Sunday, September 30, 2012

Importance of Early Reading

Children will show real interest towards books, reading and learning later on, if their parents expose them to reading aloud and to an environment that promotes the written language through posters with words and corresponding images, for example.

Several developmental studies confirm that the more and earlier a child is spoken to, the richer his/her vocabulary will be by the age of three. Thus, children who receive more attention, more one-on-one time with their parents and who are read aloud to from an early age, have better chances to develop cognitive skills and a good memory, to build motivation and curiosity - all of which are essential for getting ready to start reading and writing on their own.

Unfortunately, there are many parents out there who still believe that a child's reading program starts when he/she is old enough to go to school. What they do not know is that this kind of behavior puts their child at a real disadvantage.

Taking into account that parents are practically responsible for the child's future and success in life, it is strongly recommended that they start by acknowledging the vital importance of early reading. Also, there are several things that they can do to improve the reading aloud experience or even to replace it with equally enjoyable alternatives:

· If you are too tired to read the children a story one night, TV watching is not a good replacement. Instead you can buy them online audio children's books that they can listen to every time you work late or don't have the energy to read aloud.

· Children's books always have illustrations to go along with every page and one can easily understand why: to stimulate imagination and curiosity. You can stimulate them further by not reading the ending and by brainstorming together with your children possible ending ideas.

· It is very important that children see the pages of the book as you read them. You can even show them from time to time where is the word that you are currently reading or just follow the written lines from beginning to end with the tip of the finger or a crayon while reading them. In this way, children will slowly start associating certain sounds to corresponding letters, and groups of sounds to words. This process will enable them learn the alphabet easier.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fun Materials to Teach Letter Formation

Teaching children the correct way to form letters is much more important than most people think. Children must learn to start at the top of the letter and end at the bottom right of the letter (in most cases). Using correct letter formation helps children write more quickly and more accurately.

There are several ways to teach correct letter formation, but one of the most effective is using letter formation prompts. To use a prompt, have your child say the prompt out loud as he or she traces or writes the letter. When your child has formed the letter, have him say the letter name out loud.

This method is extremely effective as long as your child is not frustrated. The hardest and most important thing to do is to make letter formation fun for your child. Obviously, a parent with high energy and a child who is well rested both go a long way. However, another way to make letter formation fun, is by using exciting materials. Here is a list of 15 different materials your child can use when practicing letter formation.

1. Play dough - make a long roll, then form it into the letter. Can also use a letter play dough mat.
2. Salt Tray - pie tin filled with enough salt that the bottom is covered.
3. Shaving Cream - pump shaving cream into a cookie sheet. Have your child spread it around before making the letter with his finger.
4. Sandpaper - cut the letter out of a piece of sandpaper, or just have your child trace the letter on the sandpaper.
5. White Crayon on Black Construction Paper - Write the letter with white crayon and have your child trace it with his finger.
6. Dot Markers - Use dot markers to make the letter.
7. Pipe Cleaners - Use pipe cleaners to make the letter.
8. Gel Bag - Fill a gallon sized zip lock bag with colored hair gel. Squeeze out any extra air. Use packing tape to seal the top. Have your child trace the letter onto the bag.
9. Pasta - Use plain or colored pasta to make the letter.
10. Puffy Paint - Write the letter with puffy paint on a piece of card stock. Have your child trace over the paint with his finger once the paint is dry.
11. Whiteboard - Write with a dry erase marker on a small whiteboard or on a whiteboard that is hanging on the wall.
12. Bathtub Crayons - Write with bathtub crayons in the bathtub.
13. Chalk - Write with chalk on a small chalkboard or outside on the sidewalk.
14. Rainbow Letters - Write the letter on a half sheet of paper using a pen or thin pencil. Have your child choose 5-10 crayons. Your child will trace the letter 5-10 times each time with a new crayon. The letter will be written in a rainbow of colors when he is finished.
15. Yarn on Sandpaper - Give your child small pieces of yarn and a piece of sandpaper. Have your child make the letter by sticking the yarn to the sandpaper.

All of these materials will not only help your child with letter formation, but they will make it fun and exciting to learn new letters. By using these materials, you can start teaching your child how to form letters at a very early age. The more practice they get, the more polished their handwriting will be in the future.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Affirmative Sleep Talk for Kids

    Complaints from School
    Incomplete Classwork
    Arguing and fighting
    Sibling rivalry and conflict
    Struggling with Homework
    Thumb-sucking, nail-biting, bed-wetting.
    Shy and no self confidence
    Problems with Speech.
    Difficulty in accepting family situations.

Sounds Familiar! Does this remind you about your Child? Well there is nothing to be embarrassed about; this is the situation in every home across the world. There is nothing new about it. But now at least you know a way to handle and the situation positively without any further stress, arguments or conflict.

All you have to do is spend 5 minutes every day with your child while they sleep and softly whisper these affirmative sleep talk in their ears. Always start by telling them that you love them very much and are always there for them.

Just as they are falling asleep, repeat one or two positive sleep talk affirmations to suggest to their subconscious, adding their name so they know that it is directed to them. Whispers can echo something positive that you noticed your child do or they can reflect a positive action or attitude about your child and would like to see more of.

You can choose appropriate affirmative sleep talk quotes to address specific issues related to the situation you would like to address with your child and repeat it every day for at least 4 weeks till it gets embedded into their thought process and gets accepted.

You will be amazed at the quick results, but do not give up the 5 minutes of affirmative sleep talk after seeing results in the first week. To make sure that positive behavior pattern gets embedded in the system. You have to follow the sleep talk practice regularly.

Only use positive sentences and always avoid negative words. For example, if you want to stop your child from beating other kids or taking loudly.

Correct Affirmation:

    "Ryan always talks softly."
    "Ryan is a kind and friendly boy."

Incorrect Affirmation:

    "Ryan does not talk loudly."
    "Ryan does not beat other kids."

We as parents have a remarkable amount of influence and responsibility which we can use to help our kids reach their full potential and become happy and successful individuals. Our children are a mold in our hands. Let's use our love and methods such as positive sleep talk and encourage them to be happy, healthy, peaceful and successful in their lives. Let's fulfill the right task of parenting.

Start using the positive sleep talk with your kids right away. We can help our kids in more ways than we can comprehend. Share this with other parents or with the school teacher, so that she can share this method with other parents during the parent - teacher meetings, so kids that need help can also gain from Positive Sleep Talk.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Things to Consider Before Starting a Home Daycare

Working from home can be a great business opportunity especially for full-time moms taking care of their children at home. Starting a daycare center is a great way to combine your passion for kids while at the same time making some lucrative business for your family as well. A daycare center allows you to earn some income while staying at home and being able to take good care of your kids. But before you can even open and start operating your daycare business venture, there are some things you need to consider first.

Licensing your Daycare Center

Acquiring a license for your daycare is one of the most important things that you need to secure first. This can help boost client confidence in you making your daycare business even more profitable. Also, by acquiring a license you can take care of more than three children at the same time. Having no license gives you limitations with operating your business especially with the number of children you can accept at the same time. Most state laws only allow up to 3 kids at the same time if you are unlicensed but if you have a license you can accept a minimum of 7 kids at the same time.

Forms and Permits

Before you can even file for a license, you need to complete each form and permit required of you to operate and before starting a daycare center. This can include government forms and permits that you need to file and pay for before you can get your license. There are three forms that you must secure: request form, background check form, and fees for your services. Upon submission and payment of such forms you will then be interviewed and given a set of guidelines, codes ad laws governing such business. You can always visit the official website of the governing agency to learn more about securing forms and permits to start operating your daycare center.

Nutritional Necessities

We all know that it is important for children to be supplied with nutritious foods in order for them to grow healthy. As a daycare owner, you need to be able to supply these nutritional requirements to the children under your protection and care. You should be able to provide them with breakfast, lunch and snacks that are all healthy and nutritious but delicious as well. You will be asked to create a menu that promotes a healthy and balanced diet.


If you are planning to operate a daycare center that can accept more than 7 kids at a time, doing this on your own might seem impossible. This is why hiring some staff and other people to help you with running and managing a daycare center is important. You need people to take care of kids, people to feed the kids, someone to manage the staff, and someone to do the accounting.

Starting a daycare center might be hard at first but nowadays, it proves to be a lucrative business opportunity that many homemakers might be happy to engage in. Just remember to consider these things so you are prepared for whatever the business brings to you.

Kris Murray is a business coach for child care and daycare professionals. She has helped thousands of people open, run and increase enrollments with her inside knowledge and leadership. She is a published author with several books including The Ultimate Child Care Marketing Guide.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Help Your Child Develop Social Skills With Toys and Games

Most parents want their children to have good social skills. Without them, your child will not be able to make friends and so will not have a happy life at school or anywhere else. It's up to parents to help their child develop in this way - and toys and games can be good tools to use.

Even though physical and mental achievement such as is seen in sports and academic success is often thought to bring happiness, it's our relationships with others that are the most vital. If a child cannot get along with their peers they'll not be truly happy no matter how gifted they are in other areas.

Parents can help their child develop social skills in various ways. Having certain standards of behavior in the home is one way and while these may differ in different cultures and families they tend to belong to three main categories.

    Respecting oneself
    Having respect for other people
    Respecting other people's property

Most parents understand that teaching such principles takes time and effort and that they must be reinforced to children in many different ways to make them clear.

Not everyone realizes that toys and games can also help children learn social skills. Of course, some are better than others for this purpose, but using them will reinforce lessons in a pleasant and acceptable way. So which are best for this purpose? Here is a guide to help you choose.

Board Games

To play most board games you need more than one person. So when children play these games it gives them plenty of opportunity to interact with others such as friends and family members. Naturally, each child wants to win, but only one can. Playing such games will help children learn how to handle the disappointment of losing. They will learn to wait their turn for a go and to play without cheating.

Let's Pretend Toys

There are many toys on offer these days that help children play pretend games. Medical kits, play kitchens, dolls and dolls houses, cars and trains will all encourage wonderful games of let's pretend. Such games can be played alone, but often kids love to pretend with a friend to make it more fun. So they learn to share toys, but more importantly they learn how to talk to the others about their ideas for the game.

Verbal skills are enhanced along with co-operation if they are to play the game properly. Both boys and girls enjoy pretend games.

Basic Building Blocks

Most parents consider building blocks to be ideal for developing their kids' motor skills, but social skills can also be developed by playing with blocks. And even though children who play with blocks are quite young, they are not too young to learn social skills. Besides, which, even older children enjoy helping their younger siblings create a block tower or road.

Here's how playing with blocks can help develop social skills.

    You can encourage your child to share the blocks with other people
    You can get them talking about what they would best like to build - or have already built.
    Two or more children or people can work on building one thing
    Parents can point out that the building progressed faster and it was more fun with another child to help

The result is that even small children learn about the advantages of teamwork and sharing. Naturally they will not be able to verbalize these lessons, but they learn them, nevertheless.

Sporting Toys

Very few sports type games can be played alone; most need one or more people for successful play. A soccer ball may be kicked around by a lone player, but how much more fun it is with a second or third child to help kick. Tennis needs two players, cricket sets for kids need two or more. When children have access to sporting toys they learn to socialize, share and play fair - all while having the best fun.

Children that learn good social skills while they are young have developed skills that will make them popular and happy not only now, but when they grow up and must face the world on their own.

The wise parent will provide toys and games to help develop this skill in a way that is indirect, but still extremely effective.

In fact, learning through playing games is usually the best way of all to learn anything. The child has had fun and wants to repeat the process. Learning in a way that is not fun is often painful for both parent and child.