Click the image for a larger, printable version of the calendar.
From Read Aloud:
From Read Aloud:
Click the picture below for a printable version of this month’s activity calendar.
I often get the question, “When do I really need to start reading to my baby?” My answer is almost always, “Yesterday.” Here is a great infographic that illustrates my answer… Credit: First Things First
Today’s blog post is written by one of our SPARK Parent Partners. Corrinne recently attended a training called “The Power of Shared Reading.” Here is a summary of the information she learned… Think about your child’s favorite book. Now think … Continue reading
In honor of Read Aloud Month, we will be doing a series of posts on storytelling, reading aloud to your child, and sharpening your child’s narrative skills. Today, we will be discussing how to read with a wiggly child.
Picture this: A six-month old sits quietly in the arms of her father while he reads her favorite picture book, Night, Night Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton. She reaches her fingers to touch the colorful illustrations. She helps turn the pages. She is attentive. She can’t wait to see what happens next.
Now picture this: A six-month old wiggles restlessly in the arms of his father while he attempts to read a book. He cries as dad tries to read the rhymes and turn the pages. He won’t sit still. Reading to a young infant, toddler, preschooler, or high schooler can be quite the task.
Sometimes you might experience the child who loves to sit quietly and listen to you read. Other times it may feel like you are reading to yourself.
Children, no matter what their age, are wiggly. And that’s okay. While there is no fool-proof way to keep your child sitting in your arms patiently while you read, here are some tips you can follow.
1. Read age appropriate books. While you may love The Polar Express, your two-year-old probably won’t appreciate it quite as much. Wait until they are in school before attempting a book of this length or stick to just talking about the pictures. Dr. Seuss is a great author…but wait until preschool. Babies and toddlers should experience books with colorful pages, simple illustrations, and basic vocabulary and rhymes.
2. Create a routine. Read at the same time every day whether it’s bed time, bath time, or playtime.
3. Change the sound of your voice as you read. This doesn’t mean you have to practice new voices, it just means reading with inflection. Read with a whisper. Read with a loud voice. Read with a silly voice.
4. Read while you are sitting in a waiting room or standing in line. Always have a book with you. Or point to the words around you and read them aloud.
5. Don’t worry if your child isn’t sitting with you for the whole book. If you have a toddler and she loses interest, let her. You can keep reading–chances are she is still listening. Or set the book down and try again a little later or the next day. The most important tip we can share is to make sure reading is a positive experience. We never want children to feel frustrated or upset that it’s time to read.
In honor of Read Aloud Month, we will be doing a series of posts on storytelling, reading aloud to your child, and sharpening your child’s narrative skills. Today, we will be discussing the importance of reading aloud for just 15 minutes every day. Yes, just 15 minutes a day.
So find a favorite picture book and read it this month with your child. Share your favorite childhood chapter book with your child by reading a chapter a day. Let your child choose a new book from the library. And visit storytime as often as you can. In just 15 minutes a day, your child will learn a love a books and reading, gain knowledge, and he will get to spend quality time with you every day!
Last week we talked about bringing the snow indoors and painting it as an extension activity after reading books about the winter and snow. This week we continue our snowy day theme with tape resist painting.
1. Tape off the edges of the paper or canvas. Begin to create the tree using the tape. Tear the tape into skinny pieces to make the branches. Use tiny pieces of tape around the background of the canvas–this will eventually look like falling snow once the tape is removed.
2. Let your child paint all over the canvas. Let them paint on the tape, but make sure they paint all over the white paper or canvas. Talk to them about the colors mixing. Ask questions. Let your child use his finger to add a red cardinal to one of the branches.
3. Sprinkle glitter on the wet paint.
4. Once the paint has dried slightly, begin to peel the tape off. Add lines across the white areas of the tree so it resembles a birch tree.
5. Talk about the winter scene and let your child make up a story about what is happening.
Originally posted on Dialogue About Language, Literacy and Learning:
Here’s an example/excerpt from
Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why? By Maanvi Singh, Published Oct 24, 2014
“How does a sunset work? We love to look at one, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her eighth-graders to really think about it, to wonder and question.
So Blackwell, who teaches science at Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High in Davis, Calif., had her students watch a video of a sunset on YouTube as part of a physics lesson on motion.
“I asked them: ‘So what’s moving? And why?’ ” Blackwell says. The students had a lot of ideas. Some thought the sun was moving; others, of course, knew that a sunset is the result of the Earth spinning around on its axis.”
Once she got the discussion going, the questions came rapid-fire. “My biggest challenge usually is trying to keep them patient,” she says. “They just have so many burning questions.”
Raise your hand if you have more than five stuffed animals in your house. Raise both hands if you have more than 10 stuffed animals in your house. Raise both hands and both feet if you are reading this while buried under a pile of teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Don’t worry; you are not alone. Today, we are going to share some ways to use those teddy bears and bring them to life!
One of my favorite stories is We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen. There are so many options for telling this story. You could read it directly from the book, but here are some more exciting ways to tell this story:
After you read a selection of books about bears, have a teddy bear tea party picnic. Set out a blanket on the floor in your house. Let your child set out dishes and cups. Serve small cookies like Teddy Grams and juice. Make sure the serve the teddy bears something.
Lastly, here is another of my favorite teddy bear story is Cordoruy by Don Freeman. As a preschool teacher, this was one of my favorite books to read with my class. Normally, I don’t promote watching movies on this blog, but in the 1980s they made this book into a movie. After you read the book to your child, it’s worth watching. Cordoruy actually comes to life in the movie–make sure you are watching your child’s face at this point.
Question: How old do you have to be to sign up for a library card?
Answer: Newborn to age infinity!
And while if you get stuck inside on one of those cold and snowy wintery days, have fun creating a library at home with your child. Click here to download and print your own set of library pretend play materials from Learn, Create, Love. It even has a printable “scanner” to scan books and check them out.
On days like today, it’s easy to stay inside, put on a movie and watch television or play video games all day–especially, if weren’t planning to stay inside all day. But when it’s too cold and icy to go outside for extended periods of time, here is an easy activity you can do with your children while you try to stay busy inside. You need to things: watercolors and snow. That’s right: snow.
Give your child a bowl or container filled with snow. Let them explore the snow for what it is. Describe it. Cold. Slippery. Wet. Icy. White. Clumpy. Smooth. Sandy. Then give them a set of watercolors or colored water if you don’t have watercolors (just add a couple drops of food coloring to water–be careful though…it’s not as washable as watercolors). Then let them have fun painting the snow. Ask them what they are painting or what happens when the colors mix as they paint. Talk about the rainbow they create.
As an extension, read books about snow and/or rainbows.