I’ve been smiling a lot these days.
During the past few weeks, the Show-Me-How Story-time with Miss Vivian program has traveled to several local kindergartens and libraries.
Back in November, the children at Edison Elementary enjoyed hearing Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis. Young children are often reluctant or unable to express their feelings. Reading a story like this one gives them the opportunity to talk about what might be bothering them. In Chapter Four, I Am Really Mad Right Now, my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, gives parents and teachers over a dozen picture book titles with summaries and a related quick and easy craft project and matching child-friendly cooking activity for each.
After the kindergarteners had a chance to talk about the feelings of the main character in the story and their own feelings, I showed them the fun craft we would be making. The children were excited to work on the smiling/frowning paper plate. We punched a hole in the top and pushed a piece of yarn through so they would be able to hang it up on the door to their room…anyone entering will know how they are feeling…another wonderful opportunity for parents to engage their children in a discussion about emotions.
I was thrilled to receive a bunch of letters and pictures from Ms. Gustafson’s class, thanking me for sharing the story and craft activity with them.
This past week, I visited with the kindergarteners at Fremont Elementary. Again I was met with smiling children, eager to hear The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. Ms. Vassar’s class was excited to hear about the little raccoon who didn’t want to leave his mother to go to school until she shares a special secret with him.
Young children can relate to this story very well…many of them are anxious about leaving home to go to school or daycare. Again, picture books can be a wonderful vehicle for calming a child’s fears or helping him realize that others feel just the way he does.
After the story was over, the children made Kissing Hand pictures. Tracing the outline of their hands onto a piece of paper, I encouraged the children to think about who they love and who loves them. Each finger represented someone important in their lives.
Then, on Saturday, I read the same picture book at the Penrose Library’s 10:30am Story-time. Many of the children attending were only three and four years old, but they still loved hearing the story and looking at the beautiful illustrations. Very young children are developing important pre-literacy skills when parents read to them. Knowing how to hold a book, turning the pages from front to back, reading the pictures from left to right, observing and pointing out things they see in the pictures…these are all important skills they MUST learn before they can read themselves.
Because the holidays are fast approaching, I changed the craft that accompanied the story and we made Kissing Hand Ornaments. Each child received a handprint, cut from cardstock paper that was white on one side and glittery color on the other. Using the white side, the children and their parents drew faces of family members on the fingers. The handprints had a hole punched at the top and a piece of yarn strung through so they can be hung from the Christmas tree, if desired.
It only takes 15 minutes to read a picture book story. It only takes 15 minutes to do a simple craft project. Such a little amount of time…but it has such a great impact. “If you want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you need to be in their lives today.”
I implore parents: please do this with your young children. Go to the library. Get out a few picture books. Read them with your children. Get some paper and crayons and draw with your children. Staple several pages together and let them make their own “book” and have them tell you the story they have drawn.
The book I wrote last year is a perfect addition to your home library…with 100 classic picture book recommendations; you only have to flip through the table of contents to find the perfect book to read to your child. When you open to that page, you will find the story summary, a tip on why that particular book is helpful to read to your child, a quick and easy craft project and a child-friendly healthful recipe…all laid out for you in a simple, easy-to-use format. Most of the crafts use only paper, crayons or markers…some also need a glue stick, pair of scissors and pictures cut from magazines or catalogs. Most of the recipes are low-fat, low sugar and high fiber…many are even no-cook, like fresh orange juice made from squeezing oranges and peanut butter balls made from peanut butter, honey and dry milk.
I wish I had had this book when my children were growing up…everything in one place…no guesswork involved when it comes to planning activities for young children.
Don’t delay…at $19.95, it makes the perfect gift for yourself or anyone you know who has young children. It even makes a great baby shower gift…unique and priceless…with great parenting tips on building a child’s self-esteem and creating a life-long parent-child bond.
And we all want that…don’t we? Please visit the Show Me How website now and order a copy today!