By Chrysta Naron I scream, you scream, we all scream, “Ice cream!” And, if you’re like me, you might also be screaming for a break from the summer heat. However, I still want to make indoor play fun, creative, and, if possible, educational. Enter scoop sentences! When kids are learning to read, they can begin to identify sentences by capitalization and punctuation. Yet, when they begin to write and construct their own sentences, it can be difficult to know what a sentence needs. This super . . .
By Laila Weir Summertime is almost here! Whether for your family that means hitting the road, getting outside, or lounging at home, we have some tips to keep your little ones learning at the same time. Hint: The key to summer learning is the same as the key to all learning with preschoolers—keep it fun. With that in mind, enjoy this roundup of fun summer learning games, activities, and more for preschoolers and young elementary school children. Mix Summer Learning into Your Preschooler’s . . .
By Chrysta Naron I love glitter. Like seriously, l LOVE glitter. In my classroom there’s almost always a reason to add a little sparkle to our learning experiences. And because kids love glitter, too, I’ve developed a great Fourth of July reading activity that incorporates loads of it. We’re going to learn our letters with the sparkliest way of celebrating the Fourth—fireworks! For an extra learning boost (and extra fun), we’ll add in my favorite Fourth of July book, Apple Pie 4th of July . . .
By Chrysta Naron “No!” “Stop!” “Don’t!” Kids hear these words every day. There are rules for bedtime. There are rules for playgrounds and classrooms. There are rules for how we treat our friends and family. Sometimes you even have to set rules you never thought you’d set, like We don’t lick spiders. But what about a set of rules for what kids can do? A set of rights that are protected and that they always get. Even if they bite their sister, throw a tantrum in the grocery store, or color . . .
By Andrea Hunt The idea of recorded stories is not a recent one. In fact, in 1877 Thomas Edison recorded what we could think of as the first partial audiobook on his new invention, the phonograph—a machine he dreamed would help bring storytelling into every home. His choice of material? One for the toddlers: the nursery rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb. But it wasn’t until more recent decades and technological advances that audio stories truly took off, gradually with books on tape and MP3s, . . .
By Chrysta Naron Scavenger hunts are a really dynamic way to get your children involved in the learning process. You can use them to teach math, vocabulary, science, colors, and reading! One of my favorite scavenger hunts to do with kids is an alphabet scavenger hunt. It’s free, fun, takes no prep work, and you can do it anywhere. How can you beat that? What’s more, it needs little to no adaptation for children with limited mobility. With this particular scavenger hunt, your . . .
By Chrysta Naron My Daddy knows most everything When his powers are unfurled, And I’m not scared of anything— My Daddy rules the world. — Hope Anita Smith This poem from Hope Anita Smith’s book, My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Fathers, reminds us of how fathers or father figures can make a child’s world a better place. In this activity, we’ll draw on our love for them and our love for reading to make a wonderful gift—a Father’s Day acrostic poem! “What . . .
By Karen Williams If your kids are anything like my daughter and nephews, they are absolutely fascinated with getting mail. Ava would squeal with delight when she heard the mail landing in our box and was disappointed that nothing came for her. Occasionally I’d slip a card in the stack for her so she could find it, and she’d be so excited. I also sometimes asked her uncle to mail her a short note, and she enjoyed sending him her artwork in return. If your little one is the same, you . . .
By Laila Weir Engaging kids in creative storytelling is a time-honored pastime and a fun, screen-free vacation activity for the whole family. It’s also a powerful tool to build key literacy skills, from vocabulary and comprehension to imagination and fluency. There are so many fun methods to get the stories flowing, including classic games like taking turns saying a word or a sentence to create a goofy group story. One innovative method we like involves storytelling dice and . . .
By Chrysta Naron It’s that time of year again. When kids are looking forward to a break from the classroom (or class Zoom). When beach bags take the place of backpacks. And when parents begin rapping on my door with panicked looks asking, “What do I do to help them read?” And I get it—with camps to attend, a desire to spend fun time together, and constant stories about summer reading losses floating around, summer reading can feel overwhelming. Never fear! We’ve got you . . .