Stories are spectacularly successful learning tools. Many studies show that children whose parents tell and/or read stories to them from an early age turn out to be better readers and students later on.
Furthermore, you are twenty times more likely to remember information if you learn it in a story than if you learn it simply as data to memorize. In part, the more stories we encounter, the more effectively our brains learn to work within the structure that most stories follow. We not only absorb the stories’ contents, but at the same time, our brains get used to organizing what we learn into a usable form. We learn how to learn through stories.
Disclosure: The links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, online I will receive a small commission from Groovy Lab in a Box.
Love a GROOVY giveaway?
My friends at Groovy Lab in a Box are hosting a sweepstakes where you can win a one-year subscription (valued at more than $250!). All you have to do is type in your email address, unhealthy and you are entered.
Groovy Lab in a Box, the award-winning educational kits for kids ages eight and up that teach about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), recently announced a new partnership with Popular Mechanics.
Each month, they send out a themed box filled with investigations that are fun and hands on. The investigations culminate into an Engineering Design Challenge, where your STEMists must apply what they’ve learned from the investigations (and use their critical thinking skills) to complete the challenge. The boxes contain everything you need to complete all of the activities, including a groovy retro-themed lab notebook. The box activities are supplemented with their Beyond…in a Box web portal where your children will find videos and additional, interactive activities. Head over to Groovy Lab in a Box’s website to learn more about this great service!
Good luck! I hope you win!
Tips for parents to get kids into regular summer reading routine
More than 50 million children in the U.S. have started their summer vacations and their annual break from homework, hospital
tests and assignments. Unfortunately, many of them will stop reading while having fun in the sun and experts say parents need to make sharing books a part of summer vacation and establish regular reading routines for their children.
Raising A Reader, a national nonprofit organization that provides resources and guidance for families to implement home-based literacy routines, has several tips for parents to make reading a part of the summer break.
“Summer reading should be all about the parent-child experience,” said Gabrielle Miller, Ed.D., president and CEO of Raising A Reader. “Rather than having it be a chore, or a list of must-read books, summer is a terrific opportunity to build family reading experiences. Whether it’s as simple as reading with children so they can see how much adults love reading, or visiting places and doing activities tied to a book, there are a host of ways reading can help children enjoy the summer and be ready to start school in the fall.”
Here are some of the Raising A Reader tips for parents:
Reading often gets lost in the shuffle of summer activities such as camp, sports and vacation travel. Schedule a regular time to share books with your child and establish a regular routine to ensure reading doesn’t become a low priority and has the same importance as other activities.
It’s OK to let your child read e-books if he or she is comfortable using a tablet, but remember, whether it’s an e-book or a print book — especially for young children — the most important thing is to spend time together sharing the book. It’s about the experience, not the technology.
Make it fun. Have your child come up with a different ending to a story, play ‘what if’ with the characters or the setting, or read the book from end to beginning. Come up with fun ways to engage your child beyond the actual reading of the book.
Let your child choose. Books are great, but so are comic books, magazines and even educational websites such as National Geographic Kids or The Discovery Channel. Let them chase their interests and they’ll be reading more than they realize.
Create an outdoor reading area so the whole family can enjoy the summer weather and not feel stuck inside. Children generally read indoors, so being outdoors will create a new environment for enjoying a book and boost a child’s enthusiasm for reading.
Connect with other families to share books and arrange reading playdates. You can even set up a Facebook group to stay in touch and share ideas, swap books and make plans.
Write a book with your child about them, your family, their favorite foods or toy, their friends or whatever interests them most. Your child can draw pictures or use actual photos. If you’re worried that your child spends too much time watching TV or playing video games, have him or her tell you or write a story about their favorite TV show or video game. You can also use one of many templates available to create and print the book on your computer.
Invite the family pet to join the book sharing experience. Even if your child can’t read yet, have her ‘read’ the story to you and the pet. Children who can read will be able to practice their skills and children who have not yet learned to read will begin to think of themselves as ‘readers’ which is very important to lifelong learning.
Find books that are centered on summer activities he or she enjoys. If your child likes to go horseback riding, for example, find books about horses or stories with horses as an integral part of the plot. This will give a child a welcome change from the types of books read during the school year and better complement their summer.
If you are taking a trip, read books about your destination with your child before you leave. Do some research with them on the location and find things in the area they want to do while visiting. And don’t forget to play “I Spy” with road signs or license plates along the way.
If you are taking your kids somewhere for the day, such as a pool, the beach, a picnic or the zoo, pack a book to share and have a reading break or two during day. After an hour or so in the water, your child may enjoy 30 minutes of reading on a comfortable chair or even floating on a raft.
Create a summer reading challenge with family members or connect to your public library’s summer reading challenge activities. When your child meets the challenge make sure there is time to talk about the book, share the story with others and read the next book.
Raising A Reader is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to helping families develop, practice and maintain literacy habits for children ages 0-8 that are critical for a child’s success in school and in life. The program is evidence-based, with more than 32 independent evaluations showing that Raising A Reader significantly improves language and literacy skills, cognitive development, communication and comprehension skills, school readiness and social competence. Raising A Reader is implemented through a network of community partners that comprise more than 2,500 locations across the country including public school systems, libraries, afterschool programs, community agencies and other organizations both public and private. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Raising A Reader was founded in 1999 and has served more than 1.25 million families nationwide. More information is available at RaisingAReader.org, @RARnational (Twitter) and RaisingAReaderNational (Facebook).
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island. — Walt Disney
I’ve written before about the importance of reading to kids on my blog here and here. Reading opens up a whole new world to children, there and it is definitely best to start them young. My kindergartner is learning to read on her own now, find and it is so exciting!
Mabel’s Labels knows that reading to kids is important for their growth and development, and also one of the most rewarding and heartwarming activities we can do with our little ones. That’s why they createdthis adorable videoof Mabel’s Labels staff reading with their kids. After you watch it, be sure to check out thegreat personalized books for kids they have available to make reading with your kids even more special this holiday season.
Discover all the great new productsMabel’s Labelshas for the holidays. There are all sorts of ways to be merry with Mabel’s this year!
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
This holiday season, sildenafil treat the little Star Wars fan in your life to a unique adventure with a new personalized Star Wars book for kids! In the Mabel’s Labels Personalized Book: My Adventures with Star Wars, prostate Princess Leia is being held hostage by Darth Vader and the Imperial Forces. The star of the book helps Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, R2-D2 and C-3PO rescue the beautiful princess and help the Rebel Alliance restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy.
Discover all the great new products Mabel’s Labels has for the holidays. There are all sorts of ways to be merry with Mabel’s this year!
**This post contains affiliate links, viagra order and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Throughout the coming weeks, I’m going to share gift ideas for the holidays. Today I want to tell you about I SEE ME! personalized books and gifts. This company creates custom books that incorporate your child’s name, skin tone, hair color, photo, hometown, birth date and favorite color throughout the story.
The FTC requires me to tell you that I am compensated as a Brand Ambassador for Arkansas Better Beginnings. As a Brand Ambassador I do receive payment for being part of their program, visit this but most of all, I receive the information I need as a “new again mother” to give our little angel the best chance to get her on her way to being all she was created to be.
Our home was recently opened up as an approved foster home. We are preparing for a newborn, and I’ve been in full nesting mode this past week — even trying to teach myself how to sew. (I succeeded in making curtains, as well as a pair of pajama pants for my five year old, Maya.) One of my most treasured items that I put in the nursery is a little Peanuts art piece that was mine as a child. Snoopy was (and still is) my favorite cartoon character.
As I was sorting through baby things, I came across some of Maya’s baby items: a newborn onesie, a doll, and books that I remember reading to her over and over. Two of my favorites were Whose Toes Are Those? and Whose Knees Are These? by Jabari Asim. I read them to her so often that I had them memorized. The books were a gift from a dear friend, Treopia. Since I was a single white woman raising an African-American daughter by myself at the time (this was before I met my husband), Treopia wanted to ensure I had books for Maya that illustrated people that look like her. That started a wonderful library of children’s books full of diversity for my daughter.
One thing I have learned from Arkansas Better Beginnings is that reading to your baby (even a newborn) aids in the child’s language development. Babies whose parents frequently talk to them know 300 more words by age two than babies whose parents rarely speak to them.
Some of the tips that I picked up from the Better Beginnings website include: 1. Talk about what’s going on. Whether I’m changing a diaper, bathing my baby, or taking a walk, I should use words that describe the actions and the things around my baby. This will help her develop vocabulary before she can even talk.
2. Sing songs and nursery rhymes over and over. My baby will find the sound of my voice calming and enjoy the playful rhythms of the music (even if it’s off key).
3. Babies babble. It’s how they learn to make sounds with their own voices. I can repeat these sounds and turn them into real words. This will help my baby recognize which sounds form language.
4. Read to baby. I can make storytime a part of my baby’s routine, such as before naps and at bedtime. Even just talking about some of the pictures is enjoyable for young babies.
Soon I will have a newborn at home and reading Whose Toes Are Those? to her just like I did with Maya. It’s reassuring to know that as I’m reading to her, she will be learning and developing a love for books and words too.
For more tips to boost your baby’s language development and other helpful tools for parents, visit the Resource Library at the Arkansas Better Beginnings website. Don’t miss the checklist to help you choose a quality child care facility for your child. Save it for later, pass it on to a friend, or both. You will be glad you did.