By Chrysta Naron One of my strongest memories growing up as a child was playing board games with my family. My dad’s favorite game was Sorry! Each time he bumped my piece off the board he shouted, “Sorry! I’m not sorry!” Was my dad creating trending phrases 20 years ahead of time or secretly a songwriter for Demi Lovato? Uncertain. But one thing’s sure—30 years later, I carry the warm memory of those evenings with me. Family game nights can be a really wonderful way to spend quality time . . .
By Laila Weir To set kids up for long-term success and get them kindergarten-ready, it’s important to introduce them to letters early and often. Repetition is key to really fixing these all-important squiggles into their memories, as is exposing them to letters in a variety of contexts. But as any parent knows, small children have a whole lot of energy to let out of their systems. Getting our little ones outside keeps them healthy and happy—and offers a welcome shot at tiring them . . .
By Chrysta Naron May is the time to celebrate and lift up the mothers and mother figures in our lives. But rather than just limiting our celebration to one day, let’s make a DIY Mother’s Day gift that lets them know how much we appreciate them every day. I love to kick off most kid projects with, you guessed it…a book! While there are many incredible picture books for this special day, I am particularly fond of A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams. Most other Mother’s Day books focus . . .
By Sarah Tiglao Earth Day presents a great opportunity to teach our children to care for the planet, but finding the way to explain these complex issues to young ones can be difficult. Read on for fun literacy-building activities that will help your children develop a love for the planet and foster their budding belief in their ability to help make the world a better place. Sharing a good book with our little ones provides one of the best ways to teach young kids about important topics . . .
By Karen Williams As we spend more time at home, it’s increasingly common to feel isolated and lonely. Many of us, parents and children included, are spending less time socializing with our friends and families, and more time feeling more disconnected from others. This is especially true for older adults, particularly those in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. If you’re looking for an easy at-home literacy activity for your child, writing a letter or card to a senior is a . . .
By Chrysta Naron It’s that time of year. We’re packing our suitcases, putting on the sunscreen, and eating Goldfish crackers aplenty! But all that time in cars or planes can be tedious for little ones, so how do you keep them occupied? Games, of course! Here are a few of my favorite educational road trip games for kids, to keep your children engaged and learning while you travel. All of them are free or cheap, require little to no prep work, and fit into a backpack or purse. Happy . . .
By Chrysta Naron Henry was a Go Fish shark. He was a legend among my Pre-K classes: The best Go Fish player you’d ever seen under the age of five. He played it every day in class. He played it to the point where none of the other kids wanted to play anymore. But Henry refused to play any other games. It happened to be April—aka National Poetry Month—and our class was focusing on rhyming. So I decided to freshen up Go Fish and make it all about rhymes. The result was this awesome free . . .
By Laila Weir Who says Easter baskets have to be filled with all sweets? Lighten up on the sugar a bit and add some enrichment to your child's Easter with a few fun and literacy-supporting Easter basket gifts. Below you’ll find links to tutorials for three Easter-themed recycled art projects. They’ll teach you to make totally free, eco-friendly, and easy DIY Easter basket stuffers! What’s more, they’re educational: All three projects support oral language development and key early . . .
By Michelle Luke Rhyming is a fun and effective way to support early literacy. It familiarizes children with the sounds that make up words, highlighting ending sounds in particular—and fostering phonological awareness, or the recognition of discrete sounds within a word. It creates a fun way for children to remember stories that they create through the pairing of common endings. And it also plants in youngsters an innate sense of syncopation, beat, and rhythm that they can later transfer to . . .
By Michelle Luke Easter. It’s a time of eggs and sweets, beautiful bonnets and celebrations with loved ones, and ... So. Many. Plastic Easter eggs! If you’d rather keep them out of the landfill but have way too many for future egg hunts, turn some of them into literacy-supporting maracas that kids can shake along to nursery rhymes and favorite songs. In this super-easy, two-step craft, you’ll upcycle old plastic eggs into colorful musical instruments to welcome in the spring with a vibrant . . .