10 Components Needed When Learning to Read

Thank you so much for being here! I love sharing tips on fun accelerated learning for kids. Kids are so fun and their imaginations are always at play. Let’s use this to make reading fun for our children!

I hope you enjoyed the first and second video in the FREE Mini Course: Strategies to Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play.

This includes some of the techniques I used with my son to expose him to words, reading, and reading comprehension in a fun way. 

Now you have come to the final video in this training. You will receive my biggest tips here. 

You will learn…

  • 10 Components needed when exposing your child to new words and reading with examples of activities
  • FREE Course on how to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way
  • How to use digital media and technology in your child’s learning
  • How to use the world as your child’s learning playground

Below is a PDF File of 10 Components Needed When Learning to Read.


Thank you again for joining me! I hope you have found this information valuable.




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One Million Word Gap and How to Beat it!

I hope you liked the first video in the FREE Mini Course: Strategies to Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. This includes some of the techniques I used with my son to expose him to words, reading, and reading comprehension in a fun way.

What stood out for you in the first video?

I am excited to share with you the second video!

In this video, I will show you…

  • How to use Fun In-Depth learning with babies, toddlers, and elementary aged children
  • Examples of books and activities that will engage children and expose them to words in a fun way
  • What you can do to beat the one million word gap

P.S. Visit our blog for fun accelerated learning tips and activities! We provide you with tips and hands-on learning ideas weekly.



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The One Mistake Parents Make When Reading Aloud to Children


You have taken the first step in learning strategies to make reading fun, natural, and stress free for you and your child. 

This is the first video in our FREE Mini Course: Strategies to Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play.

This includes some of the techniques I used with my son to expose him to words, reading, and reading comprehension in a fun way. 

In this video, you will learn

  • The learning system I used to teach my son to read.
  • How I address the objections people have about teaching a child to read as a toddler.
  • The one mistake parents make when reading to their child.
  • And so much more!

By the end of this video, you will know how to read aloud to your child in a way that creates meaning and connection! This will strengthen your child’s reading comprehension skills faster!


In the second video you will learn about the One Million Gap and How to Beat it!

In the third video, I will reveal the 10 Components Needed to Teach Reading in a Fun Way!

The fourth video reveals how to take your child’s learning and reading to the next level.

See you there!



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6+ Fun Activities to Teach Kids Shapes

Did you know that when your child is learning about shapes they are being introduced to geometry? Shapes are not only important to math but generally in life. A child who can identify shapes will learn how letters and numbers are formed.

This prepares them to have better handwriting skills.

For instance, the letter O is basically a circle. Also, shapes can be combined to make various pictures. For example, typically when a child draws a dog they include a horizontal oval for the body, rectangular shapes for the legs and tail, triangles for the ears, and circles for the nose and eyes. 

The knowledge of shapes is useful for building, which is an introduction to engineering. My son learned so much about what shapes to use when building certain structures with his magnetic tiles. He learned that rectangles and squares make great bases or foundations for structures. Additionally, he noticed that hexagons resemble circles.

The houses he often creates are made of a cubes and triangular prisms. Furthermore, his towers are made with a combination of hexagons, squares, and triangles. As a result, he is able to use his knowledge of building basic structures to make more sophisticated towers.

My son knew the basic shapes as a one-year-old. If I called out a shape, he was able to point them out in books or choose the correct one and give it to me. This was mainly done through playing with shapes and reading various books on shapes.

Let’s talk about various ways to make learning about shapes fun.

Below are 6+ Fun Activities to Teach Kids Shapes

Create Your Own Shapes

  • Take Q-Tips, put glue on it, and form them into shapes on paper. Pour glitter on the Q-tip to decorate the shape.
  • Let your child take food such as grapes or crackers and form them into shapes during snack time. 
  • Build shapes with Legos, Magnetic tiles, sticks from outside or anything your mind can think of.
My son made a combination of triangles with grapes and toothpicks.

Make Shapes Disappear

  • Go outside and make shapes with sidewalk chalk
  • Call out a certain shape to your child
  • Give your child a spray bottle with water, a cup of water, or water hose.
  • Have your child pour or spray the water on the shape you identify to make it disappear.

Digital Media

My son and I love watching educational videos. Many times, after dinner, we dance, sing songs, or just watch videos about shapes on YouTube. Below are some YouTube videos about shapes.

*Please note that digital media should not be the only way your child learns the shapes. It should be a way to supplement what you have previously introduced to your child. In other words, expose your child to shapes first and then use digital media.

Play the Shape Game

  • Draw one shape on paper like a circle
  • Then give your child the paper 
  • Ask your child to create a picture from the shape.
  • They can create a cat, monster, or anything they want 
  • Next, have your child draw  shapes
  • Then you create a picture from the shape they just draw
My son drew the shape of number one.
I turned it into a horse with a combination of triangles, rectangles, and lines.

Read Multiple Children’s Book about Shapes

My son and I have read many books about shapes before nap and bed time. These books were colorful and included relatable characterers that my son liked. There were some that did not have characters but presented shapes in an engaging manner. Below are a list of seven children’s book about shapes.

Purchase Toys that Encourage Kids to Learn Shapes

  • Geoboard – stretch the rubber band over the pegs to make various shapes. 
  • Tangram – use the seven shapes to create an image you want.
  • Shape Puzzles – create role plays with the shapes puzzle pieces as characters.

Have Fun With This Activity!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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Simple Bird Feeder for Kids

One day my son, Cory, and I were walking outside and we saw that one of our neighbors had a wooden bird house hanging on their tree. Cory stopped to observe the house and said “Mom can we make that?” Afterwards, we searched the Internet trying to find the perfect bird home to build.

Then we came across a bird feeder that involved peanut butter, toilet paper roll, and bird seeds. Cory saw it and said “I would like to make this!” I told him it was a bird feeder and not a home. He still wanted to make it.

We had all the ingredients in our home. Surprisingly, my husband had bird seeds. After gathering all the materials, we started to make our bird feeder. We had fun with this activity.

This project also taught us a very important lesson of recycling.

I will show you how below…

Let’s get started!


  • Toilet paper roll
  • Bird Seed
  • Nut Butter (we used Almond Butter)
  • String
  • Paper Plate
  • Plastic Knife
Materials for bird feeder


  • Spread nut butter on the toilet paper roll.
  • Put bird seed in paper plate.
  • Roll toilet paper roll in the bird seed until it is covered.
  • Thread the string through the toilet paper roll and knot the string.
  • Hang the bird feeder on a tree branch so birds can access it.

More Learning

  • Congratulate your child for recycling the toilet paper roll and using it to feed birds.
  • Talk about the importance of recycling.
  • Find other items around your home to recycle or reuse.
  • Try to capture a picture of birds eating from the bird feeder.
  • Tell your child why birds are important to the environment.
    • Birds spread seeds for plants that provide humans with food and medicine.
    • They eat insects.
    • They move nutrients from land to sea.

Have fun with this activity!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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Giant Bubbles for Kids

One day I got an email from Kiwico.com about DIY science experiments. I saw directions on how to make giant bubbles. I could not wait to show my son, Cory, the bubble activity. Once he saw it, he was excited to get started.

We had all the materials in our home except one item, push pins. We immediately went to the store and purchased the push pins and started to build the wand for the giant bubbles.

If you do this activity once with your child, it will not be your last. So far, we have done the activity three times. The first time, Cory was excited at how big the bubbles were. However, we wanted them to be bigger. So like scientists, we tested and adjusted our approach. The second time was even better than the first.

So let’s get started with how to do this fun activity.



  • Gather materials to make the giant bubble wand and bubble solution.
  • Start creating the giant bubble wand by sticking a pushpin into the end of each dowel. Don’t push it in all the way but keep the pin about a 1/8-inch from the dowel.
We put the pushpin in about 1/8 inch from the dowel.

  • Cut a piece of yarn about 4 feet long.
  • Tie one end of the yarn to the exposed metal part of the push pin.
  • Push the pin into the dowel to hold the knot
  • Thread the yarn through the washer.
  • Tie the other end of the yarn around the push pin on the second dowel.
  • Push the pin in to hold the knot.
  • Cut a shorter piece of yarn that’s about 18 inches long.
  • Tie the ends to the longer yarn a few inches away from the dowels.
  • This should create a triangular shape.
  • Now it is time to make the bubble solution.
  • Mix 1 part dish soap, 4 parts warm water, add a teaspoon of glycerin, and stir well.
  • Using the dowels, dunk the yarn and washer into the solution.
  • Lift up the dowel and hold it out so the triangular shape opens up.
  • Walk the dowel around to see the giant bubble take form.

  • We liked these bubbles but wanted them bigger.
  • Therefore, we made some adjustments.
  • We made the yarn longer by cutting it 6 feet instead of 4 feet.
  • My husband provided us with a bigger and heavier washer.
  • The shorter piece of yarn was cut to 30 inches instead of 18 inches.
  • We used Gazillion Bubbles because we did not have time to make our own bubble solution.
  • We also learned that bigger bubbles will pop MORE often in hot and dry weather. This weather makes the water in the bubble evaporate too quickly which causes the bubbles to pop.
  • In the picture below, it was cloudy and rainy outside.
  • The result was we made bigger and better bubbles.

Try this activity and have fun!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Child to Write

Many parents ask me how my son started writing at such a young age. He wrote his first letter A at 21 months. He could also write the alphabet and numbers 1-100 at the age of 2.5.

My son writing numbers 1-100 outside at 2.5 years old.
Here’s a video of my son, age 2 at the time, writing the alphabet outside.

Teaching a child to write can be a difficult task, especially if the child does not have a desire to learn. Below I will answer the most frequently asked questions when it comes to handwriting skills and children. You will find creative and enjoyable teaching techniques in my new book, Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write.

It has over 135 activities, resources and tips for teaching writing with PLAY.

The Book is Available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle! Click on the Image Below to Find It.


Let’s Get Started!

How Can I Help with Writing?

Part of learning to write involves remembering how letters, shapes, and numbers are formed. Most children are taught this through tracing letters, numbers, lines, and shapes repeatedly. Although this is very effective, there are other scientific-proven tricks that can accelerate the learning process and make it fun.

One Fun Scientific Trick to Use When Teaching Your Child to Write

One scientific trick I have used is called Picturing Information. I read about this method in the book, Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Teens and Kids. Picturing Information makes it much easier to remember. This involves using both the right and left brain strengths into learning. One way to do this is to convert a fact into a picture, so you can remember it more easily. If the picture is strange or unusual, it is easier to remember. Additionally, if the picture involves movement, then it makes the connection stronger.

Let’s use a letter as an example. If your child is learning to write the letter A, you may want to connect it with a picture of a triangle. While tracing or showing them how to write it, tell your child the A is part triangle with a line in the middle. It is important to use what is familiar to your child for the picture. In other words, ensure the child knows what a triangle and line look like. If they don’t know, then use another picture such as stick man legs with a line in the middle.

You may also describe an A as stick man legs with a line in the middle.

When should a child be able to write?

Most experts say that children learn to write between the ages of 3-6. I believe children learn to write before they actually start writing if exposed in the right way. This begins once a parent exposes their child to how letters, numbers, and shapes are formed through reading books, building, doing art, and participating in physical play. When children see letters, shapes, and numbers in books or in the real world often, their brain is taking note of how they are formed. When children start writing they will know letter and number formation which makes it easier to write.

How play can help In teaching your child to write

Building and doing art can help strengthen a child’s hand muscles to prepare them for writing. Building various structures with Legos, magnetic tiles, or Play-Doh helps develop a child’s pincer grasp, which is the coordination of the index finger and thumb to hold an item. This is also a great way to develop fine motor skills. A child is using the pincer grasp when they hold a paint brush, put money in a piggy bank, and learn to button their shirt.

Physical play is a great way to develop a child’s handwriting skills. Children can make letters with their bodies through creative dance. Also, crawling and yoga is a way to strengthen hand muscles which is beneficial for writing.

How can I help my child write faster?

Often I am asked how I got my son to write the alphabet and numbers as a 2-year-old. It wasn’t that he learned to write quickly, I just started earlier. When he was a baby, I read aloud to him various colorful children’s books about shapes, letters, and numbers. Not only was I reading to him, but I would take my finger and outline the shapes, letters, and numbers in the book.

We also built structures often with blocks and Play-doh. We created letters, shapes, and numbers with these toys and more. While creating we discussed our process in structuring each object and how they were formed.

So, if you want your child to write faster, simply start early through PLAY and fun exposure.

Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write Book

I wrote this book to show parents ways to expose their children to the formation of letters, numbers, and shapes in a fun way. This book will take you through a step by step process of how I taught my son handwriting skills. It gives you games/activities to do with your child along the way to make writing a process that is fun, natural, and stress free for the parent and child. 

This is a great tool for parents with children ages 0-7!

This book provides the following and so much more…

  • Fun scientific techniques in teaching kids handwriting skills.
  • How to execute fun in-depth learning
  • How to teach children to write before they actually start writing
  • How to incorporate digital media in your child’s learning 
  • The stages of writing
  • How to use PLAY when exposing your child to handwriting
  • The importance of learning in different settings
  • How to teach your child to hold writing utensils correctly
  • What to do when your child does not want to write
  • Hand strengthening activities that will prepare your child to write
  • Once your child begins to write, how to continue to build their handwriting skills

Here is What Others are Saying about the Book

This is a fantastic, thoughtful resource for anyone who wants to give their child a head start for school as well as cultivate a love for learning. It gives parents or caregivers who want to spend quality time with their child clear instructions and a wide variety of activities so they can strengthen their bond and create lasting memories with their child while teaching them valuable skills and having fun. An indispensable resource for those with young children! —Stacey K., editor and mother of 4

“This book is a fantastic resource for parents and educators in the midst of teaching their children literacy skills.  It provides excellent activities, book references, and resources to teach toddlers how to write, along with educational insights regarding children’s brain development and cognition.  I love how Andrea uses fun and creative literacy techniques to instill an early love of learning in young children. As a mom of two toddlers, I am excited to use these engaging techniques with my girls!”  —Amber., counselor and mother of 4

This book is a great companion to Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. The book contains many activities for different learning styles. It is definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach to learning how to write. Parents and children can bond with each other and have fun while figuring out what works best for them. If your child enjoys nature, STEM, crafts, role-playing, or music, you’ll find something to pique their interests inside the pages. Not only does this book help your child learn to write, Andrea includes scientific insight about brain development to support the value of these child-centered and age-appropriate activities. Once again, Andrea has made learning fun! —Danielle J., Attorney and mother of 2

The Book is Available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle! Click on the Image Above to Find It.

Not sure yet? Get a free excerpt of Fun Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write by completing the form below.

You won’t be sorry!


Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play” and “Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write.”


Click here for the PAYMENT PLAN OPTION!

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Balloon Rocket Fun Activity

My son loves balloons! He likes to inflate, toss, and hit them. So, when I saw this experiment, I knew we had to do it! This is a perfect activity for July 4th festivities!

You probably have all the materials in your home. Once your child does this activity, they will want to do it repeatedly. Have fun with this simple yet exciting activity!


  • String
  • Balloon
  • Wide Straw
  • Tape
  • Two Chairs or Two Trees


  • Cut string about several feet long
    • The string will be the track for your balloon launch.
  • Cut the straw about 4″ long
  • Thread the string through the straw
String it through the straw
  • Tie the two ends of the string to two chairs or two trees
    • We tied the strings to two chairs
  • Blow up the balloon
Cory blowing up the balloon.
  • Pinch the opening of the balloon to keep the air inside
  • Tape the straw to the balloon.
    • You made need two people to help with this step.
We taped the straw to the balloon.
This is the second try. We taped the straw to the balloon. The yellow balloon burst on us.
  • Go to one end of the string and let go of the balloon opening
  • Watch the balloon zip across the string.
  • Watch the video below of our Balloon Rocket!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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15 Fun Road Trip Activities for Kids

Most schools are out for the summer and families are going on road trips! Kids want something fun and engaging to do while riding in the car. Sure, our kids can watch movies in the car. However, the activities below go beyond that. They will exercise your child’s creativity, curiosity, and engage them.

This post is fulfilling my best friend’s request to write an article on Fun Road Trip Activities for Kids and it could not have come at a better time.

All of the activities below have been used to keep my son busy during road trips. I hope you find them helpful!

Let’s get started!

Association Game

The Association Game involves naming objects or people in the same category. The categories may include the following…

  • Animals
  • Food
  • Colors
  • Numbers
  • Shapes

Here’s how to play the Association Game…

  • Name a category like animals
  • You may begin by naming an elephant
  • Your child will name an animal
  • Keep alternating by naming animals until you both can’t think of anything else to say.
  • Play the game again with another category.

Paint by Sticker Books

I first discovered the Paint by Sticker Books at Chick-fil-A. This book came with my son’s kids meal. He liked it so much that I ordered one from Amazon. It is great for when your child needs to wait for long periods of time. Below is how it works…

  • Find the sticker.
  • Peel the sticker.
  • Place the sticker.
  • Then a colorful picture will appear.
My son doing a Sticker Page of a Giraffe.

Finish the Story

This is a great activity to encourage creativity, literacy, and getting kids to think on their feet.

  • Begin telling a story.
  • Then have your child tell the next part of the story.
  • Next, have another family member add on to the story.
  • All family members can contribute to the story.
  • Have your child end the story.

Play the Shape Game

This is a great game to get you and your child’s creative juices flowing. Click here to learn how to play.

Word Searches and Puzzles

Words searches and puzzles are great for word and pattern recognition. They are fun and will help your child learn new vocabulary words.

Water Wow Books

Water Wow books provides mess free painting for kids. It includes reusable pages and a refillable water pen. Your child will see vibrant colors appear at each stroke. My son loves these pads. His favorite themes are Alphabets, Numbers, and Farm Animals. Ensure to fill the pen with water before your trip.

Learning Apps – Pbs Kids

Playing Educational Apps in the Car is a fun and productive activity for kids. Below are some of the apps we like…

  • Pbs Kids Games
  • Crosswords for Kids
  • Paper Punch Party

Doodle Pad

My son loves the Doodle Pad. It provides a way for children to do unlimited drawings and writing with its convenient erasable feature. It has kept my son occupied for long periods of time during road trips. Another type of Doodle Pad we use is called the Boogie Board.

My son wrote “So Fun” on his Doodle Pad.

Paper and Pen

Bringing paper and washable crayons or markers provides endless activities. Do the following activities and so much more…

  • Play Tic Tac Toe
  • Play Stand Man – It is like the game, Hang Man, but we draw the man standing instead of hanging
  • Write letters and Numbers
  • Write a short story
  • Draw pictures

I Spy Books and Game

I Spy is a wonderful game to play with kids. It helps them learn about new objects and vocabulary. I Spy is a guessing game where multiple people can play. One person will pick an object and provide a hint. The other players will use the hint to guess what object the person has picked. You can get I Spy books from your local library.

  • Try to find objects with your child. It is better when more people are participating.
  • Once you and your child find an object, encourage each other to use directional language, like above, below, and beside, to explain how you found it to the other person.

Flexi Rods

Flexi Rods is a product that women use to make their hair curly. I had some in my closet that I was not using. One day, I decided to give one to my son to bend and twist in order to keep him still during diaper changes. He has bent the rods into letters, numbers, shapes, and still plays with them to this day. Warning: Be careful because there is wire inside flexi rods. Please watch your child at all times.

My son made the alphabet with flexi rods.

Threading Toys

Threading toys are great to help develop a child’s fine motor skills. Children have to use the pincer grasp to thread beads on the string or to thread the string in a hole. The pincer grasp is what children use once they start writing. It will keep kids busy and focused.


Tangram is a puzzle that comes with seven flat shapes called Tans. A child can put the shapes together to make various images such as animals, other shapes, and people. We have a travel Tangram that we use on road trips and it has helped my son with spatial awareness and problem solving.

  • Use the shapes to make various numbers and animals
  • Make abstract art with shapes while you are on a road trip or waiting at the doctor’s office.
My son made the number six with tangram shapes.

Spot the Object

Children don’t have to be in school or at home to learn colors. It can be done anywhere. Try these activities below…

  • While you are on a road trip, pick an object you will identify such as a rectangle.
    • Identify with your child the rectangular signs, road markings, and the shape of traffic lights.

Are we there yet?

Has your child ever asked you “Are we there yet” while taking a trip? Use everyday math to answer this question.

There are two ways to do this. One way is with time.

  1. Let’s say your family takes a trip that will last one hour (60 minutes) to get to your destination.
  2. Just before leaving for your trip, show your child the time.
    • Let’s say you are leaving at 4:00pm.
  3. Tell your child, you will get to your destination when the 4 turns into a 5, which is 5:00pm.
  4. Check in with your child every 10 minutes and do a countdown.
    • For example, at 4:10pm tell your child you have 50 minutes to go.
    • At 4:20pm tell your child you have 40 minutes to go.
    • You can also do this every 15 or 20 minutes if you like. 
  5. This helps to decrease the constant asking of “Are we there yet?”
  6. If you stop to use the restroom, explain to your child that this will add time on to the trip. 

Another Way to do this is with Landmarks

  1. Let’s say you are driving on the Interstate and you are on Exit 1 but your destination is near Exit 20.
  2. Tell your child when you get to Exit 20, you will be at your destination.
  3. Pinpoint every 2 or 5 exits until you reach the end of your trip. 
  4. Have your child identify the Exit Numbers.
    • For example, ask your child to tell you when you have reached Exit 4 and then Exit 6.
    • You have just created an important task for your child. 
    • They are helping you navigate and they can sense how long the trip will be.
    • This is also helping with number recognition!

Have fun with these activities!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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The Shape Game for Kids

One day I was perusing through the Children’s book section in the library and I saw the book Frida and Bear Play the Shape Game! by Anthony Browne and Hanne Bartholin. This book is about Frida helping Bear think of things to draw. In order to accomplish this, Frida draws a shape and gives it to Bear. Then she asks Bear to “Try to turn this shape into something.”

This book encourages readers and young artists to use their imaginations to get their creative juices flowing.

My son and I read this book one night before bedtime. He thought it was a neat book and suggested we play the Shape Game. This is exactly what we did.

I will show you how to play.


  • Paper
  • Writing Utensil such as Crayons, Markers, or Pencils
  • Boogie Board (this is what we used instead of Paper and Writing Utensils)


  • Draw any shape you like on paper or on the Boogie Board.
I started the game by drawing this shape.
  • Give the paper to your child and ask them to make the shape into a picture.
My son said he turned the shape into the letter Q.
  • Now have your child make a shape.
My son drew this shape.
  • Tell your child to give you the shape and you will make a picture from it.
I turned the shape into a horse.

My son and I had so much fun with this activity. He did not want to stop. He was excited to see what I made from his shapes.

This activity is great for spatial awareness and creativity! It is also fun to play while waiting for food in a restaurant or in a doctor’s office.

I drew this banana shape.
My son turned it into a whale.
I drew this shape.

My son said “Mommy, I turned your arch into a cave.

Have fun with this activity and be creative!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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