17 Children’s Books that Creatively Teach Kids Practical Skills

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17 book that teach life skills

I love reading!! I am the person that can spend all day in the library and bookstore soaking up knowledge from various books. When I became a mother, I hoped my son would share the same love of reading as I do.

It turns out that he does. However, I found ways to make books fun and interesting for him.

We often use books and hand-on activities to learn new skills within our household. I wanted to share with you 17 books that promoted fun interaction and  used creativity to teach my son a new concept.

*Click on the links and you will find a book review and  hands-on activities that we have done to supplement the books!

  1. Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories For All the Letters by Oliver Jeffers.

 

In this book, each letter has a word and short story related to it. The stories have various themes such as humor, gratefulness, and the art of thinking.  This book also helps children learn how to solve problems through its story telling.

 

  1. The Question Song by Kaethe Zemach

 

This book teaches kids to solve everyday problems. It addresses issues such as injuries and selfishness. My son found it interesting because it contains repetition, rhythm, and rhyming words.

 

  1. Emily’s First 100 Days of School by Rosemary Wells

 

This book is about a bunny named Emily who is starting school. Emily tells the reader about her first 100 days of school through short stories. This book  encouraged my son to create other stories with numbers. It helped him learn the numbers 1-100 through imaginative play.

 

  1. Big Words for Little Geniuses by Susan and James Patterson

 

This book is colorful and introduces kids to big words in alphabetical order. The first word was ARACHIBUTYROPHOBIA!!!! This word means a fear of peanut butter sticking to the top of your mouth. At first, I thought this book would be too advanced for my toddler. However, I decided to give it a try.

It became a great learning and bonding experience for my son and I. He learned how to pronounce all the words in the book. We also try to use the words as we are talking daily.

  1. The Great Dictionary Caper by Judy Sierra.

 

This is a fun, interactive, and flashy book about parts of speech, literacy, and language arts. This book addresses topics such as actions verbs, homophones, palindromes, onomatopoeias, contractions, etc. The Action verb page has various words like somersault, jump, glide and ricochet. Each word is written and drawn to portray their action.

 

  1. What’s On Your Plate? Exploring the World of Food by Whitney Stewart

 

This book highlights countries such as Mexico, Ethiopia, China, and Greece, and gives the reader information on their locations, foods frequently eaten, and recipes. The enticing food pictures in this book will make you hungry. My son gained an interest in learning about geography and connected with this book instantly. He learned that he eats similar foods to people all over the world.

 

  1. Meet Black Panther by R.R. Busse and This is Black Panther by Alexandra West

 

 

These two books introduced the characters and their roles for the Black Panther Comic Books. It also addressed themes such as good vs bad, courage, hard work, intelligence, instinct, loyalty, etc. One of the books identified vocabulary words and asked the reader to find them within the story. My son became excited when he saw the words in the story! I took it a step further and introduced my son to settings, geography, action verbs, and science.

 

  1. Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak, PhD.

 

 

This book uses a diverse group of young characters to educate its reader on the powerful brain. A few concepts addressed in this book are parts of the brain and their functions. I was thrilled when we read the fact, “Making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns and grows.” Many children get frustrated when they are learning something new because mistakes are made, which is a part of the process. This book has taught me one way to handle my son’s frustration as he experiences the trial and error process.

 

  1.  I Want to Be a Doctor by Laura Driscoll

 

 

This story is about a boy who broke his leg by jumping off the top bunkbed. His family takes him to the emergency room, where his inquisitive older sister takes the reader on a journey to learn about the various doctors helping her brother.  Children will learn about specialized professions such as Radiologists, Orthopedists, Neonatologists and Dentists.

 

  1. Find Your Way in Space By Paul Boston

 

This book will take your young reader on a space mission using math and mapping skills. This book encourages children to solve a mystery. Mathematical concepts addressed in this book are counting, addition, shapes, identifying relationships between objects, colors, length, height, map coordinates, and telling time. The concepts are introduced through questions the reader must answer.

 

  1. The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Stan and Jan Berenstain

 

 

In this book, Brother Bear was cautious and wary of strangers. Sister Bear, similar to my son, was “friendly to a fault” and said hello to everyone. Brother intervened and told his sister to stop talking to strangers, but he couldn’t articulate why. This book explains to the young reader what to do around strangers.

 

  1. My Weird School Fast Facts – Space, Humans, and Farts by Dan Gutman

 

 

This book contains a lot of fun, humorous, and engaging information for kids. Your child will discover a love of science from reading this book! If you have a younger child, read these facts to them and see how amazed they become.

 

  1. When Miles Got Mad by Sam Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller

 

 

This is a great book that teaches kids to use their words to express their feelings. It also uses an image, a red monster, to represent anger and rage. The red monster makes a connection to what a child feels when angry feelings overwhelm them. This book addresses other themes such as empathy, self-control, keeping hands to self, and problem solving.

 

 

  1. How Does My Home Work? By Chris Butterworth

 

The author brings awareness to actions kids take every day in the home such as flipping on the light switch, accessing water from the faucet, and taking a drink from the refrigerator. He then uses the book to show children how these things happen. This book made my son more curious about how our home functions. He became more conscious of turning off the lights and water before he leaves a room! It also encourages a greater appreciation for your living space.

 

  1. Treasure Map by Stuart Murphy

 

 

This book is about a group of friends, the Elm Street Kids’ Club, following a treasure map to find a time capsule. The author shows the reader how to follow a map by giving clues that identify landmarks and directions. Other concepts presented in the book are decision-making skills, interpreting symbols, and scales. The author provides teachers and parents activities to supplement learning. Furthermore, he includes other books that address map reading skills.

 

16. Milo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott

 

This book’s plot was unexpected but refreshing. It is about a girl named Milo who takes a class field trip to the museum with her grandfather as a chaperone. As they were exploring the museum, Milo admired the art but something was missing. Children will witness a child taking the initiative to create an idea, plan and execute it. They will learn vocabulary words and will have access to a guide on how to create their own exhibit in the back of the book.

 

17. 3 x 4 a Toon Book by Ivan Brunetti

 

This comic book is about a teacher who gives his students a homework assignment of drawing 12 things but in sets.  He is addressing multiplication in the book. The story goes on to show the reader the process that each student executes to complete their homework assignment based on their interests. At the end, you will find tips for parents and teachers on How to Read Comics with Kids.

All of the books listed were fun and interesting to read. They opened my son’s mind  to learning something new and applying what he learned.

Let us know which book was your favorite and what activities you did to supplement the book.

Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE course on How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Also, download our FREE Printable Holiday Card so your children can showcase their artwork to family and friends this Holiday Season!

Happy Reading!

 

4 Fun and Thoughtful Holiday Activities for Kids

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4 holiday activities

It is a great time to do fun and thoughtful holiday activities with kids! I love this season because it is so full of life, joy, and love! It is also a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, spend time with family, and to give thanks for our presence here on earth. What I love most of all about the holidays is GIVING to others!!

Yes, the act of giving makes others feel good but it benefits the giver as well. It boosts “neurochemical drivers of happiness” and helps to normalize levels of serotonin which promotes feelings of comfort and well-being. I wanted my son to give and experience these feelings.

Therefore, we have done the following activities below to share and receive the pleasant feelings of holiday giving!

Paint Rocks and Give as Gifts

Last Christmas, when my son was two years old, I encouraged him to give gifts to family members. We chose to find big rocks in nature and paint them. We packaged them in colorful wrapping paper and gave them away.

My son was so excited that he could give gifts! He asked me 5 consecutive days before Christmas if it was time to give the rocks away. His rocks from last year are currently displayed in my family’s homes and he is proud. This is a simple yet fun project.

Materials Needed

  1. Place Newspaper on table for easy clean-up.
  2. Pour soap and water in plastic container to make soapy water.
  3. Clean rocks with soapy water and toothbrush.
  4. Empty soapy water and put clear water in container to rinse rocks.
  5. You can also run water over rocks to rinse them.
  6. Pour water in cup for cleaning paint brushes of previous color.
  7. Put napkins in paper plate #1 to dry paint brushes.
  8. Pour small sections of various color paints on paper plate # 2.
  9. Place rock on table with newspaper or magazine paper.
  10. Let your child be creative and paint the rock.

 

soapy water and rocks
Washing rocks in soapy water!

 

washing rocks
Rinsing the rocks in water!

 

paint set up
Setting up our supplies!

 

painting rocks
He likes mixing the paint.

 

rocks
Finished product!

 

Count Money and Buy a Gift

When I was young, it was my job to take my parents’ loose coins and put them in a money jar. Every year, about three weeks before Christmas, I would put the pennies in wrappers. Afterwards, we took a trip to the bank to exchange the coins for dollars. I took this money and bought gifts for my mom, dad, and older brother.

There are so many lessons learned within this activity such as: counting, money recognition, sorting and the purpose of banks. Another skill I learned was awareness of others. A child may buy his dad green socks because it is his favorite color or mom a cup because she loves drinking tea in the morning.

Materials Needed

 

  1. Have the child gather loose coins and put into money jar.
  2. Count coins and sort into money wrappers using the Nadex Sort and Wrap Set.
  3. Take coins to the bank or credit union and exchange for cash.
    • If you don’t have enough coins to fill wrappers, then check with your local bank about the loose coin conversion policy.
    • Some banks and credit unions convert coins into cash for customers only.
    • Some grocery stores have coin machines but will charge a fee.
    • Check out this article for more ways to convert coin into cash.                                                                                                                
  1. Brainstorm with child what family members or friends they will purchase gifts for.
  2. Have the child list the person’s interest and favorites.
  3. Make a tentative list of gifts for each member or friend.
  4. Your list may change once you go shopping.
  5. Go shopping.
  6. Help the child the wrap gifts.
  7. Watch their faces light up when family members or friends open their gift!

 

money roll 2
Inputting Coin Wrapper in Nadex Coin and Wrap Set.

 

money roll 3
Inserting the coins

 

money roll
Coin Wrapping is complete!

 

Melissa & Doug Stained Glass Race Car Ornaments 

  • Please note that you can make other items such as hearts and rainbows.

This is a simple project to make with kids. There are two cars in the kit. Kids will enjoy the experience of decorating their cars with colorful stickers. This activity also helps with spatial awareness, creativity, and focusing. This would be a great gift for children to give to  family members.

 

Materials Needed

  1. Follow directions in the Kit for the best results.
car activity 1
Just getting started

 

car activity 2
One car is complete and another left to go!

Create Your Own Christmas Cards Artwork

Instead of buying birthday cards for family members and friends, my son likes to make his own. The personal touch of a handmade card from a child is priceless. The time and effort it takes to create a masterpiece for a loved one fills their soul with joy. The person knows the child took time to make something especially for them. So why not have this same experience during the Holidays?

My son has started to make his Holiday cards already. It is a symbol of appreciation for the person’s role in his life. Your child can create their own masterpiece and present it to family and friends. They can use crayons, stickers, markers, glitter and whatever their minds come up with to decorate this card!

Happy Holidays to You!Here is the Masterpiece I Created for You!

 

holiday card 4
Creating a Masterpiece on the Holiday Card.

 

Finished Product!

 

Complete the Form Below to Download Holiday Card!

Below are details about the card…

  • Downloadable 5 x 7in postcard
  • Child can create artwork in the white rectangular space
  • Ability to type in white rectangular space with computer
  • Plenty of room for child to create artwork
  • Child can deliver or mail postcard to recipient

 

Please print and cut the postcard on 100lb card stock paper for best results.

Before you download, please know:

  • Simply Outrageous Youth Printables are for Personal Use Only
  • You may not modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
  • Please do not remove the credits/watermarks.

I hope you try some of the ideas given here. My son and I had fun doing these hands-on projects! A bonus is we learned a lot in the process!

Tell me about your holiday projects. I want to know as I am always learning!

Don’t forget to Sign Up for our FREE Course of How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Happy Creating and Learning!

4 Simple and Fun Pumpkin Activities for Kids

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Pumpkin activities

Every fall, I ask myself what are simple, fun, and educational pumpkin activities to do with my son.  We attend fall festivals in our county and get at least 4 pumpkins annually. This year, I was looking for activities that DID NOT require me to purchase more craft supplies from the store. I wanted to use items that we had on hand.

Below is what we did and had a blast!

Paint The Pumpkin

Materials Needed

 

  1. Put Newspapers or cloth on table for easy clean-up
  2. Put water in cup to clean paint brushes.
  3. Put napkins in paper plate #1 to clean and dry paint brushes.
  4. Put small sections of various color paints on paper plate # 2.
  5. Place pumpkin on table with newspaper/magazine paper or cloth.
  6. Let your child be creative and paint the pumpkin.

 

paint set up
This is our set up before starting to paint.

 

Pick, Count, and Cook Pumpkin Seeds

Materials Needed

 

  1. Place pumpkin on cutting board or pan in front of child.
  2. Give the child a spoon and have them scoop out the seeds.
  3. If they are having difficulty using the spoon, have them use their hands.
  4. Instruct child to put seeds in bowl.
  5. Have the child count the seeds while scooping.
  6. Another option is for the child to count the seeds at the end of the activity.
  7. Roast the pumpkin seeds for a great snack!

 

Scooping pumpkin seeds with spoon!

 

Make Pumpkin Soup with Rice

Materials Needed

  1. Follow our Pumpkin Soup with Rice Recipe.
  2. Have fun eating it with your family!

 

Access Our Pumpkin Soup with Rice Recipe

at the bottom of this post!

 

Have a Science Lesson and Learn about Decomposition

Materials Needed (please note this activity came from Sid the Science Kid Season 1 Episode 6 called Mushy Banana)

  1. Once the painted pumpkin has started to decay put it in a large plastic bag or container.
  2. Let the pumpkin decompose until it changes colors.
  3. Put plastic gloves on the child before touching pumpkin.
  4. Stay close to the child to ensure they don’t put the pumpkin in their mouth.
  5. Have the child feel the pumpkin and compare it to a fresh pumpkin.
  6. Have the child take a closer look by using their magnifying glass.
  7. Ask the child the following questions…
  • How is the pumpkin different from the fresh pumpkin?
  • How does it smell?
  • What colors do you see?
  • How does it feel?
  1. Put Pumpkin in the compost when complete.

 

He is analyzing a decayed pumpkin!

 

We cut the pumpkin in quarters and now he examines the decayed flesh.

Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE course on How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Get the password for the library with Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Rice Recipe by completing this form. Once you press the GET ACCESS NOW button, we will send you an email with the password. Then go to SOY Resource Library and enter the password.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Introduce Multiplication to Kids in a Fun Way

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HOW TO INTRODUCE

How to Introduce Multiplication to Kids in a Fun Way

The short story of Why I would Expose my Three-Year Old Son to Multiplication

In order to introduce multiplication to kids, you have to make it fun! My son was playing with numbers in our math set and saw the times tables sign(x). He held up the x and wanted to know what it meant. I challenged myself to explain it in a manner he could understand and I succeeded!!

A Great Children’s Book to Introduce Multiplication to Kids

About three weeks later, I went to the library and saw in the children’s section the title, 3 x 4 a Toon Book by Ivan Brunetti. I thought this comic book would be an excellent tool to further explain how multiplication works to my son.

*Bonus Tip

Go to the bottom of this post to Access 2 Hands-On Art Activities that will Explain Multiplication

The author provides colorful pictures, diverse characters, and a great storyline to introduce multiplication.

A Brief Summary

It is about a teacher who gives his students a homework assignment of drawing 12 things but in sets. A few students raise their hands and ask the teacher about various options to completing their homework. For example, one student asks, “Can I draw 3 sets of 4?”, the teacher replies, “It’s up to you!”

The story goes on to show the reader the process that each student executes to complete their homework assignment. One student likes baseball, so he draws three of each item: baseball, gloves, bats, and hats.

There is one student that needs more time to process her homework assignment. Her mom, dad, and even little brother are there to help her undertake this project. She comes up with a great idea at the end; however, you will have to read the book in order to find out what it is!

Tips for Parents and Teachers

At the end of the book, you will find tips for parents and teachers on How to Read Comics with Kids. The author explains how kids are naturally drawn to the detailed pictures in comics, which makes them want to read the words!

Read this book and provide your child with an entertaining explanation to the importance of multiplication!

What are other ways to teach multiplication tables to children?

One common way is to have children study their times tables a certain amount of time each day. This is how I learned. However, there are creative ways through play that children can learn as well.

  1. Build a number city of multiples with Legos.
    • My son saw a YOUTUBE video about counting by 3s. We built the following numbers with legos: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 24,
    • We created a role play where his toy elephant’s mission was to destroy the city.
    • Every time elephant knocked down and destroyed a number, my son had to build the number up.
    • This role play provided familiarity with multiples of three.
    • Plus, my son was the city’s hero because he kept building the numbers up.
    • He did not realize he was learning while doing this activity.
multiples of 3 lego city
Multiples of  3 Lego City! Pictured here is 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15.
  1. Songs– Many people know the words to a lot of songs not because someone taught them but through hearing it repeatedly. Use this same concept with learning multiplication.

How do you learn your time tables quickly?

A great way to learn time tables quickly is through tricks. Here are some examples of tricks below…

  1. Multiples of 10 – just add a 0 to the number
    • 3 x 10 = 30 (Add 0 to 3 to make 30)
    • 4 x 10 = 40 (Add 0 to 4 to make 40)
  2.  Multiples of 11 – (double the number for number 1-9)
    • 3 x 11 = 33 (write the number 3 twice)
    • 5 x 11 = 55 (write the number 5 twice)
  3. Multiplies of 9 – (use your fingers)

Multiplication is a concept we use often in life; additionally, it is great to learn it in a fun way! Tell me how you introduce multiplication in a fun way to your child or students.

Happy Learning!

Don’t forget to Sign Up for our FREE Course of How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Get the password for the library with 2 Hands-On Art Activities That Will Explain Multiplication by completing this form. Once you press the GET ACCESS NOW button, we will send you an email with the password. Then go to SOY Resource Library and enter the password.

 

 

How to Explain Multiplication to a Preschooler Using Pictures

HOW I EXPLAINED MULTIPLICATIONS-2

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Some may ask “Why would you explain multiplication to a preschooler?” I will tell you why. One day my son was playing with a math set that included numbers and symbols such as the plus, minus, equal and division signs. He likes to put the numbers in ascending and descending order. While playing, he held up the X (the multiplication sign) and asked “What is this?”

When my son asks a question, I usually challenge myself to answer it so he can understand. This time, after hearing the question, I was lost for words. I started to tell him that it’s a multiplication sign and he will learn about it once he gets older. Before uttering these words, I thought a picture would be the best way to explain this concept.

*Bonus Tip

Go to the Bottom of this Post to Get Access to A Fun Game, Using Action Figures and Stuffed Animals, That Will Explain Multiplication to Young Kids

 

Here was my process for answering the question, “What is multiplication?”

I cut a big piece of craft paper  and taped it to the wall. Then we found crayons and started our quick lesson.

Please note: In order to use this explanation, ensure your child is familiar with their numbers, counting, and shapes.

With the crayon, I wrote the problem 2×3 =. Then I asked my son to duplicate the problem using the numbers and symbols in his math set. He took the 2, 3, x, and equal sign and made the problem on the floor.

Afterwards, I told him the first number(2), tells us to draw two circles on the paper. The second number (3), tell us how many dots to put in each circle.

Then I instructed him to do the following…

  1. Draw two big circles on the paper.
  2. Put three dots in each circle.
  3. Count all the dots.
  4. You have your answer!

multiplication

Eventually he learned that multiplication is adding a number to itself a certain amount of times. So, 2×3 is the same thing as 3 +3 = 6.

We kept going over various examples, until he was able to create a problem and complete it independently. I also explained that it works inversely. You can draw three circles and put two dots in each to solve the problem. This shows that 2+2+2 = 6.

He was excited to learn something new and I was proud in my ability to explain this concept to my preschooler!

Corban multiplication
My son solving the problem 8×2 =

 

He loves writing on his V-Tech Easel.

 

corban multiplication 2
He is writing the correct answer 16.

When should kids learn multiplication?

Telling a three-year-old how multiplication works may seem too early. However, my child asked a question and I was determined to answer it. Better yet, he understood the concept through art!

Normally, children start learning multiplication in the 2nd or 3rd grades. I remember learning it in the 3rd grade. However, younger children can learn how multiplication works if you explain it to them in a way they understand.

Complete the form below and get started with this fun game.

Have Fun Learning!

Don’t forget to Sign Up for our Free Course on How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way!

Get the password for the library with A Fun Game, Using Action Figures and Stuffed Animals, That Will Explain Multiplication to Young Kids by completing this form. Once you press the GET ACCESS NOW button, we will send you an email with the password. Then go to SOY Resource Library and enter the password.

 

How to Teach Alphabet Recognition in a Fun Way!

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HOW TO TEACH ALPHABET RECOGNITION IN A FUN WAY

How to Teach Alphabet Recognition in a Fun Way

Some parents have concerns about teaching their child alphabet recognition. The big question is, “Where do I start with teaching my child the alphabet?” I’ve heard some parents say, “My child will not sit long enough to learn it.” Others are laid back and depend on their child’s teacher to handle this task.

Then I’ve talked to teachers who are able to teach their whole class alphabet recognition with no problem. Other teachers find it difficult to teach when they have many children in their class on different levels. These are the teachers who find it helpful if parents work with their child at home in addition to school.

I understand, as a mother, this can be an overwhelming task because it is one of the first concepts children will learn. As a result of hearing from parents and teachers, I decided to teach my child the alphabet in a fun and relaxing manner.

Many parents have the following questions about learning the alphabet…

When should a child recognize letters of the alphabet?

It is important to look at your local school district’s kindergarten program of studies. Our school district teaches kindergarteners to identify and name the upper-and-lower case letters of the alphabet. If you have a child that needs more time with alphabet recognition, then they may fall behind in class if you don’t work with them at home. I think it is safe for them to know it before starting kindergarten.

My son learned the alphabet at 18 months through play. I didn’t expect him to learn them until the age of three or four. When you teach it through fun learning methods, the child will want to learn more and more about the alphabet.

Should you teach letter names or sounds first?

Many people have different philosophies about whether to teach letter names or sounds first. I did it simultaneously. When my son was an infant, I would sing the Alphabet song to him with the sounds included. We played with soft alphabet blocks and I would identify the letter and the sounds associated with them. I also played songs, with a catchy beat, in the car with letter identification and phonics.

What are the steps to teach phonics?

Using play, songs, and books is a great way to teach phonics. Anytime my son and I read an alphabet book or played with an alphabet toy, we identified the letters and sounds (long and short sounds). Various books, songs, and toys that interest him were chosen to expose my son to the alphabet. I never wanted him to get bored with learning the alphabet using only one method. When a child is exposed to the alphabet and their sounds in various fun ways and methods, the learning becomes inevitable.

Once my son knew all the phonics, I showed him how to use them to sound out words like cat or pot. I also read books to him and played with puzzles and word games that included those same words for diverse repetition. Then I got him magnetic letters and asked him if he could spell words like bag or nut. When I said the words, I would slowly enunciate each letter sound so he could successfully spell it.

How do you teach the alphabet?

Before exposing my child to the alphabet, I did research on how to teach children through wholesome and playful learning. I applied my findings during playtime with my child and found that this teaching method works! Worksheets or flashcards were not used to initially teach my son alphabet recognition. They were incorporated after he knew them.

I used fun learning methods to teach the alphabet. This includes singing, dancing, painting, and using toys such as play doh to form the letters of the alphabet. There are so many ways to make it fun. I want to share with you what I have learned and experienced through a FREE Mini Course on How To Teach Alphabet Recognition in a Fun Way!

You may have a child that knows the alphabet, phonics, and is able to read. This FREE course is also for you. The principles taught in the course can be applied to almost ANY NEW CONCEPT you want your child to learn.

This method was used to teach my son…

  • Basic Social and Hygiene Skills
  • Life Skills
  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Write
  • Read
  • Tell Time
  • The Planets and their functions
  • Alphabet and Numbers in Spanish
  • Addition and Subtraction

I could go on but you get the picture.

This course provides the following…

  • Over 100 Tips, Activities, and Resources
  • Tips for the Child who loses Interest in Learning the Alphabet
  • How to Tailor lessons to your child’s pace
  • How to change your mind set about learning and teaching
  • The three basic learning styles in children
  • How to determine your child’s learning style
  • How to expose children to new concepts aligned with their learning style
  • How children with certain learning styles tend to communicate
  • The toys/activities children with certain learning styles tend to favor
  • How to make learning fun and playful for children
  • How to determine the best time to teach your child
  • How to execute Fun In-Depth Learning
  • How to use the 5 senses to teach your child
  • How to combine In-depth learning and learning styles during play
  • How to incorporate digital media in your child’s learning
  • How to teach a child with more than one learning style
  • How to Structure your Day
  • How to progress to teaching your child the phonics
  • How to track your child’s progress
  • Daily thought-provoking assignments to hold you accountable

 

HOW DOES THIS MINI-COURSE WORK?

Just sign up for the FREE mini-course with the form at the bottom of this post. You will receive  DAILY emails for 16 days with useful information, tips, tools, and an assignment.

You will receive your first email shortly after joining! Remember, it’s free!

YOU CAN DO THIS! I am here to help and guide you. The daily emails serve as positive reminders to encourage you to take small action steps.

I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you. Please share your progress with me as well!

Have Fun Learning!

 

Read Aloud Strategies – How to Make Books Come Alive for Kids

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READING ALOUD STRATEGIES-2

Reading aloud to my son is a sacred time within our household. I usually read before nap and bed time. It seems to create a serene atmosphere before rest. Then there are times when reading makes us animated! These types of stories may include characters experiencing adventures where they are running, jumping or kicking and on their way to solve a big problem!

My goal is to read so my son feels like he is in the story. I have learned that there is an art to reading aloud.  Below is what I have found…

*Bonus Tip

Go to the bottom of this post to get access to the 10 Types of Books to Choose When Reading Aloud to Kids

Pick Books that Interest Them (or you think would interest them)

I try to pick books that my son can relate to or find interesting. I gravitate toward books with characters that look like him. Also books about cars, racing, sports, nature, animals, numbers, alphabet, and space spark his curiosity. Interacting and observing him assists me in finding books he will connect to. One day,  he asked me how water comes into our home. This led me to getting a book about how the home works. Try to get books that answer your child’s questions to further their understanding of a topic.

Better yet, Let Them Choose their Own Books

It is so much easier for my son to pick books out for himself. I usually take him to the library or the local book store and let him skim the book titles until he finds what he wants. Sometimes, he goes in the library knowing what he wants and is on a mission to find it. We find the books by inputting keywords in the computerized catalogue. When we sit down to read, the first book he usually chooses is the one he just found!

Voice Changes for Different Characters

Changing your voice for different characters is very entertaining for children. It can also be fun for the parent!  If I am reading a male character, I will lower my tone. If I am reading a character that is a monster, then my voice gets raspy.  Be creative and have fun practicing various character voices!

Emphasize Emotions and Actions

We read lots books with animal characters and I usually make their sounds or physical gestures that represent them. Also, if there is a quiet section in the book, then I lower my voice to set the mood. When there is an onomatopoeia like the word “Pop” and “Boom,” I get very loud and will hit my hand on the floor to make the sound.

Ask Kids about their Predictions

During reading time, I ask my son what he thinks will happen. This gets him engaged in the story. He also wants to know if his prediction is correct.

Listen to Audio Books

While riding in the car, my son and I will listen to audio books. The narrators are highly skilled in their changing voices and emphasizing emotions and actions. Listen to these books and you will learn a lot!

Another Bonus Tip

Here is video of a speech therapist, Adrienne, on How to Get Toddlers to Sit and Read With You. I have learned a lot from her as well!

Make reading interesting to your child and most of all, have fun with it!

Happy Reading!

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Life Skills – Teaching Kids How Your Home Functions

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TEACH KIDS HOW YOUR HOME FUNCTIONS

After my young son washes his hands, he often looks under the sink at the pipes and explains how the water travels in and out of our home. This concept was introduced to him by the cartoon, Sid the Science Kid.

In the Where Did the Water Go episode, Sid wonders what happens to all the dirty water when it goes down the drain. Sid’s father shows him there is a pipe that brings in the water and one that takes it out.

After witnessing my little one’s curiosity, I wondered if there was a children’s book on how the home functions. I finally found the book, How Does My Home Work?” by Chris Butterworth.

The author brings awareness to actions kids take every day in the home such as flipping on the light switch, accessing water from the faucet, and taking a drink from the refrigerator. He then uses the book to show children how these things happen.

We learned that electricity comes from power stations in which water is boiled to make steam. The steam causes the turbine blades to spin, which turns the generator. The generator contains a coil of copper wire that spins around a set of magnets, which produces electricity. The book also addresses cleaner ways to make electricity like wind turbines and solar panels.

This work contains detailed, colorful pictures and scenery that helps to explain how the home works. It also teaches children about items in the home that makes it function such as the circuit breaker, gas meter, and water tank. There are colorful pictures of household appliances like the dishwasher, iron, space heater, blender, and toaster.

*Bonus Tip

Go to the bottom of this post to Access “How Your Home Functions”  Fun Activity –  A Great  Activity for You and Your Children/Students

* PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN ACTIVITY WE CREATED TO SUPPLEMENT THE BOOK

This book made my son more curious about how our home functions. He is more conscious of turning off the lights and water before he leaves a room! It also encourages a greater appreciation for your living space.

I recommend this book to anyone because it teaches life skills!

Happy Learning!

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Clever Ways to Introduce Young Children to Feelings

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Clever Ways to Introduce Young Children to Feelings

One of my favorite books to read with my son is When Miles Got Mad by Sam Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller.  When I heard the authors were releasing a new book, Un Pequeño Libro Sobre Sentimientos/A Little Book About Feelings, I could not wait to read it.

This is an engaging, bilingual work that introduces young children to “emotional literacy.”

The book begins by giving the young reader a simple definition for feelings. It supplements the definition with a storyline involving a dog, big sister bear, baby bear, and mama bear.

Baby bear sees his sister giving the dog a treat and becomes upset because he wants one as well. He begins to cry but then remembers to use his words to identify his feelings. He asks mama for a snack. As a result, mama bear recognizes the baby’s feelings and gives him a snack.

The authors use relatable elephant characters to explain that feelings can range from sadness with aches to happiness with warmness. Children learn that feelings are always changing and this teaches them adaptability and empathy towards others.

The first time I read the book to my three-year-old son, he identified with the elephant characters because it is his favorite animal. The second time, he read the book to me and insisted on having his stuffed elephant sitting next to him.

We like this book because it provides opportunities for interaction and discussions!

Access How to Use Un Pequeño Libro Sobre Sentimientos/A Little Book About Feelings, to Encourage Interaction with Young Children at the bottom of this post!

I was able to discuss with my son that pets have the ability to express their emotions. We pinpointed examples of this through our observations of dogs in the neighborhood. We took it a step further by role playing the emotions of the dogs!

My son and I made predictions, which is an excellent exercise for reading comprehension, of why the elephant character was upset in the book. He thought the elephant’s friend did not want to play. I thought the elephant had a bad day at school. This book is clever because it is written for open interpretation! We agreed that we were both right!

Bonus – A Great Cause

  • 10,000 copies of this book will be donated to children enrolled in Head Start.
  • Bilingual lessons will be created for classrooms and education centers nationwide, based on the themes in the book.

Read this story to explore a range of feelings and to contribute to a great cause!!

Happy Learning!!

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Leadership for Kids – What They Learn When You Allow Them to Lead

LEADERSHIP FOR KIDS

Many parents want to raise children who are leaders. A child does not necessarily have to be Class President or Captain of a Sports team to be a leader. Sometimes leadership can be demonstrated in the child who chooses not to engage in gossip. In my opinion, children who are their authentic selves despite what others think are leaders.

I figure one way for a child to be a leader is through practice. It is also helpful when a parent creates a leadership environment within the home.

Check out the 5 Ways to Create a Leadership Environment for Kids at the bottom of this post!

At first, the age of five sounded like a good time to introduce the concept. However, most toddlers, start to show leadership skills around two when they know what they want to play with and explore. My decision was to meet my child where he was and start letting him lead me at the age of two. Of course, this was practiced in safe and controlled environments.

As soon as I take my son outside to play, he is the leader. He chooses whether he wants to walk or ride his scooter or bike. Once we get outside, he can choose to go left toward the blacktop where we play ball, blow bubbles, and draw with sidewalk chalk. In the right direction, there is a playground, nature trail, and grassy area for play. Wherever he goes I will follow him. He often looks back to ensure that I am behind him and then chuckles to himself.

Another time my son leads is when we play “Marching Band”. My friends gave him a Paw Patrol- Music Set which includes a tambourine, drum, Chinese drum, Clapper, and Castanets. We play the musical instruments to various songs while marching and dancing around the house. Along with choosing the type of music we listen to, my little one is the marching band leader. He may lead me dancing in the basement, kitchen, or living room.

Your children can learn a lot when you let them lead sometimes. Below is what I found…

Confidence and Trust

Letting a child lead gives them confidence because they are experiencing your trust. You are trusting in their ability to lead the way, make decisions, and communicate. As a parent, you give them credibility and are showing respect.  They feel you are buying in to them and their choice of activity. They also feel that they are worthy to be leading you, an adult.

Use of Knowledge

In most cases, in order to led someone, you must have prior knowledge of the subject. In order to lead you on a walk around the neighborhood, a child must be familiar with their surroundings. Once knowledge is established, they can apply it to provide a better experience. For example, if a child is leading you toward a concrete play area, they may bring side walk chalk or  a ball to make playtime fun.

Asking questions

In contrast, some kids may choose to lead even if they don’t have prior knowledge. Leaders who are not knowledgeable about a subject may surround themselves with experts in that field. Part of leadership is knowing when these opportunities arise. Children are excellent at detecting this! You are your child’s expert. You may build Legos with your child and they are leading you in building something that is familiar to them. What happens when they are building something for the first time? They either figure it out or they may ask for your help.

When to Lead

It is important to establish where your children can lead. For example, you probably don’t want your children leading in the grocery store or in an office building. Being a good follower makes a good leader. Your child follows you in the grocery store so one day they will independently go themselves or lead someone else while shopping. Being a follower is where the child will gain prior knowledge to guide or mentor others.  Knowing when to lead helps the child with boundaries and to apply a new skill to help someone in the future.

As a parent, be a good follower occasionally. In doing so, your child may discover their interests, purpose, and passions!

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Have fun following!

5 Ways to Create a Leadership Environment for Kids

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