Addition Bowling Game for Kids

In our household, we have something called “Creative Time.” This is when my son chooses an activity or a game he and I can play. This is my time to follow his lead in whatever creative project he wants to do.

This time, he pulled out his bowling game and said, “Let’s play!”

While playing the game we incorporated addition so my son could practice his math skills. If your child is not doing addition yet, use this game to practice counting and number recognition. Like all games we play, we had a blast!

I will show you how we played below!

Let’s get started!

Materials:

How to play:

  • On a piece of paper, draw separate columns and put each player’s initial at the top to keep score
  • Set up the ten pins
My son set up the pins.
  • Have the first player roll the first ball towards the pins
  • Have the first player roll the second ball towards the pins (the bowling game comes with two balls)
  • The number of pins a player knocks down is the person’s score that round.
    • For example, if a player knocks down eight pins then their score is eight for that round.
  • Record the score in that player’s column on paper.

  • The next player will go and repeat the previous five steps.
  • My son added both our bowling scores for all the rounds.
  • It was a great way to practice addition.
  • Below is what my son wrote.
M is for mommy. The score was 26 to 24. I won the game but it was really close. The second to last number under the C column is 10 and NOT 16.
  • Have your child count the number of pins knocked down for each round if you want to do number recognition instead of addition.

My son created a spin-off addition game. You will hear about that next week!

Stay tuned!

Have Fun with this Activity!

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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!

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Teach Kids to Prevent Germs with this Science Experiment

I love getting books for my son that explain basic germ prevention, hygiene and life skills. One day we were looking in the Children’s Science section of the library and saw the book, You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Soap! by Alex Woolf and Mark Bergin.

This book gives children the history of soap, how it is made and why it works. We learned that before soap was invented, people used urine, incense smoke, clay, sand pumice, and ashes to clean themselves.

The pictures in this book are colorful and appealing to children. It will make your children laugh, say “ewwww”, and become more curious. The authors have included hands-on activities and tips that will further your child’s understanding of soap and its purpose.

One experiment we did involved ingredients you have in your home such as oil, water, and dishwashing liquid. It teaches kids why soap is a better cleaner than water by itself. My son learned that water and oil don’t mix, so washing with water only leaves most of the dirt behind.

I will show you the experiment and other discoveries we made.

Let’s Get Started!

Materials Needed:

  • Cooking Oil
  • Water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Jars (2)

Directions:

  • Put cooking oil and water in a jar.
Cory pouring water in a jar.
Now he is mixing oil with water.
  • Screw on the lid and shake
  • The oil and water should separate into layers
The water and oil have separated.
  • Add drops of dishwashing liquid to the jar and shake again
We are adding dishwashing liquid to the oil and water.
  • This time it should make a cloudy mixture
  • Oil and water are no longer separate layers
Here is our cloudy mixture of water, oil, and dishwashing liquid.
  • Compare two jars.
    • One jar should have oil and water.
    • The second jar should have a mixture of oil, water, and dishwashing liquid.
The left jar has water, oil, and dishwashing liquid. The right jar has oil and water.

Why this Experiment Works and How Germs are Washed Away

  • Most dirt contains oil.
  • Oil and water do not mix so washing with water only leaves most dirt behind.
  • Soap binds to water, dirt, and oil.
  • The tail of soap molecules attach to oil.
  • The head of soap sticks to water.
  • When soapy water mixes with dirt, the soap molecules form tiny clusters called micelles.
  • When you wash your hands with soap, dirt mixed with oil from your skin is pulled inside the micelles, then rinsed away.
  • In the experiment, the soap molecules grabbed the oil and water making a cloudy mixture in the jar.

I hope this helps! 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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Draw Monsters Out of Letters and Numbers

Today I challenged my son to find something creative to do while I cooked dinner. He spent some time blowing up a balloon then watched it fly through the air after releasing it. He played with his cash register and a DIY water gun we made earlier that day.

Next he saw the book, Draw Alphabeasts by Steve Harpster laying on the table. He decided to view it while he ate a snack. This book teaches you step-by-step how to make over 130 monsters, aliens, and robots from letters and numbers.

I checked this book out from the library about a year ago. We enjoyed drawing the characters so much, that I purchased it from Amazon.

This month is October and I thought his book choice was great because Halloween is soon approaching.

My son, Cory, skimmed the book and decided to draw a monster named Zeep starting with the number 4. After drawing, he showed me his picture and I was very impressed.

Cory then asked if I was almost done with cooking. My reply to him was “yes.” He wanted to pick a character for me draw. He chose a character named Freddy Bones, who resembles a skeleton and robot simultaneously. Again, it was the perfect picture for Halloween.

Below is a picture of our drawings, along with the step-by-step instructions we followed from the book. This book is perfect for beginning artists and for those who just want to be creative.

My son drew the character, Zeep, on the left. I drew the character, Freddy Bones, on the right.
These are the steps my son took to draw Zeep.
These are the steps I took to draw Freddy Bones.

Try these out. There are characters drawn from numbers 1-20 and the alphabet in this book. Buy this book if you want to draw more characters! I highly recommend it!

Have fun with this activity!

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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Stubborn Unpoppable Bubble Experiment for Kids

What do you do on the days when it’s raining or extremely hot or cold outside? You can do fun science experiments! Today my son and I decided to do a bubble experiment; however, there was something different about this one.

We all know that bubbles pop shortly after they are formed. This happens when the water between the soap film surface evaporates. We made bubbles that would NOT pop! It is called the unpoppable bubble!

Kids will be amazed at how difficult it will be to pop a bubble in this experiment. Try this activity for yourself and see your child’s amazement!

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

  • Water (4 parts)
  • Dish soap (1 part)
  • Corn Syrup (2 parts)
  • Straw
  • Pencil
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Bowl

Directions:

  • Fill a bowl with water
  • Put a few drops of food coloring in the water.
  • Put dish soap in the water.
  • Mix in the corn syrup.
  • Dip the tip of the pencil in the mixture.
  • Dip one end of the straw into the mixture and blow into the other end to make bubbles.
  • Try to pop the bubble with the pencil.
  • Now try to pop the bubble with your finger.
  • Watch the video below to see our unpoppable bubble!
IMG_1099

Why this experiment works:

  • Bubbles are made of two basic things: water and air
  • Adding soap and corn syrup to water helps make the bubbles stronger
  • Soap and corn syrup molecules squeeze in between water molecules and help the film of water stretch out without breaking.
  • Bubbles made of just water pop quickly because their watery skins aren’t very stretchy.
  • When a dry pencil touches a bubble, the water in the bubble’s skin sticks to the pencil and causes it to snap back.

Have fun with this activity!

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!

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Slime Time Game for Kids

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

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

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

Let’s get started!

Materials Needed:

How to Play:

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


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

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

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

Have fun with this!

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

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Egg Volcano Experiment for Kids

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

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

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

Let’s Get Started!

Materials:

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

Directions

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

WHY IT WORKS?

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

I hope you like this experiment!

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Fun Thermometer Science Experiment for Kids

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

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

Let’s Get Started!

Materials Needed:

Method:

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

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

Watch the video below to see our experiment.

IMG_9798

Have fun with this activity!

Bonus

Explain to your child how a real thermometer works

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

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FREE Mini Course: Teach Your Toddler to Read Through PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cory-reading-at-25-months

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

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

  • The learning system I used to teach my son to read.
  • How I address the objections people have about teaching a child to read as a toddler.
  • The one mistake parents make when reading to their child.
  • And so much more!

By the end of this video, you will know how to read aloud to your child in a way that creates meaning and connection! This will strengthen your child’s reading comprehension skills faster!

In the second video you will learn about the One Million Gap and How to Beat it!

In the third video, I will reveal the 10 Components Needed to Teach Reading in a Fun Way!

The fourth video reveals how to take your child’s learning and reading to the next level. You will also see my son spelling at 21 months and reading on a third grade level as a three-year-old.

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

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

See you there!

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Alphabet Letter Hunt Activities – Three Variations

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

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

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

Let’s Get Started

Letter Hunt- Variation 1

Materials:

  • Children and adults

Directions:

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

Letter Hunt – Variation 2

Materials:

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

Directions:

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

Letter Hunt – Variation 3

Materials:

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

Directions:

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


Have Fun Playing and Learning!

Don’t forget to check our two books, Teach your Toddler to Read Through Play and Fun and Easy Ways to Teach your Toddler to Write.

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