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Get Kids Excited About Reading With These GREAT Story Books!

Having a hard time convincing your kids that reading a good book is just as much fun as a video game?  Or perhaps, you are finding it difficult to find a storybook to read with your kids that doesn’t involve the same old tired storylines?  Today, I am sharing with you my favorite books in the creative storylines category.  Hopefully, you will find more than one book on this list that your child will ask to read again and again (and you will be happy to do so because they are just that good)!!!

Book #1:  Once Upon A Cool Motorcycle Dude 

By:  Kevin O’Malley

He wants ogres, scary motorcyclists, and raging battles.  She wants flowers, hearts, ponies and princesses.  How will they solve the conflict and get a story written and make their teacher happy?  Read and find out!

Book #2:  Pssst!  It’s Me the Bogeyman!

By:  Barbara Park & Stephen Kroninger

This book provides a unique take on scaring children, its from the Bogeyman’s perspective!  Read it to see what has him so upset!

Book #3:  The Day The Crayons Quit

By:  Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

This book is HILARIOUS!  Find out what happens when Duncan goes to get his crayons out of his desk, only to find they have gone on strike!!!                              Peach crayon is my hands down favorite!

Book #4:  Aliens Love Underpants

By:  Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

A story about what REALLY happens to our laundry when it is drying on the clothesline.

Book #5:  I Need My Monster

By:  Amanda Noll

Why would a little boy want a drooling scary monster under his bed?  What lengths will he go to in order to replace his missing monster? This book practically screams READ ME!!!!

posted by samantha in Parenting Tips and have No Comments

Fun With Sight Words: Part II

Continuing our theme of last week’s post on Sight Words made fun, I am posting a list of ideas to keep your kids engaged this week (assuming the kiddos have tired of the Sight Word Munching Monsters that we posted earlier).

The biggest key to sight word success is to interact with the words.  This means building them, writing them, drawing them and yes, even discussing them with mommy and daddy during “play time”.

        Sight Words Ideas

  1. Use wax sticks (like Wiki Stix) to spell out the words and make pictures for words.
  2. Use bathtub paint to draw and write “sight word graffiti” on the wall during bath time.
  3. Use toothpicks or scrabble tiles to spell out the words (for the toothpicks they can glue them down and display the paper on the fridge! :))
  4. Create coloring pages then color them in a creative way (see image below)

 

For the coloring pages, I would recommend finding a printable that is on a subject your child is interested in (my nephew loves Mario brothers).  I cut up tissue paper into small squares, with a little plate of glue and a pencil you can create the wonderful work of art you see below! (Photo courtesy my nephew!  He was doing color sight words).

posted by samantha in Education Advice,Parenting Tips and have No Comments

Birding Is For The Birds: Teaching Kids to Appreciate Florida’s Native Bird Population

This week’s blog activity is devoted to the bird species of Central Florida, and more importantly to the hobby of birding.  Birding is a very simple pastime requiring only a quiet, natural place, binoculars, a camera and the internet (for identifying the birds that you don’t know).  Today, your family’s naturalist notebook activity will incorporate birding with a follow up craft to be able to attract birds to your own back yard!

For those of you that are looking for a location, other than your own back yard for observing birds, I highly recommend Mead Botanical Gardens.  They are located on 1300 S. Denning Drive in Winter Park, Florida.  They have a bird guide and checklist on their website that can assist you as you view the birds.  Download and print it out at:  http://www.meadgarden.org/programs/birding-checklist .

A Few Tips to increase the likelihood you and your children will see birds:

Early is better, the birds are out foraging and hunting.  Last week, while doing summer camp at Mead Gardens we saw a hawk and a barred owl flying around at about 830a.m.!

Quiet is key!  Birds scare easily, so adopt a no talking policy while hunting for birds.

What You Will Need:

Birding Field Trip:

Binoculars

Camera

Pencil

Naturalist Notebook

Snacks and water

Sunscreen

Hat

Sunglasses

Make Your Own Bird Feeder:

Empty juice carton

Acrylic or oil paints

Paint brushes

Scissors

Marker

Ribbon

Single hole puncher

Mesh bags

Bird Seed

Glue

Instructions:

Field Trip

You can choose any location you want for your birding field trip.  Then follow these easy steps:

1.  Have your camera and naturalist notebook handy.

2.  Walk around looking for birds, search the trees and the ground especially around a body of water (Florida has A LOT of wading birds, they might be fishing!).

3.  Once you find a specimen, snap its picture or sit down and put your drawing skills to the test.  If you choose the drawing option, this becomes page two of your naturalist notebook (for page one see last week’s blog post).

4.  If you took pictures, go home and print them out, then paste them into your naturalist notebook and hop on the internet to try and identify your birds, write the name of the bird species beside each photo.

Juice Carton Bird Feeder

The night or day before:

1.  Assemble supplies.

2.  Rinse out your juice carton and let it dry.

3.  Prime it with a base color of paint, depending on the colors on the carton you may need to use a darker color.

4.  Cut out holes on each side of the milk carton (see image).

After  the birding trip.

5.  Paint your carton with a colorful and attractive design (you might want to paint it a color that blends in with the environment like green or brown) Parents, you can teach children about camouflage during this activity as well!

6.  Fill the mesh bag full of bird seeds.

7.  Punch a hole through the top edge of the carton and string through your ribbon or hanger material.

8.  Go outside and hang up in a spot and wait for your birds to show up. When they do, you can sketch or photograph them and add them to your naturalist notebook too!

posted by samantha in Education Advice,Parenting Tips and have Comment (1)