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Summer or Anytime reading incentives

I just had  another great thought you could implement to get your little one reading more

Holiday / Summer or Anytime reading incentives

You can sign up for a summer reading program at pretty much any library in the country. If your local library does not have a summer reading program, then create one at home, with rewards for reading books. You can use a Monopoly (or Life) board and allow your child to move one space for each book he reads. Or if you want to have more fun, let him roll the dice each time he reads a book and have prizes available for passing certain points.

Make sure the rewards are something very desirable. If your child values time with you more than toys, then set a date together doing his favorite thing. If he values a certain toy, let him earn it. Or let him earn a chance to get out of his regular chores. Take him to his favorite restaurant. Just have fun with it and he /she will, too.
Another trick up your sleeve to get your child reading

Independence Day – July 4th Learning Activities – Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Day-Before-July 4th!


July 4th
Happy July 4th


(If you’re not from the US, happy celebrating the freedoms that you have and the people who went before you that made it possible)

July 4th is tomorrow…perfect time for all those patriotic  family events  such as  picnics, parades  and of course the  fathers outdoing themselves at the BBQ. I just wanted to be sure you had these activities in time for the 4th! I too will be out celebrating independence day and eating too much BBQ.
Here are a few sneaky  July 4th learning activities during the festivities.
Have your child get their camera out or borrow your phone. Have them take pictures at all the events that  your attend  tomorrow.
Afterwards, on July 5th,  print the pictures and  put  them together with a quick summary of your day. Tailor the he amount of detail and words to your child’s age.  Create a family notebook and put in their masterpiece.  At the end of the summer you’ll have a GREAT family memory book as well!
For your younger kids you can have them keep a chart of the number of red items, blue items and white items they see. Tomorrow or next week, when all the family has left, you can help them graph it out to see which color was the most popular.
Make your own decorations using the flag or other patriotic decor. This is a great time to talk about what all the parts mean and what is the significance of independence and patriotism. Younger kids can just color and start getting familiar with all the parts. This is also a great time to revisit the arms of government.
Remember to keep active as this can improve  several areas of learning including auditory memory, visual memory, laterality, and directionality.
Please share your pix with us of any learning activities you do. We would love to see them. If you come up with other great patriotic  July 4th learning activities or ideas, please comment below so others can use them for next year.
Have a great July 4th

Christmas can be Stressful

Christmas can be Stressful

Christmas is almost upon us and with its joyful celebration there can also be stress: there is too much to do, too much money being spent, visitors coming, gifts to choose…… For younger children this time of happiness can also be overwhelming. So yes Christmas can be stressful for all.

To help keep peace and goodwill in the Christmas season, here are some handy tips for parents:

Try to follow routines as closely as possible. Stick to regular bedtimes, baths and naps.

Have meals and snacks at the usual times. Hungry children may turn into cranky kids.

Christmas is not the best time to introduce new foods or potty training.

Having said all this, there also needs to be flexibility. Let children know when there will be exceptions to the routines. Try to keep your own stress level down. High emotions seem to be contagious and children are like sponges, soaking up the highs and lows.

If children get overexcited have them take a break; read a book with them or go for a walk.

Finally, accept that there will be some upsets, some spills, maybe some tears – that does not mean Christmas is ruined! A “perfect” Christmas happens on television and not in real life.
Have a wonderful holiday season!

Boo!! Halloween learning activities for kids

Tomorrow is Halloween…

I know you are busy creating costumes and treats and cleaning the house if you are hosting a party. Your kids are underfoot and chomping at the bit to go Trick or Treating.
So why not turn the whole experience into a learning adventure that you all will enjoy.

Here are some Halloween learning activities for kids that you can pick and choose from depending on the capabilities and ages of your children.


Have the kids sort out their candy and treats when they get home or the day after.
Ideas for sorting:

  • Color of wrappers
  • Shape – Round vs. Square vs. Rectangular
  • With or without sticks
  • Healthy or not
  • Nutritional value

Math & Graphing

Keep track of the differences by graphing on sheets of graph paper.


Give them the job of being detectives on the hunt and be observant. Have them look and remember the different costumes while out trick or treating or at a Halloween party.

Writing & Language

Have them record their costume observations.
Write about the whole experience
Compare and contrast the different costumes

Science or Art

Deconstruct the most creative or interesting costumes and figure out how they would recreate it and what materials etc. would be required.


Save some candy for me!! Put in little bag and take to post office — Great learning experience on sharing and the postal system 🙂

It takes a village to raise a child – Different voices

It takes a village to raise a child - Different voices

I have always been a great believer in the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child. The more voices or perspectives that we can get, the better parents or teachers we will be. There is wisdom from those who have done it before and there is innovation from the young. With that in mind, I thought it would be great if we could hear from voices other than myself all the time. We will be getting blogs and e-mails from Sandy to lend us some wisdom and share her voice and experience.

Sandy has raised 2 children into very well balanced, wise, kind, insightful and successful men. She has taught young minds and is a retired social worker. I believe her insights, compassion and empathy will benefit us all.

We shall be adding a different voice periodically to raise a child (our children) as a village. Look in your in boxes for her insights.