The Benefits of Reading to Your Kids

Reading to your kidsReading with your kids is a wonderful bonding experience for the whole family. On top of the sentimental and learning value, more and more studies are proving how beneficial reading is for a child’s development.

Reading with your kid’s is also beneficial for parents, as busy families may not actually have time to read on their own. Reading has a ton of benefits for everyone!  Here are just a few examples.

Children’s Benefits of Reading:

 1. Boosted Self Esteem

When children read at a young age they increase their knowledge of vocabulary which helps them better communicate to their peers, teachers, and other adults. When someone knows how to communicate well they often have a strong self-image, sense of confidence, and do better in school. This confidence helps them build self-esteem.

 2. Academic Success

Reading early to your child opens the door to early academic success. When children learn to read they have greater knowledge, expanded vocabulary and become more fluent readers. They also have a better ability to focus. Early readers can recognize a larger number of words by sight, which enables them to learn quickly about the world around them.

3. Developed Imagination

When we read our brains translate the descriptions of people, places, and things into images in our minds. When we’re engaged in a story, we’re also imagining the characters emotions, intentions, and morals. We use our own experiences to imagine how we would feel in the same situation and put ourselves into the story. A child’s imagination really flies when they are reading a book.

4. Social Skills

Children have social awareness at a very young age. The few children in kindergarten that can read may receive awards and certificates, be called upon to choose books, or read out loud. In some schools, they may even be asked to help other children in the class, who may still be struggling. Therefore, early readers have the advantage in the classroom by being able to relate to their peers on a confident level.

Benefits for Adults:

1. Mental Stimulation

It’s important to keep your brain active, just like any other muscle in the body. If you don’t have time to pick up a book on your own, reading a short book to your kid can mentally stimulate you too!

2. Reduces Stress

Dive into a great story with your child and watch the stress of a long day melt away. Stores keep you present in the moment and can distract you from your worries. Cuddle up with your kiddo before bedtime and read them an uplifting story to help yourself relax.

3. Memory Improvement

When you read a book, you have to remember many characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, as well as the various themes and sub-plots that weave their way through every story.  This is especially important when reading to your child because they will ask you a lot of questions about the story! Keeping in tune with the story and remembering not only the character but the plot, and the voices you use every time you read the book is a great exercise for your brain!

4. Improved Focus

With the internet and technology, we are so distracted– all the time! When we read,  all of our attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just disappears and we can focus on the small details of the book. Giving your undivided attention to the story can help improve attention and focus.

So there you have it – the many benefits of reading to your kids!

Being Creative With Color – Rainbow Melted Crayon Craft

crayon craftKids LOVE crafts, and to be honest, sometimes as parents they are more  of a sticky, crazy messy stress, than any fun. So, I wanted to share an easy and fun craft that both parents and the kids will enjoy together. This rainbow crayon project is fun for everyone, very reasonable to do, and affordable with supplies you have lying around the house.

You can get creative with this project and use it as a bedroom door sign, craft for the baby’s room, or a gift.

How to Steps for the Melted Crayon Craft: 

Supplies:

  • Canvas
  • Glue and Glue Gun
  • Wood Letters
  • Paint
  • Hairdryer

Steps:

  1. Take your canvas (any size) and using a glue gun, attach the wood letters to the canvas. We painted our letters beforehand so they would stand out.
  2. Glue crayons along the top of the canvas. Be creative here with your colors! You can do the normal rainbow order or if your kids have a favorite color, have them use a variety of that shade.
  3. Use a hair dryer to melt the crayons and let the crayons run down the canvas. Pro tip- wear gloves so you don’t have crayon wax stuck to your hands in case you touch the wax before it dries.

Voila! You have a beautiful, colorful, and creative masterpiece! Get creative and share your work with us on Facebook!

How to Make Rainbow Fruit Kabobs

rainbow fruit kabobsIf you are looking for a fun way to serve you kids a healthy snack, try making rainbow fruit kabobs! These are extremely delicious and easy for you to make with young ones. Paired with a creamy honey-vanilla yogurt dip, these pretty kabobs are a fun and nutritious treat.

 Fruit Kabob Ingredients:

  • Fruits of your choice in a rainbow pattern.  Feel free to have fun with these and pick your favorites! If you want to follow a simple rainbow pattern our favorite combo is: strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew and blueberries.
  • Wooden Skewers (You can find these in the baking aisle at a regular grocery store)
  • 2 Cups plain or Greek yogurt (vanilla)
  • ½ cup honey
  • Add ons:
    • ½ tsp. cinnamon
    • ½ tsp brown sugar

 Instructions:

1. Wash and prepare all of your fruit and cut bigger fruits into bite-sized chunks.

2. Pile on fruits of choice in a rainbow order. You can use any fruit you like, whatever is in season or your kid’s favorite!

3. Whip up a quick yogurt dip with the yogurt, honey and optional cinnamon for a little spice. If you’d like it a little sweeter, add a bit of brown sugar.

For birthdays, showers, after school or any other event these rainbow fruit kabobs are the perfect healthy treat! They’re fresh, kid friendly, and easy to make last minute. Making these with your kids creates the perfect opportunity to not only teach them about healthy eating, but it let’s them use their own creativity! Have your kids pick out their favorite fruits ad let them pick the order ,remember they don’t have to be rainbow!

Have fun and remember to share your photos of your snack creations on our Facebook page! Let us know your kid’s favorite fruit combination! 🙂

Art Project for Kids to Build Self Esteem

Art projects for kids are a great way to build their self esteem. Spending time with your kids being creative together is important for learning in areas like art, music, social studies, and more. Not only can it create a memory of fun family bonding, or something to do on a rain day, but it also can help kids develop creative thinking skills and confidence. Crafting allows kids to explore ideas, express themselves, and have fun. Art projects can give parents and children a way to explore issues of self-esteem while using self-expression skills. Think of this as a fun way to teach a valuable lesson!

An easy, confidence building and craft for the entire family to do with your kids is making personal silhouettes. This quick craft can be done with little time and effort and is perfect for a rainy day when you are stuck indoors. It can be done with friends, family, or at school. With the addition of a frame, these silhouettes also make a great gift, straight from the heart.

Age range: 5 – 12 years

Time required: 30 minutes

Instructions:

Materials Needs:

  • Flash light
  • Colored paper
  • Stickers, markers, or creative supplies of choice
  • Scissors

Tape a large piece of white or colorful construction paper to the wall. Have the child stand or sit sideways next to the paper. Turn the lights down in the room and shine the flashlight on them so their profile is shadowed on the paper. Trace the shadow in black or their favorite color.

Cut out the profile together and mount it on contrasting piece of paper. Color in the shape with all the things that make them special. Your kid can cut out magazine pictures, use stickers, or word phrases. Does your child love unicorns? Do they love to sing? Are they entranced by the natural world? Put all of these feelings and ideas into your art project using stickers or drawing pictures. For more visual interest, play with items of varying textures. Feathers can be used to make butterfly wings or flowers. Aluminum foil can be used for a shiny effect. A little glue and glitter can make the project sparkle and shine, just like your heart whenever your child walks into the room. As you use these different ideas and materials, take the time to explain how special your child is and how unique they are. They are a true work of art.

Encourage your child to describe the thoughts behind their art choices too. This is a chance for your child to express him or herself! More importantly, this is a great way to teach your child how to verbalize and portray complex thoughts like emotions or character traits. It is also a great way to showcase the special parts of them and build their self-esteem. When you are done you can hang it up or give as a gift.

We think this art project is a fun and creative way to highlight the wonderful things about your little one. We would love to see your works of art, so please share your masterpieces on our Facebook page! We can’t wait to see them.