When children are learning to read it is great to have simple and repetitive sentences structure so they can anticipate words and phrases. We all get so excited when we hear our child read the words on the page.
Just as important to reading the words is “reading” the illustrations. A story that has detailed pictures can add so much to the conversation that you and the reader can have. Looking at and discussing the details in a picture will further develop language and vocabulary.
He’s All Boy has recently introduced some great early readers that have detailed illustrations that can provide endless topics of discussion. The illustrations are bright, colorful and filled with small details that encourage the reader to revisit the pages time and time again. They are available at: http://kck.st/2aR08w0
April Fools Day always sneaks up on me and I am never as prepared as I would like to be to freak out my children! Let’s face it, seeing them freaked out is awesome! I have collected a few ideas that are quick and easy to do that will hopefully surprise and gross out my little ones. Also they are super easy to prepare and can be done after they go to bed on March 31st so they are ready on April Fools. Let the laughter begin…
1. P is for Poop
Let’s face it there is nothing grosser and funnier than a good poop joke! Make your own poop log by recycling your old toilet paper roll! Wet it, Mold it, and place it somewhere unexpected! I’m thinking about putting one in each of their underwear drawers!
2. T is for Toilet Paper
You can get as creative with this one as you want! Write a silly message on the toilet paper. As they unroll they will discover what you wrote! I plan on reminding my son to wipe his butt well! Maybe with some stick figure directions!
3. O is for Orange Juice
This one makes me gag just thinking about it! Replace your orange juice with some delicious “cheesy” juice! Just add some powdered cheese from your favorite macaroni and cheese to some water and you have some disgusting trickery ready for breakfast!
4. C is for Cereal
Nothing like digging into a fresh bowl of cereal for breakfast! This one you have to prepare the night before. Pour there favorite cereal, add milk and then freeze! The next morning add a little fresh milk on top and watch the confusion begin!
Thank goodness Spring Break is almost here! I know I need the break from routine and I know my kids are ready to run wild and free for a week. I also know that my youngest is at that crucial point in developing his reading skills and if we take a break from practicing he might take a slide backwards with the progress he has made. Here are a few ways to make reading fun over Spring Break with He’s All Boy learning tools and much more:
Think about what interests your child right now. Is it bugs, bears, boogers? Whatever it might be, find a book or learning tool about that subject. If your youngest is just learning the ABC’s you could try Alpha Cards: ABC Flash Cards that have fun illustrations and silly words like a Bear with a Booger! Or if they are ready to start reading on their own, find some early readers that are high interest. Right now my son is loving the Star Wars Early Readers
Try a reading Scavenger Hunt! Make a list of words for your child to hunt for on some of your family outings!. Grab a clipboard, list and some crayons or colored pencils when you head out to the Zoo, museum or even the grocery store. Kids of all ages can do this and improve on their reading skills, word recognition, scanning skills and so much more. I often offer a small prize for finding all the words (think: trip to the dollar store!)
Play games where reading or letter identification is involved. For Example: play a matching game where they have to find two foxes farting or a grass hopper stuck in gum! Match the letters and sound out the words with Alpha Cards: Matching Game. Go outside and do an Easter Egg Word Hunt: hide some words inside the eggs and send the kids out to gather them. Come back and see how many words they can read or how many matching words they got!
Have fun and please share with us any of your Spring Break fun reading activities!
We were reminded today that lying always has consequences. Brian Williams lied…and now he has lost his credibility, perhaps his career and the public’s trust. The list goes on and on. How do we teach our children about the serious consequences of lying?
My daughter lied this morning. This is not the first and it is becoming a bad habit. This morning’s lie was different though. She told me that the tooth fairy didn’t come last night. I of course knew that she did and that she left the obligatory two dollars under the pillow. It has been known to fall under the bed or get stuck somewhere that I needed to help locate, but this morning was different. My daughter was not very upset that the tooth fairy had not shown up, which was my first moment of suspicion. I wanted to give her the benefit of doubt that she wouldn’t lie about this, so I offered to help her look. I went up and looked with her, but the money was not there. I was stuck – I now knew she was lying, but how do I call her out on it? I couldn’t get angry for the lie and I couldn’t claim there was no tooth fairy and risk the consequences for her and especially for her little brother who has not even lost a tooth yet. I was so mad and frustrated. So, this is what I told her: “I wonder if you are just getting too old for the tooth fairy to bring you money for your lost teeth. Maybe now that you are ten and have lost so many teeth she is done and is moving onto a younger child.” There was a quick flash of “uh- oh” in her eyes. Was she worried that I know she is lying? Was she not worried because she really believes in the tooth fairy and knows she “really” came last night and will come again on her next tooth? Does she think she got away with it? Seriously, what do I do?
In an effort to help drive this big life lesson home, this morning at the breakfast table my husband turned to me and asked, “Did you hear about Brian Williams possibly losing his job because he lied?” We then explained to the kids what happened and again reiterated the horrible consequences of lying. Will my daughter process this? Will it have an effect on her? What would you do in this situation?
My 6yo son is not the best reader in his class, but he is getting better and better. I see the progress and I hear his excitement. It’s those moments when he sees a package and knows what it says or reads a sign outside the car window that are the best. The awesome world opening up around him. I don’t like to put pressure on him to go faster than he can. He is trying and I want it to be as natural of a progression as possible. I do know that I need to have him practice more, because I know the more you read the better you get. But where is that fine line between more practice and driving your child to become so frustrated that they don’t want to read at all? I want that spark I see now to spread and I don’t want to do anything to squelch his enthusiasm. I’ve been asking myself what can I do to help? Here are a few of the ways I will continue to help him in his reading journey.
1.Get more high interest books:
Now that he is not completely intimidated by books, I am going to get more that are at his level and on topics he cares about…anything and everything to do with potty humor of course!
Every time he does read anything no matter how big or small I do a silly dance that he loves!
3. Label Objects:
Together label objects in the house.
4. Hold Him Accountable:
Make sure he tries to read when the opportunity arises: homework directions, a book we are reading together, his own writing that he brings home from school…
5. Have Fun!
What are some fun and creative ways you have helped your child with their reading?
When I was waiting to pick up my kids from their first day back after winter break I was so happy to see that I was not the only parent who was celebrating. We were not celebrating picking up the kids, but that fact that we got to drop them off again the next day! Here are five reasons for celebration:
Silence…silence is incredible, a gift, an occasion to celebrate.
Having a Defined Schedule… no more trying to figure out how to entertain the kids, husband and family from out of town. Now I get people to where they need to be leaving myself the brainpower to do what I need to do!
No More Bickering…at least while the kids are in school I can pretend that when I pick them up we will pile into the car and joyfully share the moments of our days.
Figuring out only one meal a day that I need to feed my family…I don’t count breakfast because pouring cereal is easy!
Time to get my hair colored…this holiday break really added some grays!
We are so very pleased to introduce you to a product we fell in love with at first sight! It is the perfect gift for your boy during potty training to make his experience happy and maintain his focus. For example, he could run to the potty to “sit and try” when he pulls the Dinosaur Doo-Doo card! (This card also illustrates a dinosaur pooping outside of diapers, so it’s a fantastic visual to help your boy embrace the concept.) Using these brilliant flashcards becomes a part of playing with purpose. We’ll let Susan Levy, the creator of Alpha Cards™ and owner of the company, He’s All Boy™, tell you all about it. She wrote this wonderful article just for you!
My son is very busy. He is constantly on the move building and creating his own world through imaginative play. I like to step into his world and focus on some skills I know he is going to need for school. Interacting in his world, with the help of Alpha Cards™, I can build his vocabulary, introduce him to the written word, and most importantly have fun all in the context that he sets up. The motivation to learn comes naturally in this setting because it is of his own making. He is already there and I am just coming along for the ride.
Sometimes we play restaurant and I order something gross to eat like worm waffles and a glass of water with insects in my ice! Grabbing the “W” and “I” Alpha Cards™ I hand them to my son and point out the letters “W” and “I” while having him repeat my order back to me. The funny pictures on the Alpha Cards™ ensures me that my son is seeing the letters “W” and “I” while hearing the sounds that the letters makes. At this point he is usually on the floor laughing because I just ordered waffles with worms in them.
Through imaginative play we are:
● Practicing letter sounds
● Connecting letters and sounds to print
● Having fun playing and being silly together!
Have you ever had trouble teaching your child the alphabet? Did it make you especially crazy when you couldn’t get your boy to pay attention? This is what was happening in my home. I am by profession a teacher and my 15 years of experience in education was not helping me engage my three year old son to learn his ABC’s. I needed a new approach to help my son
(and hopefully your children) learn the alphabet. I started thinking about how to hold a boy’s attention and make them laugh while learning. The only topic that would hold my son’s attention for more than a few minutes was anything and everything to do with potty humor.
Boys love potty humor! This “aha” moment was what ignited the creation of He’s All Boy™! I began making a list of “funnier” words to pique my son’s interest in learning his letters. The result? Colorful and engaging flash cards that use funny words and hilarious illustrations to teach the alphabet and help boys learn in a way that works for them!
Alpha Cards™ approach to learning the ABC’s through potty humor works because they tap into the mindset of a little boy. What little boy doesn’t like to talk about poops and farts! Alpha Cards™ use just the right amount of gross and a ton of funny to engage even the most reluctant of learners.
Most children begin recognizing some letters between the ages of 2 and 3 and can identify most letters between 4 and 5. But the real first step in learning the alphabet is getting your child interested in the first place! The challenge is that toddlers learn differently from one another with some children singing ABC early on and others with “better things to do.”
Don’t panic! Through my experience as a mom and a teacher keeping things low pressure and fun make the process easier and more successful. Teaching my son his alphabet, in a way that was fun for him, was effective and had us laughing the whole time! Try and remain calm, a child’s first steps into the written world can be scary. This should be a time of exploration, not mastery.
My honest opinion is that children should know the alphabet before kindergarten because they will find school far less confusing if they already know all the letters. At a basic level, a child should be able to recite the alphabet with the help of the alphabet song.
FIVE TIPS FOR LAUGHING ALL THE WAY FROM A TO Z
Find the Fun – Think about your child and decide on what makes them tick. When a child already enjoys what they are doing we have taken the pressure to learn out of the equation.
Make Fun Happen – If your child loves books, read ABC books. If your child is excited when the art supplies come out, create ABC masterpieces. If playing in the mud is the answer, head outside and create some ABC mud art! Integrating ABC’s into what they already like to do will help them to learn and remember their ABC’s.
Repeat – Does your child watch the same show over and over and over? Is there one song that they love to hear constantly in the car? A favorite bedtime story? Kids enjoy when something they like is done repeatedly.
Stop – The second you sense that your child has had enough. Stop. This is supposed to be an enjoyable experience.
Reward – If your child makes progress or shows extra interest be sure to praise their efforts with words of encouragement.
The next time your kid asks to hear their favorite book for the 100th time and you think you might go blind if you have to read it again, remember you are creating a literate being who will make this world a better place! Great, but why does it have to be the same book over and over and over and over again?
Each time you read (insert your child’s favorite title here) you are transporting your child to a familiar place where they know what to expect, but are still excited and surprised every time they hear it. This close relationship with a book creates the opportunity for us to explore early reading skills in a safe and comforting environment.
Over time, how you and your child read (insert your child’s favorite title here) will evolve.
When you first begin reading you could be enjoying the pictures, talking about colors, shapes and objects. As you read the same book more times you can begin to identify letters your child knows. Soon after that you can start identifying some simple words.
Eventually, the books that you have read to them and they have memorized will be the perfect tools for them to use when they begin to sound out words on their own. They will feel a sense of comfort and safety with those books as they begin to tackle the mysterious and exciting world of reading.
Read the same book over a billion times
Talk about the pictures
Search for familiar letters
Find common words
Have fun and laugh out loud