Tag Archive | reading

Happy Holidays !

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season!!  May you and yours have the happiest Christmas season and New Year’s !

IMG_1410Grandson, Caleb, loving life size Santa

O HEY, New Year’s is coming up, so why not celebrate your families’ milestones in 2015 with a “Good Things” jar?  You can read about it in my post : Record Successes .  Maybe you only want to do it for a few months. Read the jar before the summer holidays and decide as a family whether or not you will continue the activity.  Perhaps this will be the start of a new family tradition!

Just wanting my loyal readers to know that I will be away for the holidays.  Most everyone is busy  enjoying Christmas parties, shopping, wrapping, baking and cleaning, to get ready for Christmas and New Year’s. Even if you don’t enjoy it, bet you are doing it anyway…traffic, rushing, lists, sick children, grocery store, lost parcels, …. etc.

Due to this, I feel the need to postpone my regular blog.  I am feeling the rush as well and have been baking, baking, baking!  My regular blog will be back in the New Year.

Warning though…I may post a re-blog over the holidays.

I donated my book, Kieran the Pirate, to an indie author giveaway, and want to congratulate Amanda Beaty who is the winner of my book!

Stay healthy, happy and read a good book!

God bless,


PS: My thanks to everyone who purchased my book.




The Kissing Hand…Make Books Come Alive #4

For Children, acting out a book, or other activities is a way to expand imaginations, develop language, explore drama, promote literacy and build vocabulary.

So, are you using your children’s story books as a springboard into play?  Children love books and want to read them over and over..and over!  So use play as a way to expand and enrich their book experience.

Oh, and it is just plain fun !

Want to try something new and fun?  Choose a book, for this post, lets choose, “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn.

Don’t have the book at home?  NO worries, you can watch and listen to it (and others) on You Tube at “Nook Online Storytime.”  use this link:


The Kissing Hand Activities

                The Kissing Hand

What a great book! This book is so helpful in preparing children to be away from home or from their parent/s. The occasion may be their first day at school, or a sleepover, summer camp, a parent or child being hospitalized, being babysat while parents go out, or for foster children who miss their parents. Whenever there is a time a child will be away from you and feels scared, read this book with them, if possible.

Enrichment Activities

Language Development:

Feelings.  Nervous, happy, sad, glad, mad, upset, warm, sleepy, super, sick, shy, scared, angry

scared child        sadbaby

How did mother’s kiss make Chester feel ? (toasty warm inside)

How did Chester feel at the beginning of the story? Why did he feel that way?

Did the kiss help Chester when he was at school?

Why did Chester kiss his mother’s hand?

Feeling Activity:

Using a mirror, what does your face look like when you feel: happy, sad, angry, sleepy, surprised…

How about using the camera and take your child’s feeling photos to use with the feelings chart?


Make a feelings chart for family members.  How do you feel today? Here are two ideas that could help you make up your own.  For my house, I need to consider space!


Let’s Bake

Make heart shaped cookies or hand shape ones, if you have a cookie cutter that shape.  Place a Hershey’s kiss in the middle of either one.


Potato art stamps, finger paint hand print art,paper plate mask, paper bag racoon,


Temporary Tattoos


You Will Need:

Parchment Paper (wax paper),Pencil, Marker (regular or permanent) Wet sponge  Note: regular marker will wash off easily.  Permanent marker will last longer (but will not wash off as easily!)

Draw hearts on the parchment with pencil, then completely colour them in with the pencil.  On top of the pencil shading, use a marker, of any colour, to completely cover over it.  Now, flip the parchment over and place the drawing on a smooth area of the body.  The marker colour needs to be against the skin.  Place a wet (not too wet) sponge over the parchment and wait 30 seconds.  S L O W L Y peel off the parchment from the skin.  Hurrah, you have made a temporary tattoo!

I do hope you and your family enjoy these activities from The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.

Next Week:  My own book, Kieran the Pirate.

Photos courtesy of: Book cover: vickiblackwell.com  Scared Girl: riskychronicles.com  Sad Baby: face-and-emotion.com   Angry Boy: indianapublicmedia.org  Happy Boy: cleo deLancey personal photo  1st Feelings Chart: kidpointz.com  2nd Feelings Chart:https://www.etsy.com/listing/176328005/feelings-chart-children-feelings-chart  The Kissing Hand Craftivity: teacherspayteachers.com  Paper Bag Racoon : ditk-kids.com   Paper Plate Racoon Mask: blogs.familyeducation.com  Poem and Hand Art: whenlifehandsyouabrokenheart.blogspot.com   Potato Print: laughingkidslearn.com  Temporary  Tattoo: MeriCherry.com

The Mitten…Make Books Come Alive #3

For Children, acting out a book, or other activities is a way to expand imaginations, develop language, explore drama, promote literacy and build vocabulary.

So, are you using your children’s story books as a springboard into play?  Children love books and want to read them over and over..and over!  So use play as a way to expand and enrich their book experience.

Want to try something new and fun?  Choose a book, for this post, lets choose, “The Mitten” by Jan Brett.

Don’t have the book at home?  NO worries, you can watch and listen to it (and others) on You Tube at “Nook Online Storytime.”  use this link:



What a wonderful, wonderful, story and book!  The illustrations  are just so adorable. If you haven’t read it, it is about a young boy, who gets a pair of knitted mittens from his grandmother, and loses one in the forest.  Several animals, of all sizes, squeeze into it to enjoy its snugly warmth.  A fun story, with a funny ending.

Here are a few Enrichment Activities:

Cause and Effect:  Ask children 4 + years, the first half.  The answer is in italics.

                   What happened when…?

The animals squeezed into the mitten : the mitten stretched out.

The bear sneezed: the animals flew out of the mitten.

The animals were cold: they went into the mitten.

The mouse sat on the bear’s nose: the bear sneezed.

Real or Make Believe? 3 + years

Can a bear fit in a mitten?

Would a mouse sit on a bear’s nose?

Would a badger share his space?

Language Development:

Real Animal Habitat: 4 + years

Where do these animals live?  What do their homes look like?  What are their homes called?

Bear – den,   Rabbit – warren.   Badger – warren,  Owl – nest,  Mouse – nest,  Fox – den,  Mole- fortress, tunnel or burrow,  Hedgehog – den.

Play / Act out:

Using masking tape, make a large mitten shape on the floor.  See how many of your family members you can fit into this shape. Try it by standing in the shape, then by lying down.  Try to predict how many will fit, with everyone taking a guess first.  Perhaps use a blanket to cover everyone.  Is it snugly and warm?

try white (snow) play-dough, a mitten and animal figurines. I found the  most wonderful play-dough activity for this book.  Here is a link to a wonderful blog called MySmallPotatoes: http://mysmallpotatoes.com/2012/12/06/weekly-kids-co-op-the-mitten-an-enchanting-small-world-activity-inspired-by-an-enchanting-storybook


Crafts for Fine Motor Skills: lacing, cutting and painting.

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Sequencing Activity:

I found a song, sung to Farmer in the Dell that is a fun way to sequence this story, from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/183451384797521348/

This post came from:   http://www.firstgradewow.blogspot.com


LapBooks: a parent/child project worthy of taking on.

LapBooks are a brilliant way for kids to get together all the stuff they can find out about an activity and show it off.

I have found a couple great links to get you started.


and this one has some great printable pages for preschool.


I am hoping that you enjoy these activities from “The Mitten”, by Jan Brett.

Next Sunday we will look at “The Kissing Hand”, by Audrey Penn.


Yes you can help your children learn to read and help to instill in them a passion for books!  Your time with your children is so short (I raised 6…I know how fast it goes), enjoy the books together!

Reading with your child/children is so important.  I came across some great tips on pinterest to help you when reading with your little ones.  Here it is!                                                                                                                       Originally posted by Angi.

Reading with the young

Read to your babies:16752455 19379174-funny-baby-with-glasses-reading-a-book

The majority of people know and agree that it is important to read to children.  If this is put into regular practice the results show up before the age of two.  These youngsters will bring you books to read for them.  At the age of two to two and a half, they will try to tell the story to you.  How cute is that!!!

Reading tricks:

A good practice when reading with your child is to track the words with your fingers.  It is instinctual, for most children to want to track from right to left, but in English, they must learn to track from left to right.  Hold your finger above the first word on the first line, and track across from there.  This method does not hide the lines under the first. The child can see that there are more words and lines to come, has an easier time dropping to the next line and eventually may read quicker than your finger is following.  Having your finger above the line does not impede with this process.

A case for encouraging reading:  3914152

My mother, being a prolific reader of good books, modeled for me the love of reading.  It taught me spelling, sentence structure, language skills, exposure to new words, knowledge and understanding.  I never realized the benefit of this until I was in grade nine.  In that grade, here in Alberta, we must write provincial exams and I scored extremely high in literature.  This dawning for me as to the importance of reading, influenced me in allowing my own children to be readers.  How, you may ask?  Well, sometimes reading was put before chores.  Allowing a child to read after bedtime, instead of a strict rule of lights out.

I worked in the public school system, in Alberta, for 20 years.  I often worked with children who were challenged or non-readers.  It is impossible to do well in any subject in school (math, science, story writing, social studies, etc) if one cannot read.  Not doing well in school often leads to poor self-esteem.  In my own opinion, the very best thing you can do for any child is to help them be proficient readers.

Happy Reading!! And Read,Read,Read!     44764078

Just new and getting started

Kieran the Pirate

WOW! First blog gitters!  I’m sure all bloggers began with these!

“TalesForTheYoung”  ..I enjoy writing for young children.  My present book,Kieran the Pirate (http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000000639859), is about a 3 year old boy who loves to play dress up. He discovers a pirate hat.  He doesn’t have any other part to his costume, but believes he is a scary pirate anyway.  His extended family help him with the items he needs.  This act boosts his confidence!

I wrote this book, inspired by my eldest grandson, who moved across the country and I missed him so much.  I tried to keep a relationship by telephone (no skype back then), but a 3 year old would rather go play.  To keep his interest, I would tell him made up stories or read him easy reader books.  If any character had a name, I substituted his.  And thus began my writing career!

I tried to keep in mind the reading and enjoyment level of 2 to 5 year old children.  Sometimes it is difficult to keep the complexity of the words down to their level.  I aimed for some repetition as it helps this age group participate in the telling.  As well, when introducing the items of the pirate costume, I used the illustrations to help them with the identification the item.

An underlying theme for adults is that DIY costumes are fairly easy to accomplish with items from home. Dress up is fun!

I also want adults to use the format of this book to help children with prediction skills.  What does a pirate wear or what else does he need?

For the 2 and 3 years old, it can be used to identify titles to family members.  Adults can ask, “Do you have an Auntie?”and “What is her name?” Other titles in the book are Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Great-Grandfather, Grandmother, Mother, and cousin.

more on writing for young children soon…