Coping with Kids: KinderRead books, feeding picky toddlers

| Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, 9:35 p.m.

Pittsburgh teacher creates KinderRead book series

The KinderRead book series — designed for parents by Pittsburgh teacher Mary Shapiro and endorsed by educators — introduces the written word with three board books.

The books present familiar basic sight words in simple, vivid pictures and a “Play Book,” which offers reinforcement through activities such as a game, coloring objects and other easy activities.

The pack comes in a carrying case.

This almost-self-taught set offers parents an opportunity to give their children a head start in taking their first steps in the world of reading in a relaxed manner while optimizing their children's future learning-to-read experiences.

The pack sells for $24.99 and is available at

Don't let picky toddler rule dinner table

Is your toddler a picky eater and reluctant to eat vegetables? A new book, “Give Peas a Chance: The Foolproof Guide to Feeding Your Picky Toddler,” by pediatric nutritionist Kate Samela offers tips and secrets for fostering a healthy food relationship with their toddler, and keeping things running smoothly at the dinner table.

The book covers topics like transitioning from baby food, how much to feed your toddler, and understanding your child's digestive system and health. Sourcebooks will release “Give Peas a Chance” on Jan. 1.

‘Blast Off!' sends kids, parents to the moon from the couch

A children's book tells a tale about how, sometimes, the best things come out of a disaster. In the space-theme “Blast Off!” by Paul Adams, a dad creates a makeshift space rocket out of his son's tents, which are built out of sheets and blankets, and goes on a journey with him to the moon from the couch.

The author wants the book to celebrate children's imaginations and encourage, and offer a bonding experience with parents, as they act out the make-believe scenario with their kids.

Phipps offers educational programs

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will offer several science-education programs for children that focus on ecology, conservation, healthy living and art to keep kids busy during the winter and spring.

The “Celebrate!” series, for ages 4 to 7, offers a New Year-theme session Jan. 12, a Valentine's Day session Feb. 9, and a Natural Beauty session March 9, at various times. Cost is $15.

The following Little Sprouts Single Servings, one-day camps for ages 2 and 3, are scheduled: “Our Tropical Adventure” on Feb. 15, “We Heart Veggies” on April 18 and “Our Butterfly Friends” on May 17. The sessions are from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Cost is $15.

Little Sprouts Camps, held over several days for ages 2 and 3, include: “My First Garden” on Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28; and “I Eat Plants” on March 4, 11, 18 and 25. Adult accompaniment is required. Cost is $60.

Evening Ed-ventures, for ages 6 to 9, gives parents a chance to explore the Oakland conservatory on their own while their children learn and have fun.

The Friday-night sessions, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., include ”Conservation Investigation” on Jan. 4, “Deserts and Healthy Desserts” on Feb. 1, and “Creepy Night Crawlers” on March 1. Cost is $25. Details: 412-622-6914 or

— Staff and wire reports

Send parenting news to Coping With Kids in care of Rebecca Killian, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, or e-mail

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