Sunday, June 28, 2009

Independence Day Celebration

If you are planning a 4th of July picnic, get together, BBQ, etc... visit my online Independence Day Celebration

You absolutely need Walk the Dogs, Sneaks, Tunebaya, Eye to Eye, Farkel or some Take Your Pick games. We L-O-V-E Woodchuck, a fun yard game!

Manga Manga is FREE with a $50 purchase made by June 30 via the Independence Day Celebration link.

Host your own online 4th of July party in the next 48 hours and earn FREE gifts!!

Parenting Tips for Felt Board Story Telling

Children of all ages enjoy to tell stories and let their imaginations flow. They love it even more when their parents create the adventures, especially when the audience members are the stars of the story. Little girls fantasize about being a fairy or princess and boys imagine being a swashbuckling pirate, cowboy or super hero.

Even Hollywood recognized the importance of imaginary story telling. That is why Bedtime Stories, starring Adam Sandler and Keri Russell, is such a hit with families. However, you don't have to produce a motion picture to tell your story.

A great creative way to tell a story is to incorporate a felt or flannel story board. There are many online education resources where you can purchase a ready-made story board with accessories or you can create your own as a fun family craft project with a purpose.

Once you have your felt board, here are some tips for you as a parent. Try to remember and implement these suggestions when you are story telling with your felt board:
  1. Before you begin your felt adventure, arrange the necessary pieces face up in the correct order for the story.
  2. Decide in advance when and where to place each felt piece. Your painting of the adventure with felt pieces will flow more naturally.
  3. Create a friendly atmosphere by having your audience sit close to you.
  4. Sit or stand to one side of the board, with the felt items on your lap.
  5. As you tell the adventure, look into the faces of your audience to make the felt board characters come alive.
  6. Once the figures in place, move them as little as possible. Spend most of your time telling the adventure and occasionally add, move, remove or point to a felt item.
  7. Give your audience an opportunity to make their own adventure by telling another story or mixing up the ending.
  8. Relax. Smile. Enjoy telling stories. Display genuine pleasure and enthusiasm. All the while conveying a positive message to your audience.
In our home we use Tibbar's Everyday Felt Adventures as our story board of choice. This all-in-one felt story board features 88 full-color felt pieces and three story scenes in a grab-n-go case. We take Tibbar and friends around the world, creating fantastic adventures along the way!

If Tibbar's Everyday Felt Adventures is an item of interst to you, please order it through this Independence Day Celebration link. Manga Manga is FREE with a $50 purchase made before June 30 through this link. You're sure to have Tibbar's Everyday Felt Adventures and all the other items you purchase in hand before your 4th of July picnic, BBQ, or fun family gathering.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Doing the Impossible

Have you ever been challenged with a seemingly impossible task?

When I'm faced with a challenge whether in business or in my personal life I recall an inspiring quote:

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - Saint Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Teaching a Child the Alphabet

It's been a while since I was a child--over forty years ago! As I think back to my early childhood education, I really don't remember how I initially learned my ABC's. What I do recall vividly are the cursive penmanship lessons in second grade, but I must have already known my alphabet to have completed those lessons.

Now that I have a preschooler of my own, I want him to learn his alphabet this summer so it's fresh when he starts his Pre-K class. He already knows the capital letters. Learning the lower case alphabet is not as easy. In a child's mind sometimes a 'd' and 'b' look the alike. Same goes for the 'p' and 'q'.

So, if a child isn't yet writing, how do you go about teaching the lowercase alphabet to a preschooler? To find the answer I put on my thinking (research) cap and began combing the Internet for suggestions.

Low and behold, I found a wide selection of ideas that are both fun for the child and educational for my peace of mind. There are three ways I can tackle this summer lesson plan:
1. Set him in front of a PC and run a software application, such as Let's Learn ABC
2. Show flash cards or read books, such as Dr. Suess's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book
3. Use a puzzle, like Huey Learning Puzzle

Well, as you can imagine, I chose the most interactive lesson from among these three choices. The one that incorporates family fun and games! The Huey Learning Puzzle allows me and my son an interactive learning experience. Not only is he identifying the lowercase letters, but he's matching them to the capital letter also printed on the puzzle. Each lower case alphabet character is a different puzzle shape so he quickly learned that the lowercase 'd' will not fit in the 'b' spot.

In addition to the alphabet, Huey also teaches colors and counting. Each of Huey's shoes is a different hue. The lady bugs in the scene are numbered 1-10 for counting. Three concepts in one puzzle! I've hit a gold mine for a solid wood puzzle at only $12!!

Now that he's on the verge of spelling 3 and 4 letter words, the Huey puzzle makes a great spelling game, too. One puzzle, unlimited fun learning possibilities!