Monday, April 28, 2014

Early Literacy Skill 15: Reading Poetry

My husband has started to read poetry out loud to your 19 month-old daughter every night. We do our regular bedtime with practicing the potty, brushing teeth and then getting three picture books for bedtime. Then, he takes her downstairs, puts her in her crib and starts reading poetry aloud. She sits quietly in her crib surrounded by her stuffed animals while he reads a few poems to her. Then he says goodnight, she blows him a kiss and she falls asleep on her own. It all sounds so wonderful and I always want to sneak a look or two, but I know I would disrupt the whole process.

Since we happen to have poetry around the house (we both have our BA in English Lit.), Jason didn't ask me for any suggestions. He was surprised and happy to find out that there are so many poetry books for children at the library. I will add a second blog post for children poetry that he enjoys sharing with our toddler. I just now realized that his reading poetry aloud to our daughter accidentally coincided with National Poetry Month : )

Friday, April 4, 2014

Early Literacy Skill 14: Cardboard Oven and Cookies

I am terribly behind in my Early Literacy 365 challenge, but I thought I would do a super awesome post that I am really excited about to make up for it. I am beginning to realize that it is going to take me longer than a year to get 365 early literacy activities on my blog.

Tomorrow, I am doing a family story time with the theme "Playing Cookie Shop". For this monthly story time, I do a short story time for babies, toddlers and preschoolers and then I have a craft and extension activities. My philosophy for this story time is to focus on an early literacy skill or practice and then build everything around it. Early literacy is for everyone and it should be free, so the extension activities are usually things that can be easily recreated at home.

Since I have no place to store this at work, I am taking it home for my kids to play with it until I need it for my annual Early Literacy Fair in the summer. This is going to fit perfectly in our dining space next to the kitchen. I got the idea for the oven from the website Babyology. Their oven is priced at $19.95.

I made my oven for a lot less money. I printed the Clipart and made the images from shapes in Publisher and images I found online of stove dials. I just happen to have everyone at work bringing me milk caps and these ones were perfect. I got the handle and screws with binding posts at Home Depot for about $3.50. It took a little time, but it was really fun to make. Super easy, super fun and my kids are going to love it, as are the ones in story time tomorrow morning.


I couldn't stop with the oven. I needed to make some cookies to put inside. The kids are going to decorate cookies as the craft tomorrow morning with markers, craft foam stickers and card stock. They are all going to take home a copy of the rhyme Five Little Cookies in the Bakery Shop so the can have an extension activity from story time to do at home later on.

To make the cookies below, I grabbed three of the craft cookies I prepared and made little chocolate chips with markers. I put Velcro on the back and Velcro on the cookie sheet I made from a sturdy piece of cardboard and aluminum foil. I used packing tape all around the cookie sheet to keep it secure and so I won't have to make it again in the summer for the Early Literacy Fair. The cookie sheet and cookies took about 20 minutes to make if you include the time it took to cut out the cardboard cookies. I can hardly wait to see kids playing with these new, recycled toys.