5 Reading Games/Activities For Kids

5. reading games png

 

 

Infants Can Read?          baby smiling

Did you know that children show signs of reading as infants? Reading is all about discovering meaning and this is what your baby did  when they first responded to your smile.

Sometimes discovering meaning can be lost with traditional ISOLATED learning methods such letter sounds and worksheets. Reading should follow the natural way that children learn which is through a variety of experiences and following their interests.

Following Your Child’s Interest

If children are offered reading material that follow their interests, then they will want to seek meaning from words. From this desire, they will learn word recognition and phonics skills.

Children learn best from discoveries they make from exploring the world around them. They gather conclusions from their experimentations and creative play. For example, in water play, they learn about volume, capacity, and the properties of water as they pour it cup to cup.

What You Can Do As a Parent

Your job as the parent is to describe their play and provide them with language.  During water play, use descriptive words such as wet, splash, ripples, warm, and cool.  Then expose them to similar words by reading books dealing with water such Splish, Splash Ducky by Lucy Cousins or Spot Goes to the Swimming Pool by Eric Hill.  This is the beginnings of  you making connections with language and play.

The games/activities provided below will  help you make more connections with words through creative play.

Let’s Get Started!

 

Change the Story

Children should be provided opportunities to apply knowledge from books through imaginative play. Below is a way to stimulate your child’s ability to problem solve, sort information, and develop new ideas through creative-thinking questions. Below is how to do it…

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read the story multiple times to your child.
  3. Have your child change the ending.
  4. They may communicate their version of the ending through the following…
    • Drawing a picture
    • Creating a sculpture with Playdoh or Clay
    • Creating a dance
    • Role playing with props
    • Simply telling the story

play doh

Clues from the Story

The following activity will develop your child’s listening skills. It is also great for reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary.

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read the story multiple times to your child.
  3. Gather clues from the story you have read. Clues from the story can include…
    • Characters
    • Setting – where the story took place.
    • The conflict or problem in the story.
    • The story’s resolution
    • Basically anything in the story
  4. Let your child guess what you are thinking from the story with the clues you give them.
  5. Use descriptive words to describe your clue such as…
    • “I’m thinking of a humongous animal with a large trunk.”
    • Then let your child give you the answer which is elephant.
  6. Now let your child think of something and give you clues.
  7. Another variation of this game is to have your child get clues by asking you yes/no questions about a mystery item.
    • “Is it large?
    • “Does it make a loud noise”

 

Treasure Hunt   treasure hunt

This game is great for reading comprehension. It also helps your child learn how print and pictures carry meaning.

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read the story multiple times to your child.
  3. Tell your child they are going to do a treasure hunt.
  4. Find one vocabulary word, item, or character from the story.
  5. If you have the item in your home, you may use it for the hunt.
  6. If you don’t have the item, you may draw a picture and briefly describe it on separate piece of paper.
  7. Hide the item in your home.
  8. Leave a series of notes or pictures to help your child find the item.
    • For example, write “Go to the dining room table” or draw a picture of the  dining room table.
    • On the dining room table, have another note ready stating, “Go to your bedroom” or draw the child’s bedroom.
  9. Your child will continue finding and following instructions on notes or drawings until he/she locates the item from the story.
  10. Once your child has found the item, ask them to identify the item and how it fits in the story.

 

Charades

You will need more than one child for this game. This game is great for reading comprehension and promotes in-depth learning. In-depth learning is when you learn about something in various ways. Charades will allow your child to learn words through physical activities, reading, and application (identifying where it fits in the story)

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read it multiple times to your child.
  3. Write vocabulary words or characters from the story on index cards or paper.
  4. Players will take turns picking these cards from a plastic bag and acting them out.
  5. The other players will guess the word.
  6. Once the word is identified, then have the child identify where the word fits in the story.
  7. Another variation of this game is to have the player draw a picture of the word while the other players guess the word.

 

Spy a Word

  1. Read a story to your child.
  2. Ensure your child is familiar with the story.
    • You may have to read it multiple times to your child.
  3. Omit a word and let your child fill in the blanks.
  4. Let’s say you read a story where a mouse is trying to find cheese.
  5. You say “In the story, the mouse is trying to find……
  6. Let your child say “cheese.”
  7. Keep stating the plot of the story and let your child fill in the blanks.
  8. Another variation of this game is to fill in the blanks with silly words and let your child correct you.
  9. You state  “In the story, the mouse is trying to find a cat to eat him.
  10. Let your child correct you with the word “cheese.”

black father reading to son

Have Fun Reading and Playing!

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10 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve Others

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10 KIDS SERVE OTHERS

What Kids can Learn from Serving Others?

Encouraging kids to serve others is a great way to teach citizenship. Citizens understand there is a world greater than themselves. They make it a better place to live through helping others.

How Kids Benefit from Serving Others?

Kids who are involved in community service tend to be more confident because they have periods where they can forget about themselves and focus on others.

When kids are constantly thinking about themselves, they tend to focus on their flaws. This is where low self-esteem is usually developed because they constantly compare themselves to others.

Other Benefits of Community Service?

Serving others opens your eyes to those who are less fortunate than yourself. Also it boosts a child’s self esteem when they can apply their talents and skills to the benefit of others.

Children, as young as three years old, can learn about serving others. I have provided creative ways kids can help others below.

These service ideas are a collection of my personal experiences and recommendations from the book 77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve by Sondra Clark. The author gives wonderful ideas for kids to assist people, animals, and the environment.

Let’s get started!

1. Collect Tennis Balls for Animals Shelters

Volunteers use the balls to interact with the animals

  • Contact local tennis clubs and ask if they have old balls they don’t need.
  • Ask tennis high school team coaches (if you have one) to announce that you are collecting balls  for animals in shelters.
  • Contact local parks and the recreation department for tennis balls.
  • Set up a drop-off time with animal shelters in your area.

tennis balls

2.  Prepare Birthday Bags for Children Living in Shelters 

It’s difficult for parents living in shelters to provide birthday parties for their children, but you can help.

3. Give Giggle Bags 

Bring joy to kids in the hospital with giggle bags.

birthday bags

4. Help Habitat for Humanity – Even if you are too young to build

 

Go to the Bottom of this Post and Get Access to Service and Gift Ideas from Real Moms. These Moms Share the Service Projects they have done with their Children.

5. Build a Rock Garden for a Senior 

6. Recycle at Home

  • Have a family meeting about ways to recycle.
  • Make a list of ideas like buying in bulk, use reusable containers for lunch, recycle old batteries at the local drugstore, and donating old clothes and furniture to charity.

recycling kid

7. Collect Coins for Those in Need

  • Provide for people who suffer from war, disease, poverty, or natural disasters a gift.
  • Go to the World Hope Website and find the gift catalog to choose a category such as education.
  • Have children collect coins for the need they would like to fill.
  • Call World Hope at 888-466-4673 and decide on the best way to deliver the money.

8. Create Senior Emergency Kits

9. Give Stuffed Animals to Offer Comfort

  • Firefighters and police officers frequently deal with kids going through tough situations and stuffed animals can help comfort these children.
  • Ask the police and fire stations if they would like stuffed animals.
  • Get stuffed animals by looking through your old toys and asking friends and relatives.
  • Ask local stores and office buildings for boxes to store animals.
  • Get ribbons to put around the stuffed animals’ necks.

stuffed animals

10. Pack Up Backpacks for Foster Kids

  • Help foster children by collecting backpacks and small suitcases to help them as they move to a new home.
  • Call your local Social Services or Child Protective Services Office to see if they could use backpacks.
  • Write letters to big stores like Wal-Mart or Target and ask them to donate back packs.
  • Ask local schools for backpacks in their lost and found boxes (that are not claimed).
  • Add a stuff animal in the bag if possible and deliver them to the Social Service agencies you contacted.

There are many ways kids can serve others. Please share your ideas in the comments below!

Happy Serving!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Best Toys for Young Boys Who Love to Build and Create

*THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS I RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION, AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU, IF YOU MAKE A PURCHASE USING THE LINKS.

The Best Toys for Boys Who Love to Build and Create

I love toys where children can use their imagination to build and create various objects. These types of toys exercise children’s brains by teaching early math skills and spatial awareness.

Below are imaginative toys that my son loves!

These toys occupy his time, provide fun educational opportunities, and bring out his inner engineering skills.

Let’s get started!

 

1. Magnetic Tiles

This is such a versatile STEM toy. My son has built letters, numbers, rocket ships, ferris wheels, towers, and cars with this toy. It has an instruction book to teach you how to build various objects. It is a great way for kids to use their creativity and engineering skills!

 

We built a rocket ship!

 

This is the letter B!

 

 

2. Learning Resources Gears

Gears are a great STEM toy that encourages kids to sort, group, count, construct, design and solve problems. My son has built homes and traps for his action figures with this toy. He also likes to build letters and numbers with the gears and widgets.

 

This is the letter T!

 

This is the letter P!

 

 

3. Legos DUPLO Town Truck & Tracked    Excavator

 

 

This is a great toy for children who love cars, trucks, and construction vehicles. Whenever we pass by a construction site, my son can name all the vehicles because of the books we have read and hands-on learning provided with these Legos. We have also created stories around the characters and vehicles to incorporate literacy. The package says it’s for children ages 2-5 but my 7-year-old cousin played with these and had a great time!

 

Multiples of 3 Lego City!

 

4. Sum Blox

 

This amazing toy taught my son how to add numbers 1-10. The “height of each number corresponds to its value.” For example, the “1-block” is the shortest number and the “10-block” is the tallest number. If you stack the 5-block on top of another 5-block, then they will equal the same height as the 10-block. Your child will learn that 5+5=10 by building creative structures such as walls, towers, bridges, etc. These blocks are a bit pricy but worth it, in my opinion.

5+5=10

 

He created a tower for his cars to go through!

 

5. Wikki Stix

 

My son and I love this simple yet fun toy. It keeps his attention through church services and in waiting rooms. Wikki Stix allows your child to create any object they want. They come in fun colors and require no mess. Boredom is NOT an issue when it comes to this toy.

wikki stix 2
Making a football

 

wikki stix
All done!

6. Flexi Rods

 

This is not exactly a toy but a hair product. I had unused flexi rods in my closet and gave them to my son to play. He played with these for 45 minutes! These rods twist and turn in to various shapes and objects. My son likes to create letters and numbers with them. My pediatrician said it strengthens his hands and is a great fidgeting toy.

 

He built these letters and put them on my computer.

 

7. Automoblox

 

I discovered these during a playdate. Your child can take these cars apart and rebuild them. It teaches kids to problem solve, color recognition, and coordination. When my son and I are racing the cars, sometimes I will take one apart and pretend he is a mechanic. His job is to rebuild the car so we can race again. He loves this game!

corban cars
Building the car!

 

corban car 2
Put the car together with success!

8. Steam Dinosaur Toys

This is a great toy for kids who like dinosaurs. Children can take the dinosaurs apart and rebuild them using kid-sized screwdrivers. It develops hand-eye coordination, puzzle solving skills, and patience. The dinosaurs have wheels on the bottom so you can slide them on the floor and race them.

Triceratops is being taken apart.

 

A race is about to happen between two dinosaurs!

 

9. Snap Circuits Jr.

This toy is recommended for children ages 8 and up; however, my three-year-son and I love building with it. This kit allows you and your child to build working models of a photo sensor, flashing light, and adjustable-volume sirens. Your child should have a basic knowledge of letters, numbers, and putting together puzzles in order to maneuver this toy.  Parental supervision is needed if your child is under 8. I advise you to learn how the circuits work then present it to your child.

 

Starting to build an electric light and switch.

 

Success!

 

He just built the flying saucer!

 

10. Bristol Blocks

My son received this toy for his birthday. He has built cars, airplanes, robots, letters and more with these blocks. They have built his hand strength and eye coordination. He has learned how various geometrical shapes can be connected to make a masterpiece. Our favorite activity is to build something and make up a story around what was created.

He likes building letters! Here is letter E!

Please tell us which toy your children like! All of these are a hit in our household!

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!

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