How Kids Can Remember Facts for School in Less Than 10 Minutes – Part 2

I hope you liked the first video in the FREE Mini Course: Kid Friendly Fun & Fast Study Tricks for Better Grades. This includes a fun technique that will help your children learn facts for school in less than 10 minutes.

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…

  • Review the Sun/Peg List
  • Connect the Peg Method to facts like the first 10 Presidents of the United States
  • Learn to use imagination and funny stories to remember information

If you want more study tricks for your children, take our course, Kid Friendly Fun and Fast Study Tricks for Better Grades : 9 Strategies for Success in Learning and School. This link provides discount pricing. You will learn the following….

  • Multiple strategies for memorizing lists and facts
  • Techniques for doing well in math
  • Effective Note Taking Skills
  • Easy and fun ways to remember new vocabulary words
  • The best way to learn to spell new words
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Additional Resources and more

Click on the image below to learn more about the course and our awesome pricing discount.

PEg-list-presidents

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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Slime Time Game for Kids

One day my son came home from daycare with DIY Slime. He could not wait to show it off after he greeted me with a kiss and hug. It was in a yellow container and sparkled with glitter.

We decided to take the slime out the container to play with it. It was sticky, slimly, ooey, gooey, and fun to play with. We smashed and constructed it in to various shapes.

About 30 minutes before dinner, we decided to make up an activity called the Slime Time Game. The game is simple and will encourage your child to think on their feet while being creative. This is a great indoor activity for rainy and cold days. Below I will explain how to play.

Let’s get started!

Materials Needed:

How to Play:

  • Give your child the slime.
  • Let them play with it for a while to get used to shaping and forming it.
  • I encourage you to play with the slime as well.
  • Tell your child they have a certain amount of time to make a letter, number, shape, or image.
  • During the first round of the game, I told my son he had 45 seconds to make the letter A.
My son made the letter A in 25 seconds.


  • Have your child give you the slime.
  • Have them tell you to make something in a certain amount of time.
  • My son asked me to make the number 89 in 40 seconds.
I made the number 89 in 30 seconds. This slime was very sticky.

Watch this video of my son making the letter H in 30 seconds.

We had a lot of fun with this activity. It kept us busy for about 35 minutes! It is great for letter, shape, and number recognition.

Have fun with this!

Don’t forget both of our books are available on Amazon, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play” and “Fun and Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write.”

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Egg Volcano Experiment for Kids

My son loves science experiments that are messy and incorporate mild explosions. When I saw this experiment, I knew we had to do it. Like many of the science experiments we do, all the ingredients were in our home.

We liked this activity because it was simple and fun. It requires you to use boiled eggs. I used this as an opportunity to expose my son to the science of cooking. While boiling the eggs, we discussed how cooking is transferring energy from a heat source, the stove, to the food. In other words, heat changes food.

Try this experiment at home! Your kids will love it. Doing science experiments will help your child become a better reader.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

  • Bowls for each color you would like
  • Water
  • Paint Brush
  • Baking Soda
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Food Coloring
  • Vinegar
  • Drinking Glass or Plastic Glass – big enough for an egg
  • Plastic container – something to catch the overflow of the liquid
  • Hard boiled eggs
Egg Volcano material. I am missing the small bowl in this picture.

Directions

  • Combine and mix water, baking soda, and a few drops of food coloring to make a paste.
My son is putting red food coloring in water.
Making the paste with water, baking soda, and food coloring
  • Fill the drinking glass with vinegar 1/2 full
Plastic Glass of Vinegar
  • Put the glass of vinegar in the plastic container
  • Use the paint brush to paint the egg with the paste
    • For a bigger reaction, put a thick coat of paste on the egg
My son is painting the egg with the paste.
  • Lower the egg in the glass of vinegar.
  • Now watch the Bubble, Fizz, and Overflow!
Egg Volcano Explosion!

WHY IT WORKS?

  • Baking Soda is a base and Vinegar is an acid.
  • When Baking Soda and Vinegar mix, the hydrogen ions in the vinegar react with the sodium and bicarbonate ions in the baking soda.
  • This mix is the result of two new substances called carbonic acid and sodium acetate.
  • There is a second reaction called decomposition reaction.
  • Decomposition reaction is when carbonic acid is formed.
  • The carbonic acid is decomposed into water and carbon dioxide gas causes the bubbling action.

I hope you like this experiment!

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Fun Thermometer Science Experiment for Kids

One day my son and I were watching the Temperature Investigation episode of Sid the Science Kid cartoon. Cory was two-years-old the first time he watched it. After the episode ended, we decided to do the science experiment showcased on the cartoon. My son learned a lot about thermometers and temperature change during this activity.

Fall is coming soon and our children will witness a drop in temperature. Do this simple experiment at home to help your child learn about temperature changes in nature. I am pretty sure you have all the materials in your kitchen.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials Needed:

Method:

  • Put ice in the bowl
  • Put the thermometer in the ice
The temperature on the thermometer was originally 75°F or 23° C but it decreased to 50° F or 10° C in this picture.
  • Open the instant grits or oatmeal packet.
  • Pour the ingredients from the packet in a second bowl.
  • Pour hot water in the bowl and stir to mix.
  • Put the thermometer in bowl.
  • You will see the temperature on the thermometer go up.
The temperature started at 20° F or -6° C and increased to over 100° F or 37° C.

  • Try putting ice in the bowl of grits or oatmeal and observe what happens to the temperature.
  • Hint: It should decrease.

Watch the video below to see our experiment.

IMG_9798

Have fun with this activity!

Bonus

Explain to your child how a real thermometer works

  • Thermometers usually have alcohol in them.
  • The alcohol changes its size in the thermometer which causes the temperature to increase or decrease.

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5 Ways to Increase Focus in Children

I have parents approach me asking how to keep their child focused when learning something new or doing school work. This is something that we all face from time to time as parents.

Children can lose their focus for a number of reasons including…

  • they are not interested in the task
  • they are distracted
  • the task is too hard for them
  • they would rather be doing something else

Below are some tips that have helped in our household. Please share your tips in the comments below.

Breaking Up the Tasks

Our brains start to lose optimal focus after 25 minutes. Therefore in order to have optimal concentration, try to break tasks into 25 minutes of focused blocks of time. This is also called the Pomodoro Technique and will help your child focus on the task at hand. After 25 minutes has ended, have your child take a break. After the break, they can come back to the task for another 25 minutes.

Create More Beginnings and Endings

When reading a book, we tend to remember the beginning and ending for longer periods of time. Also, when we watch movies, it seems like the start and end of the story sticks in our brain. The proper terms for these occurrences are the primacy and recency effect. Primacy Effect is when you remember things at the beginning of the list because it happened first. The Recency Effect is when you remember the end of the list or an occurrence.

Remember we said the brain starts to lose optimal focus after 25 minutes. When you combine your knowledge of the Pomodoro Technique, Primacy, and Recency Effects, it makes sense to create more beginnings and endings. You may accomplish this by taking more breaks. Your child will remember more because there are more “firsts and lasts” bits of information that will stick in their brain.

Taking Responsibility

Many of us want to put ALL the blame on our children for NOT having better focus when it comes to school or learning something new. However, I think we have to look at our role in the matter as well.

For example, I wanted my son to have better focus in the morning while getting dressed for school. We were always rushing to get ready for school. The problem was I often got out of bed late causing him to rush. He is the type of child that gets the tasks done but likes to takes his time to do it.

Once I started getting up earlier in the morning, he seems to have more focus.

For the days when he needs to move a little faster, I created some games/activities to make our morning routine efficient and effective.

As far as studying, it is effective to make the information more relevant to your child and break it up into smaller tasks. We will talk about this in the next point.

Shaping

Sometimes children find a task so daunting that it is difficult for them to sit for 25 minutes. This is where Shaping can help save the day. Shaping is a technique many counselors use to teach kids new behaviors. It allows you to build a desired behavior in children using small steps. Once the child has mastered a step then you move to the next one. 

If it is difficult for your child to focus for 10 minutes, have them try five minutes. If they are successful next time, add one or two minutes to the next session. Keep doing this until you have reached the desired 25 minutes. Also, give your child small rewards for completing a task. It will help keep them motivated.

Have Children Take Charge of Their Learning

I remember being in school thinking to myself, “Why do I have to learn this?” Some of the information we learned as children have never been used in our adult lives. However, learning something new strengthens your brain and puts you in better mental shape to be creative and work on your passion. When your child does not see the point in what they are learning, request that they be creative and make it relevant by using the Chain Linking technique. Chain linking is a memory technique that allows your child to use their imagination and creativity to link facts to pictures and stories.

Chain linking is a great way for your child to take charge of their learning because they are creating the factual links to pictures and stories. When they create ways to remember information, they have more of connection to it. It also helps them learn information faster in a fun way.

Bonus Tip:

When your child tells you a task is too hard, talk to them about the Power of Mistakes and its importance in learning.

I hope you find this helpful!

Happy Learning!

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6 Games/Activities for Kids and Parents to Make your Morning Routine Efficient

I am a full-time working mom who occasionally rushes in the morning. There is so much to do such as packing my three-year-old’s lunch and snacks, exercise, get myself and son dressed, and so much more.

When I am in a hurry, it does not transfer well to my son. He is probably thinking, “Why do I have to do everything so fast?” 

One way I have solved this problem is by getting up earlier and playing games to lighten our morning routine. 

Below are some of the games we play…

Stop (Freeze) and Dance

Have your child dance in between self-care activities. Below are examples…

  1. DANCE to the bathroom then STOP to use the toilet. 
  2. Do a little DANCE to the sink then STOP to wash hands.
  3. DANCE while at the sink.
  4. STOP when they have to brush their teeth.

My son loves this game. It helps him to get dressed faster. When he STOPS, it provides an opportunity to focus on his self-care activity. Plus, this game encourages us to laugh in the morning.

Race against the Clock

Tell your child they have a certain amount of time to do a task. Then challenge them to beat the clock!

  1. Tell your child they have 45 seconds to take off their pajamas.
  2. Count to 45 and see if your child has beaten the clock. 
  3. Count in different languages if you are teaching your child to be bilingual.
  4. If you see your child struggling with a task, count a little slower to give them a better chance to win.
  5. You may also help your child with the task, so both of you are racing against the clock. 

This is a fun and educational game in the morning. For young children, it is a great time to practice counting. Once your child becomes more efficient in a self-care task, they will complete it faster. My son really concentrates during this activity because he wants to beat the clock and he is competitive!

Chant to put clothes in hamper or wherever they belong

Say a chant to encourage your child to put clothes in the hamper

  1. Our chant is “Shirt, pants, underwear, and socks in the basket!”
  2. We repeat this chant loud while marching from the bathroom to the bedroom.

This is a great way to incorporate song and movement in the mornings! The repetition in the chant helps the child to concentrate on one task at a time without getting distracted. Sometimes, we will clap and stomp our feet to make the chant more musical.

Storytime to keep child still while brushing their hair or putting on lotion

Tell a quick story that will interest your child and keep them still.

  1. I usually tell silly stories about skunks, elephants, cartoon characters, and cars.
  2. Create child friendly stories that will keep their attention.

After dancing and chanting, my son usually wants to move around. In order to settle him, I tell a story that interests him.  He likes stories where a problem is being solved. Sometimes, I will ask him to fill in the story details to ensure he is paying attention. This is a great activity to help your child listen, focus, and use their imagination.

Race Against You

You and your child have to put your shoes on before going out the door, right? Why not make it a friendly competition?

  1. We start the race by grabbing our shoes.
  2. My son says “Ready, set, go!”
  3. Then we both hurry to put our shoes on.
  4. The person to put their shoes on first, wins!

This is another friendly game that gets my son moving in the mornings. Sometimes, I forget to mention this game before putting our shoes on. However, he does not let me forget and reminds me every time!

Another Chant to Move Things Along

We say a catchy chant to go downstairs or to get dressed.

  1. Our chant is “LET’S GO FLOW JOE, LET’S GO!”
  2. We repeat this chant to help us get things done in the morning!

This chant is a reminder to us both that there is a certain task we need to complete. It helps us get finish quickly and more efficiently. We are definitely more focused when it is time for this chant!

Incorporate these games in the morning and make it a fun time! It has definitely help us to lighten our morning routine!

Happy Morning Play!

What are some tactics used in your household in the mornings?

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The Power of SHAPING New Behavior in Children

What is Shaping?

Shaping is a technique many counselors use to teach kids new behaviors. It allows you to build a desired behavior in children using small steps. Once the child has mastered a step then you move to the next one. 

This technique also requires the adult to provide a reward as the child completes each step to encourage them to go to the next task. An example of a reward could be a praise specific statement such as “Good job at putting all your stuffed animals in the toy box.” Another example of a reward is telling a child they can play outside once a step is complete or attempted.

Shaping provides a great way to set goals as you and your child are learning something new. Also, it requires you to adjust if you see that a child is stuck on one step. Adjusting means you may have to take a break or divide the steps into smaller increments.

Another important point is to BE PATIENT. Some children learn new behaviors quickly while others move a little slower.

Below are two examples of how shaping can be used in your home. 

Example 1

A mother has a child that won’t sit during reading time. The child thinks reading is boring. She would like for her child to sit through a whole book while she reads.   The book she picks has ten pages. Below is how shaping can be used…

  1. Pick a short book when reading to the child.
  2. Pick a book that aligns with the child’s interest.
  3. Set a small goal like have the child listen to the first two pages.
  4. Next time have the child listen to the first four pages.
  5. Next time have the child listen to the first six pages.
  6. Keep going until the child can listen to the whole book.
  7. Give the child verbal praise after each small step.

Example 2

A boy has a fear of dogs. He will not go outside to play because his neighbors are constantly walking their dogs. His parents want him to be comfortable walking pass dogs on his way to the play ground. Below is how shaping can be used…

  1. Tell the child a story about a friendly dog.
  2. Show the child pictures of dog while telling a story about a friendly dog.
  3. Read a story with pictures about a helpful dog.
  4. Watch a cartoon about a friendly dog.
  5. Have the child look out the window while neighbors are walking their dogs.
  6. Have the child stand or sit outside (near the door) while a neighbor across the street is walking their dog.
  7. Have the child stand or sit outside while a neighbor on your side of the street is walking their dog.
  8. Have the child take a certain number of steps on the street while a neighbor is walking their dog.
    • If they are not ready for this, you may have to carry them while doing this.
  9. Have the child walk a quarter of the way to the playground while a neighbor on the same side of the street is walking their dog. 
  10. Keep progressing until the child can walk the entire way to the playground.

I hope this helps!

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Make Learning/Studying Fun for Kids with this Memory Technique

On YouTube one day and I came across a man named Jim Kwik who is a memory and learning coach. I watched a 22-minute interview of him sharing 10 steps to improve your memory. At the end, the interviewer was able to remember the 10 steps he discussed through the power of associating information with pictures and a story (also called Chain Linking). I was familiar with this technique because I used it to teach my son how letters and numbers were formed and how to write.

Jim uses this technique to remember people’s names, speeches, and lists. He also emphasizes thinking and learning like kids because they are the fastest learners. I truly agree with him.

He encouraged his audience to practice the association story technique with another person. I decided to practice with my four-year-old son. He loved every minute of it and said “This is fun!” Below I will tell you how we did it.

Let’s Get Started!

Get 10 Fun Elements Needed to Make Facts Stick by Completing the Form at the End of This Blog Post

  • I gave my son nine colors to remember in order. The colors were…
    • Green
    • Orange
    • Purple
    • Blue
    • White
    • Black
    • Pink
    • Brown
    • Yellow
  • I started by telling my son a story that included the colors.
  • The story went like this…

Mommy and Cory went out to play in the green grass. All of a sudden, they saw a huge orange and beside it was a purple eggplant. Both of these foods together looked like the number ten. Then we looked in the sky and saw a Blue Jay bird flying in the sky. The Blue Jay landed on a large white flower and beside it came a black fly. Then we heard a pink pig running and he happened to be hungry. The pig found and then ate a brown chocolate bar. Afterwards he became thirsty and drank yellow lemonade.

  • After I told my son this story I asked him to tell me the colors in order.
  • I encouraged him to use the story to remember the colors.
  • He was able to name all the colors in order.
  • He also remembered the colors in reverse order by telling the story backwards.
  • We were amazed at his ability.
  • Please note: He is using crayons as a visual for the video; however, he was able to remember the colors without the crayons.

Watch this video of my son remembering the colors…

IMG_1117-1

Watch this video of my son remembering the words backwards.

IMG_1118

This technique will also improve your child’s listening skills and focus.

I encourage you to try this activity while you are in waiting rooms, restaurants or even long road trips. My son and I did it during dinner time and had a great time.

Also, use this game to help your child remember important facts for school. Help your child make up a silly story with the facts as characters or items in the setting. This method works great when your child is learning…

  • The Alphabet
  • Numbers
  • Planets
  • The United States
  • The Presidents of the United States
  • Elements on the Periodic Table
  • Mathematical Sequences
  • Formulas
  • Any facts your child needs to learn

Here are pointers for your story…

  • The sillier the story the better.
  • Ensure to use rich images while telling your story.
  • If your child can’t think of pictures for a certain word then have them use the “Sound Like” method.
    • Instead of saying the state, Alabama, use the phrase “Ala Bams on the A.” This will trigger the mind to think of Alabama.
    • Instead of saying the element (on the periodic table), Actinium, use the phrase Acting Up. This will help trigger the mind to think of Actinium.
    • Make up your own silly words, and it will help you remember facts faster.

Have Fun with this Activity!

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FREE Mini Course: Teach Your Toddler to Read Through PLAY

The title of this post can be a shock to some people. A toddler reading is an abnormal concept to many humans.

This can be a normal concept for any child who likes to play, explore, and learn. It is not reserved for children who we think are geniuses. All kids are born creative geniuses. We just have to find playful ways to foster their curiosity.

My son, Cory, started spelling and reading at 21 months through play. While running errands in stores with me as a one-year-old, Cory would identify letters, numbers, and read three and four letter words on signs.

Parents would approach me and ask if he was really reading. Of course I would reply by saying “yes”. Their next question would be, “How is he doing this?”

I could have talked with them for an hour telling them how he learned through toys, singing, dancing, acting, playing outside, and reading.

Below is video of my son at 25 months reading a book to me just before bedtime.

Cory-reading-at-25-months

This is why I have created the FREE Mini Course: Strategies to Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play. It gives you strategies to make reading fun, natural, and stress free for you and your child. This includes some of the techniques I used with my son to expose him to words, reading, and reading comprehension in a fun way. 

This training is a four-part series. Below is what you will learn in the first video…

  • 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. You will also see my son spelling at 21 months and reading on a third grade level as a three-year-old.

Watch the BONUS video below with fun tips to expose babies and toddlers to words and reading.

Complete the form below to access the FREE Mini Course: Strategies to Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play

See you there!

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Alphabet Letter Hunt Activities – Three Variations

One night after taking a bath, my son suggested an activity/game for the next day called, Letter Hunt. I was intrigued by his suggestion and asked him how to play. Cory said “We will find all the letters in the alphabet in one room.”

The next day, we played the game he suggested and had a blast. We also played two other variations of the game. This activity is great for letter recognition and it allows children to get physical. Play this game even if your child knows their letters.

My son is very familiar with the alphabet but still had fun with this activity. It was raining outside when we played the game and that resulted in perfect timing.

Let’s Get Started

Letter Hunt- Variation 1

Materials:

  • Children and adults

Directions:

  • Tell your child you will do a letter hunt by going around a room or your home to search for letters.
  • You may find letters anywhere in your home such as magazines, signs, toys, shoes, books etc.
  • Keep playing the game until you find letters A-Z
My son found the letter A on his Paw Patrol Slipper.
Found the letter C on a box.

Letter Hunt – Variation 2

Materials:

  • Foam Letter or Magnetic letters
  • You may also use letters you have written on paper

Directions:

  • Hide letters A-Z around a room
  • Have your child(ren) find the letters and put them in a pile.
My son hunting for the letters I hid.

Letter Hunt – Variation 3

Materials:

  • Markers
  • Craft Paper or Poster Board Paper
  • Foam letters or Magnetic letters
  • You may also use letters you have written on paper

Directions:

  • Draw a chart on craft paper with your name or initial on one column and your child’s name or initial in the another column.
  • You and your child will get two different letters.
    • For example, your child will get letter A and you will get letter B.
Cory picking the letter he will soon hide.
  • Have your child hide the letter A in a room without you looking.
  • You hide the letter B in a room and ensure your child is not looking at where you are hiding it.
  • Now both of you go find the letters each one of you hid.
    • For example, you will find the letter A and your child will find the letter B
  • Whoever finds the letter first wins a point that round.
  • Have your child record the points on craft paper for each round.
Keeping score for our Letter Hunt. Clearly I am losing the game.
I am trying to find where Cory hid his letter. He had great hiding spots.


Have Fun Playing and Learning!

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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