"With new leadership of our New York City public schools, my office is eager to hear what parents, guardians, students, principals and teachers think should be the top priorities over the next three years for the Department of Education. To get the conversation started, my office has launched a virtual town hall, "Your School, Your Voice."
After clicking the link below, you will be asked to answer four questions and share some basic demographic information. You will have an opportunity to provide additional feedback prior to submitting your responses. All information will be kept anonymous.
Click here to participate in this virtual town hall: “Your School, Your Voice.”
December 17, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 23, 2010
November 18, 2010
October 30, 2010
Tom Limbert wrote an article about what parents can do to prepare their child for the earliest days of school. Beyond color, number and letter recognition, he talks about social skills, knowing how to listen, take turns, be resilient. I hope our government officials read Mr. Limbert's article. I hope that parents read Mr. Limbert's article. Society will soon need to recognize the importance of the very earliest years and the impact that parenting has on the most critical time of a child's development. Moms & Dads, if you're waiting for school to do the teaching, you will have let tens of thousands of hours of teaching moments slip by. We each need to make sure that our homes are loving, nurturing environments, enriched with materials that foster the natural learning that takes place when parents interact with their children.
There are some wonderful Discovery Toys games that can aid in this effort. You'll want to consider games and activities that help your child think and learn how to learn, not just memorize facts. Play games that teach your child to take turns, be patient, follow instructions. Busy Pets and Short Vowel Fun are simple 3-year old beginning games. Zingo and AB Seas are good for 4-year olds. Friendship Island and Flip Flop Faces Emotions in Motion (now in French, too!) are both good for associating feelings with the words that describe them.
October 25, 2010
HOLIDAY ORDERING GUIDELINES
This information is to assist your holiday planning.
Hanukkah Ordering Guidelines
(Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 1)
Orders Shipping Ground must be received in-house by Wednesday, November 17
Christmas Ordering Guidelines
(Christmas is Saturday, December 25)
Orders Shipping Ground must be received in-house by Monday, December 13
- Ground orders placed December 13 shipping to AB, BC, MB, ON, PQ and SK are targeted to arrive on Thursday, December 23.
- Allow additional delivery days for AK, HI, Territories, APO/FPO and P.O. Boxes
- Short term backorder situations can impact arrival dates
October 24, 2010
October 14, 2010
"After its expected completion in July 2011, students at the renowned
Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy will be able to move from their
cramped 900-square-foot shop into the $6 million, 12,000-square-foot
Read the full article on how this community is helping students understand themselves instead of solely memorizing facts, or "brain-on learning."
October 12, 2010
September 27, 2010
DISCOVERY TOYS averts crisis for children to think, learn, and compete today!
Livermore, CA, October 2010 -
One esteemed California company is on a mission to save what they believe is quickly becoming an endangered species – children who can think for themselves!
According to Discovery Toys, LLC, a 32 year old direct sales educational toy company, we are faced with a growing crisis in our children’s ability to THINK and LEARN today. The U.S. high school graduation rate ranks near the BOTTOM of developed nations.(1) On virtually every international assessment of academic proficiency, American secondary school students’ performance varies from mediocre to poor.(1)
The impact is being felt in the economic sector, as concerns continue to mount about global competition. Discovery Toys believes it can help reverse this alarming trend with a renewed focus on how children LEARN through PLAY and how PARENTS can make a difference in reversing this trend.
“Many children today are no longer in charge of their own learning, nor developing their brains for higher learning as they grow,” states Jeremy Hobbs, Chairman of Discovery Toys, LLC. During the highly critical developmental years, a typical child spends a considerable amount of time in front of a television, a computer and playing with video games. While children find these products engaging and fun, the experience they have is guided and controlled, for the most part, by adults who program them! In addition, parents are trained to believe that more structured activities, such as sports , are an ideal way to raise their children. “We are not proposing that parents dispose of their electronic toys or pull their children out of sports,” says Mr. Hobbs. “What we want parents to realize is that unlike the play we experienced as kids, which was driven by our own youthful imaginations in the backyard or on the playground, much of today’s play has evolved into adult-directed play.”
Discovery Toys believes learning through play is the way to change this and save our kids. DT offers hands-on, child-powered learning toys, books and games, including such signature classics as Measure Up!® Cups, Busy Bugs, and Marbleworks®, that allow the child’s brain to be in charge of the play experience. Dr. Jane Healy, Ph.D. and other prominent child psychologists advise that object play is critical for future learning success. With 3-D objects, a child develops a plan for how to use the objects and then executes the plan, developing ideation, creativity, problem-solving and a host of other thinking skills. A child playing with Marbleworks® discovers how the various components fit and function together, dreams up a new tower configuration, and proceeds to build the tower through experimentation and coordination. Kinesthetic, or hands-on play, gives control to the child, who can learn at his or her own pace—thinking, strategizing, and creating on their own, to develop a stronger foundation for future academic success.
“Discovery Toys has a mission to teach, play and inspire children and parents alike,” shares Meryl Holland, Chief Creative Officer. The company’s several thousand independent distributors across the U.S. and Canada offer toys that invite and encourage parents to participate as coaches and guides, but ultimately to encourage the child to take charge of their play. Discovery Toys products are developed for open ended play where children are encouraged to try different things, arrange different shapes, create patterns, share, play games and, ultimately, learn.
“While an array of experts across North America try to address the performance of our young students with standardized testing, more technology, more homework, and more structure,” says Ms. Holland, “Discovery Toys believes a key part of the solution lies in hands-on play, delivered with rich Layers of Learning and parent participation. We need to re-educate parents that child-powered toys, which no one does better than Discovery Toys, is the key to future learning success.” With the minds of our youngest generation at stake, it’s certainly worth a try.
To learn more about Discovery Toys and its line of child-powered learning toys, visit www.toysofdiscovery.com
or contact Billie at email@example.com
(1) Alliance for Excellent Education, 2008 Fact Sheet, How Does the United States Stack Up?
September 24, 2010
Shop for this and other award-winning Discovery Toys at www.discoverytoyslink.com/billieelias
August 25, 2010
This is exactly the model that Discovery Toys tries to replace, by offering parents opportunities to have award-winning toys, books and games that help children learn while they play. Basic, good toys that usually require no batteries, but do require the child to add his own energy, his own ingenuity.
Wooden building blocks will take your child much further than a pair of flip flops with a popular character on them. Your child can learn to experiment, build, topple, rebuild in a different way, form patterns, and so on.
Board games will teach your child patience, taking turns, following rules and more.
Puzzles teach you child to stay the course until the puzzle is complete, to look for patterns and continuity, visual discrimination.
Imaginary play is important, but the costume doesn't have to be a character. Isn't it more creative to take the boa, take the high heels, take the eye-patch and imagine your own kooky character, that you designed?!?!
Take a look at what's in store for you and your child when you enter the world of Discovery Toys .
July 30, 2010
August is around the corner and things are happening at Discovery Toys.
Customers can receive a 10% discount on select toys.
Our party hostesses will have an opportunity to purchase $102 dollars of toys for $50 when their party reaches $500. And that's on top of our already RICH hostess plan that gives you $90 in free product!
New consultants can join us for a limited time at $89 for our $400 intro kit. This offers you a home-based business with lots of coaching and support.
Ask me how!
I believe that a good teacher makes a difference in the lives of our children. Good toys do, too! Remember, you are your child's first and most important teacher. Now as we are at the midway point of the summer vacation, won't you consider helping your preschooler become better prepared for going back to school with toys that encourage letter recognition and pre-math skills like "bigger", "taller", "heavier?" Look at Discovery Toys Measure Up cups, Measure Up Pots and Spoons, Measure Up Balance, ABSeas, Sounds Like Learning.
June 03, 2010
June 02, 2010
A question from the audience was about Malcolm Gladwell's theory that the years 1953-1955 were the perfect years to be born for those interested in microprocessing. (That many of Silicon Valley’s giants were all born within 3 years of each other (1953-1955), or that 14 of the 75 richest men/women in human history were born in the 1830s begins to seem less than accidental. The story is not that luck alone brought these people to success, but that there is often more to the story when people rise to stardom, and good fortune. When asked if he thought he became successful because of luck, innovation, risk taking or creativity, he said Microsoft was built up on a depth of engineering, whereas other companies were involved in just one product. He felt being there early helped, and success bred success. It was something that hadn't been done in the world and they were careful about taking one step after another. Mr. Gates felt that being young and open-minded at a time when the microprocessor was invented was a plus. Older people didn't 'see it' because they weren't as open-minded. He attributes luck and fanatical behavior to making magical things come together.
May 26, 2010
May 04, 2010
- DT Hostess Bonus Offer: Hostesses with a minimum $300 or more party receive a FREE $30 PRODUCT COUPON (redeemable in June) to add to their Hostess Rewards!
- DT Party Customer “Gift with Purchase” Offer: Our Party Customer Promotion is a sure fire way to build sales, party averages and SUMMER FUN in May! Party Customers with a $50 or more qualifying order will receive a FREE NEW! MEASURE UP!® SHOVEL just in time for warm weather months, beach and outdoor play! This FREE GIFT encourages party attendance and large party customer orders to earn this fabulous offer for May. Dig it!
- Drawings: Every New Booking will get both the hostess and the consultant into 25 company drawings for a $25 Free Product Coupon! So, if I win, you win, too!
- Grand Prize Drawing: Grand Prize for 1 winning Consultant and Hostess to receive a DT Rolling Case filled with $200 Free Products!
April 21, 2010
April 18, 2010
Discovery Toys, the foremost direct sales / network marketer of educational toys, is offering an opportunity for those passionate about children and education and a desire for extra income. The goal: to help parents help their children learn through play, and help parents, grandparents, and teachers supplement their current income or even start a new career.
We are going to be in Chicago from Wednesday April 21st until Monday the 26th. The purpose of our trip is to grow the Chicago area Discovery Toys team. We'll be exhibiting our products and marketing materials in a swank Oak Brook hotel. Easy access and parking for everyone.
Advance RSVP required: email Billie -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Please email for additional details.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO
Who do you know in the Chicago area who you think might be interested in a fabulous home based business they can do around their family's needs? Contact them and invite them to attend or give us their info and we'll do it for you.
You may have your prospects contact us directly, if you prefer, or we would be happy to contact them, answer any questions and invite them to our showing. When they decide to join, they will, of course, become YOUR team member. We are sharing this with all of you because if you have any connections with people in the Chicago area who might consider joining Discovery Toys, please let us know! We have teamed up with Sherre B. (longtime leader in our family from Chicago) and are available to meet and greet, show prospects our fabulous toys, answer any questions--and schedule Success Start trainings for those who are ready to go.
We will schedule a time all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday morning that is convenient for them.
THE BACK STORY
We started brainstorming about building up the Chicago area -- especially with the Discovery Toys Convention being in Chicago this summer. This is an area that has supported many huge organizations in the past and is ripe for growing. The opportunity to "success start" a lot of folks this spring and early summer who could then quantum leap their business by attending Convention in their backyard just made sense!
We are really excited about this trip! We hope to hear from you so we can help you build your teams. Call your Chicago area prospects today!
April 17, 2010
My son's team mate and the president of engineering for the Stuyvesant High School team, Seth Berg, was honored by Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with 9 other students from FIRST for being an exemplary student. His team writes, "The award is given to students who are '...examples of student leaders who have led their teams and communities to increased awareness for FIRST and its mission.'
If you're in Atlanta, come on out to the Georgia Dome today and tomorrow for more qualifying matches and award ceremonies. Stuyvesant High is still in the running for the Chairman's and Engineering Inspiration awards. Come cheer them on. Free and open to the public!!
April 09, 2010
What she fails to mention is how Discovery Toys Measure Up Cups, fit into your plans. They're a set of twelve cups, with the largest being an 8 oz. measure-- "1 cup" in your recipes. You can teach your child math skills as you measure out your ingredients....a half a cup, will be cup #6, half the size of the #12 cup, and so on. There are also toy Measure Up Pots and Spoons, and Measure Up Balance, a real scale for measuring solid and liquid weights. (Good in Science class, too!)
If you're mixing up a batch of cookie dough, remember to use Place & Trace puzzles, which double as cookie cutters for fun-time dinosaur- and bicycle-shaped cookies.
March 27, 2010
March 24, 2010
March 19, 2010
March 17, 2010
March 09, 2010
At the Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Philadelphia (where 89% of the school qualifies for reduced or free lunch) college students from Temple University's Speech-Language program mentor underprivileged kindergartners and first graders in reading skills in an after school program. Research has shown that the poorest groups also have poor results in literacy, causing high drop out and unemployment rates, in addition to poor health.
The "Kids Write and Create Program," developed in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Temple, is attempting to turn this problem around. They know that children who do not read at grade level by the end of first grade are unlikely to ever catch up, hence the focus on the youngest students.
The above article also points out the need for children to have materials that span the various learning styles: auditory, kinesthetic and visual, particularly because at the youngest ages they don't yet have the ability to translate the spoken word to the written word.
Discovery Toys can truly make a difference in this population. Not only are there fun games like AB Seas that bring fish and the alphabet to life in a lively fishing game, and CDs like Sounds Like Learning that includes songs of the alphabet, opposites and manners, or The Big Hungry Bear book and companion CD (with a narrated version of the book on it) but there's also a sequencing, storytelling game that asks the child to put sentences into the proper order.
Please contact me at billietoy"at"gmail.com if you know of grants that will provide these types of products for kids in need.
February 28, 2010
"There's no stimulus package that this country can possibly put together that will have a better return than stimulating the next generation of kids in this country to be for the 21st century our Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, the Google boys."Can you see why Discovery Toys hold such a special place in my heart? How can a child get a better start in math and science than playing with building blocks or manipulatives like Giant Pegboard, Marbleworks, Measure Up Cups or math games like Think it Through tiles?
February 27, 2010
Learn more about FIRST and how it impacts kids interested in technology, math and science, and hear what Dean Kamen told Anderson Cooper on AC360 about innovation. You can also see what PBS Newshour had to say about FIRST.
You can be part of the biggest celebration of its kind in New York City - four major student technology events under one roof. New York City FIRST's Mega Celebration is the biggest FIRST event in the world, second only to the FIRST World Championship at the Georgia Dome, in Atlanta.
Join us in celebrating our City's kids working smart in science and technology. Help inspire young men and women to go on to further studies and careers in science and technology.
This event is free and open to the public.
2010 New York City FIRST Mega-Celebration
Celebrating young men and women
working smart in
science and technology
Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14
9:00am to 4:00pm
Jacob Javits Convention Center
New York, NY
NYC FIRST Robotics Competition
Saturday, March 13 & Sunday, March 14
Sixty-four competing high school robotics teams of future technologists and entrepreneurs.
NYC FIRST LEGO League Championship
Sunday, March 14
Eighty middle school teams, exploring alternative transportation systems selected from among 220 winning teams from across the City.
NYC FIRST Tech Challenge Championship
Saturday, March 13
Forty-eight high school robotics teams putting their technical and teamwork skills to the test.
Science & Technology Career Expo
Friday, March 12, through Sunday March 14
Fifty exhibitors, including colleges and universities and NYC FIRST sponsors informing students about careers in science and technology.
(as of February 24, 2010)
Goldman Sachs employees
Two Sigma Investments
Johnson & Johnson
Port Authority of NY & NJ
Josh & Judy Weston
Ackman Family Foundation
Bezos Family Foundation
David L. Klein Jr., Foundation
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp.
Pershing Square Foundation
Polytechnic Institute of NYU
February 18, 2010
"We made s'mores and hot dogs over the fire. I've never cooked outside before!"
Fresh Air children are boys and girls, six to 18 years old, who live in New York City. Children on first-time visits are six to 12 years old and stay for either one or two weeks. Youngsters who are re-invited by the same family may continue with The Fund through age 18, and many enjoy longer summertime visits, year after year. A visit to the home of a warm and loving volunteer host family can make all the difference in the world to an inner-city child. All it takes to create lifelong memories is laughing in the sunshine and making new friends.
The majority of Fresh Air children are from low-income communities. These are often families without the resources to send their children on summer vacations. Most inner-city youngsters grow up in towering apartment buildings without large, open outdoor play spaces. Concrete playgrounds cannot replace the freedom of running barefoot through the grass or riding bikes down country lanes.
Fresh Air children are registered by more than 90 participating social service and community organizations located in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the five boroughs of New York City. These community-based agencies are in close contact with children in need of summer experiences in rural and suburban areas. Each agency is responsible for registering children for the program.
What do Fresh Air children enjoy?
Playing in the backyard
Laughing in the sunshine
Learning to swim
Making new friends
Simple pleasures of life away from the inner-city
If you do decide to sponsor a child, please consult my Discovery Toys website for some great outdoor toys you can play with.
February 01, 2010
Everything young babies and children are learning and are exposed to helps generate connections in the wiring of their brains. The more connections there are, the more successful children can be at developing new skills over time.
This impacts social skills as well as cognitive and motor skills, as described in Denise Quinlan's blog entry Positive Relationships - Pillar or Foundation of the House of Well-being? She asserts that "Children who are secure in their primary relationships are more likely to explore and so learn more about their surroundings, thereby building greater knowledge and resources."
One commenter to her blog, Udayan, remarks, "There have been documented cases of children who have somehow survived alone without parents or any other people, and have been discovered at some point in middle childhood. Their development in all areas, such as language, cognition, emotions, social skills, etc., are naturally grossly underdeveloped, and what is worse, having missed critical periods in brain development in which they should have been developing in interaction with others, they were never able to develop their human capacities to a level that approaches those who have been raised from infancy in human communities."
The Discovery Toys tag line teach.play.inspire. reminds us to "feed" our children healthy toys (as opposed to "junk food toys") that make every moment a playful brain-wiring opportunity. That's why so many moms who grew up on these toys themselves are now introducing them to the next generation.
January 29, 2010
Back in July 2009, I provided the alarming statistics of where America's teens were ranked internationally in math and science. What are the other countries doing differently? Finland was ranked #1 in both math and science in the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). Are more moms in Finland staying home and playing with their babies? (The next results, PISA 2009 National Report, won't be released until December 2010. )
Why not help your child get a head start by playing and reading every chance you get? Using Discovery Toys takes the guess-work out of choosing the right toys. Our experts rate the toys by the developmental abilities of particular age-ranges and by the skills developed. Today's pre-schoolers and school age children are tomorrow's scholars. Start now!
January 26, 2010
"As he opened his journal, the old man’s eyes fell upon an inscription that stood out because it was so brief in comparison to other days. In his own neat handwriting were these words:
Remember the tag line of Discovery Toys: teach. play. inspire. I hope our toys will allow parents to spend the type of quality time with their children that will allow them both to remember those moments as some of their fondest. Have you played with your child today?
January 19, 2010
I usually don't refer my readers to other blogs, but in the case of this article, "How to parent like the President", author Linda Natali says it all. I highly recommend it.
Hmm, I wonder if the President and First Lady have any Discovery Toys in the White House. If they're reading this, may I propose Marbleworks Deluxe to help Sacha and Melia learn about logic, gravity and civil engineering concepts. Word Flip is another game the whole family can play, taking educated guesses about the word whose letters are hidden behind small doors. Maybe they even have a family game night.
January 15, 2010
Vaccines were initially suspected of causing autism. The world scientific community, however, has ruled out a relationship between thimerosol, the mercury-containing preservative used in many vaccines, and autism. We know that most children get vaccinated, but the incidence of autism is not uniform throughout our population. Researchers find clusters of incidence in certain geographic areas, leading us to believe that those families may simply have access to resources that will diagnose the disorder.
Dr. Dolmetsch talks about research in identical twins (where the chance of both having autism if one has it is 90%) vs. fraternal twins (where the chance is only 5% of both having autism if one has). Based on that research, scientists believe there is a strong genetic basis, not due to just one gene (because you share more than one gene with your sibling), but due to many genes. With each successive generation, humans have approximately 150 new gene mutations, and just one of those mutations could mean the difference between having autism or not.
Paternal age also seems to be a cause, because as men age, their sperm accumulate more of these genetic mutations. More affluent people are marrying later and having children later (mothers average age now is 29, fathers 38), 10-15 years later than 1 or 2 generations ago. Both paternal age and geography suggest you are more likely to get autism if you come from a high socio-economic family and live in a nice neighborhood.
Recent research has included re-programming skin cells from children with autism into stem cells. Those cells are used to make neurons (in a dish) that enable scientists to study the electrical signals and connections in the brain cells of those children. Fortunately, the influx of money and attention to autism research in the last few years is helping us move in the right direction of finding a cure.
If you know someone with a child who has autism, please point them to this page which suggests specific toys for use with autism.
January 05, 2010
“I want to share a Gingerbread recipe that you can make with your kids. The amounts are using the Discovery Toys Measure Up Cups and the Spoons from the Measure Up Pots & Spoons set and then in case you don't have those items yet I've included the regular measurements in parentheses as well.”
#9 cup Butter (3/4c)
#12 cup Sugar (1c)
1 egg, slightly beaten
#3 cup Molasses (1/4c)
5-#6 cups Flour (2 1/2c)
#8 spoon Baking soda (2 tsp.)
#1 spoon Salt (1/4 tsp.)
#4 spoon Cinnamon (1 tsp.)
#4 spoon Ginger (1 tsp.)
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and molasses. Sift the dry ingredients and mix with the wet ingredients. Chill the dough. Roll the dough on a lightly floured board to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out the gingerbread men shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Optional: use Place & Trace puzzle pieces as cookie cutters instead of gingerbread men.
See more Discovery Toys recipes.
January 04, 2010
In February 2009, I reported on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's policy regarding limits of lead levels in children's products. Little did we realize at that time that many small toy concerns would be forced to eliminate jobs or to shut down their businesses completely, due to the cost of enforcing the policy. It seems the unscientific folks in Congress didn't realize that a zipper may contain lead that is not able to be easily absorbed into a child's bloodstream, unlike lead in paint. They also made the requirements so stringent that it bans some toys with less lead than the Food and Drug Administration allows in a piece of candy. Fortunately, the commission has agreed to take another look at such things as treating a 12-year-old toy and an infant toy identically.
In its 31 year history, Discovery Toys can boast no recalls. Read about their quality and safety promise. I wish that some of the larger manufacturers' greed hadn't spoiled it for an entire industry. At least when you shop with us, you know you're buying something that is safe and fun for your child.
January 03, 2010
What's a parent to do? Plenty!
In a read-aloud entry in my parenting blog I report that the reading experts tell us that reading to your children is so important that even after they know how to read, we should still be reading to them! Not only is it a cozy way to snuggle up and share precious moments with your child, but you're sending the message that you value them: they are important enough for you to break away from whatever adult task you were involved with to devote some time to just them.
I also report that since babies start learning language from birth, reading aloud exposes them to the sounds of human speech. By the age of two, children know between 300-500 words. Children who are spoken to and read to frequently have larger vocabularies and develop into better readers.
I have the fondest memories of a storybook that was read to me as a child. My mother and father never seemed to tire of reading the same stories and poems over and over again. The book happened to be an anthology of different writers, but the two-color illustrations that accompanied each story were indelibly written in my brain, along with some of my favorite stories. I have yet to forget Mr. & Mrs. Apple naming their children after different types of apples (Jonathan, Winesap, Delicious, Baldwin) or of Mr. Apple going to the library to research the names as they added more and more children to their family. There were Nina and Ted who looked forward each year to their winter vacation at their aunt and uncle's home in Vermont where they tapped the trees for sap, turned it into maple syrup and ate it on their aunt's delicious pancakes. There was also Rosa-too-little, for that's what they kept calling her until she could finally sign her name to get her very own library card.
These weren't just stories; they were stories where I was learning something about my world.
Our local libraries have children's librarians just waiting to help match you and your child with the ideal book, from picture book to non-fiction to chapter book.
We also know that children can understand books read aloud to them at several grade levels above their own reading level. This serves to broaden their vocabulary at the same time as they are digesting more complex sentence structure. A perfect book to read (and work on) together is "Puzzle Island." It's a unique book that involves unscrambling letters to form the names of animals whose pictures are hidden deep within the book's illustrations. One important tip to having "quality time" together with your child is doing something that you also enjoy.
For a beginning reader, you might choose another sort of interactive book to encourage a love of reading. "Ahoy, Pirate Pete" and "Once Upon a Time" are almost magical, with picture pieces that are stored on each page that you change each time you read the story, creating a new tale with each re-reading. "Dear Tooth Fairy" is another interactive book with small envelopes containing letters written by the Tooth Fairy to the little girl who refuses to leave her tooth under the pillow.
Discovery Toys has some great board books for you to add to baby's first library: Baby Bear's Bedtime, Ladybug's Lesson and Rough and Tough Tractors and Diggers books. Visit your local library where you can find many more titles.
Banana-fana-fofana-fie-fi-fo-fana. Sound familiar? This childhood ditty can be stuck in your head for hours, but it may eventually serve a purpose. You might want to make up your own silly version. Absolutely, GO FOR IT! Be sure to include your kids in the fun!
Why? Playing with sounds, rhymes, and nonsense words is vital to the logical progression of pre-reading skills.
Spoken language is made up of sounds (phonemes)Mastering written language (reading) follows the exact same progression with the phonemes (sounds) represented by symbols (such as letters) called graphemes.
Sounds make words
Words make phrases
Phrases make sentences
Sentences have meaning
Remember how your baby would delight in your smiles, coos, and sound mimics during his babbling stage? As your child develops, she will mimic the sounds you make. Take advantage of these opportunities by making rhymes and word repetitions.
"bat, rat, cat, ratatattat"Sharon Duke Estroff writes in http://www.mamapedia.com/voices/raising-kids-who-love-to-read :
"bed, bat, b, b, b, b"
"car, cat, cut, cot....bot, not, sot, rot, tot"
Double check the reading level. When kids take on books beyond their proficiency level, they can become rapidly disheartened. To determine whether a book is too hard for your child, have her read the first page aloud to you. If she stumbles over more than five words, put it back on the shelf and help her make another selection.
It’s in the bag. Stash some books in a totebag and pull them out whenever you and your kids get caught in a holding pattern. Whether waiting at the doctor’s office or a restaurant, your children will be thankful to have books to bust their boredom.
Start a parent/child book club. This hot new trend in book clubs offers benefits galore ranging from heightened reading skills to multigenerational bonding. Find out everything you need to know about organizing your own parent/child group.
Enlist Hollywood. Seeing a story on the big screen (or a small one) can provide just the spark kids need to pick up the book version. Flicks like Lemony Snicket, Harry Potter, Matilda are sure to have your little stars hitting the library in no time.
Gear them with glossy pages. Kids needn’t peruse classics to reap the benefits of reading. Magazines that zero in on children’s passions – from skateboarding to fashion – can inspire even the most reluctant readers to start flipping pages. Techno-savvy kids can pull up favorite magazines online at sites like Sports Illustrated Kids and Time for Kids.
Create a library on wheels. Propensity toward carsickness aside, keeping a supply of books in the car will turn all those idle hours in traffic into valuable reading time.
Turn them on to books on tape. Listening to a book on tape while following along in the real thing gives struggling readers (or those who simply want to tackle a book that’s beyond their reading level) an opportunity to enjoy the story without getting bogged down by difficult words.
Read to Them.
Read with Them.