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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day... Almost!

In honor of Valentine's Day, here are some activities to do with your little Valentine.

Check out these Valentine’s Day Rhymes. See if your child can guess the rhyming word (from

A Valentine’s color that rhymes with bed.
A Valentine’s color that rhymes with sink.

Something you give that rhymes with lift.
Something you give that rhymes with yard.
What cupid shoots that rhymes with go.
An emotion that rhymes with glove.
A long, long time that rhymes with clever.
A Valentine’s symbol that rhymes with art.
Something sweet that rhymes with dandy.
What couples do that rhymes with miss.
Do some of these songs with your child.

Here are some of my favorites to do with finger puppets.  Have fun making your own (using socks, clay or old gloves) and then saying these.  They are relatively easy to memorize for your child and would be good practice for tracking words.  Write them on a poster board or just print them straight from here!

Five Pretty Valentines

Five Pretty valentines waiting at the store.
(Your child's name) bought one and then there were four.
Four pretty valentines shaped like a "V"
(Your child's name) bought one and then there were three.
Three pretty valentines said "I love you"
(Your child's name) bought one then there were two.
Two pretty valentines, this was so much fun.
(Your child's name) bought one and then there was one.
One pretty valentine sitting on the shelf.
It was lonely, so I bought it for myself.

5 Little Valentines

Five little valentines were having a race
The first little valentine was frilly with lace.
The second little valentine had a funny face.
The third little valentine said, "I love you".
The fourth little valentine said, "I do too".
The fifth little valentine was sly as a fox.
He ran the fastest to the valentine box.

Make some Valentine’s Day cards together.  Depending on the age of your child, you can have them dictate and you write, or you can have them write with your help to sound out words.  These are some cute templates to make a Valentine’s Day box from DLTK!   I would even use these templates to make Valentine Letter Boxes.  Collect words in magazines, flyers or newspapers that begin with V!

Throw some math in!  Lay out conversation hearts or candy in certain groups of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.  Write the numbers 1-5 on sheets of paper.  See if your child can match up the numbers to the amount of hearts.
Conversation hearts Valentine's Day reading activity
Make letters from conversation hearts.  Demonstrate arranging the hearts into the letter A.  Can your child arrange them into other letters?

Enjoy your Valentine's Weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love Is In the Air!

Valentine’s books are hard to find in my school’s library.  Anyone else experience the same thing?  But, I read this to my class today and they LOVED it.  Olive is quite the character!  Be sure to read this with your Valentine J

LISTENING - Tell your child to listen out for the word HEART.  Every time you say it in the book, have him/her do some sort of action (hug you, jump up and down, etc.).

RHYMING - Although not every line rhymes, there are several sentences with rhyming pairs: “One, TWO off she FLEW,” “Stop!  No!  Don’t go!” and “Just then, down the RUT rolled a NUT,” etc.  Cut a heart out of red or pink construction paper  Choose one of those sentences, and see how many other rhyming words your child can think of to match.  Write these for your child on the heart.  You can make several hearts using several rhyming pairs.

WORDS/SENTENCES -  Keep that red construction paper.  Write one word of a sentence on a smaller heart.  Use a sentence from the book, or one like “Happy Valentine’s Day my love,” “I love you ____” or “Be my Valentine ____.”  You can even use conversation hearts to think of a message.  Show your child how to mix up the words and arrange them back in order.  Have your child try this!

SYLLABLES -  Use conversation hearts for this activity.  Try to figure out how many syllables are in these words by pushing a heart out each time you hear a syllable: LOVE, VALENTINE, OLIVE, HEART, CHOCOLATE, etc.
Baby Talk Conversation Hearts Candy

INITIAL/FINAL SOUNDS -  How many objects in your house can your child find that start with the V sound for Valentine (vase, vacuum, etc.)?  Can your child find any that end with that sound (glove, stove, TV, etc.)?

PHONEMES - Back to those conversation hearts.  Use the word VALENTINE, which could be very tricky, push out a conversation heart for each phoneme you hear (V-A-L-EN-T-I-NE).  If this is too hard, try LOVE (l-o-ve) or CANDY (c-a-n-d-y).  Be sure to model it before you have your child do it!

LETTERS/SPELLING - Recycle and keep using those conversation hearts.  Help your child read the short messages.  Can he/she make a story using the hearts?  Glue them onto a paper and help your child add words in between to fill in the story.  Another activity- write VALENTINE on scraps of paper (or hearts).  One letter per sheet.  How many smaller words can your child make from it (van, in, eat, etc.).  This sheet  can help!

Other activities to do with conversation hearts: graph the colors, sort them by colors or make patterns with the colors.  I wouldn’t suggest eating all the conversation hearts in one sitting, but enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hello Snow!

Running with the snow theme, this is a great find for young readers!  With tons of rhymes and lively pictures, your child is sure to be entertained!

LISTENING - Let your child do some acting.  Read the book through one time.  Then, without showing your child the pictures, have him/her act out what you read on the page.

RHYMING - Where to begin.  After you’ve read a few pages, have your child try to guess the last word in each stanza.  For example, say, “Hello, sock.  Goodbye, toe.  Hold on, piggies- In you ___.”

WORDS/SENTENCES - Can your child find the Hellos and Goodbyes on each page?

INITIAL/FINAL SOUNDS - Fix your child some cocoa.  Then, have them search for words that begin or end with that same “c” sound.  Write all of these on some shaving cream for an added snow effect!

SYLLABLES - Find any two syllable word in the story (HELLO, SUNSHINE, SNOWFLAKES, etc.).  Model saying each syllable in a different voice for your child.  Have your child try.  For example, with the word SUNSHINE, say SUN with a high-pitched voice, and SHINE with a low-pitched one.

PHONEMES - Since the children in the story drink hot cocoa, round up some marshmallows and practice Push and Say with small three, four or five letter words.  For HELLO, push a marshmallow out for H, E, LL and O (4 marshmallows).  Your child can only eat he/she if they identify all the phonemes in a word J

                Added BONUS- I love the BBC website.  Try this Whirly Words  game.

LETTERS/SPELLING - In that mug of hot cocoa, give your child a straw and have him/her practice writing 3, 4 or 5 letter words in their drink!  Choose words like PACK (the –ack family), HAT (-at family), ZIP (-ip family), etc.  Can he/she think of any other words that fall into those families?  Or, practice sight words such as ME, SEE HELLO, AND, IN, HERE, THE, WE, GO, IT, THIS, etc.
                Added BONUS- Try the Word Blender , also from the BBC Website!

Is your child even more advanced than this?  Have him/her write a new page for the book, seeing if he/she can following the rhyming pattern!

Monday, February 7, 2011

What Dreams are Made Of...

As some of us are wishing for snow, and others are wishing it would melt, Eric Carle’s “Snow Dreams” sounds fitting.  I know it talks about Christmas, but I think I’m just really hoping for a snowfall, so it seems fitting to me!  Your child will love the transparent pages that allow them to guess the animal.  Here are some suggestions:

LISTENING - Have your child make the noise of each animal as they become blanketed with snow.  The sentence “The snowflakes gently covered ____ with a white blanket.” is repeated several times.  After reading it through once, read it through again and change one of the words.  For example, say “The snowflakes gently caught ____ with a white blanket.”  Can your child guess the messed up word?  When you are reading the numbers in order, try saying a word that isn’t a number.  For example, say “One, Two, Fish, Four and Five.”  Can your child name the silly word?

RHYMING - How many words can your child come up with that rhyme with SNOW.  They can be nonsense words.  Can he/she make up a sentence using some rhyming words?  For example, “The SHOW stopped because of SNOW and I KNOW we have to GO.”

WORDS/SENTENCES - Give your child 9 blocks or 9 of any small item.  Read them the sentence “The snowflakes gently covered Three with a white blanket.”  Model pushing a block out for each word in the sentence.  Next, do it with your child as you guide his/her hands out for each word.  After several tries, can your child do it alone?

SYLLABLES - Have your child collect some nighttime things in a bad (toothbrush, teddy bear, blanket, etc.).  Pull the items out of the bag one by one and model the jaw activity to show that your mouth moves each time there’s a new syllable.  Can your child do that?

INITIAL/FINAL SOUNDS - How many words does your child hear that start with the same sound as SNOW?  Collect some items around the house that start with the same letter.  Try the same thing with snow’s last letter (W).

PHONEMES - Give your child several blocks for this activity.  Model pushing one out each time you hear a sound/phoneme in the story.  Or, have a jar of pretzels, peanuts, grapes, etc.  Have your child grab one each time they hear individual sounds.  Try some of these words: WITH (w-i-th), FELL (f-e-ll), ASLEEP (a-s-l-ee-p), SNOW (s-n-ow), MOON (m-oo-n), STAR (s-t-ar).

LETTERS/SPELLINGS - If you have snow, use it!  Don't you feel bad for the person above?!  If not, grab some shaving cream to create a pretend scene.  Help your child spell SNOW.  Underneath of it, drop the SN and put GR.  Drop the GR and add a THR.  Drop that beginning and add BL.  See if your child can think of anymore.  You can do the same for the word DREAM (steam, beam, treat, neat, beat, seat, etc.)

Hoping this brings a little snow my way J