By Chrysta Naron William Shakespeare once asked, “What’s in a name?” Letters! That’s what’s in a name. As children begin to read and write, they’re often eager to learn to write their own name. They love discovering what letter it begins with (and every letter that follows!). A name graph is a simple, yet brilliant, way to teach young kids to spell their names, and help them practice writing a variety of uppercase and lowercase letters at the same time. This simple literacy idea . . .
By Kelsey Nickerson Raising little readers and writers means providing plenty of reading and writing material, which in turn can mean a whole lot of pencils and pens trailing around your home. But never fear! With just a little glam, you can upcycle a plastic container into the perfect storage container for pencils, markers, and even crayons! This craft is quite simple and can be used for so many different things. Do your kids have writing utensils floating around their backpacks? Give . . .
By Chrysta Naron Playing Sound Search is a delightful way for kids to learn letters and their sounds. Plus, this fun alphabet game engages children during days cooped up inside. They’ll crawl, climb, run, and spin looking for just the right items to match their letters. Reading letters and practicing their corresponding sounds can sometimes feel a little abstract for kids. They can make the right sound when shown a letter on its own, but learning to isolate that same letter sound in . . .
Need to keep kids entertained on the go? This simple DIY activity kit is perfect for road trips or plane trips, for restaurants, or for anywhere kids need some distraction while they wait. (Think instant entertainment on the sidelines of big sister’s soccer game or big brother’s cello practice!) Help your child follow this simple tutorial to make their activity book, and then let them personalize it with their own decorations and favorite activities. Or stuff it for them as a fun surprise to . . .
By Chrysta Naron Let’s face it, letter names and letter sounds don’t always match up in a way that makes sense. Judging by their names, C should sound like /s/ and G should sound like /j/. Meanwhile, when X starts a word, it makes the same /z/ sound as the letter Z. This can be very confusing for early readers. They need constant reinforcement to internalize these nuances. Rather than sitting down and drilling letters every day—endlessly drawing lines from the letter C to a clip-art . . .
Meow! These playful DIY bookmarks are perfect for the animal-loving bookworms in your life. This is a fun craft for all ages, though younger children will need some help, especially with the cutting. Making their own bookmarks is always motivating to young readers, and who wouldn’t want to dive into a good book when they see this cute kitty peeking out over the pages? They’re also an appealing way to dress up a book gift with a personal touch. We used bright cardstock to make a rainbow of . . .
By Kelsey Nickerson This accordion book craft is a great one to do with kids. Not only is it easy to make a pretty little book, it’s also a fun way to encourage children to write—they’ll be eager to fill these cute pages. Plus they can wrap the covers with an original drawing or painting, a great way to give kid creations a second life. Younger kids will just need a little help with the assembly, but then they can let their imaginations take over as they illustrate the cover and put the . . .
By Chrysta Naron Word families, sets of rhyming words that share the same ending spelling and pronunciation, are great tools for helping kids recognize patterns and build awareness of the sound structure of words. For example, the “at” word family includes words like “cat,” “hat,” “sat,” and so on. Word families are wonderful because they teach two skills at once. First, children learn to connect certain letter combinations with particular ending sound chunks or rimes. This can help them . . .
We love upcycling the pages of unsalvageable books and magazines into homemade decor. It’s such a crafty and fun way to beautify our spaces, create a text-rich environment for the kids, and save a few trees while we’re at it. And some of the prettiest upcycled book-page decor we’ve encountered are these bookish blooms, a literary twist on classic paper flowers. These DIY book-page blossoms are a fun craft to freshen your table or decorate for a special event. Display them in a natural wood . . .
There’s nothing quite like a new notebook for inviting possibility, its crisp pages tantalizing us with speculation about what’s to come. And personalizing a notebook is the perfect way to channel that sense of possibility and really make it our own. So why not kick off a new school year, a new project, or a new diary with this DIY book-page decoupage notebook? This easy collage project is appropriate for all ages, and letting kids customize their notebooks is a fun way to get their buy-in . . .