Celebrate Your Child!

Dec 31, 2008

Arts and Crafts for Little Children

Arts and crafts play is the most exciting time for the preschool student. The creative bug takes over and the imagination climbs to new heights! As an educator for these young students we must find new ways or maybe old ones rejuvenated, to incorporate targeted goals while having fun. Some of the most incredible times evolve from the simplest activities created using home made mixtures.

Bubbles and more bubbles, whether blown through a straw or wire hoop, happen to be one of the most appealing summer time thrills in the preschool setting. A very easy but beautiful work of art comes from placing a narrow cup in the middle of a large piece of craft paper. Fill the cup with safe, for more details visit to the web link below. colorful bubble making ingredients and give the budding artist a straw. Have the student blow an overflowing amount of bubbles up and over the top edge of the cup. Watch out for the giggling that this activity could bring about or more than just bubbles will be on the craft paper. Variations to this activity include using several different colors of bubbles - allow the paper to dry between blowing sessions. Once the art has dried, decorate the walls with cut outs that reinforce your lesson plans.

Pudding paint is also a popular 'condiment' in the preschool or home school class. Using vanilla flavored pudding, add a couple of drops of food coloring to tint for a rainbow palette that will excite even the ficklest of artists. Again using craft paper, Cut out shapes that will supplement your chosen lesson theme. Paint the shapes and decorate with sugar 'glitter'. This has always brought about rave reviews.For more details pl visit the web site .

Preschoolers love to create clay style bowls to give as gifts. These items are among the most economical pieces a student can create that are three dimensional. Once you have chosen a favorite clay recipe and tinted it (unless the artist will paint the bowl when dried), assign a shape for the base. Example: If working on the square, have the student create a square base to build up the sides upon. The variations to this activity can include sensory items. Add small rough items to the clay prior to the building of the bowl or add peppermint oil to the clay for a sensory excitement explosion. This is an arty item that no one will every become tired of creating because of the endless variations.

Although these are truly fun and exciting activities, the possibilities are endless. Using the many home spun concoctions we can instill a love of creating while reinforcing the educational / developmental goals of the preschool aged student.

Never forget that FUN is always a wonderful foundation to build upon!

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Dec 28, 2008

Making Reading FUN for Children

Convincing your child to fall in love with reading can be a tiring task. That's why it is so important to choose those kids' books and activities that will make reading fun. Constant motivation is the key to encourage reading for your child. Whether your child is five or ten years of age, you can easily encourage more reading by selecting certain types of books and activities based on your child's personality and favorites.

Reading as a "have to" will not be fun for your child at all. Reading as a "want to" can cause your child to want to read more and more. You must find ways to turn reading into a "want to" past time.

Promote the joy of reading in the classroom.

Even if you're not a teacher, you can make your child's assigned books more interesting by getting involved with the reading yourself. Help your child use their imagination and perhaps even act out scenes of the book in a mini-play at home. Use puppets or dolls to bring the pages to life or encourage reading two chapters per day in exchange for a reward - such as a trip to the ice cream shop or
candy store, or maybe a fun day at the park. There are many ways to motivate without being too pushy. Once your child gets started reading the book, he/she might even find it hard to put down!

Don't Forget Library Trips

Another terrific way to make reading fun is to take weekly trips to the library. Allow your child to select books from their favorite sections. Also, consider signing up your child for library reading clubs. These are typically for children of younger ages (11 and below) and best of all - they're free. Some libraries offer special reading times with puppets and other fun activities. There are also reading contests held by some library clubs to encourage reading for a prize or award at the conclusion. With such contests, students must record how many pages or chapters they've read and turn in their information at the end of the race to be combined with the recordings of other team members. The team with the most reading wins!

Library trips give your child something to look forward to each week, and they'll be amazed at the vast selection of books the library has to offer. There are plenty of pages filled with mystery, fantasy, animals, history, funny stuff, and more.

Encourage to Read after Favorite Authors

Once you establish a regular library routine, encourage your child to look for books by their favorite authors. This will help your child become familiar with looking up books using a library file or computer, and also will encourage continued reading. If your child loves a certain mystery book, let them know that authors usually write other books that are similar in story telling. Some mystery books, for example, are available in a series to keep a young reader's interest for months or years to come. If your child really enjoys a certain author, you might want to buy a collection of their books as a children's gift for a birthday or Christmas present.

Also, look for upcoming kid book authors such as Arlene Wyatt, author of the kid series, Sammy the Squirrel . Grab the first two volumes when the book is first released, and then encourage your child to look for the new volumes as they're released. This is a great way to keep your child in suspense for reading!

You can encourage reading during school breaks, long road trips, doctor or dentist visits while sitting in a waiting room, plane or bus rides, and even during bathroom breaks. Any time there's a spare moment, your child can delve into a world of comedy, fantasy or mystery while enhancing his/her reading abilities. And don't forget...there are hundreds of children's products on the market designed to help your child with reading. These can spark reading interest in remarkable ways and help improve grammar and reading skills dramatically.

Encourage Children Book Reading as a Teacher

If you're a teacher, encourage reading for each child by allowing them to choose their own books to go along with a teacher lesson plan or a teacher activity. Create your lesson plan or activity neutrally to work with any type of book so no child will feel pressured to read something they dislike. This will give each child a sense of freedom and accomplishment by completing a book they really enjoy.

When buying a kid activity book or any type of kids' book, check out online bookstores first to find great bargains. Use these ideas to get your child motivated to read!

Teach Your Child To Read

Dec 23, 2008

Recommended Book For Christmas


Sammy and His X'Mas Stocking

The story is about how one family celebrates Christmas. Not just any family though, this is a squirrel family. Sammy is too young to be on his own, so he gets to spend the winter with his mama. She explains about traditions and tells him that she will make him a Christmas stocking if he can find everything she needs to make them. With his friends, Sammy goes on a hunt for old scraps of fabric and string. The fabric was easy to find, but Sammy hits a snag when he can't locate any string. What will the resourceful Sammy do?


Other Recommended Book by Arlene Wyatt :

Sammy and the Francisco Flyers

The story is about Sammy and his friends that love baseball. From an individual to a team player, Sammy becomes a key part of a winning team.


Author : Arlene Wyatt

Dec 21, 2008

Too "Creative" for Christmas ...

It's another few days to Christmas ... yahoo...all the children will be overjoyed especially for the "surprise" under the Christmas Tree or inside the Christmas Stockings..

Just wanna share some enlightenings here for all my friends celebrating Christmas :

You Know You Have Been Too Creative for Christmas When ....

1.You embroidered everyone's name on their Christmas stocking and their underwear.

2. You knitted your dog a Christmas cap and shirt.

3. You have real swans swimming in your pond.

4. You put live peace doves at the top of your Christmas tree.

5. You put Santa stickers on your school crossing guard stop sign.

6. Your Christmas lights on your house are brighter than the sun, moon and stars.

7. You have the largest candy cane display in the entire neighborhood in your front yard and they are real candy canes.

8. You made a real gingerbread house for the squirrels in your backyard.

9. The popcorn balls you made are as big as basketballs.

10. Your Christmas cookies spell out each word of the twelve days of Christmas.

11. You dress your dog and cat in matching Santa bibs.

12. You have more than two Christmas wreaths on your car.

13. Your pet parrot can sing twenty Christmas songs.

14. You have more than three Santas in your front yard.

15. You have more than ten Christmas trees in your house and it is not a large house.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Dec 19, 2008

Childrens' Gift Ideas

When seeking that perfect gift for a child, try giving the gift of reading ie. BOOKS.

Books can open a world of imagination and amazement to children of all ages. No matter what type of reading a child enjoys, books encourage creativity while also enhancing reading skills at all levels.

When buying books for children, some ideas to consider are Adventure or Mystery Children books or Fairy Tales . Similar children's products can be added to enhance your gift such as kid activity books, educational toys or computers, art-kits, and other children products to enhance creativity.

For a child who craves mysteries, there are some mind-boggling books such as Kid Combat to stir their mind and keep them guessing throughout the story. Many books such as these can be found online so you can order children's gifts any time of the year from your own home or office computer.

When to Buy Books as Gifts

Any holiday or occasion is a great time to buy books as children's gifts. Whether it's a birthday, a special celebration such as Graduations or Awards Ceremonies, or a holiday such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day or Halloween, books make great gifts for children of all ages and interests.

Books are also perfect as stocking stuffers.

Book gifts can be packaged with other presents or food treats, such as holiday cookies and books in a basket, or freshly baked brownies accompanied by a book with a ribbon tied around the package. You might also give a book to a child along with a gift card to his/her favorite bookstore. Your recipient will be able to read your book gift as well as pick out some books of their own. Books are also great when packaged with movies, kids' cook books, stuffed animals, book club enrollments, a library card of their very own, jigsaw puzzles, clothing gifts, or any other children's gifts.

Books as Keepsakes

Another great feature of book gifts is that books are keepsakes that can be passed from one generation to the next. Think again as to how many children's books you kept from your childhood days to pass to your own. Perhaps you saved a few fairy tale books or your favorite children's mystery books. You probably can recall the joy these books brought to you as a child and want to pass the same joy of reading to your children or even your grandchildren ! So when you give the gift of reading to your own child, a student or a niece or nephew, your gift may very well keep on giving for years to come.

You can also create special moments with your son or daughter by reading a chapter or two each night at bedtime. Children up to ages 10 or even 11 or 12 often look forward to bedtime stories. Even as your child grows older, he/she might still want you to read the books meant for older children such as mysteries. It can be exciting to guess the plot together and see who comes up with the correct outcome!

If you're a teacher, you can also give books to students on their birthdays or for the holidays. Books can be for strictly entertainment during break times or they can be used to accompany teacher lesson plans or a teacher activity.

Check out online book stores the next time you need a children's gift. Look for smaller children's books or a great mystery series for older children such as Kid Combat and similar reading. Books can make affordable children's gifts, but no one can put a price on their value!

Dots-to-dots Puzzles

Some Dots-to-dots Puzzles that can be used for your children this Holiday seasons :


Christmas Tree

Little Bear

For more "Dots-to-Dots" Puzzles and FREE downloads in pdf version, please browse : DottoDots


Parents... do you still remember "Dot-to-dot puzzles" ? This classic activity from our own childhood, is still a favorite of teachers and parents hoping to encourage kids to work on their counting and small motor skills.

The development of fine motor skills that work in coordination with the eyes is important for academic success. Working dot-to-dots puzzles gives young children a chance to practice gripping a pencil correctly and understand how numbers and alphabets work in sequence.

Besides being a fun process, dots-to-dots puzzles offer a reward in the form a completed picture that can be colored in and displayed.

Introducing children to dots-to-dots puzzles, you may want to offer a little supervision initially. Encourage kids to seek out the next number in the sequence. It's best to draw a straight, even line from one dot to the other, and don't forget to connect that final dot or the image won't be complete!

At the same time, don't insist that everything be "just so." Kids need to be able to experiment and be creative, even if it means coloring outside the lines.

Dots-to-dots puzzles have many variations, and some are worked using letter sequences alphabetically rather than numbers while some spell words. The skill level needed ranges from preschool-age on up. Sometimes, it's immediately obvious what the picture is, while other designs will keep you guessing almost until the final line is drawn.

Highly portable, dots-to-dots puzzles , like coloring pages, are great for travel. They'll keep kids busy and guessing for a fair amount of time. Be sure to provide a good pencil and plenty of crayons.

Have FUN with your kids on the dots-to-dots puzzles.

Dec 15, 2008

Mini Card - Snowman

For instructions and download, click HERE

Mini Card - Santa

For instructions and download, click HERE

Christmas Freeze Dance

Materials Needed:

* Christmas Music - Christmas carols


* Young children love the "freeze dance" which is often played in preschool and kindergarten.

Only in this game, you create a Christmas freeze dance.

Here you play some Christmas music, let the children do a little dance, then turn the music off and the children must "freeze".

Wrapping the "gifts" race

Kids' Christmas games that is fun for kids and adults.

Materials Needed:

* Small Christmas gift
* Thick mittens
* Scarf
* Hat


* Each kid have to wrap a small Christmas gift with thick mittens, a scarf and hat on (the fastest to do this is the winner).

Banners - Santa

To download and instructions , click HERE

Pop-Up Christmas Tree Card

To download, click HERE

For instructions, click HERE

Pop-Up Snowman Card

To download, click HERE

For instructions, click HERE

Ways to develop Creative Thinking in Children

Encouraging creative thinking in children is a valuable way for them to explore who they are and find talents and areas of interest that they can share with the world.

Developing creative thinking in children is easy to do with these 5 simple tips :

1. Allow Them Free Time and Flexibility

One of the easiest things for promoting creative thinking in children is to allow them to have down time where they have time for thinking and exploring. It is important to allow this by not requiring them to participate in too many structured activities.

2. Limit Computer and Television Time

Limiting time on the computer and television allows for more time to pursue creative activities, like imaginative play. And when they are on the computer there are several creative games that can be utilized, such as ones where they create art or design things like roller coasters or cities.

3. Provide Them With Tools For Creativity

Some examples of tools for encouraging creative thinking in children are blank drawing pads with markers and crayons, blocks for building with, or ink pads for making finger print art.

4. Allow Them to Follow Their Own Creative Path

Creativity is different for each person. One person may find sewing a creative outlet, while another might find writing a story a creative outlet. Let your children dictate their own path towards creativity, while you facilitate it with encouraging words and support.

5. Set An Example

There is nothing like a good example for passing our values on to the children in our lives. If we want to encourage creativity in them, why not show them that creativity is important to us as well. By making time for creative pursuits ourselves, and taking some down time of our own, we show them that creativity is an important part of life.

Dec 14, 2008

Raising Creative Children - The Hope of the NEW MILLENNIUM

Creativity comes naturally. To be creative is being unusual, unconventional, innovative and go beyond the common. As children are the fastest learners due to their curiosity and playfulness, hence developing creativity in children is easiest.

Creativity is being imaginative and inventive, and to be able to make a diversion from the usual. With creativity one adopts new situations and can change the way one view the world. Being creative means the extent to which the ideas or results are valuable, innovative, and new and go beyond the routine.

Since children have a clear, unpolluted mind, they are more creative and view things differently. Children behave as creative thinkers when they transfer knowledge and experience, gained from one context to another. They explore the world around them by discovering things for the first time, as their minds are not cluttered with set templates of past experiences. Helping them to express and identify their creativity by providing them with the opportunities to express their own ideas and thought process, develops creativity in them.

To be creative it is important that children develop some personality traits :

1. Thinking free : Like all of us children need thinking time. They need to be alone while their ideas immerge. It sounds confusing and frustrating to others but once the idea comes, the child will become absorbed in the activity.

2. Humour : Children find humour in ideas which adults think to be serious. This ability is taken mocking by elders.

3. Day dreaming : Children learn through fantasy .Letting the mind wander can help imagination to create wonders.

4. Activity : Indulging into different activities give them several ideas to create things on their own.

5. Intrinsic motivation : Self motivation leads children doing differently.

Parents and teachers have an impact in the development of children's creativity. To develop creativity the atmosphere should be playful, joyous and enjoyable for the child. We adults have strong feelings and want children to fit into them, thereby curbing creativity in them.

Some measures can be adopted :

Posing questions : Asking questions like "What happens if...."? , "What do you think...."? is one of the common ways to get the children to think and establish something they already know.

Elder's attitude : Children become creative if they feel loved, trusted and cared, gain the confidence and courage to create.

Timely encouragement : Try listening to the child without being judgmental. Encourage ideas, experimentation, exploration and innovativeness in children.

Be a Role Model : Share your own interest and creativity and take pleasure in the interest of the child. Honor his curiosity and craziness.

Don't be a perfectionist : Expect the children to be wrong at several times. Except less than perfection from them. Children do not distinguish between fact and fantasy, dreaming and waking and wish and reality. This frame of mind is essential for creative thinking.

Monitor the environment : Children require some time for themselves where limits are set on their behavior. Bedtime can be the good opportunity for creative expression through storytelling. Excess consumption of television and today's push on being busy block the creativity in a child.

Hobbies : Pursuing hobbies like drawing, painting, singing, dancing and mind games are good examples of creative - solving problems.

Communication : By good communication children are able to demonstrate their curiosity and express their ideas.

Developing creativity in children is the easiest if they are nurtured well psychologically, they can do wonders. Parents and teachers can play a vital role in developing the creativity of their children and make them better world citizens.

For more ideas on creativity and innovation go to http://www.creativitygap.com . The owner of the website, David Bain believes in enhancing and developing creativity of every individual in the world by new methods.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_B_Bain

Dec 13, 2008

Setting Family Literacy Goals- 5 Reasons Why It Is Important!

Statistically speaking, 54 percent of the American parents do not take the time out to read stories to their children. This implies that more than half the American children do not get exposed to any good literature. In this way the family literacy is affected. Setting family literacy goals is a great way of boosting the literacy of all the people in the country.

What exactly does setting family literacy goals mean? In short, it is a family activity in which the family sets certain goals aimed at improving their writing and reading abilities. Here are a few methods that can be used in setting family literacy goals.

1) Reading books- There are a few families that include book reading activities in their family goal setting. Usually, these families start with simple books and work their way to more complicated novels. Book goals are set to keep a track on their progress. This can either be an individual activity or a family activity. This method is usually effective and lots of fun.

2) Word games- This is a very popular method that many families adopt for setting literacy goals. Word games such as boggle and scrabble helps nurture literacy in the families along with a lot of fun. Using scores to measure the different members progress is a great way of using word games to set family literacy goals.

Why is setting family literacy goals important?

a) Goal setting for family literacy gives a lot of clarity in achieving your target. Looking for a goal is the first step towards achieving it. This helps greatly in understanding the goals that the family sets for themselves. This helps the family analyze their goals in relation to their capacity and realize whether their goals are challenging and attainable.

b) The first step towards achieving the goal of literacy is goal setting. When you set a goal for literacy, you gather some idea on how to go about it. This is because goals setting helps a great deal in understanding the attainability of the goal. Doing this automatically pushes you to find ways of achieving the goal.

c) Setting family literacy goals is a great chance for the family to bond. A lot of parents today feel that setting goals together takes up too much of their time and so they do not take out the effort and read to their kids. Everyone is too busy doing a lot of things. Nowadays, machines have replaced humans when it comes to bringing up children. Setting family goals together gives a chance for parents and children to reconnect with each other. This is a great opportunity to go back to basics and spend quality time with each other.

d) Setting goals together also helps in developing commitment. Commitment is an important aspect of literacy goal setting. When people make a commitment to a goal, they stop at nothing till they have achieved it. This is an important part in forming a person's character. A lot of spirit and strength is required to stay committed to something. Setting goals can help in developing the strength and determination that is required to overcome all kinds of obstacles.

e) Literacy goal setting also helps in developing different abilities. Literacy goal setting helps in nurturing reading and writing abilities of an individual. Developing such ability can open up an entirely new world for people. This is a great chance to develop a person's full potential.

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Dec 11, 2008

Recommended books

Bob's twin brother, Tom, is visiting for Christmas, and Bob couldn't be happier! Lennie and the Lazers will be performing on Christmas Eve, and Bob has a lot to do around town before his brother arrives. But when Tom misses the last boat, will Bob be spending Christmas without his brother? Not if Lennie can help it! Join Bob and his friends for A Christmas to Remember!

Bundle up and join Bob and his friends for a fun-filled day in the snow! From sledding to snowball fights, there's lots to do in this playful lift-the-flap story

  • Board book: 8 pages

  • Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd (April 2, 2007)

  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.7 x 1.9 inches

  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Product Features

  • Build skills for school with Bob and his Can-Do Crew!

  • Clear the theater sign by helping Muck catch letters.

  • Build along with Bob by fitting shapes into blueprints.

  • Clean up the site by collecting the right letters!

  • Teaches letters, phonics skills, shapes, cause and effect, problem-solving skills and computer skills such as QWERTY keyboarding and mousing.
Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches ; 3.2 ounces

Dec 9, 2008

X'mas Gift Box

To download, click HERE.

For instructions, click HERE

Santa Claus and his sleigh

To download, click HERE

X'mas Tree

To download, click HERE

Origami - Panda

Origami - Penguin

Origami - Squirrels

Origami - Cow

1. Start with a square piece of paper.

2. Next fold the tip of the balloon base down the centerline. The tip should cover about half of the folded length.

3. Now unfold the balloon base and squash fold it as shown.

4. You will end up with the pattern in the next photo. Now simply fold this in half to make the cow’s body.

5. To make the cow’s head, use another square of paper.

6. Fold it in half with the colored side (if any) on the outside.

7. Next fold each half upwards, as shown in the next two photos

8. Now crease the end of the folded rectangle, as shown below. The next two photos show how the head is folded. Each outside layer of the folded rectangle is squash-folded backwards.

9. Now reverse fold the nose of the cow. Then fold the cow’s ears forward.

10. Crease the neck of the cow at right angles to the head. Then do a reverse fold, as shown in these two photos.

11. To make the neck fit into the body, reverse fold the bottom of the neck as shown below.

It can be tricky to get the right amount of fold: too little and it won’t fit into the body, too much and the head will be front heavy and fall forward.

You may want to use a small piece of tape or glue to keep the head in place.

12. Decorated with pens, markers or crayons.

13. The COW is done !! Mooooo....

Origami - Dog

To have fun with your kid does not take much. Just use some creativity and both mother and son/daughter can have fun together.

Origami - Dog

1. Start with a piece of square paper.

2. If it is colored paper, put the colored side face down on the table as shown below.

Then fold along the diagonal to give a triangle.

3. Now fold the corners together and unfold, to give a crease as shown.

4. Then fold the dog ears down, using the crease line as a guide.

5. Next fold the top and bottom of the head, away from you.

6. Draw the eyes, a nose and a mouth. The dog is done!

Pussycat, Pussycat

Pussycat, pussycat,
Where have you been?

I've been to London
To visit the Queen.

Pussycat, pussycat,
What did you there?

I frightened a little mouse
Under her chair.

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