Night Buddies - Adventures After Lights Out

It’s Time to Get Creative with Your Child!

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So often in today’s education emphasis is put on science and math skills for children to work on and improve, pushing things like writing, art, and music to the side because they are labeled as “less important.” But Ol’ Sands knew when he started creating the Night Buddies stories with his son that allowing children to strengthen their right brain and explore their creative sides can actually benefit them just as much as learning science and math skills can! Here are the top four benefits children gain from being creative:

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Helps develop communication skills. When you ask a child to draw a picture or write a story about a certain topic, they have to think about how to communicate a certain theme or message creatively. They have to truly understand their subject, make conscious choices, and be able to clearly justify their creative decisions. This helps build their ability to communicate clearly and concisely with the people they engage with. Give your child a prompt, or a specific task, such as “I want you to draw our family,” and ask them why they make the dog a bow, or why they put a big smile on your face and a frown on their sister’s face. When you engage with your child as he or she creates, you help build their communication skills exponentially.

Allows your child to work through emotions or anxieties they might not even truly understand. When your child writes a story, he or she will probably choose themes and story-lines that reflect what they might be dealing with in their life. Maybe they’ll choose to write about or draw a small kid battling giants, reflecting their own feelings of being bullied at school. Maybe your child is experiencing stress over your recent divorce, so they work through the pain on paper in a safe and productive way. Gaining the skill to work through their emotions through creativity is a benefit that will last all their life—there is a marked difference between adults who know how to manage their stress and ones who drown in it.

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Improves problem-solving skills. When your child wants to draw a picture a certain color, let’s say pink, but doesn’t have that color crayon, he or she is forced to experiment to see what colors can mix together in order to create the desired color. Or maybe they write a story like Night Buddies—getting their main character into trouble leads them to the decision that, as the author, they also have to get their character out of that trouble. In this way, creativity actually helps your child with their mathematic skills, because their brain will be oriented toward problem-solving.

Gives your child a taste of independence and ownership. When your child has a finished drawing, painting, story, or poem in their hands, they are rewarded with the satisfaction of having created something entirely on their own. They made each decision that went into the piece, they put in the time to create it, and they get to own the satisfaction of seeing your smile as you praise their hard work. No matter if your child is the next great American novelist or Picasso, or not, as long as he or she put in effort and is proud of the final product, they have earned the right to feel proud of themselves.

So the next time your child is telling you all about their imaginary friend Crosley and showing you all they wrote down about their adventures, don’t laugh it off or worry too much about them (this is a technique used by John’s mother in the Night Buddies series). Instead, read their stories, hang them on the fridge, and know that your child is reaping all kinds of benefits from that overactive imagination!

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5 Ways to Help Your Child Fall in Love with Reading

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There’s nothing better than the feeling you get as a parent when you walk into your child’s bedroom and see their nose buried in a book, completely lost in a world between pages. Today most children spend more time on their iPads or watching television than they do reading books, but we at the Night Buddies Headquarters know that just one great book can turn a child into a lifetime reader. Here are some of our suggestions to help you make that happen.

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1.) Pick out a book for them that is tailored to their interests. If you know your child loves horses, pick out a book that revolves around horses. If they like television programs about witches and wizards, pick out a book that is about witches and wizards. Make sure you pick a book at their reading level so that they don’t get frustrated reading it (once they start reading more, you can steadily find books that will be more difficult for them to read). In the beginning, it is just important to find a book your child will enjoy, so that they begin to associate reading with fun.

2.) Set aside a specific time, preferably right before bedtime, for them to read. This makes reading turn into a habit, and makes it more likely for them to choose to read at that time on their own later on. Plus, studies have shown that watching television before bed might interfere with sleep quality, so reading is a good, calming alternative!

3.) Don’t take away their other forms of entertainment. This will make reading feel more like a punishment than a reward, and you only want them to have positive associations with reading if you want them to fall in love with it. If your child is used to and enjoys watching a certain amount of television or playing video games for a certain amount of time in the day, allow them to continue. The goal is to incorporate reading into their routine, not to completely change their routine.

4.) Take them to your local library and let them explore. Libraries can be an exciting place for kids, especially during the summers when most libraries offer reading contests and rewards. Plus, allowing your child to pick out his or her own books gives them a level of independence, and it lets them try new things and develop their own reading tastes. Taking them to your local library once every couple of weeks can be an exciting excursion for you two to share!

5.) Read with them. Some of my favorite memories associated with reading are the times when my mom and I would trade off reading chapters of my favorite books as a little kid. Not only does your child get to learn a better vocabulary as you help them through the difficult sections, they get to bond with you at the same time as they are falling in love with books. When you read with your child, it’s always a win-win situation!

 

 

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Exclusive Cover Reveal: Night Buddies Go Sky High!

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We over here at the Night Buddies Amalgamated have some exciting news for you!

The third Night Buddies book, Night Buddies Go Sky High, is going to be released early next year! We will provide you with an exact release date soon, but for now we are officially revealing the cover.

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As you can see, John and Crosley are going to be in for some out-of-this-world adventures! Each Program the Night Buddies go on only gets bigger and more exciting.

In this new book, when young John Degraffenreidt and his red crocodile buddy, Crosley, show up at the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory and find Big Foot Mae lying on the floor, staring up at her Great Star Puzzle on the ceiling, they expect something’s afoot. Not surprisingly, Crosley is craving a new supply of pineapple cheesecakes, but what Mae points to on her ceiling will start the Night Buddies on a totally new fantasy adventure.

This is one book you’re not going to want to miss out on!

Before the book is launched, I’d like to get your thoughts about the book cover in the comments below. For example, what does the cover say to you? Does it grab you?

If this is the first time that you’re hearing about the Night Buddies series, be sure to check out the first two titles, available on Amazon and B&N.com.

Stay tuned to this blog for more exciting news to come!!

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Want a Reason to Pick Up a Night Buddies Book? Just Ask These Kids!

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Not only have the Night Buddies books won six awards amongst the literary community, but when Ol’ Sands went to visit Mrs. Miles’ third grade classroom this is what he heard:

“I think your book is the greatest. It used a lot of imagination. Crosley is the funnyst crocodile. Yerk, yerk, yerk!” –Nick

“I liked all the funny things Crosley had, like the I-ain’t-here doodad, whatchamacallit, and the way he laughed, yerk, yerk, yerk!” –Maria

“I want your book to be a passer! A passer is something that if I have children I can give it to my children. And if my children have children they can give it to their children. And that’s what I call a passer.” –Jaime

“I really liked Night Buddies! I thought it was the best story in the world! My favorite part was the part that Crosley started doing the Black Bottom!” –Mary

Night Buddies was the greatest book I’ve ever read. Especially Crosley’s I-ain’t-here doodad, and when Crosley got wet and did the Black Bottom dance. I’ve been writing a story about the iguanas or should I say jerks.” –Stacy

“I especially like the I-ain’t-here doodad. You are a really good author!” –Heather

“The story was great I am not lying to you. It was great. I loved it. I loved the whole thing.” –Rick

So there you have it! Don’t take our word for it that your children will love the Night Buddies series, but take it straight from their peers themselves. (After all, Rick was not lying to you.)

And a big congratulations to Ol’ Sands! Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine was recently announced as a bronze winner in the Global eBook Awards.

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Create Your Own Bedtime Stories at Tuck-In Time!

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sands writing

As you read in our first blog post, the world of Night Buddies started out as original bedtime stories shared between father and son and then turned into the 5-time-award winning children’s book series that it is today.

In this blog we will talk about some ways you can create bedtime stories with your children. These stories can be about sweet moments you’ve shared with your kids or things they remember doing with a favorite relative or best friend. This fun and inventive activity will help deepen your relationship with your children and create lasting memories. So why not give it a try!

First, start off with the characters. The main character can be anything or anyone your child identifies with. The main character in your bedtime stories can be your child herself or himself , just like John in the Night Buddies books! Feel free to make up a small cast of characters. Fill the story with characters your child is fond of. The cast should be full of friends or pets or stuffed animals, like Crosley the red crocodile! Your child will love making up scenarios that get their day-to-day friends or pets into wacky situations.

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Next, pick a setting. It can be in outer space or maybe even a far off island. Are your characters trying to travel the world? Are the characters spending the day at the best amusement park in town? The setting can be anywhere. Your child probably already has the perfect place in mind.

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Finally, come up with a theme or genre and each night lead the characters into small, silly situations and conflicts. Are your characters explorers hunting for treasure? Are they detectives solving mysteries? Are your characters trying to lasso the moon? A good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning says who the story is about and where and when it happened, the middle says what happened, and the end is how the story finishes up.

Best of luck to you and your child as you spend bedtime exploring the world you’ve created with your rag-tag characters!

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Children's Museum of Alamance County
217 South Main Street
Graham, NC 27253
Phone: 336-228-7997
Reading begins at 3 pm


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