Invisible Ink Writing/Drawing Activity

One day, I was looking at the book, Crafty Science by Jane Bull. It has a bunch of STEAM projects for children to create at home. I showed my son the Invisible Ink activity and he said “Let’s do that mommy.” We looked around the house and gathered the materials.

I thought this would be a great drawing and writing activity for my son. He ended up writing numbers. This is a great project to expose your child to literacy and science. If your child is learning how to read, write words that will challenge them to use phonics or sight words. The science in this project is explained at the end of this post.

Let’s Get Started!

Invisible Ink

Materials:

  • Lemon
  • Bowl
  • Paintbrush or Cotton Swabs
  • Paper
  • Iron (for adult use only)
Materials for Invisible Ink Activity.

Method:

Squeeze a lemon into a bowl

Write your secret message on the paper in lemon juice using a paintbrush or cotton swab.

Draw quickly in order to check your work before it dries. It does not have to be as dark as the picture below. My son insisted on going over the numbers numerous times so he could see it.

To get the message, an adult should iron the paper with a hot iron until the message comes through

Warning:

  • This activity may stain your iron with brown spots. This happened to me. I was able to get my iron squeaky clean by following the video below.

Why this activity Works:

  • This works because lemon juice is an acid.
  • When it is put on the paper, the acid destroys some of the paper surface.
  • When you heat it up with the iron, the areas with the message turn brown first.
  • Milk also works with this activity because it is slightly acidic.

Have fun with this simple activity!

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Car Wash Fun for Kids – The Ultimate Learning Activity

My son loves to play, build, and race his toy cars. One day, I asked him if he wanted to have a car wash after seeing this activity on the Internet. I remember looking at this activity and thinking this would be a great idea for a kid who likes cars.

I had several reasons for suggesting the car wash. First, this activity was a fun way to encourage my son to practice his penmanship. The weekend we did the activity, it was raining. I was trying to find something hands-on to do in the house; although, a car wash is really fun when doing it outside on a sunny day. Furthermore, I wanted to incorporate three things that interest my son which are cars, counting, and getting messy.

Our Car Wash incorporated fun and so many aspects of hands-on learning. I thought I would share this activity with you so your kids can have as much fun as my son.

Let’s Get Started

Materials:

  • Big sheet of poster board or white craft paper
  • Toy Cars
  • Markers
  • Painters Tape
  • Towels (3)
  • Wash Cloth
  • Cash Register or Play Money (You may also make your own play money)
  • Two Rectangular Plastic Containers
  • Water
  • Dish Detergent
Some of the materials for the Car Wash

Preparation:

  • Have your child decide the Car Wash Prices.
  • If your child can write, have them write the car wash prices on the poster board or white craft paper.
  • My son decided to give each color car a different price.
  • If your child can’t write, you may create the Car Wash Price Sign for them.
  • You may have your child draw the various colored cars on the sign.
  • I created a template on construction paper to assist my son in organizing the Car Wash prices on the white craft paper.
My son writing the Car Wash Prices using the template I created on pink construction paper.
Continuing to write the prices
Car Wash Price Sign is complete.
  • Tape the Car Wash Prices to a wall where it is visible for customers.
Car Wash Prices taped to the wall.
  • Get the toy cars, cash register, wash cloth, and towels
  • Lay the towels on the floor if you are doing this in your home.
  • If you are outside, then you can skip this step.
  • Fill one rectangular plastic container with dish detergent and water halfway.
  • This is where you will wash the cars
  • Fill the other rectangular plastic container with water.
  • This is where you will rinse the cars.

Now the Car Wash can Begin!

  • Have your child role play the Car Wash owner.
  • You or your child’s siblings and/or friends can play the customers.
  • As a customer, get some play money so you can pay to get your car washed.
  • I started off with $30.00 divided into (10) one dollar bills, (2) five dollar bills, (1) ten dollar bill
My son giving me money to start the Car Wash Activity.
  • Have your child say the following:
  • “Welcome to the Car Wash, how may I help you?
  • You will respond by saying the following…
  • Yes, I would like to have my yellow cars washed please.”
  • Then your child will look at the poster they made to see how much it costs to wash the yellow cars.
  • On our poster, it costs $2.00 to wash the yellow cars.
  • I had three yellow cars, so I gave him $6.00 with (1) five dollar bill and (1) one dollar bill
Exchanging money during the Car Wash Activity
  • Sometimes I gave him more money than the cost of washing the car so he could practice his subtraction skills and give me change.
  • After giving my son the money, he took the cars and washed them.
  • He washed them in the soapy water container and then put them in the container with water to rinse.
  • Next he put them on the towel to dry.
My son washing the cars.
My son rinsing the cars.
  • We kept repeating these steps until all the cars were washed.
  • Another time we did this activity, I was the Car Wash Owner.
  • We have also done this activity where my son was the Cash Wash Owner for the red cars but I was the Cash Wash Owner for the blue cars.
  • In other words, we were alternating roles.
  • Tailor this activity to your child’s ability by doing the following…
    • Have your child wash only one car at a time so they don’t have to do any subtraction or addition.
    • Only give your child one dollar bills so they can practice counting by ones.
    • Make all the car wash prices the same to make things easier.

Subjects Learned in this Activity

Color Recognition

  • Sort the cars by colors.
  • Make different prices for each color car.
  • You may also have a car wash with one color car like the red cars.

Math

  • Adding the costs to wash multiple cars.
  • Subtracting when the customer gives the Car Wash Owner too much money and change is needed.
  • Multiplying the cost when multiple cars with the same price are needed to be washed

Science

  • We had some cars that would float in the water and some that would not
  • We discussed that cars with less density than the water will float.
  • Cars with more density than the water will sink.
  • We reviewed the word buoyancy, which is the ability to float in water.
  • You may discuss the science of soapy water and how it cleans the cars.
    • Soap attaches to dirt and grease and causes it to be pulled off the toy cars and suspended in the water

Writing

  • My son was able to practice his handwriting skills in creating the Car Wash Price Sign.

Customer Service

  • Teach your child the importance of being nice and respectful to their customer.
  • Also ensure your child knows to clean the cars well so the customer is happy.
  • If the customer is happy then they will bring more customers.

Entrepreneurship

  • Explain to your child that Entrepreneurs own businesses and their purpose is to solve problems or make things better.
  • A great business has happy customers who will tell others about their service or product.
  • Take your child to a real Car Wash and show them it is a Real Business.

Have fun with this activity and make this your own!

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.

Happy Learning!

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Celery Experiment – How Plants Get Water

Spring is here and many kids are helping their parents and teachers grow plants and flowers. One of the most important jobs in growing plants is to water them regularly. My son helps my husband water the garden. As a result, by July, we have vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans.

This Celery Experiment is great way to show kids how plants get water from their roots up to the leaves. At the end of the post, I will explain why this experiment works.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

  • Glass Jar or Drinking Glass
  • Celery
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Knife
Materials for Celery Experiment

Method:

  • Gather the materials
  • Cut about one inch off the bottom of the celery stalk.
Here I cut about one inch off the bottom of the celery.
  • Fill the drinking glass halfway with water.
  • Put a few drops of food coloring into the drinking glass.
Putting drops of food coloring into glass


My son chose to put red and blue food coloring in the glass.
Mixing the food coloring together
  • Place the celery stalk in the colored water and let it sit over night.
We put the celery in the glass
  • Rip open the celery to see how the color travels throughout the stalk
Food coloring on the celery’s rib.
  • You should see that the food coloring has traveled to the leaves.
The food color traveled to the celery’s leaves

Why it works:

  • When you water a plant, the roots absorb the water from the soil.
  • The tiny tubes in the celery or plant stem, called xylem, draw the water up from the roots like a straw.
  • This process is called Capillary Action.
  • Capillary Action happens when water climbs up the tiny tubes.
  • The water droplets stick to the walls of the tubes and go upward.
  • The water sticks to itself and pulls more water as it climbs up.
  • Capillary Action lets water climb up to the various parts of a plant through the xylem tubes in the stem.

Have fun with this experiment!

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.

Happy Learning!

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Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play – Over 130 Games/Activities and Tips

Your three-year-old son can read on a third grade level? How?

Just this past weekend, I saw my three-year-old son, Cory, reading a book to his Sunday School teacher and a group of kids.  As soon as the teacher saw me, she said “This child can read at three-years-old? How did you do this?” When someone asks me this, my short answer is always by making reading fun, exposure to a variety of books, and playing with words.

Then later that day, I took my son to another child’s home for a birthday party. The kids were having so much fun playing inside and outside. At one point, Cory was  playing with the Leapfrog letter set at the refrigerator and spelling words. He asked the birthday boy’s mother, who is a teacher, for the letter T in order to spell the word gift.  After spelling, the boy’s mom approached me and said “I can’t believe your son spelled gift!” I replied by saying “Yes, he loves to read and spell!” She said “How did you do this?” Again, I gave her my normal answer.

The book is available on Amazon! Click the image above to access the link.

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Is your son a genius?

Parents and teachers are usually amazed to know that my son was reading at 21 months. Right now, he can read on a third-grade level. They often say “He is a genius!” I think ALL CHILDREN ARE BORN GENUISES! Cory was born with the same capilibities as every other child. He was just exposed to words and language in a fun way at an early age. In my opinion, any child can do this!

Why did you teach your son to read so early?

It was not my intention to teach Cory to read as a toddler. I didn’t think he would learn the alphabet until the age of three or four. My objective was to expose him to words and language so he wouldn’t be a late communicator. In my experience as a social worker/play therapist, I noticed children who couldn’t speak would resort to hitting or kicking out of frustration. However, once they developed language this behavior would decrease because they could communicate their needs and wants. 

As I started exposing Cory to words through play and reading, I noticed that he liked what I was doing. After reading a book to him as a baby, he would take the book and give it back to me. He wanted me to read it again. I remember my husband read the book, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See ten times in a row to Cory at one time. He enjoyed the interactive activities and games we played, which I used to exposed him to new words daily. He has always loved playing with letters, learning the phonics, and blending sounds. Finally, there came a point were he had a desire to seek meaning from words through reading!

Watch my three-year-old son read the book, Charlotte’s Web. A book for children ages 8 and up.

Why is reading a struggle for some kids?

Reading is boring.

Some kids think reading is boring. Many young children spend their days playing. Then once the child turns five or six-years-old, adults tell the child that they have to sit down, focus, and learn to read. Learning to read can be a frustrating process for some kids. It takes time and concentration because one of the best ways to become a better reader is to read. This can be difficult for the child who is a kinesthetic learner, as most kids are, and loves to be physical and experience what they are learning. 

My Child is not trying hard enough

Sometimes when a child is behind on their appropriate reading level, the teacher will tell the parents. Parents usually get nervous and upset by this information, and these emotions transfer to the child. During home reading sessions, the parents get frustrated with the child because “they are not trying hard enough.” This most often leads kids to having a negative view of reading. They will often tell their parents “I hate reading!” In turn the parents become more upset because their child is behind their classmates and they are unable to motivate the child to read.

Parents don’t know where to start

Teaching a child to read can be an overwhelming task. First, you have to learn the alphabet, phonics, blending sounds, sight words, and the various rules of the English language. Parents may have a child that knows the alphabet and phonics but is having difficulty with teaching them sight words. Flashcards are often used to teach sight words, but again the child thinks this is SO BORING!

Furthermore, if a child is reading a book with a lot of words they are unfamiliar with, they may get irritated and want to do something else. Additionally, how do you explain that the word bat can be an animal and a tool used for baseball? Oh and when you see the letters PH together, you should make the F sound. Also, C can make the short sound like in cat or the long sound like in cell.

My Child won’t sit during reading time.

I have heard many parents complain that their child doesn’t want to sit and read an entire book. As parents are reading, the child may look in space and not pay attention. Or if the child can read, they get distracted by something happening in the background. Sometimes a parent may read the first few pages of a book to a child but the story line is boring which causes their mind to wonder.

My Child is uninterested in reading about the topic.

A big reason why some kids don’t like to read is because they are uninterested in the topic. This often happens when kids have to read school textbooks or remember facts that they have no connection to. The kids are wondering why they have to know this information. Parents and teachers are trying to get their children to retain the information and it is just not happening for the child. This can be a pretty difficult situation to navigate.

Below are questions many parents have about reading…

What age should a child learn to read?

Most kids start learning to read at 6 or 7. Some kids start earlier at the age of 4 or 5. I believe children have the ability to recognize words earlier. My son started recognizing words at nine months. 

One day my son and I were playing in the basement. I asked him to get the book, Brown Bear Brown Bear out of the bin. Out of the 12 books in the bin, he picked the correct title.

My son was able to blend sounds to make words at 21 months. The only reason he did this so early was because he was exposed to it as a baby. However, all children learn at different times and levels. They also learn with various methods. It is important to concentrate on your child’s level and their readiness to learn.

Watch the video below to see my son spelling at 21 months old

How can I help my child learn to read?

There are countless ways to teach kids to read. Kids learn through reading, talking with others, story-telling, workbooks, digital media and technology, learning phonics and sight words, blending sounds, writing, and asking questions. 

I used playful in-depth learning to teach Cory to read. This included fun activities like singing, dancing, playing with blocks, magnetic tiles, Playdoh, drawing, games, role- play, writing stories with paint and sidewalk chalk, going outside to play and reading. It is important to read books that interest your child so they will gain the curiosity to seek meaning from words.

What if my child is not interested in a certain topic?

Children will be interested in reading when there is a connection to what they are learning. I remember in high school disliking my geography class because I felt no connection to other countries. My interest in geography did not come alive until I started to travel internationally while in college. 

Let’s say you want your child to learn about other countries, then observe your child and see what they like and offer a connection. For the child who loves sports, have them read about Sports played in the countries. If your daughter loves princesses, have them read about princesses around the world.

How long should a child read each day?

Children should read at least 20 minutes a day. However, if a parent is doing formal reading lessons then all you need is 15 minutes a day. Outside of the 15 minutes, please know that reading can take place anywhere. Children can read a dinner menu, playground signs, grocery list, captions on their favorite cartoon. 

How do I help my child who is struggling with reading?

First, you must define what struggling means. If you are comparing your child with other kids in the classroom or the national standards of reading and they are below their level, then yes they maybe struggling. However, if you don’t compare them to anyone, you may realize that they just need more time to get the concept. 

When a child needs more time with reading, ensure you are teaching to their learning styles. 

Auditory learners love to learn through hearing. Great activities for them would be to read books based on songs and retelling stories you have read and adding music with DIY instruments like banging the bottom of an oatmeal container. Visual learners use sight to learn. They would enjoy drawing and painting colorful stories and doing word puzzles and games with colorful pictures. Kinesthetic learners love explore the world through touch and movement. Try building model sets based on books and doing a Treasure Word Hunt Game would be fun for them. 

In my opinion, the best way for children to learn to read is through playful in-depth and natural wholesome interaction. It is the best way to create a desire in children to read. 

This is why I have written the ebook, Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play: A Detailed Account With Over 130 Games/Activities, Tips, and Resources.

My goal is to help you expose your child to words and reading in a fun way. This book will take you through a step by step process of how I taught my son to read. It gives you games/activities to do with your child along the way to make reading a process that is fun, natural, and interesting! It will help spark your child’s curiosity in wanting to seek meaning from words which is essentially reading. 

This book provides the following…

  • A detailed account of how I taught my son to read
  • Over 130 Reading Games/Activities and Resources
  • How to expose your child to new words through play
  • The types of books to start your child’s reading journey
  • How to encourage curiosity in your child
  • Child brain development and how to develop faster connections in your baby’s brain
  • How to expose newborn and babies to words through play and bonding
  • How my son was able to recognize words as a baby
  • How to make rereading books fun for you and your child
  • Simple ways to create a literacy rich home
  • The MOST important thing you can do as a parent to encourage reading in your household
  • How songs and dancing assisted in teaching my son to read.
  • How to take full advantage of the FREE Services at your Local library
  • How Physical Activities can boost your child’s reading skills
  • How to Teach the Alphabet in a Fun Way
  • How to Teach the Phonics, Blending Sounds, and Sight Words in a Fun Way
  • The three basic learning styles in children
  • How to determine your child’s learning style
  • How to expose children to new concepts aligned with their learning style
  • How children with certain learning styles tend to communicate
  • The toys/activities children with certain learning styles tend to favor
  • How to make learning fun and playful for children
  • How to determine the best time to teach your child
  • How to execute Fun In-Depth Learning
  • How to use the body’s senses to teach your child
  • How to combine In-depth learning and learning styles during play
  • How to incorporate digital media in your child’s learning
  • How to teach a child with more than one learning style
  • How to Structure your Day
  • How to progress to teaching your child the phonics
  • How Writing and Art can build a child’s reading skills
  • How to Use Real World Experiences and Field Trips to expose children to language.
  • How to Choose Books your Child will Like to Read.
  • Strategies for When your Child Loses Interest in Reading.
  • Examples of toys we used
  • Examples of books we read through our journey
  • Once your child begins to read, how to continue to build their skills.

Here is What Others are Saying About the Book

“This was a wonderfully detailed account of not only how to teach your child to read, but also how to connect with your child, support your child in a lifetime of loving to learn, and use your time caring for your child in a meaningful, fulfilling way. I am inspired as a mother, and I wish I’d known about this sooner!

I thought it was very well written, and the flow was perfect. The book flowed seamlessly from one chapter to the next, and I felt like it was organized perfectly.”

-Stacey

“This is a wonderful guidebook for parents who want to help their children begin learning at an early age through play. It is an introduction on how to nurture a love of learning and proficiency in reading in children, which in turn will open the door for your child to be exposed to and learn about a variety of topics.  Andrea incorporates several learning styles in order to pave the way for a lifetime of learning.

I look forward to incorporating some of these techniques into playtime with my little learners.”

-Danielle J.

“This book documents the journey of an engaged parent who used creative and fun ways to introduce her son to books. This led to the child’s continuous interest in letters, words, sentences and naturally, reading. If you are willing to invest the time in incorporating the tips in this book with your child, he or she will also develop an interest in books and learn to read during the early stages of brain development. This book is an excellent example of the African Proverb “Each One Teach One.”

-Linsey Mills

This is a great e-book for parents with children ages 0-7! Invest in your child’s future. Reading is the most powerful tool to promote creativity, increase brain power, and it helps your child express themselves better! The best way to teach a child to spell and grammar rules is not through flashcards and worksheets but through reading and play!

Not Sure Yet? Then Complete the Form at the Bottom of this Post to Read the First Chapter for Free!

The book is available on Amazon! Click the image above to access the link.


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4 Simple & Fun Kitchen Science Experiments for Young Kids

Science is such a great subject because it allows you to mix substances and create  simple and fun experiments.

My son and I did four experiments using ingredients from the kitchen. We enjoyed the process of gathering tools, reading instructions, mixing substances, and observing the outcome.

Join us in doing the experiments below!

Want More Tips? Get 3 Tools Every Household Needs to Boost Children’s Academic Skills

Let’s Get Started!

Milk Rainbow

Ingredients:

  • Sturdy Paper Plate
  • Milk
  • Food coloring
  • Dish soap
  • Cotton Swab

Method:

  1. Pour enough milk onto the plate to cover the surface.
  2. Drop food coloring into the center of the milk.
  3. Dip a cotton swab into dish soap and then touch the tip into the center of the food coloring.
  4. Watch what happens.
  5. You should see the colors move when the cotton swap touch the milk.

Why it Works?

  • The dish soap does not mix with the milk.
  • Instead, the dish soap floats on top and spreads.
  • As the dish soap spreads, it grabs the food coloring.
  • Soap attacks grease so its molecules go for the fat in the milk.
  • This causes movement and the colors to swirl around.
The yellow food coloring spreads in the milk and soap mixture.
The green food coloring is spreading in the milk and soap mixture.


The green circle is getting bigger.

 

Bubble Worms:

Ingredients:

  • Empty plastic water bottle
  • Scissors
  • An old sock
  • An aluminum / plastic container
  • Spoon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dish soap

Method:

  1. Use scissors to cut the bottom off the water bottle.
  2. Place the elastic part of the sock over the bottom of the water bottle.
  3. Mix the water and dish soap in a container with a spoon.
  4. Dip the sock end of the bottle into the soapy mixture.
  5. Blow on the mouth of the bottle to create a long bubble worm.
    • Adults and older child should blow on the mouth.
    • I let my son blow ONCE just to experience it.
    • Sometimes small children will inhale on the mouth of the bottle instead of blowing out.
    • Let young children grab the bubbles at the bottom as you are blowing the mouth of the bottle.

Why it Works?

  • Water and soap are the basic ingredients for bubbles.
  • Bubbles are formed because of the air in them.
  • The surface of the sock on the water bottle has tiny holes.
  • Each of the holes are acting as individual bubble blowers.
  • Each hole is taking a bit of air in a layer of soap.
  • This combines to create the Bubble Worm.
Bubbles Galore!
My son had so much fun with this experiment!

 

Corn Starch Slime:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Corn Starch
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Bowl
  • Washable paint or food coloring (I prefer paint because it washes off easily).

Method:

  1. Dump corn starch in a bowl.
  2. Add water to the bowl
  3. Keep adding corn starch or water until it reaches the consistency you like.
  4. Add washable paint to mixture to make it colorful.

Why it Works?

  •  The grains of the cornstarch are NOT dissolved in the water.
  • The cornstarch grains are suspended and spread out in the water.
  • The cornstarch grains can hold its position in water when pressure is applied.
Creating the Cornstarch slime mixture!
Fun with Slime!

 

Sparkle Explosion:

Ingredients:

  • Vase or Cup
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Food Coloring
  • Glitter
  • Pan

Method:

  1. Place 2-3 Tablespoons of baking soda in the bottom of the vase or cup.
  2. Put the vase or cup in the pan.
  3. Add 6-7 drops of food coloring and 1-2 teaspoons of glitter
  4. Pour in the 1/2 cup of vinegar.
  5. Watch for the sparkles.

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 decompose into water and carbon dioxide gas which causes the bubbling action.
Mixing the Vinegar and Baking!
Colorful Explosion!

Happy Experimenting!

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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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Effective and Fun Study Tips for Kids/Tweens/Teens

One day a group of moms and I were sharing information about our hobbies, jobs, and businesses. I told the group that I just started a YouTube Channel with Fun Accelerated Learning Tips for Kids. One mom asked me to make a video of Study Tips for Tweens/Teens. Excitement was my feeling because I love doing research, telling others what I have learned, and solving problems. My response was “I will work on it!”

Below is what I have experienced and found to be effective study habits and strategies for kids. 

Let’s Get Going!

Want More Tips? Get 3 Tools Every Household Needs to Boost Children’s Academic Success.

How Can I Help my Kid study?

Create conversations

You can assist your child with their school work by being involved in their studies. Ask your child about the topics they are learning about in school. Create conversations during dinner, car trips, or walking the dog about that topic and share what you know. If you don’t know much about the topic, have your kid teach you about the subject. You may also do your own research on the topic and share what you learned. 

Being Involved

Another way to assist your child is to attend parent conferences, open houses, or back-to-school nights. Students usually do better when they are supported in their academic life. As a parent, request meetings with teachers and other staff just to check your child’s progress. These meetings should happen whether your child is doing well or need some extra attention with school work. Open Houses or Back-to-School nights are when parents learn about school programs and polices and other opportunities your child may take advantage of.

Some Basic Necessities

 It is important for parents to provide the basic necessities children need to study such as nutritional meals and sleep. Nutritional meals can help your child focus and increase their attention span. Children need the proper amount of sleep in order to be alert during the day. Parents can help by turning off electronic devices at certain hours and creating time limitations.

Conducive Study Environment

Children should have a conducive studying environment. This includes having  the tempature between 74º and 77º.  It is helpful to place desks or tables away from distractions. Some parents find putting their child’s desk in the corner of their room away from the door and facing the wall helpful. Natural light is the best light to study with; however, if this is not available, ensure there is proper lighting  in your child’s study area.

Another tip is to have a distraction sheet near your child in case they have ideas pop in their head that are not related to school work. The child can write down their thoughts to prevent them from constantly thinking about it during study time. 

What are the habits of Successful Students?

Learning Outside the Classroom

 Two habits of successful students are learning outside the classroom and doing practice exams. Many successful students don’t just read the text book provided by their school, they take the initative to learn about a topic through reading other books, watching educational videos, and through experience. For example, if a child is learning about the American Civil Rights Movement, they may read about civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis, watch a documentary on the movement such as Eyes on the Prize, or visit a history museum. 

Practice Exams

Successful students often do practice exams. A practice exam can be informal when a parent is having an analytical dialogue or asking the child questions about the topic. It can also be formal where the parents create a practice test for their child. Practice tests can also be found in the back of other textbooks on the subject. Sometimes, you can find older editions of textbooks at your local library. 

How Can I Improve my Child’s Interest in Studies?

Children will be interested in their studies when there is a connection to what they are learning. I remember in high school disliking my geography class because I felt no connection to other countries. My interest in geography did not come alive until I started to travel internationally while in college. 

Let’s say your child is taking geography, then observe your child and see what they like and offer a connection. For the child who loves sports, have them research Sports played in the countries they are studying. If your daughter loves fashion, have them research the dress and fashion trends in the countries they are studying. Take it a step further and compare their findings to what happens in their home country. 

Another way to spark interest in studies is to encourage the child to find how it applies to their lives. Another subject I did not like in High School was Physics. However, if I would have done some hands on physics experiments then I would have been more engaged in my studies. For example, a great physics lesson is visiting a playground and studying how the two opposing forces of a seesaw lever and fulcrum (placed in the middle) counterbalance each other, creating a smooth ride through the air. My only exposure in high school to physics was in a book and I did not connect with it.

4 Ways to Improve Study Habits

Chunking information

Chunking is the process of breaking information into smaller pieces so the brain can digest it more easily. As a second grader writing a short story in class, I could not remember how to spell the word together. I got up and asked my teacher and she said three words “to” “get” “her.” From that time on, together has never been a word I have forgotten to spell. 

Chunking can be done in many ways. Kids can group together information by categories. For example, if your child is learning the symbols of the periodic table, they can remember them by groups. First they may learn the Group 1 which are the alkali metals, then move on the Group 2, the alkaline earth metals, and so on. 

Mind mapping

Mind mapping is one of my favorite ways to learn new things. It is an easy way to get information in and out of your brain. With mind maps you can study, take notes, create new ideas and plan projects. It consists of words, colors, lines, and pictures, which coincides with how our brain thinks.

There are 5 steps to Mind Mapping.

  1. Get a blank paper with colored pens, pencils, markers, or crayons.
  2. Draw a picture in the middle of the page that sums up your topic or subject.
  3. Draw thick curved, connected lines coming away from the picture, one of each for the main ideas you have about the topic.
  4. Name each of these ideas and it is helpful to draw pictures of each.
  5. For each of the ideas, draw other connected lines spreading like tree branches.
    • These represent the details.

We remember information better with pictures because it uses both sides of the brain. For example, it is natural for photographs, books and magazines to bring back our memories. If you want to remember all your favorite things, just draw a color coded picture like below.


If you wanted to Mind Map an article, use the basic elements below in your picture.

  1. What?
  2. Where?
  3. When?
  4. Who?
  5. Why?
  6. Conclusion

Creativity

Get creative with how new information is studied especially if it is a subject you are not fond of. If you love making home videos, create a show on the information you are studying and perform it for family and friends. Another idea is to make up questions about the subject and play a trivia game with friends in your class. Have all your friends bring a certain amount of questions for the game. If you like music, write a song about the information and put it to a catchy beat. 

Please note: As you are preparing for your creative way of studying, ensure you understand the material first to pinpoint any area of confusion you have. 

Get creative with how to study information

  1. Create a You Tube video teaching others about the topic.
  2. Create a commercial or role play on the information.

Schedule but with a Catch

It is helpful to set up a daily schedule of when you will study. However, it is important to include fun things like hobbies, time with friends or playing video games, and digital media time. You are more likely to complete tasks when you have playtime and work time on your schedule. This allows you to create in your mind something to look forward to. 

Association

One of the easiest ways to remember information is to associate it with something in which you are familiar. For example, make up a sentence using the letters in the formula to remember the area of a rectangle which is A = lw. The sentence could be Laura and Will had a big baby named Adam. Try to use items that you will remember like name of friends and family.

I hope you have found these tips helpful!!!

Use these studying strategies above to make studying revelent, interesting, and fun!

Happy Learning!

Other Resources

Thomas Frank’s video on How to Study Effectively: 8 Advanced Tips-College Info Geek 


Mind Maps for Kids by Tony Buzan

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4 Fun & Simple Activities/Games That will Teach Kids about Germs

germs activities

As adults, we most likely want  to prevent children from getting sick. It disturbs their playtime and they often look helpless lying in bed during an illness. One way to keep kids healthy is to teach them how to prevent germs.

I have provided 4 FUN and SIMPLE activities that will complete this mission! These activities will have your child wanting to help with chores and pinpoint the importance of good hygiene.

Learn How to Teach Kids to Cover their Mouths in a Fun Way

 

Let’s get started by answering basic questions about germs/microbes.

How are germs spread by hands?

 When you cough or sneeze, this is the lungs’ way of doing their job to force bad germs/microbes out. Some people cough in their hands if they don’t have a tissue.  Coughing in your hands leads to germs being left there. When you touch anything such as a doorknob, pen, sink, utensils, or someone else’s hand, you will spread germs.

How can you prevent germs from spreading?

 There are good and bad germs. You want to keep good germs and get rid of bad germs. Good germs can help make vitamins that your body needs. Foods that increase good bacteria or germs are asparagus, beans, spinach, and bananas.

One way to prevent bad germs from spreading is to cough or sneeze into a tissue or elbow. Furthermore, if you don’t cover up at all while sneezing and coughing, the germs can go really far. Some germs can travel 100 miles (160km) per hour and spread over 100,000 more.

Another way to prevent germs is to wash your hands frequently with soap. Soap helps to remove dirt and microbes. Hand washing should occur before eating, after using the bathroom, when playtime is complete, after using public transportation, or visiting public places.

How can kids prevent germs?

 Germs can enter the body through the mouth, nose, breaks in the skin, eyes and genitals (privates). Below are 5 ways to prevent germs…

  1. Using tissues to wipe and blow your nose.
  2. Staying home from school when you are sick.
  3. Keep hands out of mouth.
  4. Do not use other’s forks, spoons, or drink from the same cup. 
  5. Teach kids to wash their hands.

 

How do you teach a child to wash their hands?

Have kids do the following steps to wash their hands…

  1. Wet their hands with warm or cold water.
  2. Use soap to lather their hands while singing “Happy Birthday” twice.
  3. Scrub between fingers, on the backs of hands, and under nails.
  4. Rinse well and dry with a clean towel.

 Tip: Create a colorful chart with the steps above and display in all bathrooms.

Here’s a Great Book that Teaches Kids about Germs

Have you ever asked a child to wash their hands and they asked “Why?” The story, Do not lick this book* by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost, provides a fun and engaging way to answer this question.

How this Book makes Learning about Germs Fun!

This book is about an oval shaped microbe character named Min, who teaches children about germs, by going on an adventure. Min begins her journey ON the book and involves readers by asking them to take her various places.

For example, the book says “Let’s take Min on an adventure! See the circle on the next page? That’s where Min lives. Touch the circle with your finger to pick her up. Min is now on your finger!”

Taking your Child on a Germ Journey

During Min’s travels, she meets friends and takes them along the way. Somehow Min and Rae end up on the reader’s shirt! At each stop, the authors show children a microscopic view of their destination. Additionally, commentary from other microbes explain how they function. While Min and Rae on are the reader’s shirt, one microbe says “Can you give me a hand spreading this dirt around?” Another microbe says “We’re making this shirt smell.”

While Min and friends are on the reader’s belly button, one microbe asks, “Did I tell you about the time soap got all the way in here? Another microbe replies “I don’t like scary stories!” This book teaches children the importance of brushing their teeth, washing clothes, and taking a bath in a humorous manner.

At the end, the authors show readers what microbes really look like and where they can be found.

Let’s apply it with 4 FUN Activities!

 Use the activities below to….

  1. Teach your Child about germs.
  2. Encourage them to help with chores.
  3. Promote Hygiene and Self-Care.

 

I do these activities with my son and he loves it!

Create the Germ/Microbe

  1. Have your child draw a germ/microbe.
  2. Tell the child to give the microbe a name.
  3. Have your child draw the microbe a friend and name it.
  4. Tell your child the microbe is going to travel to three places…
    • Their clothes
    • On their teeth
    • On their hands
  5. Tell your child you are going to get rid of the germs by doing the next three activities.

Laundry

  1. Explain to children that microbes get on our clothes and make them dirty and stinky.
  2. While doing laundry have your child help you put the clothes in the dryer and washing machine.
  3. While your child is handling the clothes say the following…
    • “Let’s get the Microbes off the clothes by putting them in washing machine.
  4. Make it fun and urgent by saying the following…
    • “Oh no! The microbes are multiplying let’s put them in the washing machine quickly!
    • Make it into a race against the Microbes.

Brushing Teeth

  1. Explain to children that microbes get on our teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities.
  2. Explain that cavities are holes in your teeth.
  3. The microbes also cause your breathe to stink.
  4. These microbes love sugars like candy.
  5. In order to get them off, they must floss and brush their teeth.
  6. While your child is brushing their teeth say the following..
    • “Hurry Hurry, the microbes are running because they know we are about to brush your teeth!
    • Let’s brush your teeth to remove them now!”
    • I hear the microbes saying, “No, No don’t brush your teeth! We don’t like the smell of toothpaste!”
  7. When your child is rinsing their mouth and spitting, say the following…
    • “The microbes are down the drain and they are yelling “No, No!”

Washing Hands

  1. Explain to children that microbes get on our hands as we touch various things like the doorknob and sink.
  2. We often touch our noses, mouths, and eyes allowing microbes to come into our bodies and make us sick.
  3. We need to wash our hands to decrease our chances of getting sick.
  4. While your child is washing their hands, laugh and say the following…
    • “We are going to get those microbes by washing our hands with soap!”
    • “The microbes are scared of soap so let’s keep scrubbing!”
  5. When your child is rinsing their hands, say the following…
    • “The microbes are down the drain and they are yelling “No, No!”
    • “Yes! We conquered the microbes!”

When I forget to do these activities, my son usually asks me to play the Microbe Games!

Get creative with your children on how to remove microbes!

Bonus Tip: 

Here are Fun Chore Charts for Kids of All Ages

Happy Cleaning!

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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4 Fun and Thoughtful Holiday Activities for Kids

*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.
4 holiday activities It is a great time to do fun and thoughtful holiday activities with kids! I love this season because it is so full of life, joy, and love! It is also a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, spend time with family, and to give thanks for our presence here on earth. What I love most of all about the holidays is GIVING to others!! Yes, the act of giving makes others feel good but it benefits the giver as well. It boosts “neurochemical drivers of happiness” and helps to normalize levels of serotonin which promotes feelings of comfort and well-being. I wanted my son to give and experience these feelings. Therefore, we have done the following activities below to share and receive the pleasant feelings of holiday giving!

Paint Rocks and Give as Gifts

Last Christmas, when my son was two years old, I encouraged him to give gifts to family members. We chose to find big rocks in nature and paint them. We packaged them in colorful wrapping paper and gave them away. My son was so excited that he could give gifts! He asked me 5 consecutive days before Christmas if it was time to give the rocks away. His rocks from last year are currently displayed in my family’s homes and he is proud. This is a simple yet fun project. Materials Needed
  1. Place Newspaper on table for easy clean-up.
  2. Pour soap and water in plastic container to make soapy water.
  3. Clean rocks with soapy water and toothbrush.
  4. Empty soapy water and put clear water in container to rinse rocks.
  5. You can also run water over rocks to rinse them.
  6. Pour water in cup for cleaning paint brushes of previous color.
  7. Put napkins in paper plate #1 to dry paint brushes.
  8. Pour small sections of various color paints on paper plate # 2.
  9. Place rock on table with newspaper or magazine paper.
  10. Let your child be creative and paint the rock.
soapy water and rocks
Washing rocks in soapy water!
washing rocks
Rinsing the rocks in water!
paint set up
Setting up our supplies!
painting rocks
He likes mixing the paint.
rocks
Finished product!

Count Money and Buy a Gift

When I was young, it was my job to take my parents’ loose coins and put them in a money jar. Every year, about three weeks before Christmas, I would put the pennies in wrappers. Afterwards, we took a trip to the bank to exchange the coins for dollars. I took this money and bought gifts for my mom, dad, and older brother. There are so many lessons learned within this activity such as: counting, money recognition, sorting and the purpose of banks. Another skill I learned was awareness of others. A child may buy his dad green socks because it is his favorite color or mom a cup because she loves drinking tea in the morning. Materials Needed
  1. Have the child gather loose coins and put into money jar.
  2. Count coins and sort into money wrappers using the Nadex Sort and Wrap Set.
  3. Take coins to the bank or credit union and exchange for cash.
    • If you don’t have enough coins to fill wrappers, then check with your local bank about the loose coin conversion policy.
    • Some banks and credit unions convert coins into cash for customers only.
    • Some grocery stores have coin machines but will charge a fee.
    • Check out this article for more ways to convert coin into cash.                                                                                                                
  1. Brainstorm with child what family members or friends they will purchase gifts for.
  2. Have the child list the person’s interest and favorites.
  3. Make a tentative list of gifts for each member or friend.
  4. Your list may change once you go shopping.
  5. Go shopping.
  6. Help the child the wrap gifts.
  7. Watch their faces light up when family members or friends open their gift!
money roll 2
Inputting Coin Wrapper in Nadex Coin and Wrap Set.
money roll 3
Inserting the coins
money roll
Coin Wrapping is complete!

Melissa & Doug Stained Glass Race Car Ornaments 

  • Please note that you can make other items such as hearts and rainbows.
This is a simple project to make with kids. There are two cars in the kit. Kids will enjoy the experience of decorating their cars with colorful stickers. This activity also helps with spatial awareness, creativity, and focusing. This would be a great gift for children to give to  family members. Materials Needed
  1. Follow directions in the Kit for the best results.
car activity 1
Just getting started
 
car activity 2
One car is complete and another left to go!

Create Your Own Christmas Cards Artwork

Instead of buying birthday cards for family members and friends, my son likes to make his own. The personal touch of a handmade card from a child is priceless. The time and effort it takes to create a masterpiece for a loved one fills their soul with joy. The person knows the child took time to make something especially for them. So why not have this same experience during the Holidays? My son has started to make his Holiday cards already. It is a symbol of appreciation for the person’s role in his life. Your child can create their own masterpiece and present it to family and friends. They can use crayons, stickers, markers, glitter and whatever their minds come up with to decorate this card! Happy Holidays to You!Here is the Masterpiece I Created for You!
holiday card 4
Creating a Masterpiece on the Holiday Card.
Finished Product!

Complete the Form Below to Download Holiday Card!

Below are details about the card…
  • Downloadable 5 x 7in postcard
  • Child can create artwork in the white rectangular space
  • Ability to type in white rectangular space with computer
  • Plenty of room for child to create artwork
  • Child can deliver or mail postcard to recipient
Please print and cut the postcard on 100lb card stock paper for best results. Before you download, please know:
  • Simply Outrageous Youth Printables are for Personal Use Only
  • You may not modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
  • Please do not remove the credits/watermarks.
I hope you try some of the ideas given here. My son and I had fun doing these hands-on projects! A bonus is we learned a lot in the process! Tell me about your holiday projects. I want to know as I am always learning!

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

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4 Simple and Fun Pumpkin Activities for Kids

*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.

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.
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.” OUR TEACH YOUR TODDLER TO READ THROUGH PLAY ONLINE COURSE HAS A 44% DISCOUNT! Click here for the PAYMENT PLAN OPTION! 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 Explain Multiplication to a Preschooler Using Pictures

HOW I EXPLAINED MULTIPLICATIONS-2

*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.

Some may ask “Why would you explain multiplication to a preschooler?” I will tell you why. One day my son was playing with a math set that included numbers and symbols such as the plus, minus, equal and division signs. He likes to put the numbers in ascending and descending order. While playing, he held up the X (the multiplication sign) and asked “What is this?”

When my son asks a question, I usually challenge myself to answer it so he can understand. This time, after hearing the question, I was lost for words. I started to tell him that it’s a multiplication sign and he will learn about it once he gets older. Before uttering these words, I thought a picture would be the best way to explain this concept.

*Bonus Tip

Go to the Bottom of this Post to Get Access to A Fun Game, Using Action Figures and Stuffed Animals, That Will Explain Multiplication to Young Kids

 

Here was my process for answering the question, “What is multiplication?”

I cut a big piece of craft paper  and taped it to the wall. Then we found crayons and started our quick lesson.

Please note: In order to use this explanation, ensure your child is familiar with their numbers, counting, and shapes.

With the crayon, I wrote the problem 2×3 =. Then I asked my son to duplicate the problem using the numbers and symbols in his math set. He took the 2, 3, x, and equal sign and made the problem on the floor.

Afterwards, I told him the first number(2), tells us to draw two circles on the paper. The second number (3), tell us how many dots to put in each circle.

Then I instructed him to do the following…

  1. Draw two big circles on the paper.
  2. Put three dots in each circle.
  3. Count all the dots.
  4. You have your answer!

multiplication

Eventually he learned that multiplication is adding a number to itself a certain amount of times. So, 2×3 is the same thing as 3 +3 = 6.

We kept going over various examples, until he was able to create a problem and complete it independently. I also explained that it works inversely. You can draw three circles and put two dots in each to solve the problem. This shows that 2+2+2 = 6.

He was excited to learn something new and I was proud in my ability to explain this concept to my preschooler!

Corban multiplication
My son solving the problem 8×2 =

 

He loves writing on his V-Tech Easel.

 

corban multiplication 2
He is writing the correct answer 16.

When should kids learn multiplication?

Telling a three-year-old how multiplication works may seem too early. However, my child asked a question and I was determined to answer it. Better yet, he understood the concept through art!

Normally, children start learning multiplication in the 2nd or 3rd grades. I remember learning it in the 3rd grade. However, younger children can learn how multiplication works if you explain it to them in a way they understand.

Complete the form below and get started with this fun game.

Have Fun Learning!

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 A Fun Game, Using Action Figures and Stuffed Animals, That Will Explain Multiplication to Young Kids 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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