MAKE GIANT ABC’S FOR EARLY LEARNING FUN


Fun times are ahead for preschoolers and kindergartners when you create a collection of hands-on alphabet letters that reinforce sounds and the words they are learning to pronounce, read and spell. Craft the 26 letters, save and use them over and over to practice language learning skills.

Here’s the stuff you’ll need:
–26 sheets of poster board or cardboard, 9 inches by 12 inches
–pencil and markers
–scissors
–assorted small glue-on objects, stickers, magazine cut-outs of items whose names start with the sound of specific letters (see suggestions below)
–glue

Here’s the fun:
1. Draw large block letters for each alphabet letter on poster board/cardboard. Cut out. (Instead of making all at once, consider designing a letter per week. Or start with a few, such as those that spell your child’s name.)
2. Choose a letter together and come up with things that begin with the sound of that letter. For example, the sound “p” in pasta for the letter “P.” Look on your shelf for dry pasta and glue a few pieces on the big “P.”
Here are more simple items with crafty ideas to get you started:
A. Cut a small apple in half, dip dried cut side into paint, and stamp on the A. Or, glue plastic ants crawling over.
B. Buttons, beads and balls on a blue letter B.
C. Candy and candy wrappers on C.
D. Use a cotton swab to glue paper punch dots on D.
E. Crushed eggshells all over the E.
F. Floral fabric scraps and silk flowers on F.
G. Green glitter glued on a green letter G.
H. Print your child’s hand with poster paint on H.
I. Cut a cone and rounds of ice cream from paper to glue on I.
J. Glue a jam label or some jacks to J.
K. Apply lipstick to your lips and smother K with kisses.
L. Glue pressed leaves to L.
M. Draw a picture of your mailbox and glue mail on M.
N. Glue real nickels on N.
O. Glue raw oatmeal and cereal “O’s” to an orange O.
P. Glue popped popcorn to a purple P.
Q. Cover Q with craft feathers. Add a paper beak, eye and feet to resemble a quail.
R. Glue silk or pressed roses on a red R.
S. Glue used postage stamps on S.
T. Cover T with twisted and tangled masking and Scotch tape on T.
U. Draw a ukulele on U.
V. Make a Valentine on a violet V.
W. Glue wood chips to a white W.
X. Glue on pictures of xylophones on X.
Y: Shape and glue pieces of yellow yarn in “Y” shapes on Y.
Z. With zippers closed, glue the fabric portion of recycled zippers to Z. When dry, they can be opened and closed.

MAKE A PICTURE-PERFECT STORYBOOK FOR A PRESCHOOLER

 

               

Many parents of toddlers and preschoolers wonder, “How can I teach my child to read?” I like to shift the question a bit to: “How can I help prepare my young child to read?” While decoding, recognizing and translating symbols is an essential part to reading, developing comprehension skills is key to understanding what words really mean. Good readers don’t just name and pronounce words, they grasp the meaning and nuances behind them.

Talking, singing, rhyming and sharing stories with babies and toddlers throughout the day builds a background for reading comprehension. As the child grows, daily reading from picture books provides pleasurable learning moments, too.

And when the book is all about the child and chock full of photos with printed descriptions of their everyday activities, the marks on paper come to life.

When family friend Frida Mork turned 3, her Uncle John expanded her library with “THE FRIDA BOOK.” A real page-turner, the personalized homemade publication was created with photos of Frida doing everyday things. Accompanying the photos are questions with clues in the photos designed to:

–stimulate memories: “What are you making in the kitchen with Mommy? Cupcakes!”

–build vocabulary: “Who’s that grilling tasty bratwurst?”

–develop learning skills: “Count to three” with One, Two, Three photos of Frida.

Now as Frida approaches her 4th birthday, the book is still happily clutched in her hands and “read” over and over again. (Thanks to sheets of clear contact paper covering pages, peanut butter and other sticky stuff are easily removed with a damp cloth.)

Here’s how to make a personalized “My First Book.”

You’ll need:

–eight 9-by-12-inch sheets of heavy colored construction paper

–photos of the child with people, places and pets

–stickers

–scissors

–glue

–markers

–clear adhesive-backed paper, cut in eight 9-by-12-inch pieces

–paper punch

–2 loose-leaf book rings or ribbon

Here’s the fun:

Fold each of the eight sheets of construction paper in half widthwise. Stack them one on top of the other with their folds lined up on the right side. The front of the top folded sheet will be the book’s cover. The back of the bottom sheet will be the back of the book.

Glue a photo of the child on the cover, and add a title. Attach additional photos and write text with markers on the remaining 14 pages. Add stickers, if you wish.

Protect the pages by folding a sheet of adhesive-backed paper around the folded right edge of each sheet of construction paper.

Bind the book by punching two equidistant holes along the left side of the pages and attach with the metal rings. (Add additional pages of new experiences as the child grows.)

8 TIPS FOR READING PICTURE BOOKS WITH KIDS

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My friend David LaRochelle is an accomplished, award-winning creator of books for young people as well as an illustrator, and in my book, he’s also an inspiring educator who knows kids and knows what kids like.

When he took center stage at a “meet the author” event at our neighborhood bookstore, he not only read his newly published “Monster & Son” — illustrated by Joey Choll and published by Chronicle books (2016) — but he paused after these monster’s words to his son, “Your fearsome yawns won’t frighten me, I’ll hug you strong and tight, then gently tuck you into bed while whispering … good night,” and invited the eager children to participate in creating a big drawing of a monster. Hands went up, ideas bounced off the walls; giggles, “oohs” and “aahs” resounded as David quickly sketched their ideas. The book’s theme expanded into a playful time as vocabulary was enriched and children grew in their love of storytime — and maybe even a monster.

Judge a picture book by its potential for reading enjoyment, and for social and mental growth. Evidence is clear that reading to kids is one of the best ways to ensure success in school. It also strengthens the bond between you and kids!

Here are eight spinoff ideas David shares to enrich picture-book reading time at bedtime or anytime:
1. Look at the book’s cover and predict what it might be about. Funny? Scary? Make-believe? Factual?
2. Use lots of expression. Practice making different silly voices for the characters.
3. After reading it once, let your child retell it in his or her own words. Or, take turns using the illustrations to make up your own stories.
4. Ask what your child thinks will happen after the last page. Maybe the two of you will be inspired to write a sequel together.
5. Turn to a page at random and play “I Spy.” Choose a detail from the illustration and give clues to see if your child can spot the item. (“I spy something small and furry with a long tail”). Then let your child be the clue giver.
6. With older children, explore the copyright and dedication pages, as well as the author and illustrator bios. Ask if the book is older or younger than your child based on the copyright year. Who might your child like to dedicate a book to?
7. Many books list the medium the artist used to create the illustrations, such as collage, watercolors or digital art. Perhaps you and your child will want to try creating your own pictures using the same medium.
8. Have fun!
Resource: www.davidlarochelle.com

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