Leadership for Kids – What They Learn When You Allow Them to Lead


Many parents want to raise children who are leaders. A child does not necessarily have to be Class President or Captain of a Sports team to be a leader. Sometimes leadership can be demonstrated in the child who chooses not to engage in gossip. In my opinion, children who are their authentic selves despite what others think are leaders.

I figure one way for a child to be a leader is through practice. It is also helpful when a parent creates a leadership environment within the home.

Check out the 5 Ways to Create a Leadership Environment for Kids at the bottom of this post!

At first, the age of five sounded like a good time to introduce the concept. However, most toddlers, start to show leadership skills around two when they know what they want to play with and explore. My decision was to meet my child where he was and start letting him lead me at the age of two.Of course, this was practiced in safe and controlled environments.

As soon as I take my son outside to play, he is the leader. He chooses whether he wants to walk or ride his scooter or bike. Once we get outside, he can choose to go left toward the blacktop where we play ball, blow bubbles, and do sidewalk chalk. In the right direction, there is a playground, nature trail, and grassy area for play. Wherever he goes I will follow him. He often looks back to ensure that I am behind him and then chuckles to himself.

Another time my son leads is when we play “Marching Band”. My friends gave him a Paw Patrol- Music Set which includes a tambourine, drum, Chinese drum, Clapper, and Castanets. We play the musical instruments to various songs while marching and dancing around the house. Along with choosing the type of music we listen to, my little one is the marching band leader. He may lead me dancing in the basement, kitchen, or living room.

Your children can learn a lot when you let them lead sometimes. Below is what I found…

Confidence and Trust

Letting a child lead gives them confidence because they are experiencing your trust. You are trusting in their ability to lead the way, make decisions, and communicate. As a parent, you give them credibility and are showing respect.  They feel you are buying in to them and their choice of activity. They also feel that they are worthy to be leading you, an adult.

Use of Knowledge

In most cases, in order to led someone, you must have prior knowledge of the subject. In order to lead you on a walk around the neighborhood, a child must be familiar with their surroundings. Once knowledge is established, they can apply it to provide a better experience. For example, if a child is leading you toward a concrete play area, they may bring side walk chalk or  a ball to make playtime fun.

Asking questions

In contrast, some kids may choose to lead even if they don’t have prior knowledge. Leaders who are not knowledgeable about a subject may surround themselves with experts in that field. Part of leadership is knowing when these opportunities arise. Children are excellent at detecting this! You are your child’s expert. You may build Legos with your child and they are leading you in building something that is familiar to them. What happens when they are building something for the first time? They either figure it out or they may ask for your help.

When to Lead

It is important to establish where your children can lead. For example, you probably don’t want your children leading in the grocery store or in an office building. Being a good follower makes a good leader. You child follows you in the grocery store so one day they will independently go themselves or lead someone else while shopping. Being a follower is where the child will gain prior knowledge to guide or mentor others.  Knowing when to lead helps the child with boundaries and to apply a new skill to help someone in the future.

As a parent, be a good follower occasionally. In doing so, your child may discover their interests, purpose, and passions!

Have fun following!

5 Ways to Create a Leadership Environment for Kids

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

The Space Mission is as follows…

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


There are five steps to completing the mission…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Learning!




science facts

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

Eating Tomatoes used to kill certain people

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


The planet, Mars, has the largest volcano

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


Drinking Water is limited

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


Silk comes from Worms

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


Thunder and Lightning Happen at the Same Time

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


Kids have more Bones than Adults

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


Your lungs are different sizes

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


The Fastest Muscles in your Body

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


No kneecaps for babies

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


Why do Geese fly in a V?

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


Crickets Can Tell the Temperature

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


Albert Einstein’s Brain was Stolen

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


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


Happy Learning!


Self-Reflecting Museums For Kids

museum pic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Self Reflecting!


How to Make Mapping Fun for Kids

treasure map


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

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

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

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

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

How we applied it

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


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

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

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

Happy Mapping!


How Kids and Parents Can Handle Cyberbullying

cyber bullying

In the last blog we discussed  cyberbullying and its impact on children. Today we will learn how to handle it.

Let’s get started!

How to deal with it

Do not respond. If you respond, the bully will believe they have succeeded in upsetting you. They most likely will keep attacking you.

Keep records. Take a screenshot or pictures of what is on your screen. Print messages that you receive online as evidence.

Ask for help. Tell someone you trust like a family member, a teacher, or friend. It is important to get support from someone who cares for you.

Be mindful of what you put online. Everything you post or write online can be seen by others. It could be online forever. Someone could use your content against you in the future.

Never share your passwords with anyone other than your parents.

Share your email address and personal information with only people you trust.

Use privacy settings and blocking features to keep unwanted guests from seeing your content. If you don’t know how to use these settings ask an adult, do an Internet search, or contact your school’s technology specialist.

Use the law. Many cities and states have laws about online bullying. Many laws include the following…

  • A description of cyberbullying behaviors
  • Instructions for reporting and investigating cyberbullying
  • Consequences for those caught cyberbullying

Contact the company.  Companies that provide cell phone or online services can offer assistance with cyberbullying. Customers can call the company and report various acts of bullying. Many social networking sites have a feature where you can alert them of inappropriate messages. The company usually investigates the report and removes any content that breaks its rules.

Be a model. Become part of the solution by posting positive messages on the Internet. Also support those who are being cyberbullied by sharing these tips with them.

Use Technology. There are anti-bullying apps that can be downloaded on your cellphone or tablet. Some apps can send a message to a parent’s phone when their child’s phone receives a message that has bullying words. Spy-tracking software, which can also be installed on your cellphone or tablet, can track where anonymous messages are coming from. This helps the police, company, and or victim figure out who is behind the bullying.

For more information on cyberbullying, please read the following resources …

Digital Safety Smart. Preventing Cyberbullying by Mary Lindeen

Dealing with Cyberbullies by Drew Nelson



Kids and Their Connections to Doctors

doctor book

Many children are exposed to doctors at a young age, due to wellness checks and illnesses. Reading children’s books about physicians with my son helped decrease his anxiety about doctor visits. The book, I Want to Be a Doctor by Laura Driscoll, struck me because of the image of a young girl playing doctor with her younger brother on the cover. This picture reminded me of my younger self, son, and cousins.

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

Many children will see themselves represented in this book because it shows male and female doctors who are ethnicity diverse. The author encourages curiosity in children by having each doctor engage the girl in conversation and answer her questions about their role.

I find this book provides a great opportunity to expand your child’s vocabulary. Instead of telling my son he is going to the doctor, I now tell him he will visit the Pediatrician. He was excited about his Dentist appointment because he understood they will take care of his teeth. He often asks me about his next Pediatrician and Dentist visits.

Use this book to teach your child about various types of doctors and their contribution to our society! It is also a great learning tool for kids who want to be doctors in the future!

Happy Learning!


Teaching Kids the Power of Mistakes

brain book

I have been fascinated with child brain development since I became a mom. When I saw the book, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, Stretch It, Shape It by JoAnn Deak, PhD, in my local library, I had to read it with my son.

This book uses a diverse group of young characters to educate its reader on the powerful brain. A few concepts addressed in this book are parts of the brain and their functions. We learned that the Amygdala controls your emotions and the Hippocampus helps you store and find memories.  It also teaches that the first 10 years of life is when you train your brain to grow faster.

I was thrilled when we read the fact, “Making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns and grows.” Many children get frustrated when they are learning something new because mistakes are made, which is a part of the process. This book has taught me one way to handle my son’s frustration as he experiences the trial and error process. I am able to remind my son that his brain is growing when there is a misstep. As a result, his frustration usually decreases and his focus on the task increases.

The author encourages the risk of being wrong in order to stretch the brain.

Give your kids a few examples of people who found success through failures…

  • Thomas Edison, a great inventor, failed 10,000 times before developing a commercially viable light bulb.
  • Michael Jordan, a great basketball player, was cut from his varsity basketball team.
  • JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter books, was rejected by 12 publishers.
  • Cathy Hughes, Founder of Radio One, Inc, was rejected by 31 banks before securing a bank loan to buy a radio station.

Read this book and encourage your kids to train the brain and make mistakes!

Happy Learning!



Teaching Young Kids to Use their Words

miles mad book

The book, When Miles Got Mad by Sam Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller, is a great book that teaches kids to use their words to express their feelings. It also uses an image, a red monster, to represent anger and rage. The red monster makes a connection to what a child feels when angry feelings overwhelm them.

In this story, Miles is mad at his younger brother for breaking his model airplane. Miles screams at his brother and scares him. The red monster appears and gets bigger as Miles becomes enraged. The red monster talks to Miles and helps him manage his anger. This book addresses other themes such as empathy, self-control, keeping hands to self, and problem solving.

How I applied it…

My child was frustrated because he could not figure out how to maneuver a toy. With each failed attempt, I could see that he was becoming more and more frustrated. I told him I could see the red monster getting bigger. This reminded my son to use his words to ask me for help or to take a break and try again another time.

My son reminded me about the red monster when I was mad as well. I felt my voice rising as I became irritated. When I thought about the red monster, I immediately lowered my tone.

This book is great for kids and adults. Add it to your book collection.

Other ways to apply it….

  1. Have kids create characters for other feelings.
    • For example, a blue bear for sadness and a green snake for jealously.
  2. Have students write their own stories for how to deal with these feelings.
  3. Ensure students include their characters within the story.

Happy Learning!


One Way I Sparked my Son’s Interest in Geography

what on your plate

We live in a very diverse area near people from various countries. I love talking to our neighbors about their culture, food, language, and upbringing. My son loves to eat and always wants to know how food will benefit him. For example, he knows that chicken and eggs will help him build muscle. When I saw the book, What’s On Your Plate? Exploring the World of Food by Whitney Stewart, I thought he would be interested in reading it.

This book highlights countries such as Mexico, Ethiopia, China, and Greece, and gives the reader information on their locations, foods frequently eaten, and recipes. The enticing food pictures in this book will make you hungry.

My son connected with this book instantly. First, he learned that he eats similar foods to people all over the world. Moroccans eat grapes and oranges which are two of his favorite foods. He eats rice, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese like the Italians.

As we were reading the book, we had the globe beside us. We stopped on each page, identified the country, its food, and located it on the globe. I saw my son perk up because he saw these countries were located far away in various continents, yet one similarity was food.

Read this book with your child and learn about food all over the world!

Other ways to make connections with this book…

  • Make the recipes in the book
  • Eat Ethnic foods – Go to an Indian, Ethiopian, or Mexican Restaurant
  • Talk to people from other countries and compare what you have learned in this book.


Happy Exploring!