Month: April 2013

Mother’s Day Card Craft Activity for Kids

Help you child to make this pretty and simple Mother’s Day card.

You will need

Coloured card or paper

Pencil

Scissors

Glue

Mother’s Day card template

Download and cut out the template and trace the the pieces onto  coloured paper or card. If you don’t have coloured paper or card, just use white paper and colour in using crayons or pencils.

Cut out the flowers and fold each petal in towards the middle of the flower.

Glue the flowers on top of each other using a small blob of glue and leave to one side to dry.

Use scissors to make small cuts all the way along the strip of paper that will make the centre of the flower. Take care to stop approximately 1 cm before the edge.

Roll the strip of paper and glue the end. Leave to one side to dry.

Once the flower centre is dry, spread the trimmed paper apart. Put a small blob of glue in the centre of the flower and glue the flower centre in place. Allow to dry.

Fold a piece of card in half to make a card. Discuss with your child which way a card opens and point out that it is the same as a book.

Write a greeting on the front of the card. You could draw dotted letters for your child to trace. Now is also a good time for your child to write a message or draw a picture on the inside of the card.

Glue the flower onto the front of the card and leave to one side to dry.


Five World Book Day Activities for Kids

Visit a library

Take your child to your local library to browse through the books and choose a new story to read. Libraries can become magical places of discovery and enjoyment. Take the time to read a few short picture books to your child while you are at the library and choose some more to take home.

Have a book picnic

Take lunch and a book to the park and read with your child while you enjoy your picnic. If it is raining out, have an indoor picnic instead. Lay a rug on the carpet and play make-believe. You could even invite some toys to join the book picnic.

Download a free book

Did you know that classic books (books that are over 100 years old) are free to download on Amazon Kindle books and Apple ibooks. There are many great classics that you can download today to read with your child, some of them include; The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.

Write a story

Help your child to write a story. Choose a simple topic such as their favourite colour, toy or food and encourage your child to think of short sentences that describe the topic. For example, I like yellow. Chicks are yellow… You could even create a simple book by writing each sentence on a separate piece of paper, allowing your child to illustrate each page and then stapling the pages together.

Publish a book

If your child enjoys writing why not help them to publish one of their books. There are many websites that provide a DIY publishing service where you can make and order your own book. Here is a cute example from blurb.com. This website even lets you sell your book to other people.

I hope that these ideas inspire you to have some reading and writing fun this World Book Day!

FACT: World Book Day is celebrated each year on the 23rd April, the same date as the death Shakespeare and the birth or death of many other significant authors, including Cervantes and Maurice Druon.

Three benefits of learning to read with phonics

Children can start learning to read at a young age

Most children will be able to start learning phonetic sounds and how to combine them to read and spell by the age of three years. Different schools of thought recommend different starting ages for reading, and to some extent, it does depend on the individual child. However, neuroscience research shows that the area of the brain associated with reading does not begin to mature until approximately the age of three years. Pushing reading before this age can create negative reading experiences that may give children a less than positive view of reading. The good thing about phonics is that you can start teaching letter sounds informally, and healthily, when you think your child is ready. Simply learning the sounds that letters make will have a huge impact on a child’s later reading ability.

Phonics empowers children and boosts confidence

Using phonics to learn to read is a very empowering experience for children. After learning the first sounds taught in the phonetic alphabet, children begin to be able to read and spell simple words. This is because, by using phonics, children can clearly hear and decode the sounds that make words. For example, the word ‘sat’ has three simple phonetic sounds, s, a and t. By saying these sounds together children will soon realize that the word is ‘sat’. Because phonics allows children to begin reading so quickly it gives kids a real confidence boost. This positive experience is important in developing an openness to learning, especially and skills become more difficult as children get older.  It also encourages a love of reading.

Teaching reading with phonics is easy for parents

Once you know what phonics is, using phonics to teach your child to read and spell is easy and effective. Simply learning the alphabet is not going to help in learning to read and spell and can often confuse children when they begin trying to sound out words. By using phonics to teach reading skills you will be supporting what your child will learn in school and be providing them with useful skills that can be built upon to develop successful readers.

You don’t need to understand all of the technical language that goes along with phonetic reading strategies to be able to teach your child phonetic reading skills. At the simplest form phonics is basically using letter sounds instead of letter names.

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