My son, like most young kids, loves to do activities that are hands-on. We have tackled a number of building activities from playing with Legos and Magnetic Tiles to Bristol Blocks.
When I realized that we had the opportunity to make our own 3-D paint, I became excited. However, my son had to sign off on the project. When he saw that we could make our own paint from scratch, he was all for it.
I like this activity because we had all the ingredients in the kitchen. Also, it was a great opportunity to practice writing and incorporate literacy in a fun way!
So let’s talk about our exciting scientific art experiment!
How to use this project to increase your child’s reading and writing skills
The project below will provide a fun and educational hands-on experience for kids. It is called the 3-D Puffy Paint Project and can encourage children to practice writing letters and numbers. This activity can be used to create stories and during pretend play. Additionally, constantly squeezing the paint out the bottle is a great hand strengthener to prepare kids for writing.
My son created a story while doing this project. The story was about a monster who played with friends. The monster started playing with one friend and then as time went on, the amount of friends grew exponentially. By the end of the story, the monster played with over 100 friends. We learned the words exponentially, introduce and exhausted, while doing this activity.
I exposed my son to new words by retelling the story. After my son told me the story, I said the following…
Me: So you are telling me that this story is about a monster who played with one friend at the playground. Then he kept meeting more and more friends as the day went on. This means his friends grew exponentially from 1 to over 100. Right?
My Son: Right
Me: As they were playing, he became very tired or exhausted. So how did he meet all those friends?
My Son: He went up to friends and said, “My name is Monster, do you want to play?”
Me: Oh, so the monster introduced himself to the new friends, and then asked them to play.
My son: “Yes, Yes, that’s right!”
Quick Tip: Use the new vocabulary as you are casually talking to your little one so they will internalize the information.
Another way to make this project literacy based is to have your child read the directions on this post while making the puffy paint. Encourage your child to sound out or say words that they know if they are beginning to read. If they can’t read yet, help them to use the pictures in this post to show how to make the paint. Your child will be reading because they are interpreting meaning. Additionally, read the instructions to them while following along with your finger so they see that words are needed in order to make the paint.
Now Let’s Make Paint that is 3-D!
2 Tablespoons Flour (30 ml)
2 Tablespoons Salt (30 ml)
2 Tablespoons Water (30 ml)
Mix flour, salt, and water in the bowl.
Add two drops of food coloring.
Pour mixture into the squeeze bottle.
Make a few colors by following the first three steps.
Squirt lines, curves, dots, and PICTURES on the cardboard.
Make this a fun literary activity by doing the following…
Paint or draw a picture and create a story about the image.
Have the child practice writing their name.
Have the child practice writing their letters or numbers.
Writing letters and numbers is a skill that many parents and teachers ensure their children possess. My son wrote his first letter, A, at 21 months.He revealed it to me through abstract artwork that left me in shock.
Now he is four-years-old and his writing has improved tremendously. However, I like to find ways to make writing appealing and fun for him. One way to do this is through making our household, when possible, our writing canvas. This means writing in the tub with bath time crayons or writing on our screen door with window markers.
Today I will show you how we used household ingredients to write and create art. The project is called Pan Frescoes. Frescoes is painting with watercolor on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling.
In this project, we make our wet plaster with cornstarch and water! Instead of painting on a wall or ceiling, we will do it in a pan. You may also choose to do this outside on concrete. Just remember to rinse it with a water hose when done.
I am a big proponent of parents interacting and playing with their children. This is the secret of how I taught my son to write at two-years-old.
The method, In-depth learning, is what I used to teach him how to read and write. Before I give you the details, let’s answer some basic questions first.
Go to the Bottom of this Post to Access 5 Ways to Create a Desire in Children to Write
How do I encourage my child to write?
One good way to encourage your child to write is to make it fun and purposeful for kids. Build a writing activity around your child’s interest. For example, if your child likes cars then have them construct letters in sand or mud with their toy vehicles. You can also create a road with tape in the form of letters. Then have your child follow the path with the cars. If you have a child that likes dolls or stuffed animals, then help them do a role play as a teacher teaching their dolls how to write.
Below are 5 more ways to encourage kids to write…
Get a pen pal for your child to write to frequently.
Help the child write a story about a topic of their choice.
Have the child write with their favorite toy (explained above).
Encourage the child to write with their fingers through finger paint or making letters in sand.
Writing well wishes to family members…
Creating and drawing Birthday, Christmas, or Get Well Cards to Family and Friends.
How do I teach my child to write his name?
My son learned to write his name at the age of two. He first learned by seeing me write his name repeatedly during long car rides, church services, outside with sidewalk chalk and at the bottom of his art projects. He loved to trace his name with crayons after I wrote it. After seeing it done multiple times, I let him independently write the first letter of his name, then the second letter and so on.
When should a child start writing?
Children first learn to write once they have the strength to hold a crayon and scribble which is around 15 months. According to Zerotothree.org there are five stages of writing. The first stage, at 15 months – 2.5 years old, is when the child is doing random scribbling. Controlled scribbling is the second stage at 2 to 3 years old, when the child makes circles and vertical, curved, and horizontal lines. The third stage is lines and patterns, at 2.5 to 3.5 years old. Drawing pictures of objects or people is the fourth stage. In the fifth stage, children are using letters and numbers to write on their own.
My son’s brain starting processing the concept of writing around 13 months when he repeatedly observed me writing the alphabet and numbers. He was not able to physically write yet, but his brain recorded the loops, lines, and curves I made when I wrote. He wrote his first letter, A, at the age of 21 months.
So, how did you teach your son to write at two-years- old?
There were many forms of playful methods used to teach my son to write. We still use some of the same methods and more to improve this writing skills. Below is what we did.
Play-Doh is a favorite toy in our household. I used it to mold the alphabet before my son could talk. Constantly observing how letters are formed trained his brain to understand how they are MADE. Once he started talking, he would identify a letter and it was my job to make the letters. He gained a taste of leadership because he had control of what letter I wrote. Eventually, he combined the two skills and was able to identify the letter and shape them simultaneously with Play-Doh.
Form letters with various toys and objects
Play-Doh needed its own category because we used it frequently. However, we formed letters and numbers with other toys. We collected rocks and used them to shape letters and numbers in order. Legos and Magnetic Tiles were used to build the alphabet and create silly stories. The numbers we constructed using Gears were created by widgets, connectors and interlocking bases and were accessorized by the colorful gears and crank. We formed letters and numbers with poms and made them disappear by blowing on them.
Writing in different settings
In order to keep my son’s attention during road trips, church services or appointments, I would write letters and familiar words like his name and favorite animals. I also drew various shapes so eventually he would connect them to the construction of letters and numbers. For example, the letter A is part triangle with a line in the middle and O is an oval.
He observed me writing with various colors on the doodle pad, outside with sidewalk chalk, on the window with window markers, on notebook paper, on craft paper taped to the wall and floor. While I was writing, he would scribble and make abstract art. Then one day, he wrote the letter A!
Observing the alphabet and letters in nature and the outside world
Broken crayons encourages children to pinch it between their thumb and index finger. As a result, he now holds the writing utensil correctly.
Another method is to use the alligator trick. Tell your child to hold their dominant hand like an alligator’s mouth. Have the child open and close the alligator’s mouth like they want to eat something. Then help the child hold the pencil like their hand or alligator mouth is closed on the pencil. The last step is to have your child bend their fingers a bit to grab the pencil.
Put it all together
My son was able to write independently at two-years-old. He loves writing his own thank you notes and birthday cards to family and friends. We are still improving his writing skills through play and fun activities. We have found that opportunities to write are endless and with this fun journey we will continue to move forward.
One day while my three-year-old son played independently with toy cars, I was reading a book that contained over 400 pages. When I reached the end of a chapter, I inserted my bookmark to maintain my place.
My son saw the bookmark and asked me what it was. I told him that bookmarks tell me what section of the book I read previously. It is a timesaver because it prevents me from flipping through the book to find where I stopped reading.
He was amazed that this rectangular-shaped piece of paper could do so much. This was during the time we started reading books like Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White which is a chapter book.
Watch the Video below to Learn How to Accelerate Young Readers’ Skills with Art
We read other books in the past that needed a bookmark like 5-minute Bible Storiesretold by Mary Batchelor and Penny Boshoff. This book has a compilation of Bible stories for children. For some reason, we didn’t use a bookmark after reading the book. I just flipped through the pages and tried to remember the last story we read. This was not a good use of time.
This book showed us how to make a SIMPLE bookmark or book hook that looks like my son. We had a great time creating them! They are used daily after reading time. My son often tells me we should make more bookmarks.
This a great project to do with the child who won’t sit for an entire book. Try reading part of a book and save your place with their look alike book hook.
So Let’s Get Started with Creating!
How to Make the Book Hooks
Colored Paper or Card Stock Paper
Child Safety Scissors
Help your child draw themselves on colored paper with markers.
Draw the arms so that they are hanging low.
Color the drawing.
Cut out the drawing.
Cut the arms with slits
Hook your drawing to the top of a page.
Close the book and hold your place.
Have more fun with this activity by making a variety of book hooks like…
I love projects that inspire kids to be creative and to use their imagination. Art is the number one activity that requires kids to think outside the box and it encourages them to be themselves.
Art is also a great way to make reading fun and appealing to young kids. Children are naturally drawn to art so why not use it to learn other subjects such as reading and literacy? Reading is about interpreting meaning. We love it when kids make something and can interpret their masterpieces to others.
How to use this project to increase your child’s reading skills
The craft below will provide a fun and educational hands-on experience for kids. It is called The Wake-Up Puppet and can be used while reading a book, pretend play, or whatever else you can imagine. The puppet can be asleep and awake.
My son and I made two puppets and used them while we read numerous books. When it was my turn to read a page, my son’s puppet was sleeping. While my son read, he put his hand in the puppet so it was awake with open eyes.
We also used the puppet in a pretend play scenario with his PJ Masks action figures. Romeo, a villain, put my puppet to sleep with a magic potion. It was my son’s job, as Catboy (a character from PJ Masks), to get my puppet to wake up. He accomplished this by playing his toy drums loudly. We learned the words, snooze and drowsy while doing this activity.
Another way to make this project literacy based is to have your child read the directions while making the puppet. Encourage your child to sound out or say words that they know. If they can’t read yet, help them to use the pictures in this post to show how to make the puppet. Remember, your child will be reading because they are interpreting meaning. Additionally read the instructions to them while following along with your finger so they observe that words are needed in order to make the puppet.
So Let’s Get Started!
Child Safety Scissors
Paper lunch bag
Markers or crayons
Cut and paste closed-eye almond shapes from colored paper.
Paste the eye shapes on the bag. (View the picture below)
Cut and paste open-eye circular shapes from colored paper.
Paste them under the bag flap.
Cut a heart-shaped or circular nose from the colored paper.
Paste it on the bag.
Cut a C-shaped mouth from the colored paper.
Paste it on the bag.
Decorate the puppet with markers and crayons.
Put your hand inside the bag.
Close your hand for closed eyes.
Open your hand for open eyes.
Remember make this a fun literacy activity by doing the following…
Hold the puppet while you are reading to your child.
Make another puppet so you and your child can hold them while reading to each other.
Do a puppet show about a story you have previously read and change the ending.
Create your own story and make puppets of various characters.
In this book she talks about an experiment where some kindergartners in a school district received extensive instructions in reading while the others spent the same amount of time learning science.
The kids that learned science melted ice, observed thermometers in hot and cold places, played with magnets, grew plants and learned about animal life. Books and pictures were available for these children but no formal lessons in reading were held.
The school district learned that by the third grade the “science” children were far ahead of the “reading” children in their reading score. The reason is their vocabulary and thinking skills were much more advanced. They could read on more topics and understand higher levels of material. The playful, hands-on activities the “science” children did taught them analytical and problem solving skills and how to make connections in what they were learning.
So let’s talk about our exciting science experiment!
Today we will…
Blow Up A Balloon Without Blowing At All!
To incorporate literacy in this experiment, help your children read the Materials, Method, and Why it Works headings in this post. As kids are reading these sections, have them do the action. Children can use the pictures to help them read the words. If your children can read independently allow them to do so.
How to incorporate literacy in this experiment…
Read the Materials and Method sections.
Re-read the Materials section as you get the supplies.
Re-read the Method section as you do the steps.
Let’s get started!
Teaspoon of Baking Soda
Empty Water Bottle
Safety goggles (we didn’t have safety goggles so we used sunglasses)
Put on your safety goggles (or sunglasses).
Pour some vinegar into the water bottle
Vinegar should fill 25% of the water bottle.
Pour baking soda into the balloon.
Stretch the balloon over the funnel’s neck.
Take the teaspoon of baking soda and put it in the funnel.
Ensure the baking soda reaches the inside of the balloon.
Stretch the balloon over the water bottle’s neck.
Pick up the balloon and empty out the baking soda into the water bottle.
AFTER THE BAKING SODA GOES INTO BOTTLE, PLEASE BACK UP IN CASE THE BALLOON POPS.
The balloon popped when we did the experiment for the first time.
Safety goggles will protect your eyes in case the balloon pops.
Stand back and watch the balloon BLOW UP!
Below is a video of my son and I doing the experiment!
Why it works?
As the baking soda mixes with the vinegar, it creates bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that escapes into the balloon.
This makes the balloon blow up by itself.
If the mixture creates a lot of gas, then the balloon will get so big until it pops!
Roxy Ramirez has saved up for weeks to buy a chemistry set, and now she’s headed to the toy store to buy it! There’s only one problem. She keeps running into friends who are in trouble, and need her to dip into her savings to help. Will she have enough money left over to buy something for herself?
Just as a squirrel gathers nuts to prepare for the winter—eating some now and storing some for later—kids can learn the value of money by spending some of their allowance now and saving the rest for later using animals as examples.
This basic introduction to earning and spending explains how people earn incomes in exhange for their work and skill. It then explains the economic choices people make in saving or spending their income.
Teach your kids the basics about finances with this book. There’s no such thing as too early when it comes to these things. Properly seal the deal about money and other possessions by introducing this book.
At ten years old, Jazz Ellington, has over $2,000 in the bank, and his savings keep growing. His granddad taught him to save his allowance and set up a bank account. This book increases financial awareness while sharing the lives of two African-American boys growing up in the city.
This book teaches discipline, delayed gratification, and how good it feels to give to those in need. Dimes can teach your child the habits that will allow them to have a more financially secure and fulfilling life.
Five-year-old Sebastian Martinez, with the help of his older brother, turns his love for socks into a business that not only makes wacky socks, but also enables the duo to finally revamp the school dress code.
Arthur starts his own petsitting business to show Mom and Dad that he can be responsible! Between a boa constrictor, an ant farm, and a group of frogs, he’s got his hands full! Can Arthur still prove he is responsible?
Dollars & Sense is a basic instruction manual for money that will teach readers about the history of money, the way the American economy works, and how to make important decisions about personal finance.
Rock and Brock are twins and their grandpa offers them a plan―for ten straight weeks on Saturday he will give them each one dollar. But there is a catch! Each buck they save, he’ll match it quick. If they spend it, there’s no extra dough.
Kyle’s club is going camping and all the kids will sell Cool Candy to earn money for the trip. Kyle needs to find buyers for ten boxes of candy. Can he keep track of his cash and join his friends on the camping trip? Read this book to find out!
When Rae witnesses an ice cream and dog mishap, she’s inspired to create a solution to help get dogs clean. Rae draws on her determination and everyone else in her community when she learns what it means to be an entrepreneur.
When George decides to save up for a red train in the toy store, he doesn’t realize how long it will take or how hard he’ll have to work for his money. Read this book and find out if he gets the train.
Find out what happens to your money after you hand it to the cashier. What happens to that money once it leaves your hands? Who actually pockets it or puts it into the bank? Read this book to answer these questions.
When Sophie finds fifty dollars on the sidewalk, it gives her a great idea for a new name: Sophie the Zillionaire! In order to keep the name Sophie the Zillionaire, Sophie has to make more money — and fast.
The book explains the concept of money and how saving works based on the concepts of simple and compound interest. Children then learn where Wall Street is located, what stocks and bonds do, and, the right way to buy or sell a stock, mutual fund, or savings bond.
This book will reach kids before bad spending habits can get out of control. With answers and ideas from real kids, this grounded approach to spending and saving will be a welcome change for kids who are inundated by a consumer driven culture.
Mr. Chickee, a blind man in the neighborhood, gives 9-year-old Steven a mysterious bill with 15 zeros on it and the image of a familiar face. Could it be a quadrillion dollar bill? Could it be real? Read this book to find out.
This book answers the following questions about money: How and where is it printed? What do all those long numbers and special letters on currency mean? How are the newly designed bills improvements over the old ones?How can banks afford to pay interest?
George, a newly minted quarter on his way to the bank, has quite a day. He’s about to be traded, spent, lost, found, donated, dropped into a vending machine, washed in a washing machine, and generally passed all around town.
Saruni is saving coins for a red and blue bicycle. How happy he will be when he can help his mother carry heavy loads to market on his very own bicycle. How disappointed he is to discover that he hasn’t saved nearly enough!
This is a story of a man who spends his life struggling, saving, and sacrificing to build and own his own barbershop. Although there were many racial difficulties that stood in his way, he opens the doors of his new shop at the age of seventy-nine.
February is Black History month! It is a time designated to celebrate the contributions of black people to this world. Black History Month was founded by Carter G. Woodson, who was a historian, author, and journalist.
I try to expose my son to black history year round so he will be knowledgable about the accomplishments of people that look like him.
I wanted to share this knowledge with others. In many ways our lives are better because of the people listed below. This list recognizes a small number of noted Black people as there are many. Find out who invented the potato chip, golf tee, three-way traffic signal, and mailbox. I encourage you to do your own research and expand your child’s knowledge of the rich history.
Mansa Musa is the richest person in history with a net worth of $400 Billion.
George Crum was a chef that invented the potato chip in 1853.
Sarah Boone invented the first portable modern day ironing board.
Lonnie G. Johnson is an Aerospace Engineer that invented the famous Super Soaker Water Gun.
Philip Downing designed the first mailbox. He created a metal box with four legs, which he called the letter box. It was a predecessor to the mailbox.
Charles Drew was a surgeon that developed a way to process and store blood plasma in “blood banks” that saved people’s lives. His blood bank was adopted by the Red Cross.
Jacqueline Davidson (my college roommate) is an attorney who became one of the highest ranking women in the NFL when she was named as the Chief Negotiator for the New York Jets Professional Football Team.
Sarah Goode invented a folding cabinet bed that could go against the wall into a cabinet or a desk with compartments for stationary and writing supplies. She became the first African American woman to receive a United States patent.
Benjamin Banneker made the first clock, authored a series of almanacs, and helped design Washington DC.
Lewis Latimer worked for Thomas Edison when he invented the light bulb. Latimer invented the carbon filament that made the light bulb brighter and last longer.
Jan Matzeliger invented a shoe machine that would automatically sew the upper shoes and sole together. This created a large industry of shoe companies.
Percy Julian was a chemist that made physostigmine readily available for the treatment of glaucoma (an eye disorder that can lead to blindness). He received over 130 chemical patients, and was the first African American inducted into the National Academy of Sciences.
Bessie Coleman was the first woman to hold a pilot license. She was denied entry in flying schools in the United States. She taught herself French and moved to France to earn her pilot license.
Alexander Miles was awarded a patent for an automatically opening and closing elevator door. He invented a mechanism that triggered the shaft doors to open and close along with the elevator door, making the ride safer.
Madam C.J. Walker was the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire.
W.E.B. Du Bois was the first African-American to earn a doctorate. He was one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
Meredith Gourdine invented the Incineraid system which prevented smoke from burning buildings and kept fog away from airport runways. He also invented the Focus Flow Heat Sink which is a device that kept computer chips cool.
Alfred L. Cralle developed the idea of the ice cream scooper in 1897. He was a successful Pittsburgh business promoter as well.
John Henry Thompson invented the computer language Lingo, which is used in many video games, animations, web design applications, and graphics programs.
George Alcorn invented an imaging spectrometer which is a device that helps scientists identify what materials are made of. He also created 20 other inventions while working for NASA and IBM.
Robert Smalls was a slave who escaped to freedom in a Confederate supply ship and eventually became a sea captain for the Union Navy. After the war, he became a successful businessman and politician serving in both houses of the South Carolina legislature.
Granville Woods invented a transmitter that improved hearing over greater distances for the telephone.
Daniel Hale Williams was one of the first physicians to perform open-heart surgery in the United States and founded a hospital with an interracial staff.
Elijah McCoy was an inventor and engineer who is known for his 57 U.S. patents. He invented a way to lubricate steam engines without shutting them down, which saved a great amount of time and effort in transportation and in industrial production.
Shirley Chisholm is the first black woman elected to the United States Congress.
Garrett A. Morgan invented and patented the first chemical hair straightener, received a patent for the first gas mask, and invented the three-way traffic signal.
George Washington Carver invented many uses for the peanut, sweet potato, pecans and soybeans. He made rubber, adhesives, dyes, pigments, and other products.
Frederick McKinley Jones invented portable cooling units for trucks, trains, ships, and aircraft so products would stay cool when stored.
James E. West invented a microphone that was smaller, lighter, and less expensive while working at Bell Laboratories in 1962.
Nobert Rillieux invented a machine that used steam to evaporate water and keep sugar from burning and being discolored when it is produced. This machine is used today to make soap, glue, milk and other products.
Dr. Patricia Bath is an ophthalmologist that invented a safer and more comfortable procedure for cataract surgery. Her Laserphco Phobe uses an optical laser to vaporize the cataract in a person’s eye.
Dr. Mark Dean is a math genius who invented the 1-Gigahertz chip which made computers faster than ever.
Otis Boykin created a wire resistor that allowed a certain amount of electricity flow to a component. This resistor was used in household appliances, computers, and pacemakers.
Maria Van Brittan Brown and her partner, Albert Brown, invented a closed-circuit television security system that spearheaded modern security systems.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was the first person to perform an open heart surgery.
Benjamin Bradley invented a powerful steam engine at the age of 16 that helped warships travel faster at sea. He sold the idea in exchange for his freedom.
Lloyd Hall invented several ways to preserve and sterilize food so it would not spoil when it is processed, packed and transported. He used heat, chemicals, and gas to eliminate the germs and bacteria in meat and other foods.
Charles Brooks invented the first self-propelled street sweeper truck, which cleans the street.
Dr. Mae Jemison is the first African American female to become an astronaut. She is an engineer and doctor.
Dr. Ben Carson performed the first successful separation of Siamese twins who were joined at the back of the head.
Henrietta Bradberry invented a new way for torpedoes to be discharged from submarines and subterranean forts.
Andrew Beard invented the automatic car coupler which revolutionized railroad safety.
Phillis Wheatley was a poet and master of the English Language. She write a poem in honor of George Washington and he praised her work.
Richard Allen founded one of the first African -American Christian Churches. The first church was called the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME).
John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish founded the first black newspaper in America.
Dr. Shirley Jackson is an American physicist whose experiments in theoretical physics became the forerunner for the touch-tone telephone, the portable fax, caller ID, call waiting and fiber-optic cable.
Marian Croak holds over 135 patents and is responsible for voice over Internet protocol which is the set of rules that makes it possible to use the Internet for telephone and videophone communication.
Mary and Mildred Jackson invented the sanitary belt. Mary also invented the walker and toilet-tissue holder.
Matthew Henson was at the first man to see the North Pole.
James Weldon Johnson was a writer and musician that wrote the National Black Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Carter G. Woodson is the “Father of Black History” and known for the development of “black historiography.” The is a body of history proven by the employment of scientific methods and procedures.
Jack Johnson is the first back heavyweight champion of the world.
Dr. George Grant invented the first golf tee. Before his invention, golfers carried buckets of sand from hole to hole and built sand mounds from which to hit the balls.
Richard Spikes was an engineer who invented the beer tap and automobile gear shift and directional shift.
Willis Johnson holds a patent for an improved egg beater which is considered an early version of the mixing machine.
Benjamin Thorton invented the first answering machine. He created a device that could be attached to a telephone and set to record a message from a caller.
Your three-year-old son can read on a third grade level? How?
Just this past weekend, I saw my three-year-old son, Cory, reading a book to his Sunday School teacher and a group of kids. As soon as the teacher saw me, she said “This child can read at three-years-old? How did you do this?” When someone asks me this, my short answer is always by making reading fun, exposure to a variety of books, and playing with words.
Then later that day, I took my son to another child’s home for a birthday party. The kids were having so much fun playing inside and outside. At one point, Cory was playing with the Leapfrog letter set at the refrigerator and spelling words. He asked the birthday boy’s mother, who is a teacher, for the letter T in order to spell the word gift. After spelling, the boy’s mom approached me and said “I can’t believe your son spelled gift!” I replied by saying “Yes, he loves to read and spell!” She said “How did you do this?” Again, I gave her my normal answer.
Is your son a genius?
Parents and teachers are usually amazed to know that my son was reading at 21 months. Right now, he can read on a third-grade level. They often say “He is a genius!” I think ALL CHILDREN ARE BORN GENUISES! Cory was born with the same capilibities as every other child. He was just exposed to words and language in a fun way at an early age. In my opinion, any child can do this!
Why did you teach your son to read so early?
It was not my intention to teach Cory to read as a toddler. I didn’t think he would learn the alphabet until the age of three or four. My objective was to expose him to words and language so he wouldn’t be a late communicator. In my experience as a social worker/play therapist, I noticed children who couldn’t speak would resort to hitting or kicking out of frustration. However, once they developed language this behavior would decrease because they could communicate their needs and wants.
As I started exposing Cory to words through play and reading, I noticed that he liked what I was doing. After reading a book to him as a baby, he would take the book and give it back to me. He wanted me to read it again. I remember my husband read the book, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See ten times in a row to Cory at one time. He enjoyed the interactive activities and games we played, which I used to exposed him to new words daily. He has always loved playing with letters, learning the phonics, and blending sounds. Finally, there came a point were he had a desire to seek meaning from words through reading!
Watch my three-year-old son read the book, Charlotte’s Web. A book for children ages 8 and up.
Why is reading a struggle for some kids?
Reading is boring.
Some kids think reading is boring. Many young children spend their days playing. Then once the child turns five or six-years-old, adults tell the child that they have to sit down, focus, and learn to read. Learning to read can be a frustrating process for some kids. It takes time and concentration because one of the best ways to become a better reader is to read. This can be difficult for the child who is a kinesthetic learner, as most kids are, and loves to be physical and experience what they are learning.
My Child is not trying hard enough
Sometimes when a child is behind on their appropriate reading level, the teacher will tell the parents. Parents usually get nervous and upset by this information, and these emotions transfer to the child. During home reading sessions, the parents get frustrated with the child because “they are not trying hard enough.” This most often leads kids to having a negative view of reading. They will often tell their parents “I hate reading!” In turn the parents become more upset because their child is behind their classmates and they are unable to motivate the child to read.
Parents don’t know where to start
Teaching a child to read can be an overwhelming task. First, you have to learn the alphabet, phonics, blending sounds, sight words, and the various rules of the English language. Parents may have a child that knows the alphabet and phonics but is having difficulty with teaching them sight words. Flashcards are often used to teach sight words, but again the child thinks this is SO BORING!
Furthermore, if a child is reading a book with a lot of words they are unfamiliar with, they may get irritated and want to do something else. Additionally, how do you explain that the word bat can be an animal and a tool used for baseball? Oh and when you see the letters PH together, you should make the F sound. Also, C can make the short sound like in cat or the long sound like in cell.
My Child won’t sit during reading time.
I have heard many parents complain that their child doesn’t want to sit and read an entire book. As parents are reading, the child may look in space and not pay attention. Or if the child can read, they get distracted by something happening in the background. Sometimes a parent may read the first few pages of a book to a child but the story line is boring which causes their mind to wonder.
My Child is uninterested in reading about the topic.
A big reason why some kids don’t like to read is because they are uninterested in the topic. This often happens when kids have to read school textbooks or remember facts that they have no connection to. The kids are wondering why they have to know this information. Parents and teachers are trying to get their children to retain the information and it is just not happening for the child. This can be a pretty difficult situation to navigate.
Below are questions many parents have about reading…
What age should a child learn to read?
Most kids start learning to read at 6 or 7. Some kids start earlier at the age of 4 or 5. I believe children have the ability to recognize words earlier. My son started recognizing words at nine months.
One day my son and I were playing in the basement. I asked him to get the book, Brown Bear Brown Bear out of the bin. Out of the 12 books in the bin, he picked the correct title.
My son was able to blend sounds to make words at 21 months. The only reason he did this so early was because he was exposed to it as a baby. However, all children learn at different times and levels. They also learn with various methods. It is important to concentrate on your child’s level and their readiness to learn.
Watch the video below to see my son spelling at 21 months old
How can I help my child learn to read?
There are countless ways to teach kids to read. Kids learn through reading, talking with others, story-telling, workbooks, digital media and technology, learning phonics and sight words, blending sounds, writing, and asking questions.
Let’s say you want your child to learn about other countries, then observe your child and see what they like and offer a connection. For the child who loves sports, have them read about Sports played in the countries. If your daughter loves princesses, have them read about princesses around the world.
How long should a child read each day?
Children should read at least 20 minutes a day. However, if a parent is doing formal reading lessons then all you need is 15 minutes a day. Outside of the 15 minutes, please know that reading can take place anywhere. Children can read a dinner menu, playground signs, grocery list, captions on their favorite cartoon.
How do I help my child who is struggling with reading?
First, you must define what struggling means. If you are comparing your child with other kids in the classroom or the national standards of reading and they are below their level, then yes they maybe struggling. However, if you don’t compare them to anyone, you may realize that they just need more time to get the concept.
When a child needs more time with reading, ensure you are teaching to their learning styles.
Auditory learners love to learn through hearing. Great activities for them would be to read books based on songs and retelling stories you have read and adding music with DIY instruments like banging the bottom of an oatmeal container. Visual learners use sight to learn. They would enjoy drawing and painting colorful stories and doing word puzzles and games with colorful pictures. Kinesthetic learners love explore the world through touch and movement. Try building model sets based on books and doing a Treasure Word Hunt Gamewould be fun for them.
In my opinion, the best way for children to learn to read is through playful in-depth and natural wholesome interaction. It is the best way to create a desire in children to read.
This is why I have written the ebook, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play: A Detailed Account With Over 130 Games/Activities, Tips, and Resources.
My goal is to help you expose your child to words and reading in a fun way. This book will take you through a step by step process of how I taught my son to read. It gives you games/activities to do with your child along the way to make reading a process that is fun, natural, and interesting! It will help spark your child’s curiosity in wanting to seek meaning from words which is essentially reading.
This book provides the following…
A detailed account of how I taught my son to read
Over 130 Reading Games/Activities and Resources
How to expose your child to new words through play
The types of books to start your child’s reading journey
How to encourage curiosity in your child
Child brain development and how to develop faster connections in your baby’s brain
How to expose newborn and babies to words through play and bonding
How my son was able to recognize words as a baby
How to make rereading books fun for you and your child
Simple ways to create a literacy rich home
The MOST important thing you can do as a parent to encourage reading in your household
How songs and dancing assisted in teaching my son to read.
How to take full advantage of the FREE Services at your Local library
How Physical Activities can boost your child’s reading skills
How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way
How to Teach the Phonics, Blending Sounds, and Sight Words in a Fun Way
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 body’s 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 Writing and Art can build a child’s reading skills
How to Use Real World Experiences and Field Trips to expose children to language.
How to Choose Books your Child will Like to Read.
Strategies for When your Child Loses Interest in Reading.
Examples of toys we used
Examples of books we read through our journey
Once your child begins to read, how to continue to build their skills.
Here is What Others are Saying About the Book
“This was a wonderfully detailed account of not only how to teach your child to read, but also how to connect with your child, support your child in a lifetime of loving to learn, and use your time caring for your child in a meaningful, fulfilling way. I am inspired as a mother, and I wish I’d known about this sooner!
I thought it was very well written, and the flow was perfect. The book flowed seamlessly from one chapter to the next, and I felt like it was organized perfectly.”
“This is a wonderful guidebook for parents who want to help their children begin learning at an early age through play. It is an introduction on how to nurture a love of learning and proficiency in reading in children, which in turn will open the door for your child to be exposed to and learn about a variety of topics. Andrea incorporates several learning styles in order to pave the way for a lifetime of learning.
I look forward to incorporating some of these techniques into playtime with my little learners.”
“This book documents the journey of an engaged parent who used creative and fun ways to introduce her son to books. This led to the child’s continuous interest in letters, words, sentences and naturally, reading. If you are willing to invest the time in incorporating the tips in this book with your child, he or she will also develop an interest in books and learn to read during the early stages of brain development. This book is an excellent example of the African Proverb “Each One Teach One.”
This is a great e-book for parents with children ages 0-7! Invest in your child’s future. Reading is the most powerful tool to promote creativity, increase brain power, and it helps your child express themselves better! The best way to teach a child to spell and grammar rules is not through flashcards and worksheets but through reading and play!
This is a digital product only. It is downloadable and you will receive a .pdf file at checkout. You are permitted to print one copy of Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play: A Detailed Account with over 130 Games/Activities, Tips, and Resources for personal use. NO REDISTRIBUTION. T
Click on the Buy Button Below to Invest in Your Child’s Reading Skills! Get the Discount Code at the Bottom of this post.
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