How Reading Can Boost Children’s Working Memory

About two weeks ago, I took my son to the local library for a story time program. As I was walking, I passed by the book, The Working Memory Advantage: Train Your Brain to Function Stronger, Smarter, Faster by Tracy and Ross Alloway. This title immediately caught my attention because I love reading books on how to use the brain to its fullest capacity. I checked the book out and started reading it that night.

I learned so much from this book. One detail that stuck with me was the power of working memory. Did you know that it is more important than IQ? As always, I want to share what I learned with you and its benefits to young children.

Let’s Get Started!

One of best ways to improve working memory is to read. Working memory is one’s ability to process information. This means focusing on the information or making decisions about it. A person with great working memory can manipulate information and reformulate it.

Let’s apply this to children. If a child is in school or participating in an extracurricular activity with a group, working memory can help them inhibit distracting information, like their classmates whispering near them. It will also help them keep track of where they are in a multistep task. Furthermore, children with good working memory can access information, like numbers or words, to complete an assignment. It allows children to hold information in their mind and complete tasks quicker.

Other Ways Working Memory Helps Children

  • It helps children think fast on their feet.
  • Take smarter risks
  • Make smarter judgement calls
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Stay motivated to achieve long-term goals
  • Follow a moral compass like doing the right thing in social situations

Working Memory is Better than IQ

Have you noticed that many people with below average IQ scores became great business men and women, bestselling authors, or innovative inventors. IQ is not the best predictor of lifetime success, especially not in our current times.

Thanks to search engines like Google, we no longer need to rely on knowledge such as facts, dates, and names. These types of facts are associated with IQ. Intelligence today is measured by being able to put those facts together, organize the information, and do something constructive with it. IQ is what you know and working memory memory is what you can do with what you know.

The facts below about working memory versus IQ may be shocking to you…

  • A good working memory is the best advantage in school and is related to good grades.
  • Kids with good IQ scores don’t necessarily have good working memories.
  • An average or even high IQ does not necessarily give children the tools for success in the classroom and beyond.

So let’s see how reading can help children improve working memory

Reading requires working memory because you recall information, anticipate what is coming next, and interpret words and sentences. Challenge your child and boost their working memory by reading more difficult books and stories.

For Children Ages 2 to 5

  • Read aloud to children and challenge them by reading new stories.
  • For 2-3 year olds, ask them facts about the story.
  • This will make them use their working memory to review what they know about the story.
  • If you read to children at early ages, you’ll be surprised at what they can analyze and make sense of.
  • Ask your 4 year old to give their opinions on the motivations of the characters.
  • For example, ask your 4 year old the following question: Why do you think the character ignored their friend?
  • These types of questions will help your child stretch their speculations.
  • For 5 year olds, if they can read, ask them to read simple and short stories on their own occasionally.
  • If the 5 year old cannot read, ask them to picture walk.
  • Picture walk means to look at the images of the story and predict what it is about.
  • Bonus Tip: For children ages 6-10, read harder material to them.
  • In doing this, you will stretch their minds and the easier books they read on their own will seem less difficult.

I highly recommend purchasing or borrowing The Working Memory Advantage: Train Your Brain to Function Stronger, Smarter, Faster by Tracy and Ross Alloway from the library. It will open your mind to the brain’s many possibilities!

I hope this helps!

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Foam Explosion – Elephant Toothpaste

One day my son, Cory, watched the Youtube personality, Ryan. He saw Ryan and his mom do the elephant toothpaste experiment. After watching, he said, “Mom, I want to do that!” So I watched the video with Cory and immediately started to write down the materials and directions.

We had everything needed for the experiment except dry active yeast. I purchased the yeast from Amazon because I figured Cory would want to do this repeatedly. The next day, the yeast came and we immediately started to make the elephant toothpaste.

The first time we did the experiment, we saw an explosion but the cup we used was too big. We decided to use a smaller cup because we wanted the chemical action to overflow out of the cup. The second time was “epic” according to my son.

I will show you how we did the experiment below. Your child will want to do this repeatedly so get ready.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials Needed:

  • Two cups
  • ½ cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1 squirt of Dawn dish soap
  • 5 drops of food coloring
  • 15 ml of warm water
  • .25 oz Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast (1 packet)
  • Goggles to protect eyes
  • Gloves to protect hands

Directions:

  • Tell your child that they will create a fun foam explosion called Elephant Toothpaste.
  • Put on goggles and gloves
  • Put hydrogen peroxide in one of the cups
  • Add five drops of food coloring in the cup
  • Put a squirt of dish soap in the cup
  • In a different cup pour 15 ml of water.
  • Add the active dry yeast packet to the water and mix.
  • Pour the water and yeast mixture in the cup with the hydrogen peroxide mixture
  • Watch the awesome foam explosion!
My son adding food coloring to the hydrogen peroxide.
Mixing the water and active dry yeast.

Watch the video below of our experiment!

elephant-toothpaste-video

Have fun with this experiment!

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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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Teach Kids, ages 3 and up, Chess in a Fun Way

Admiration and Failure

I have always admired people, young and old, who can play the game of Chess. Throughout my life, I have heard the many benefits of playing this strategic game. Also, people who play Chess seem intelligent to me.

Honestly, I have tried three times to learn chess and failed. It was the time and energy it took to learn the name of the pieces and how they moved. I would read or watch online videos about the game and eventually become bored.

Grandma’s Inspiration

The idea of tackling Chess again came from my mother. One of her gifts for my son’s third Christmas was a Chess game. It was the same cycle again.

I read the book that came with the game she gave my son and I got bored. Additionally, I thought my son was too young to learn the game. However, in the back of my mind, I knew Chess would be a game that he would like because it challenges the brain.

My Bright Idea

My decision was to wait until he got a little older to introduce him to the game.

My future plan was to take him to some type of community program that would teach him how to play Chess. Then, maybe I would learn through him. This was a win-win situation!

The Solution

It wasn’t until one night while skimming Facebook, I saw an advertisement for Story Time Chess. After seeing the advertisement’s picture of young kids playing chess with their parents, I wanted to learn more. On the website, I saw these words, “A revolutionary new game that lets you teach your child how to play chess as young as the age of 3!”

It is revolutionary because it teaches kids to play through fun stories with colorful diverse characters instead of rules. Each piece has a story about how it moves. Each piece holds a character’s picture from their story which allows children to visually connect it to the chess board and understand how to play.

Another helpful aspect of Story Time Chess is each story is concluded with a mini game that reinforces how the pieces move.

Our Experience

We love it! My four-year-old son and I learned how to play chess within a week and a half of opening the game! He was highly motivated to learn because of the engaging stories and pieces in the game. We currently play almost daily. Sometimes, he wins and other times I am the victor.

Watch the two videos below of my son and I playing chess. The first video is footage of us playing a game. The second one shows my son winning against me in the game of Chess.

My four-year-old son and I playing Chess.
My son is the winner in this game.

Below I will answer frequently asked questions parents have about Chess. It will be through the lens of our experience.

What age can a child learn chess?

The programs that I have researched in my local area start teaching kids chess at the age of seven. However, I have seen kids learn chess as young as five-years-old. My son learned how to play through Story Time Chess as a four-year-old. However, if I’d known about this game earlier, our starting age would have been three.

If your kids love fun engaging stories with colorful characters, they can learn at an early age.

What is the easiest way to play chess?

Of course you know the easiest way for us to play chess was to learn through Story Time Chess. We learned how the pieces moved in this order: king, pawns, knights, rooks, bishops, and queen. There were mini games at the end of each story that gave us a hands-on perspective on how each piece moved.

The best way to learn is be consistent with playing. It is important to learn the basic steps first and then take it a step further by learning various strategies.

We play daily which helps to hone our skills and learn new strategies.

What Chess teaches?

Chess teaches children so many important skills. I will concentrate on three skills below.

Chess teaches kids problem solving skills. During our games, my son spends time concentrating on how to keep his king safe while capturing mine. I can see him thinking about and planning his next move.

It also increases your child’s creatively. There is one piece my son loves to use when capturing my king. When I take that piece away from him, he has to be creative and think outside the box to win the game.

Chess has improved my son’s memory and observation skills. I use a particular strategy to win games against him. One day, I noticed he began to remember my first three moves while playing. He told me what the moves were and asked why I always did that. Then he developed some strategy to counter my moves. Amazing!

Try Story Time Chess! Be persistent and play with your child often!

Have fun Playing!

OUR KID FRIENDLY FAST & FUN STUDY TRICKS FOR BETTER GRADES: 9 FUN STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN LEARNING AND SCHOOL HAS A 39% DISCOUNT.

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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How Kids Can Remember Facts for School in less than 10 Minutes – Part 1

Congratulations!

You have taken a step in making learning fun for your child and improving their grades.

At the bottom of this post is the first video in our FREE Mini Course: Kid Friendly Study Tricks for Better Grades.

This includes a technique you can use to help your child remember facts, lists, and do well on tests.

In this video, you will learn…

  • How basic association can help you and your child learn things faster
  • How to remember a list of words forwards, backwards, and in random order in less than 10 minutes.
  • How to use creativity and the world around you when doing basic association

By the end of this video, you will know the Peg/Sun List, which can trigger your child’s brain to remember a variety of information.

Tomorrow, you will receive another training video in your inbox. In that video, you will learn how to use the Peg/Sun list to remember facts that many children may need to know for school.

See you there!

Basic-AssociationPeg

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

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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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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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4 Games/Activities that Teach Kids Manners

Many parents are successful at teaching their children manners through modeling the behavior or reminding kids to use them. This post brings a fun, hands-on approach to teaching manners. The games/activities below can be a supplement to what you are already teaching your children at home. These are great group activities to play with young kids. I hope you find these helpful!

Let’s get started!



Please and Thank You Game

The following game will teach your child when to say Please and Thank you.

Materials Needed:

  • 3 Stuffed Animals or 3 Action Figures
  • Tape
  • Paper
  • Scissors

  1. Explain to your child that Please should be used with any request such as…
    • When your child wants a drink
    • They should say “May I PLEASE have a drink?”
    • If the child is very young then they can say “Drink, please.”
  2. Explain to your child that Thank you is used when they receive an item, favor, or an act of kindness.
    • For example, children should use it when someone gives them a drink, a gift, or when they have visited someone’s home.
  3. Start the activity by having your child gather their stuffed animals and action figures.
  4. Cut 3 rectangles out of the paper.
  5. Write the word, Doing, on one rectangle and then tape it on the front of one stuffed animal or action figure.
    • The Doing toy’s job is to role play the scenarios with your child.
  6. Write the word, Thank you, on one rectangle and then tape it on the front of one stuffed animal or action figure.
    • The Thank you toy’s job is to say Thank you in the scenario if needed.
  7. Write the word, Please, on one rectangle and then tape it on the front of one stuffed animal or action figure.
    • The Please toy’s job is to say Please in the scenario if needed.
  8. Create four scenarios where the child will have to role play and identify when to use Thank you or Please like the examples below…
    • The Doing Toy just shared his snack with your child. (Answer – say Thank you)
    • The Doing Toy would like a banana. What should the toy say? (Answer – May I please have a banana?) (Another option is Banana please).
    • Your child spilled the Legos on the floor and the Doing Toy helped your child clean up. (Answer – say Thank you)
    • The Doing toy wants to play at the playground. What should the toy say? (Answer – Can you take me to the playground, please?)
  9. Role play the scenarios above (or scenarios you have created) one at a time with the toys and your child.
  10. Below is an example of how the role play should be played. Let use the first scenario as an example..
    • The child and Doing toy should role play the following scenario – The Doing Toy just shared his snack with your child.
    • Now the child should decide if the Thank you toy or Please toy is needed.
    • In this scenario, the child should get the Thank you toy to say Thank you to the Doing toy.
    • If your child is confused about whether to use the Thank you toy or Please toy help them to determine the correct answer.
  11. Repeat steps 9-10 with the scenarios given in number 8. You may also create your own scenarios.
The Manner Animals

Super V!

This activity gives kids a reminder to cover their mouths when they cough and sneeze.

Material Needed:

  • The child’s arm
  1. Explain to your child that it is important to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze to prevent the spread of germs.
  2. Germs can cause others to get sick.
  3. The best way to stop the spread of germs is to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
  4. If you don’t have time to get a tissue, then use SUPER V!!!
  5. SUPER V is when you cough and sneeze into the inner crease of your elbow.
  6. When do you this, your arm forms the letter V.
  7. Pretend that you are sneezing or coughing and model to your child how to cover their mouth.
    • As you model how to cover your mouth, say SUPER V like it is a superhero!
  8. Have your child practice saying and doing the SUPER V mouth cover position.
  9. Every time your child really coughs or sneeze, say SUPER V!
  10. If your child is not into superheroes then create something else like the PRINCESS SHIELD to help them remember to cover their mouths.
Sick child doing the Super V

Excuse Me Game

This game will teach your child when it is appropriate to say Excuse Me.

Materials Needed:

  • Something that makes a loud noise like a bell, drum, whistle, or kazoo
  • Child’s stuffed animals, action figures, or other toys
  1. Explain to your child that Excuse Me should be used in the following situations
    • To get another person’s attention
    • When you need to get around someone and they are in your pathway.
    • When you have bumped into someone or accidentally stepped on their foot.
    • During an acceptable interruption
      • For example, if mom is talking to someone and the young child needs to go to the bathroom.
    • When you burp or pass gas
  2. After explaining step 1, role play the situations with your child (using yourself and child as the actors for practice).
  3. Next get your child’s toys.
  4. Give your child a loud noise maker of your choice such as a bell, drum, whistle, or kazoo.
  5. Use the child’s toys to role play each scenario in number 1 and scenarios where Excuse Me is not needed such as…
    • You give your child a snack.
    • Your child wants to go outside and play.
  6. After role playing each scenario with the toys, give the child two choices in which to respond…
    • If saying Excuse Me is an appropriate response to the scenario, then the child should use their noise maker and next say Excuse Me.
    • Is Excuse Me is NOT the appropriate response to the scenario, then the child can say NO!
  7. For example, you role play that one action figure burps and your child has a drum.
    • The child should play the drum and then say Excuse Me.
  8. Keep playing the game with various scenarios.

No Interruptions Game

This activity uses the concept of Shaping to teach kids to be patient while parents are talking to others in person or on the phone. Shaping is a technique many counselors use to teach kids new behaviors or skills. It allows you to build a desired behavior in children using small steps. Once the child has mastered a step, then move to the next one. 

Materials:

  • One of the child’s stuffed animal, action figure, or other toy
  • Timer
  • Pretend or toy telephone
  1. Explain to your child that interruption is when they talk while someone else is talking.
  2. Interrupting is considered rude unless it is an acceptable interruption such as…
    • You have to go to the bathroom
    • You or someone is hurt.
  3. Some kids interrupt their parents for attention or they think the conversation topic with the other adult is boring.
  4. Start the No Interruptions Game by getting your child’s toy and the telephone.
  5. Tell your child they can’t talk to you until the timer goes off.
    • If this is a struggle for them, suggest ideas to keep them busy like counting, playing with a toy, or just listening.
  6. Set the timer to 20 seconds.
  7. Pretend you are on the phone while the timer is going.
  8. After the times goes off, tell your child they can talk.
  9. If your child does NOT interrupt you within the 20 second period, then next time increase the time to 30 seconds and so on.
  10. Do this until you get to a desired time like 5 minutes.
  11. If your child talks to you before the timer goes off, then try the activity again with the timer set to a lesser time like 10 seconds and work from there.

I hope you find these activities helpful!

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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Happy Learning!

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Make Reading Fun for Kids with DIY Book Hook

One day while my three-year-old son played independently with toy cars, I was reading a book that contained over 400 pages. When I reached the end of a chapter, I inserted my bookmark to maintain my place.

My son saw the bookmark and asked me what it was. I told him that bookmarks tell me what section of the book I read previously. It is a timesaver because it prevents me from flipping through the book to find where I stopped reading.

He was amazed that this rectangular-shaped piece of paper could do so much. This was during the time we started reading books like Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White which is a chapter book.

Watch the Video below to Learn How to Accelerate Young Readers’ Skills with Art

We read other books in the past that needed a bookmark like 5-minute Bible Stories retold by Mary Batchelor and Penny Boshoff. This book has a compilation of Bible stories for children. For some reason, we didn’t use a bookmark after reading the book. I just flipped through the pages and tried to remember the last story we read. This was not a good use of time.

Once my son became curious about my bookmark, I decided we should make our own. I am not an artsy person and needed some help in making one that would appeal to him. The book, Easy Art Fun! Do-It-Yourself Crafts for Beginning Readers by Jill Hauser, saved the day.

This book showed us how to make a SIMPLE bookmark or book hook that looks like my son. We had a great time creating them! They are used daily after reading time. My son often tells me we should make more bookmarks.

This a great project to do with the child who won’t sit for an entire book. Try reading part of a book and save your place with their look alike book hook.

So Let’s Get Started with Creating!

How to Make the Book Hooks

Materials:

  • Markers
  • Colored Paper or Card Stock Paper
  • Child Safety Scissors

Method:

  • Help your child draw themselves on colored paper with markers.
    • Draw the arms so that they are hanging low.

Here is the result of his drawing.

Here is my drawing.

I gave him a face, hair, socks, and pants.
  • Color the drawing.
  • Cut out the drawing.
  • Cut the arms with slits

  • Hook your drawing to the top of a page.
  • Close the book and hold your place.




Have more fun with this activity by making a variety of book hooks like…

  • Animals
  • Superheros
  • Letters
  • Numbers
  • Cars
  • Dolls
  • Anything you want

Have fun Creating!

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Magic Kitchen Balloon Science Experiment

Did you know that science experiments can make children better readers? The book, The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick, which is about early childhood learning supports this fact.

In this book she talks about an experiment where some kindergartners in a school district received extensive instructions in reading while the others spent the same amount of time learning science.

The kids that learned science melted ice, observed thermometers in hot and cold places, played with magnets, grew plants and learned about animal life. Books and pictures were available for these children but no formal lessons in reading were held.

The school district learned that by the third grade the “science” children were far ahead of the “reading” children in their reading score. The reason is their vocabulary and thinking skills were much more advanced. They could read on more topics and understand higher levels of material. The playful, hands-on activities the “science” children did taught them analytical and problem solving skills and how to make connections in what they were learning.

This is why I think EXPOSING KIDS TO NEW WORDS AND READING THROUGH PLAY IS A GREAT CONCEPT.

So let’s talk about our exciting science experiment!

Today we will…

Blow Up A Balloon Without Blowing At All!

To incorporate literacy in this experiment, help your children read the Materials, Method, and Why it Works headings in this post. As kids are reading these sections, have them do the action. Children can use the pictures to help them read the words. If your children can read independently allow them to do so.

How to incorporate literacy in this experiment…

  1. Read the Materials and Method sections.
  2. Re-read the Materials section as you get the supplies.
  3. Re-read the Method section as you do the steps.

Let’s get started!

Materials:

  • Vinegar
  • Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Balloon
  • Empty Water Bottle
  • 1 Funnel
  • Spoon
  • Safety goggles (we didn’t have safety goggles so we used sunglasses)

Method:

  • Put on your safety goggles (or sunglasses).
  • Pour some vinegar into the water bottle
    • Vinegar should fill 25% of the water bottle.
  • Pour baking soda into the balloon.
    • Stretch the balloon over the funnel’s neck.
    • Take the teaspoon of baking soda and put it in the funnel.
    • Ensure the baking soda reaches the inside of the balloon.
Balloon stretched over the funnel’s neck.
My son is looking for the teaspoon to measure the baking soda.

The baking soda is in the funnel. It goes down the funnel into the balloon.

  • Stretch the balloon over the water bottle’s neck.
It is hard to see but there is vinegar in the water bottle. The balloon has baking soda in it.
  • Pick up the balloon and empty out the baking soda into the water bottle.
    • AFTER THE BAKING SODA GOES INTO BOTTLE, PLEASE BACK UP IN CASE THE BALLOON POPS.
    • The balloon popped when we did the experiment for the first time.
    • Safety goggles will protect your eyes in case the balloon pops.
  • Stand back and watch the balloon BLOW UP!

Below is a video of my son and I doing the experiment!

Why it works?

  • As the baking soda mixes with the vinegar, it creates bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that escapes into the balloon.
  • This makes the balloon blow up by itself.
  • If the mixture creates a lot of gas, then the balloon will get so big until it pops!

Have fun experimenting!

Resources:

Easy Art Fun Do-It-Yourself Crafts for Beginning Readers by Jill Frankel Hauser

Crafty Science by Jane Bull


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