How to Explain Multiplication to a Preschooler Using Pictures

HOW I EXPLAINED MULTIPLICATIONS-2

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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 =

 

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!

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How to Teach Alphabet Recognition in a Fun Way!

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!

 

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

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

*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.

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 do 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. You 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!

Have fun following!

5 Ways to Create a Leadership Environment for Kids

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TAKE KIDS ON A MATH AND MAPPING ADVENTURE WITH THIS BOOK!

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TAKEKIDS ON A MATH AND MAPPINGADVENTUREWITH THIS BOOK!

I am always looking for books that incorporate mathematical concepts in a fun and engaging manner. The book, Find Your Way in Space by Paul Boston, will take your young reader on a space mission using math and mapping skills. This book encourages children to solve a mystery.

The Space Mission is as follows…

The Zeebles’ rockets have crash-landed in Crater Canyon and they are unable to get home. The reader needs to find their way to the crash site by choosing which exits and entrances to follow on each page.

There are five steps to completing the mission…

  1. Choose your transportation
  2. Choose a route
  3. Choose one of three missions to help the Zeebles…
    • Collect Batteries to power up the engine
    • Collect cans of glue to mend the panels
    • Collect space wrenches to fix the rocket’s wings
  4. Use map coordinates to find the location of various objects the Zeebles need.
  5. Use your math skills to help the lost Zeebles find their way home.

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.

For example, one question asks, “My friend lives in Mystic Cabin. Can you tell me where it is?”  The reader must find the coordinates of where the Mystic Cabin is located.

Another question asks, “I work in the triangular building with nine windows. Can you see it?” The reader should find a triangular-shaped building with nine windows.

The questions in the book assist the reader in completing the mission.

My son had a great time with this book. He enjoyed solving the math problems and using the coordinates to locate and collect objects. He was given a taste of how math can be used to help others and to make discoveries.

Read this book and take your child on a mathematical journey!

Happy Learning!

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5 SECRET Driving Tips for Teens (and Adults) from a Former CIA Officer

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5 SECRET DRIVING TIPS FOR TEENS FROM

I was watching Sway in the Morning radio show on YouTube one day and saw a former Central Intelligence Agent (CIA) Officer, Jason Hanson, being interviewed. He discussed his life in the CIA and offered safety tips.

His interview was so compelling, I purchased two of his books, Spy Secrets that can Save your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected and Survive Like a Spy: Real CIA Operatives Reveal How They Stay Safe in a Dangerous World and How You Can Too.

Jason educates the reader on using survival intelligence at home, during disasters, and while traveling and driving.  He tells you how to escape zip ties and duct tape if you are kidnapped and how to be a human lie detector. His books are filled with entertaining and suspenseful CIA survival stories.

I am always thinking about how children can benefit from the books I read. I thought some of the driving safety tips he gave would be helpful for teens.

HERE WE GO!

Windows Up

The author tells the story of a man who had the windows down in his car while looking at his iPad. When the man took a nap, a teenage boy reaches in and steals his iPad.  Being parked or stopped at a red light can make you susceptible for a carjacking or robbery, especially when you are distracted by gadgets like your phone. Even when a stranger approaches your car to talk to you, keep your windows up. You should talk through the window instead.

Wait to check the damage

When you are in a fender bender, your first inclination is to exit the car and check the damage. However, Jason recommends you turn on your flashers, call the police, and stay inside your car until an officer arrives on the scene. The author gives examples of two people who were robbed, with one of them killed, just for getting out of their car during a fender bender.

Hand Position

I learned in Drivers Ed that the correct hand position was ten and two o’clock. This book says your hand should be at nine and three o’clock to get enough control over the car to properly execute maneuvers. This position helps you to get the most mobility out of your car because it forces you to keep your elbows bent. If there is someone standing in front of your car, you will be able to drive around him/her with this position.

Can you See the Tires?

How close are you to the stopped car in front of you? I learned you should be a car length away from the vehicle in front of you. You should actually be able to see the tires of the vehicle in front of you. Leaving this amount of space helps you to get around that vehicle should you need to get away in case of an emergency.

Driver Adjustments

Most people are sitting too far away from the steering wheel. To ensure you are sitting in the correct driving position, put your arm straight out toward the steering wheel and rest your arm on top of it. The bottom of your wrist should rest on top of the steering wheel. If your fingers are touching the wheel, then you are too far back and you need to move forward. If the steering wheel is touching your forearm then move back until your wrist is what’s resting on it with your arm fully extended.

Bonus Tips: Organizing in your Car and a Safety Tip for Kids

Try not to organize belongings in your car or put items in your purse. You put yourself in a vunerable position when you are handling your GPS or making calls on the cellphone.

Please view our lesson on how to teach kids the Safety tip, Situational Awareness, through an artistic game!

Happy Driving!

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12 FUN, RANDOM, AND WEIRD SCIENCE FACTS FOR KIDS

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12 Fun, Random, and Weird Sciences Facts for Kids

The fascinating facts below came from the book, 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!

Eating Tomatoes used to kill certain people

During the late 1700’s, many people died after eating tomatoes in parts of Europe. It was called the “poison apple.”  Actually, the tomatoes did not kill people. Rich people ate off pewter plates, which were made from lead. Tomatoes are acidic and the lead leaked off the plates into the tomatoes. This caused people to get lead poisoning.

 

The planet, Mars, has the largest volcano

Olympus Mons on Mars is the biggest volcano in our solar system.  It is three times as tall as Mount Everest. Mount Everest is the Earth’s highest mountain above sea level.

 

Drinking Water is limited

Earth is covered with 70 percent water. Almost all of Earth’s water is salty in the oceans. We can’t drink it. Only about 3 percent of the water is drinkable fresh water. Most of this drinkable water is frozen in the Arctic and in Antarctica. Therefore, only about 1 percent of the world’s water is available to drink. Don’t waste water because we are not getting anymore!

 

Silk comes from Worms

Silk comes from worms. A silkworm eats mulberry leaves and lettuce for weeks. Its salivary glands produces “fibrion” which is gooey. Then it spends a cocoon and spends the next 48 hours turning around and around to create silk.

 

Thunder and Lightning Happen at the Same Time

During a thunderstorm, you will see lightning and then hear thunder seconds later. Thunder and Lighting happen simultaneously. Light travels a million times faster than sound. Lightning reaches your eyes faster.

 

Kids have more Bones than Adults

Adults have 206 bones and kids have 300. As kids get older, some of their bones fuse together.

 

Your lungs are different sizes

You have two lungs but they are not the same size. The left lung is divided into two lobes while the right is divided into three.  The left lung is a bit smaller to allow room for your heart.

 

The Fastest Muscles in your Body

The fastest muscles in your body are in your eyes. They make it possible for you to blink as fast as five times a second. You can blink about fifteen thousand times a day. Blinking cleans your eyes of dust particles and lubricates your eyeballs. Women blink twice as much as men.

 

No kneecaps for babies

Babies are born without solid kneecaps. Babies’ kneecaps are made out of cartilage and don’t turn into solid bone until the baby is about three years old.

 

Why do Geese fly in a V?

Flying in a V conserves energy. There is less wind resistance when each bird flies a bit above the bird in front of them. They take turns flying in front so no one gets tired. Flying in a V makes it easier for the birds to communicate with every bird in the group. Jet fighter pilots do the same thing.

 

Crickets Can Tell the Temperature

Male crickets make a chirping noise by running their wings together. When it is hot outside, they rub their wings faster. You can tell the temperature by counting how fast a cricket chirps. If you count the number of chirps you hear in fifteen seconds and then add thirty-seven to it, the total will be very close to the outside temperature.

 

Albert Einstein’s Brain was Stolen

Albert Einstein is a German-born physicist who was famous for this theory relativity. He is known as a genius. After he died, his brain was stolen!!! The doctor who examined him took his brain and kept it for 40 years.

 

Read the book, My Weird School Fast Facts-Space, Humans, and Farts by Dan Gutman, and get more information that will entertain and fulfill your curiosity!

 

Happy Learning!

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Teaching Kids to Differentiate Between Good and Bad Strangers

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STRANGERDANGER?

When my son and I are walking in our neighborhood or to the grocery store, he will say hello to everyone who passes by. He observes me saying hello to our neighbors and chooses to follow in my footsteps. However, as adults, we can mostly discern between who we should be friendly towards.

Therefore, it seemed like a good time to discuss differentiating between good and bad strangers. I wasn’t sure how to start the conversation.

As I was skimming children’s books online, I saw The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Stan and Jan Berenstain. God confirmed my decision to teach my son about strangers because I was not actively looking for a book on this subject. I was very thankful for this realization.

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.

They ask Papa Bear about strangers and he replies by showing Sister Bear a newspaper article of a missing Bear cub and reading a bedtime story about a goose who was eaten by a strange fox. These stories terrify Sister Bear and she could not sleep at night. Like Mama Bear, I was looking for a balanced approach in my explanation about strangers. Although as you read the book, you will see Papa Bear’s approach was somewhat effective as well.

Mama Bear tells Sister that not all strangers are bad, in fact more people are friendly, but there are a few “bad apples.” She uses an excellent hands-on approach with apples as a visual to explain this concept. There is a twist at the end of this story where Sister Bear was not the family member who engaged with a stranger.

There are two more bonuses in this book. Mama Bear explains the difference between tattling and informing an adult of a problem out of love and worry. Additionally, there are rules for dealing with strangers at the end that are helpful to parents talking with their children.

So how can children differentiate between good and bad strangers?

It is hard to differentiate so be careful around strangers in case you encounter a “bad apple.”  Also use COMMON SENSE, “which tells us what do to in situations that are not covered by rules.”

Common Sense can be displayed when children have positive or negative feelings towards strangers. Some small children may not be able to express their feelings but they show it. For example, when my son was younger, he would hug my leg when he felt uncomfortable around a stranger. Encourage children who can express themselves to discuss their reactions and feelings towards select strangers, with your supervision of course.

Read this book with your child to find out the story’s twist and to learn about strangers through the eyes of the Berenstain Bears.

Happy Learning!

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