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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Break

Over the next few days, my girls will be home on spring break. Although I am not one to take an extravagant vacation with them, I do value all the time we can get together. That being said, I will be taking a blogging vacation so I can spend as much time with my girls as I can.

They will be off from Monday April 14 - Wednesday April 23. I love spring break with the girls. I hope to be back blogging no later then Thursday April 24 with an update on how break went.

For the time being, I would love to further connect with all of you.
Feel free to friend me on Facebook so I can get to know all of you better.
If you want updated posts I will share them via Twitter.

Thank you all for your support and loyalty.

How do you plan on spending your spring break this year?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Feelings In a Jar


Feelings In a Jar

Contents:

  • 101 different feelings cards
  • 1 re-usable, re-cyclable container

Game Play

Feelings In a Jar is a great game that every child should have; especially special needs children. The actual game, comes with 4 ways to play for older children.

Act it out: After selecting a card, try to act it out and have your friend try to guess what you are acting.
Daily Insights: Once you have a feeling, talk about it or write about it.
Icebreaker: Everyone in the room gets a feeling and you have to find someone with a similar or opposite feeling.
Talk It Out: As you are talking about a situation when you felt that feeling, have the rest of the group try to figure out the feeling.

Pros:

  • Feelings
  • Emotions
  • 101 different cards
  • Socialization
  • Verbal skills
  • Group skills

Cons:

  • Suggested age group 8+. I actually got this for a special needs child when she was less then 4 and we still use it.
  • The cards are made of paper. It would have been nice to have been made out of plastic or laminated papers. As a result I end up handling it to prevent tearing. 

Suggestions:

  • Special Needs Children: I have worked with special needs children and noticed a lot of them do not have a grasp on feelings and different emotions. As a result, I would suggest to start off with two cards and talk about the feelings on a daily basis. I usually start with sad and happy. After they master these emotions, we gradually add feelings. I might add delighted because I am delighted to see you and then go on to cheerful. As we add a new feeling when they are ready, I try to mention the feelings even when we are not talking about feelings. For example, I feel very "confident" that they will be able to finish the puzzle at hand. 
  • Older Children: If I am working with a group of children in a class setting, I might give each child a random feeling and have them write a situation with the feeling. The story should be about one paragraph long and will be shred with the class. It would be very interesting to see how the children interpret the feelings they have and the discussions it will lead to. I have to admit though, if working with an older group, try to take out the easy feelings. 

Age Range

  • Suggested: 8 and older
  • My suggestions: 2+
  • Children learning to be more expressive

Bottom Line:

I bought Feelings In a Jar in a jar to help a little girl born with Down Syndrome learn more about feelings. A lot of the children I work with have little no no emotional expression and I wanted to help them out. I bought this game as an experiment and love it. It is such a versatile game and can be used so many different ways my only regret is I did not purchase it sooner. 

If you are interested in purchasing Feelings In a Jar feel free to click on any of the links.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Let's Go to the Library


Let's Go to the Library

Summary:

Let's Go to the Library is a Rookie Toddler book published by Scholastic. This short 12 page board book is perfect for you little one leaning to sit and listen to book for a short period of time.

The book is as it says about going to the library. There are two ways of reading the book. The first is like your average book with rhymes. Read it to your child and have fun. If you are looking for more fun and excitment, this book is written to the tune of The Muffin Man". As you are having fun reading this to your child, your child will be learning what to expect at your visit to the library. It starts off with you little trip to the library and ends with everyone sharing the books.

What I really like about this book is that is features various real life photos of children in the library. Some children are standing selecting books while others are sitting and reading. This is a great way to introduce your child to the wonders of the library.

Pros:

  • Sing song book
  • Rhymes
  • Educational
  • Introduces child to library
  • Encourages reading
  • Board book

Cons:

  • It would have been nice to see some library rules included like no talking loud and no running.
  • The yellow and blue tabs on the cover, end up on all pages. I thought each tab would be for one page to help with turning for young ones reading alone. Would have been nice to have one small tab per page to help smaller children. 

Suggestions:

  • Read this book to your chid before your first trip to the library. After you read the book, talk about some of the rules like no running and yelling. It will also be helpful to talk to your child about the specific branch you are going to. For example when I took my little one to arts'n crafts time, we talked about rules with markers and glue.
  • Take your child to the library. Have fun. Children should be exposed to as many books as possible and the younger the better. The library is a great free place to introduce your child to books and reading. If you can, get your child their own library card. It will also teach them how to be responsible. 

Age Range:

  • Birth -3
  • Before your child's first trip to the library

Bottom Line:

Let's Go to the Library is a great way to introduce your child to their first trip to the library. Reading is very important for children. This book will help their first experience to the library be a fun educational one. 

*If you are getting ready to take your child to the library, click on the links to purchase Let's Go to the Library.

If you have little ones, how what their first experience to the library like?