Tag Archives: literacy

Creating Cozy Nooks to Encourage Reading

23 Feb

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We all know that warm and cozy feeling of curling up with a good book. When the environment is just as enjoyable as the words on the page, reading becomes less of a task and more of a relaxing entertainment medium. Encourage your kids to read more by creating a perfect reading nook at home. Use our tips to create their very own secluded place to read, play, dream, and grow.

Seating. Decide what type of seating is best for your child’s temperament. Do they like to curl up and get comfortable? Get them their own big comfy chair or create a fort of pillows. Do they tend to move more and hate sitting still? Consider a more flexible seating option that allows for both movement and focus. There are many different learning styles and adjusting to them is an easy way to ensure development and progress.

Fuzzy Friends. Fill the reading area with some of your child’s favorite friends or new stuffed animals and encourage them to read aloud to them. Tell them that they’re the teacher, reading a story time book to their “class.” This creates a more engaged experience that will help children learn while enjoying the developmental process.

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A Mini Library. It doesn’t need to be a huge selection; even just a few choices will prevent kids from getting bored easily and will encourage more reading time. You can use a small bookshelf or even stack some storage bins on their sides to create a makeshift shelf. Of course, every reading nook needs books! Children often fly through their favorites, check out library sales and garage sales for new books or ask neighbors and friends if they have any books they’d be willing to part with. And be sure to check out all of the books that Kaplan Toys has to offer.

A Spot For You! Reading together is great family time, so be sure to make some space for you to join your child as they engage with their favorite books. A few minutes can create memories that are sure to last a lifetime. You have the power to make reading a lifelong love, so make some time to read with your little ones!

The perfect reading nook doesn’t have to be Pinterest-perfect or extravagant. Simply creating a space that’s perfect for your little bookworm will help them foster a love of reading that’s sure to continue throughout their lives. For more items to create the perfect reading nook, head to www.kaplantoys.com.

12 Days of Learning | Day 6: Holiday Stories

6 Dec

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Holiday stories, such as A Christmas Carol and The Night Before Christmas, spark children’s imaginations and add excitement to the holiday season for both children and adults. Fun stories about reindeer, Santa, special train rides, and a variety of other holiday symbols help us celebrate hope and giving. If you don’t already have a tradition of reading holiday books and stories to your children, make sure you add it to your family’s holiday plans this year.

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Reading holiday stories is one of the most educational activities of the holiday season because it helps children build their literacy skills, but it’s important to remember that the purpose of reading holiday stories is to have fun and enjoy what you’re reading. Don’t pressure kids to read a story aloud or sound out words if they don’t want to because they can learn new skills just from hearing you read. If your kids mispronounce something they choose to read, then the best way to help them is to read the sentence or word correctly without criticizing their mistake.

In addition to helping improve your children’s literacy skills, reading holiday stories also gives you opportunities to spend time together as a family:

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1. Set special times to read holiday stories. Younger children will enjoy reading a holiday story before bedtime each night. If your children are older and busier, however, it’s best to pick a few special times during the holiday season that you can sit together as a family to read your favorite holiday stories.

2. Create your own holiday story. Write and illustrate a fun holiday story as a family or have each family member come up with their own holiday story to share. You can even have the story spiral bound or placed in a binder to make it look like a published book. The holiday stories your kids come up with will make wonderful family keepsakes and childhood mementos.

3. Act out holiday stories as a family. Encourage your children to be creative and use their imaginations to act out their favorite holiday stories. Choose at least one or two stories that will let the whole family dress up and be a part of the performance. This is a great way to engage children during the holiday season and will help bring their favorite holiday stories to life.

Our Favorite Holiday Books for Kids

If you want to add to your holiday book collection, we recommend Stick Man, The Mitten, The Elf on the Shelf, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Polar Express, and Snow.

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Twelve Days of ChristmasThe Polar ExpressSnowCheck back Monday for Day 7 of our 12 Days of Learning!

Happy Holidays!

Five Fabulous Language and Literacy Games!

9 May

Whether you’re looking for games for emergent readers or for your older readers, we’ve got something to offer! We’ve handpicked five fabulous games that will help children build on key language and literacy skills like alphabet learning, phonics, rhyming, building words, and building sentences–all while having fun!

1. Alphabet Match Game
Alphabet Match Game

This puzzle game will help children learn alphabet concepts while promoting the development of early literacy skills. Each alphabet puzzle includes four wooden pieces–the lowercase and uppercase letters, a word that starts with the letter, and a picture of the word. It also comes with an activity guide that will give you new, fun ideas of how to use the game! (Item #70454, $69.95 55.95 SALE)

2. Syllabification Vocabulary Building Game 82668b

Spark your child’s interest in writing and spelling activities with this fun game that provides over 100 plastic tiles with root words (and derivatives of root words), prefixes, and suffixes! It will show them how words are made of chunks! (Item #82668, $34.95)

 

 

3. Rhyming Sounds Game 36318

Children will learn 32 different rhyming sounds with this fun game, which provides the players with a storage tray, 56 sorting tiles, and four category cards! To play, the children match the ending sound of the pictures with the corresponding rhyming object on the tiles. (Item #36318, $10.95)

 

 

4. Froggy Phonics Game62049a

Hop from lily pad to lily pad in this fun game to learn phonics! Players will use a phonics spinner and try to be the first to find matching words, and the first player to get to four matching words wins! Each board is double-sided for twice the fun! This will help build and reinforce reading skills. (Item #62049, $21.95)

 

 

5. You’ve Been Sentenced 87664new

For your older readers, You’ve Been Sentenced is a great sentence-building game using five-sided card with multiple versions of a base word. Players get 10 cards in a hand and try to score the most points by creating the longest grammatically-correct and sensible sentence! Any player can object to another players sentence, on either grammatical grounds, or if a sentence just doesn’t make sense. The defending player and the objecting player get to argue their points to the rest of the players, who form a jury. Half the fun is trying to defend, explain, and justify a completely ridiculous sentence to the other players. First player to reach 200 points wins.

 

All of these great toys are available through our website! Do you know any other great language and literacy skill-building games? Let us know in the comments!