Math is all around us. While we highlight math in April in observance of Math Awareness Month, we use math every day of the year. For instance, if there are four people in the family and a package of cookies holds 12, how many cookies does each person get? If a pizza is divided into eight pieces, how many pieces can each family member eat?
Math can be a scary subject at school, but you can make math fun by sharing math-related books with your children. In “The Doorbell Rang” by Pat Hutchins, people keep coming to visit. How can the cookies be divided equally each time the doorbell rings? Continue reading
Cooking with children is about more than food. It’s also about spending quality time together and making good memories. It can teach kids confidence and independence, and even some math.
I recommend starting with cookies. Two of my younger sisters still talk about how much they enjoyed making cookies with me when they were kids. (They are 8 and 10 years younger than me.) Two years ago my older son said, “Mom, I remember baking cookies with you every Christmas. Will you continue the tradition with my son?” His son was 6 months old at the time, but he was still able to press down on the cookie cutter to make cookies. Last year he was able to help stir the batter. This year, he’ll be able to do even more. When I asked my younger son if he remembers baking cookies as a child he said, “Sure. I think that was the beginning of my enjoyment of cooking.” He now cooks for himself and loves to invite friends to his home for meals. The older son also cooks and often has dinner ready when his wife comes home after picking up the children at daycare. Continue reading
“Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite” by Nick Bromley, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne
Look Out! There is a crocodile eating the letters in this book! We have to make him stop. Oh, dear, now he’s trying to escape from the book!
You and your child, as listener and reader, are part of the story. Not only are books like this fun but they improve a child’s early literacy skills. A child who is actively engaged with a story will probably have a good understanding of the story (comprehension skills), is likely to be able to tell you the story later (narrative skills) and will want to read more books (print motivation). These are important skills to have before a child is ready to learn to read.
You will find a fun printable activity to reinforce the concepts in “Open Very Carefully” at Peace, Love and Learning.
Other books with an interactive narrator include:
Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite!
“I Dare You Not to Yawn,” written by Helene Boudreau, illustrated by Serge Bloch
I dare you to get through this book without yawning. Just thinking about it is making me…YAWN. The little boy in the story is trying so hard not to yawn because if he does, one thing will lead to another and somehow he will end up in bed. He tells you all the things to stay away from, but of course he still yawns and has to go to bed. Try reading this at bedtime and see how long it takes before you or your child yawns.
For a fun song, listen to “Yawn Song” on The Cat in the Hat Songbook music CD.
For photos that will make you laugh as well as yawn, check out these photos of yawning animals. Continue reading
March is National Craft Month! Why not make something with your children? Need some inspiration? The library has lots of great books to get the creative juices flowing!
“The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art & Creativity” by Jean Van’t Hul explains how to set up a space for art and encourage creativity in children 1 to 8 years old. It includes instructions for a variety of activities.
“Craft Fun” by Kim Solga has clear pictures and instructions for making items out of cardboard, yarn, paper, clay and cloth for kids ages 6 and up.
“Eco-Friendly Crafts With Kids” by Kate Lilley includes recipes for play dough and recycled crayons, as well as ways to turn things you find around the house into games and toys. This is a great book for families with children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Continue reading