17 Children’s Books that Creatively Teach Kids Practical Skills

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17 book that teach life skills

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

  1. The Question Song by Kaethe Zemach

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

  1. The Great Dictionary Caper by Judy Sierra.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

  1.  I Want to Be a Doctor by Laura Driscoll

 

 

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

 

  1. Find Your Way in Space By Paul Boston

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

  1. How Does My Home Work? By Chris Butterworth

 

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

 

  1. Treasure Map by Stuart Murphy

 

 

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

 

16. Milo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott

 

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

 

17. 3 x 4 a Toon Book by Ivan Brunetti

 

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Reading!

 

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4 Simple and Fun Pumpkin Activities for Kids

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Pumpkin activities

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

Below is what we did and had a blast!

Paint The Pumpkin

Materials Needed

 

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

 

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

 

Pick, Count, and Cook Pumpkin Seeds

Materials Needed

 

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

 

Scooping pumpkin seeds with spoon!

 

Make Pumpkin Soup with Rice

Materials Needed

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

 

Access Our Pumpkin Soup with Rice Recipe

at the bottom of this post!

 

Have a Science Lesson and Learn about Decomposition

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

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

 

He is analyzing a decayed pumpkin!

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Introduce Multiplication to Kids in a Fun Way

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HOW TO INTRODUCE

How to Introduce Multiplication to Kids in a Fun Way

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

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

A Great Children’s Book to Introduce Multiplication to Kids

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

*Bonus Tip

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

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

A Brief Summary

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

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

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

Tips for Parents and Teachers

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

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

What are other ways to teach multiplication tables to children?

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

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

How do you learn your time tables quickly?

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

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

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

Happy Learning!

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

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

 

 

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Life Skills – Teaching Kids How Your Home Functions

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TEACH KIDS HOW YOUR HOME FUNCTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Bonus Tip

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

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

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

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

Happy Learning!

Get the password for the library with “How Your Home Functions” Fun Activity by completing this form. Once you press the Get My Fun Activity Now button, we will send you an email with the password. Then go to SOY Resource Library and enter the password.

 

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Clever Ways to Introduce Young Children to Feelings

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Clever Ways to Introduce Young Children to Feelings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonus – A Great Cause

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

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

Happy Learning!!

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

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TAKEKIDS ON A MATH AND MAPPINGADVENTUREWITH THIS BOOK!

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

The Space Mission is as follows…

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

There are five steps to completing the mission…

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

Mathematical concepts addressed in this book are counting, addition, shapes, identifying relationships between objects, colors, length, height, map coordinates, and telling time. The concepts are introduced through questions the reader must answer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Learning!

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12 FUN, RANDOM, AND WEIRD SCIENCE FACTS FOR KIDS

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12 Fun, Random, and Weird Sciences Facts for Kids

The fascinating facts below came from the book, My Weird School Fast Facts-Space, Humans, and Farts by Dan Gutman. This book contains a lot of fun, humorous, and engaging information for kids. Your child will discover a love of science from reading this book!

Eating Tomatoes used to kill certain people

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

 

The planet, Mars, has the largest volcano

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

 

Drinking Water is limited

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

 

Silk comes from Worms

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

 

Thunder and Lightning Happen at the Same Time

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

 

Kids have more Bones than Adults

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

 

Your lungs are different sizes

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

 

The Fastest Muscles in your Body

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

 

No kneecaps for babies

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

 

Why do Geese fly in a V?

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

 

Crickets Can Tell the Temperature

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

 

Albert Einstein’s Brain was Stolen

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

 

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

 

Happy Learning!

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Teaching Kids to Differentiate Between Good and Bad Strangers

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STRANGERDANGER?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how can children differentiate between good and bad strangers?

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

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

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

Happy Learning!

Get the password for the library with Tips and Tools for Accelerated and Fun Learning for kids by completing this form. Once you press the SUBSCRIBE button, we will send you an email with the password. Then go to SOY Resource Library and enter the password.

 

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Self-Reflecting Museums For Kids

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TEACH KIDS TO MAKE SELF REFLECTING MUSEUMS WITH THIS BOOK

I love going to museums because I receive an up-close experience with history, science, art, etc. Museums with children’s areas are great because kids can play, explore, and learn simultaneously. When I saw the book, Milo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott, I was excited to read about the character’s experience at their local museum. The book’s plot was unexpected but refreshing.

This book is about a girl named Milo who takes a class field trip to the museum with her grandfather as a chaperone. As they were exploring the museum, Milo admired the art but something was missing. When she asked her grandfather about the museum’s purpose, he said they hold objects that are valuable and important to people.

Milo realized that the objects in the museum did not represent her world. She consulted her aunt for guidance and decided to create her own museum using family and childhood photographs, keepsakes, and memorabilia. She also used current items such as her soft ball jersey.

Children will learn vocabulary words such as docent, curator, and museum from this story. They will witness a child taking the initiative to create an idea, plan and execute it. Milo shared her museum exhibit with the community and was so innovative in her approach, her friends wanted to be a part of it.

You will find a guide on how to create your own exhibit in the back of the book. Read this book and have your students or children create their own self reflecting museums like Milo!

Ensure they share it with family, friends, or the community!

Happy Self Reflecting!

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How to Make Mapping Fun for Kids

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MAKE MAPPING FUN FOR KIDS WITH THIS BOOK

 

One day my friend sent me a picture of her preschooler reading a treasure map while sitting on his  tricycle. He uses the map to lead the way during their outside adventures. I thought this was a great way to incorporate leadership and exploration during playtime.

I wanted my son, also a preschooler, to have a similar experience so I researched children’s books at the library about mapping. I found the book, Treasure Map, by Stuart Murphy. This book is about a group of friends, the Elm Street Kids’ Club, following a treasure map to find a time capsule. The author shows the reader how to follow a map by giving clues that identify landmarks and directions.

For example, Clue #1 says “From Elm Street, walk down First Avenue toward Rocky River. At the next corner, Oak Street, turn left.”

Children are also taught to use cooperation and their problem-solving skills while mapping. The map in this book was created 50 years ago; therefore, some landmarks have changed during that time. For example, what was once a dirt path is now a sidewalk. The children have to decide if the sidewalk will lead them to the treasure.

Other concepts presented in the book are decision-making skills, interpreting symbols, and scales. The author provides teachers and parents activities to supplement learning. Furthermore, he includes other books that address map reading skills.

How we applied it

My neighbor told us about a new playground in our area that is walking distance.  I decided to draw a map  that led to the playground. I used the Waze app to ensure it was drawn correctly. Below is an example of the map we followed.

map

The night before our adventure, my son and I read Treasure Map. After reading each clue in the book, we identified the path to the treasure. Then I showed him the map I created and he became  excited. He wanted to go outside that night to find the playground. I told him we had to wait until the next day, but he insisted that the map stay in his room overnight.

When my son came home from school the next evening, the first thing he grabbed was the map. He identified landmarks, street signs, and led the way with very little assistance from me. Reading the book help hone his navigation skills. We found the playground and felt accomplished! He also guided us back home. The following weekend he took his dad to the same playground and led the way.

Try a similar activity at home or school and go on an adventure!

Happy Mapping!

Get the password for the library with Tips and Tools for Accelerated and Fun Learning for kids by completing this form. Once you press the SUBSCRIBE button, we will send you an email with the password. Then go to SOY Resource Library and enter the password.

 

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