.99. Grades 4–6.
In letters to her dearly departed abuelita and others, Sophie worries about missing L.A., her dad’s unemployment, and poultry thieves. Her voice rings true in this tale of family, adventure, and raising chickens.

Gone Crazy in Alabama 
By Rita Williams-Garcia. $16.99. Grades 4–6.
The award-winning author rounds out a trilogy about three sisters as they travel from Brooklyn to Alabama to visit their grandmother.

Grades 5 – 9

By Alice Hoffman. $16.99. Grades 5–8.
In a place where monsters might be real, 12-year-old Twig stores up her hurts “as if they were a tower made of fallen stars”—until she finds a friend to help her break a curse and release her family’s secrets.

By Pam Muñoz Ryan. $19.99. Grades 5–9.
Set before and during WWII, this magical tale follows an enchanted harmonica and the lives it touches as it travels through space and time.

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Colgate Mattress Honored Again in Baby & Children’s Product News

America’s favorite crib mattress manufacturer, Colgate Kids, continues to win honors for its quality baby products, recently adding its eleventh consecutive Baby & Children’s Product News Readers Favorite Award. The Evertrue Diamond, Serene and Natural Iwere among notable collections featured in the mattress category. The award adds to a growing list of kudos bestowed on Colgate by various parent groups and publications, including a recent “Best of Baby 2015” award by 

“This honor is especially humbling because it comes from our independent retailers and specialty store owners, some of whom have been customers for decades,” said Alan Wolkin, president of Colgate Kids. “In many ways, this award reinforces Colgate’s longstanding reputation as a trusted advisor to both our retail partners and the families they serve. We are grateful for their vote of confidence eleven years in a row!”

Colgate crib mattresses have earned the coveted GREENGUARD Gold children and schools certification and carry JPMA’s distinguished seal of approval for meeting the industry’s toughest safety standards in the world. Available online at and at specialty stores in the Brixy network, mattresses highlighted include:

  • Colgate Natural I – Made of 100% natural components. Unlike most mattresses marketed as “natural” or “organic,” the Colgate Natural I is truly metal and plastic free. The mattress is constructed using real coir fiber made from coconut shell husks, all-natural latex from plants and renewable cotton batting interior, with a certified organic cotton cover.
  • EverTrue Diamond – Part of Colgate’s “total safe sleep system” the EverTrue consists of three components that ensure enhanced airflow and improved oxygenation for baby. It has a celliant waterproof fabric cover, cool gel memory foam and a proprietary, breathable honeycomb mesh core engineered for enhanced air circulation.
  • EverTrue Serene – A 5” think, dual-firmness mattress with advanced safety, health, and comfort features throughout development. Dual-firmness design provides both the firmness infants need for safety and proper development and the added comfort toddlers prefer. The Serene also features plant-oil infused eco foam™ and ultrasonically welded side seams for added durability.

Baby and Children’s Product News is a leading publication in the juvenile products trade industry. Winners of the Reader’s Favorite Awards are announced in its June/July issue.

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Daddy Diaper Doody Duty

Let’s face it, no one ever really wants to change a big ole stinky diaper. Sure, it is a lot more tolerable when the contents come from your sweet little angel, but all in all, it’s a job that parents continue to try to push off on one another. Traditionally, it was always mom who took the lead in taking care of baby. Honestly, it just wasn’t “cool” for a dad to rock, swaddle, feed, bathe or {gasp} change a poopy diaper…until now.

In fact, according to Pew Research, American fathers today spend nearly triple the amount of time on childcare than they did in the 1960s, while mothers spend four more hours per week.

Bring on the Diapers

Thanks to celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, who recently asked for more changing tables in public restrooms, Daddy’s are taking charge of diaper changing duties everywhere. Dads are taking an active role in parenting and even offering up advice to their comrades. Bloggers Andy Herald and Charlie Capen of How to be Dad take a hilarious approach to co-sleeping in their book, The Guide to Baby Sleep Positions: Survival Tips for Co-Sleeping Parents. We are even seeing male baby trend experts, such as Jamie Grayson [The Baby Guy], recognized as the “Best Baby Gear Guru” for his advice to new parents about the best products for baby.

Gear for Dad

Several companies are making products specifically with Dad in mind. Check out the diapers bags from The Diaper Dude. They are masculine, yet functional, and come in a variety of sizes to meet Dad’s needs and style.

Colgate also has something for Dad to take along on those big family car rides this summer – our 3-sided contour changing pad. This pad can turn almost any flat surface into a changing station. It’s lightweight, liquid proof and easy to clean. Plus, the dimensions are small enough to travel with ease. Daddy can easily take his diaper duty on the road!

The Colgate 3-sided contour changing pad is available online at Target or BuyBuyBabyfor $45.99.